My love affair with ice cream began well before I moved to Los Angeles. That’s why I made it my mission to find the top 10 best ice cream shops in town. When you taste what some of these places have to offer, you’ll understand why L.A. is called the City of Angels.

21 Choices

85 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 304-9521;

www.21choices.com


Think Cold Stone, but frozen yogurt. 21 Choices is best known for its incredible variety of flavors, usually featured on the Daily Special white board on the wall. Almost everything is pretty much delicious, but the absolute best is the animal cookies ice cream – you know, made with white and pink cookies with colorful sprinkles. Best of all, it’s lowfat!

Al Gelato

806 S. Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles

(310) 659-8069


At the upscale end of Robertson sits a quaint Italian ice-cream parlor where a friendly staff helps you indulge your sweet tooth and savory cravings. There’s nothing like Al Gelato’s lush, smooth and flavor-packed gelato. Decor is pretty minimal, and the place feels like a nice mom ’n’ pop store.

Bennett’s Ice Cream

6333 W. Third St., Los Angeles

(323) 939-6786


The ice cream at Bennett’s is made fresh daily so you know it’s going to be rich and creamy. Their root beer floats are a must. But if you’re in the mood for a cone, rotating flavors include white-chocolate raspberry, cabernet sorbet and a variety of fat-free yogurts.

Diddy Riese

926 Broxton Ave., Los Angeles

(310) 208-0448;

www.diddyriese.com


Even with a line 30-deep, out the door and down the street, you can’t pass up a Diddy Riese ice cream sandwich. Choose any combination of two freshly baked cookies and one of 12 different Dreyer’s ice cream flavors for a sweet treat that’s to die for.

Disney Soda Fountain

6834 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood

(323) 817-1475;

www.disneysodafountain.com


Disney Soda Fountain offers an old-fashioned ice cream parlor experience, serving cones, sundaes, shakes, malts, freezes, floats and old-time phosphates. Check out the Black & White Sundae – an $8 treat of vanilla ice cream, topped with homemade hot fudge and then a scoop of chocolate ice cream and scrumptious whipped marshmallow.

Gelato Italiano

7376 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles

(323) 653-1009


Gelato Italiano is straight from my Roma dreams. Without asking, the counter guy immediately served up one double taster of gelato after another until I was ready to scream from indecisiveness. I eventually ordered the Almond and Stracciatella and can honestly say that it was the best gelato I’ve ever had in the States.

Ice Pan

7100 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood

(323) 883-0267;

www.icepanusa.com


This place is ingenious. Basically, there are nine ice cream flavors to choose from. Then you pick which kind of milk you want your ice cream to be made out of – whole, low fat, nonfat or soy. Ice Pan makes your customized ice cream right in front of you like magic; liquid to ice cream in about two minutes. Plus, it’s delicious.

Mashti Malone’s

1525 N. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles

(323) 874-6168;

www.mashtimalone.com


Ice cream with refreshingly different Middle Eastern influences makes Mashti Malone’s a delightful discovery. Orange blossom or ginger-rosewater ice creams and pomegranate sorbet are among the mouth-watering indulgences with which you can spoil yourself. So next time you’re in the mood for an exotic adventure, you now have a new place to explore.

Milk

7290 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles

(323) 939-6455;

www.themilkshop.com


This ’50s style ice cream shop is about as old-fashioned as it gets. They serve sundaes, floats, milkshakes and ice cream – by the scoop or in a sandwich. Their flavors are traditional and classically delicious. But try the “Coffee Toffee Crunch Shake” for something truly out of this world.

Scoops

712 N. Heliotrope Drive, Los Angeles

(323) 906-2649


How can you go wrong with a $1 scoop from this humble neighborhood shop? Scoops serves creative concoctions like Pistachio Maple and Riesling Cherry. Flavors constantly change (Yay for limitless samples!) but you should trust in the inventions of Tai, Scoops’ owner and flavor creator.