Studio City Ice Cream Shops


McConnell’s Fine Ice Cream

By Sabrina Hamideh

McConnell’s is the best ice cream parlor in all of Studio City. From the variety of tasty flavors to the ambiance of the shop and even the energy of the staff, McConnell’s is superior to any other ice cream establishment.

McConnell’s serves over 20 flavors of ice cream with some classic flavors like mint chip and vanilla bean and also unique flavors like Passion Fruit Lemon Swirl and Honey and Cornbread Cookies, which is one of my personal favorites. The diversity of flavors allows ice cream enthusiasts  to sample many flavors that they may not be able to taste at other shops, while still carrying classic options for those who enjoy a simple ice cream eating experience. Whether you enjoy classic vanilla or venture to try more daring flavors, McConnell’s has the best choices to offer.  McConnell’s offers many dairy-free options, so those who cannot eat dairy products can savor the delicious selections as well. Its choices offer a wide range of flavors that are not only healthy but are delicious as well. All of the ice cream served is made from scratch and does not contain any stabilizers, preservatives or fillers, giving the dessert a very organic taste.

Although the ice cream served at the shop is absolutely scrumptious, the McConnell’s experience is so much more than merely the palatable flavors. When one enters the McConnell’s facility, they see a beautiful image of Ventura Blvd.  from the 50s on the wall. While waiting for their ice cream, customers can observe the graphic and learn the history of the area––grounding McConnell’s as an integral part of local lore. This image truly sets the fun and nostalgic mood of the shop apart from any other.  The warm, comfortable, and aesthetic environment at McConnell’s is unlike that of any other ice cream establishment I’ve seen.

The amazing staff at McConnell’s also boosts the quality of the shop. All of the employees I have encountered have been upbeat and delightful people, being more than happy to indulge numerous sample requests. The amazing employee service makes McConnell’s a top choice for enjoying some quality ice cream while taking a break from daily stresses.

If you find yourself with a sudden craving for ice cream after school, I highly encourage you to choose McConnell’s located at 12073 Ventura Pl. 


Salt and Straw

By Sasha Aghnatios

means to be a good ice cream shop. Among its many outstanding factors include its modern design, positive atmosphere, and, of course, the variety of flavors to choose from.

Of all the ice cream behemoths in the world of Ventura, only one is worth going to: Salt & Straw. The other ice cream places are good, of course, but why would one go to any other place when Salt & Straw is the best?

When you first walk into the shop, the first thing you notice is the black paint on the walls. As Oscar Wilde once said, “Sin is the only real color element in modern life.” Moreover, black is the absence of color. Therefore, Salt & Straw’s walls are devoid of sin, which really shows that Salt & Straw can do no wrong. 

Many of the Salt & Straw flavors go beyond the traditional chocolate and vanilla and include a wide range of flavors. In addition to a rotating menu of seasonal flavors (the current theme is cereal!), they have a myriad of classic flavors, including their most popular Salted Malted Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. For the vegan comrades of the world, Salt & Straw offers Peanut Butter Brittle Caramel Fudge and Marionberry Coconut Sherbet.

The Salted Malted Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough has everything you might want in ice cream: butterscotch, cookie dough, fudge and the perfect sweet-to-salty ratio. Some cookie dough ice creams clobber your taste buds with an exceedingly and cloyingly sweet taste—Salt & Straw manages to combat this common deficiency by balancing the sweetness with some salt to produce a more balanced overall taste. Moreover, the cookie dough is neither too hard nor too soft; it marries perfectly with the ice cream and the fudge with which it is mixed. That is not to say that the ice cream is too chocolatey. Instead, it is an exquisite example of how a good cookie manages to proportionally balance chocolate and butterscotch.

The perfection of the Salted Malted Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough is unmatched, and is a microcosm of the entirety of Salt & Straw: everything is crafted to flawlessness. Whether you want to relax and eat quality ice cream or are in the mood to try some unique ice cream flavors, Salt & Straw is the place to be.



By Eden Conner

Fatamorgana Gelato is a hidden gem nestled among the many recognizable chain restaurants on Ventura Blvd. Walking into the shop, you are instantly welcomed by soft music, Italian glass decorations and a sudden sense of calm.  Not only does Fatamorgana offer tasty, delicious flavors to choose from, but it also offers vegan and nut-free flavors that make it a healthier option than traditional ice cream shops.

Fatamorgana Gelato offers a range of classic gelato flavors, but with a healthy twist. Many of the flavors have the classic soft texture associated with gelato while others have a more light texture. The shop  is entirely gluten-free and also serves flavors that are vegan and nut-free. The nutritional value of the ingredients, however, doesn’t come without limitations: the consistency of Fatamorgana gelato is generally thinner than its traditional counterparts. The Rocky Road — which is thick, creamy and supremely chocolatey –– is about as close as it gets to the classic gelato texture. But  the Stracciatella — a gelato staple of cream and chocolate shavings –– was too thin, and fell short as a result. With dozens of flavor choices, including matcha green tea and passion fruit margarita, the shop has some winners, but it is not the sort of place where every flavor tried is better than the last.

What is left to be desired in taste is made up for, however, by the shop’s chill atmosphere. The relaxed energy makes it a perfect post-school debrief spot or homework space. Sitting at the long barstool at the front of the restaurant facing a large window to the outside street, you feel a welcome sense of separation from the outside world. It is the ideal place to people-watch  and snack on some treats.

Not only does Fatamorgana offer vegan and nut-free gelato flavors, but it also only uses fresh and whole ingredients, putting it at the forefront of healthy, simply-made ice cream shops in the area. It is also comforting to see an ingredient list with less than ten items – it makes the dessert experience a more transparent one. The next time you are looking for a place to take friends with or without dietary restrictions, head to Fatamorgana at 12021 Ventura Blvd. for a chance to relax and enjoy quality, healthy gelato as a delicious treat after school.


Van Leeuwen

By Jayan Kandavel

Van Leeuwen Ice Cream, located in Sportsmen’s Lodge, has some of the most unique  flavors near campus — brown sugar cookie dough chunks, honeycomb and peanut butter chocolate chip are just a few of its incredible menu items.  The wide range of flavors available makes Van Leeuwen a highly tempting ice cream shop to visit.

Van Leeuwen Ice Cream started out as an ice cream truck in New York City with a mission to make good ice cream from high quality ingredients. Since 2008, they have added their award-winning vegan ice cream and their newest creation, ice cream bars, to their stores.

What might be one of the most appealing things about this shop is its assortment of vegan ice cream. Their vegan ice cream flavors include vegan cookies and cream caramel swirl, vegan churros and fudge, vegan oat milk brown sugar chunk and vegan chocolate oat milk cookie dough chunk.  Thus, Van Leeuwen is a great ice cream shop to go to if one wants a healthy alternative to traditional ice cream.

Van Leeuwen offers delicious non vegan ice cream flavors as well, including Malted Milkshake and Fries, Sicilian Pistachio, Marionberry Cheesecake, Praline Butter Cake and Earl Grey tea. They also sell classic flavors like Vanilla Bean and Mint Chip. 

Additionally, Van Leeuwen’s ice cream is firm, creamy and will melt in your mouth like sweet silky clouds.The ice cream has the perfect balance of sweetness and even acidity. Mixed with the crispy vanilla wafer cone, this is the perfect scoop.  The soft texture of the ice cream along with the mixture of different tastes within each flavor makes Van Leeuwen’s an amazing choice to grab a treat.

The store also has kind and helpful employees, who helped me find the perfect flavor and offer many free samples. The store has a welcoming and warm atmosphere — despite the perfectly chilled ice cream —  which makes you feel right at home. The amazing service provided at Van Leeuwen’s further adds to its tasty assortment of flavors, and is a must-visit ice cream shop.

Van Leeuwen’s variety of flavors to choose from along with its excellent service and healthy options makes it a top choice for ice cream in the Studio City area. I would highly recommend this incredible shop, located at 12833 Ventura Blvd.