Summer screams for cold, refreshing beverages, and the King (or Queen) of that category could very well be the milkshake. The blended drink, which often features ice cream, milk, or both, is cooling comfort in a cup. Learn about 12 of my favorite L.A. shakes.
Numbered establishments on the map correspond to information below for easy reference. Establishments also appear in alphabetical order instead of in order of preference.
1. 25 Degrees Caramel Milkshake ($7 – 13): This “Bordello meets burger” concept from Tim and Liza Goodell resides on Hollywood Boulevard side of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. The space features textured red wallpaper, high-backed red leather booths, a red pressed tin ceiling, and black chandeliers. My favorite shake incorporated ribbons of house-made caramel that streaked the side of the glass, vanilla ice cream, whole milk, and Red Alea Hawaiian sea salt on top. Each shake comes with a stainless steel container featuring more ice cream and sea salt. Yes, this shake is available spiked, and 25 Degrees also serves alcoholic Guinness, Bananas Foster and Night Owl milkshakes.
2. The Counter Shake ($6.50): Jeff Weinstein’s custom burger empire, which extends from L.A. to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, carries some kooky Adult Shakes with vanilla ice cream, all $9, including a Mimosa Shake with sparkling wine and orange juice; a Chocolate Cherry Pinot Noir Shake with pinot noir, chocolate syrup and cherries; and Sweet Peach with Riesling and peach nectar. However, focus on shakes that fall closer to classic: Birthday Cake, Caramel Apple Crumble and my personal preference, Banana Split Shake with vanilla ice cream, strawberries, banana, caramel, chocolate syrup, and whipped cream. Since The Counter prides itself on customization, you can also build your own shake or malt.
3. G&B Coffee + Go Get Em Tiger Shake ($7.50): Kyle Glanville and Charles Babinski co-own a pair of progressive coffee bars, at downtown’s Grand Central Market, and in Larchmont Village. The duo’s also rethought the milkshake, which is undoubtedly one of L.A.’s best, and comes with an added jolt. The G&B Shake starts with two double shots of rotating single origin espresso, which joins luxurious McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams vanilla ice cream and fresh ground espresso beans, all served in a glass Kern jar.
4. Mateo’s Ice Cream & Fruit Bars Bomba ($4.25 – $6.75): Priciliano Mateo’s fruit-fueled empire is now four locations strong, with the Culver City branch conveniently located above the Ballona Creek bike path. The colorful establishment touts plenty of fresh fruit, cartoon paletas and wall-mounted menus. Invest in the ice cream-free licuado that Mateo calls the Bomba, a milkshake with whole milk, mamey, banana, papaya, strawberry, coconut, walnuts, honey, granola and raisins, all blended to form a nourishing pink beverage.