East of Downtown Los Angeles lies the San Gabriel Valley, affectionately nicknamed ‘the 626’ by locals. The 626 is one of the best areas in the nation to get authentic Asian food, but even after a filling meal of dim sum or pho, dessert is a must. Because of the region’s incredible diversity it has attracted a slew of unique dessert options, ranging from Asian-influenced gourmet popsicles to delicious macarons. Here’s our top picks.
Step into family owned Fosselman’s and travel back to the 1940s. The traditional American ice cream parlor and candy shop is home to a fully functional soda fountain that feels straight from the past. Though Fosselman’s ice cream can be found in stores and restaurants around Southern California, this location is the brand’s only retail store in the world. The milkshakes are legendary, and all 48 ice cream flavors are handmade. Take a half-gallon of your favorite flavor home to share or pig out on later.
Fosselman’s Ice Cream, 1824 W Main St, Alhambra, CA, +1 626 282 6533
Drinks may not count as dessert to some people, but in the San Gabriel Valley, there is always room after a meal for boba and tea. With refreshing tea filled with fresh fruit and complemented with honey boba, Tastea offers some of the most unique drinks in the area. Take your time looking through the many flavors and combinations, or order customer favorites, such as the Peach Me Sweet Tea or Bootea Shaker.
Tastea, 1737 Fullerton Rd, Ste A, Rowland Heights, CA, +1 626 810 0122
After a full meal, a light dessert may be all that your stomach can handle, and Salju is the place to get it. Salju specializes in Taiwanese shaved snow, coming in flavors from durian to green tea that melt in your mouth. Toppings and unlimited condensed milk (a necessity) pair perfectly together with the light and airy snow. Highly recommended is the green tea shaved snow with mochi balls and red bean.
Salju Dessert, 35 W Valley Blvd, Alhambra, CA, +1 626 289 3578
Step away from tradition to order a scoop of Lavender Honey, Intelligentsia Espresso, or Earl Grey ice cream. New gourmet flavors replace the old on Carmela’s ever-changing menu of ice cream and sorbet. Don’t be afraid to ask the friendly staff to sample any of the flavors before deciding on a scoop – or multiple scoops – to fill a fresh and crunchy waffle cone. If you have extra time, the founders of the store lead ice cream-making lessons throughout the year, complete with tastings and two pints to take home.
Carmela ice Cream, 2495 E Washington Blvd, Pasadena, CA, +1 626 797 1405