18 Absolute Best Milkshakes In Los Angeles

LA is known for a wide range of diverse cuisines, from the BBQ joints of Koreatown to the upscale seafood served in Santa Monica, as well as the gourmet Mexican food and taco trucks found throughout the city. However, what the city also does best is delicious American classics, like a good old-fashioned burger and milkshake. In fact, there are plenty of retro diners within city limits that have been happily serving customers since the 1950s, and ice cream and malt shops that date back even further than that. 

Wandering around LA, you can find anything from gourmet, boozy, beautifully handmade milkshakes to delicious, traditional diner treats you can get late into the night. For anyone who is vegan or lactose intolerant, don't worry, as the city provides plenty of creative, tasty options for those who prefer their milkshakes without the actual milk. Whether you're in the Valley or the Westside, up in Pasadena or downtown, check out where to find the best milkshakes in Los Angeles.

Peanut butter and banana - Connal's

Also known as Sandwiches by Connal, this family-owned restaurant has been around since 1958 and retains the cozy atmosphere of a classic 1950s diner. Everything from the black-and-white checkered walls of the establishment to the red and white booths calls back to the heyday of American fast food. Skip the classics and check out the mixed-flavor shake menu; the peanut butter and banana shake is a local favorite and comes highly recommended. The rich, slightly salty flavor of the peanut butter complements the sweet taste of the banana ice cream beautifully, creating an out-of-this-world level of indulgence.

Connal's also serves a great variety of burgers and sandwiches in addition to some classic brunch items. Head up to Pasadena — we promise it's worth the drive — and enter this classic diner to feel like you have been transported back in time.

Horchata - Fosselman's Ice Cream

With 48 ice cream flavors available in its shop in Alhamba, Fosselman's, established in 1919, prides itself on carefully making some of the most delicious and creamy ice cream around. The landmark shop also serves rich, indulgent, and old-fashioned milkshakes to its California clientele.

With flavors ranging from the classic to the unfamiliar, there are many options available, but the horchata shake has to be one of the best. This sweet and creamy shake is inspired by the classic rice milk Mexican drink that has become incredibly popular throughout southern California. Unfortunately, it's only a seasonal flavor available in May, as Fosselman's serves a few different shake varieties each month. If you drop by any other month, check out the macapuno shake instead, which bears the flavor of sweet, creamy coconut flesh, a substance often used in desserts in the Philippines.

Oreo milkshake - Paradis Ice Cream

Get the Oreo Milkshake at this downtown LA creamery that stays open until midnight on weekdays and 2 a.m. on weekends for those who want a sweet treat after bar-hopping. The staff will blend Oreo ice cream, decorate it with a splash of chocolate sauce, and top it all off with whipped cream and an actual Oreo in the cup. If you don't want to leave home, order your favorite Oreo shake through Postmates or DoorDash, as this restaurant delivers.

Since Paradis aims to please all of its LA guests, you can order your choice of alternative, plant-based milk as well. The menu generally does cater to vegans, as it has sorbets and oat-drink varieties of ice cream that are 100% free of animal products. 

Travis' oat matcha latte - Monty's Good Burger

LA is the place to get a good milkshake if you're vegan or lactose intolerant in. Monty's Good Burger looks like a seemingly classic retro burger joint at first glance, except for the fact that everything is vegan. 

One of the best milkshakes at Monty's started as a temporary offering and has now been gracing the menu for a couple of years, at least, thanks to its popularity. Travis' oat matcha latte, a collaboration with Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker, combines the earthy flavor of matcha with the subtly sweet flavor of an oat latte. This shake is especially perfect for summer, with a refreshing taste. Order it in either a mini size of 9 ounces if you want a taste but don't have too much room for dessert or a full size of 16 ounces.

#1 Shake - Fat Sal's

This classic Southern California chain serves some of the best milkshakes around, including a chocolate ice cream-based concoction known as Number 1 with peanut butter, marshmallow fluff, peanuts, and sea salt. The balance of sweet and salty flavors found in this shake, as well as its focus on flavors you probably loved throughout your childhood — who can say no to peanut butter and marshmallow — make it a citywide favorite. Keep in mind that this item and other spoon-in shakes are not available at Fat Sal's Westwood and Lincoln Heights locations.

In a city seemingly obsessed with healthy living and alternative foods, Fat Sal's is a great place to visit for the occasional indulgence. As the name suggests, there are no low-fat and "skinny" options here, just good old flavorful comfort food.

Banana shake - Canter's Deli

Serving deli specials in the Fairfax area since 1931, Canter's Deli is a local institution; you're not considered a native Angeleno until you've dropped by on a Saturday night at 3 a.m. to grab a sandwich. Managed by the Canter family for four generations, this deli has been recognized by LA media as serving the best pastrami sandwich in the entire city.

However, you may not know that the 24-hour-operated Canter's Deli also serves top-notch milkshakes, with the banana shake slightly edging out the rest in terms of popularity and flavor. The slightly sweet and relatively light flavor of this shake makes it both a perfect accompaniment to lunch as well as a late-night snack. Drop by, soak in the ambiance of this traditional, cozy, retro deli, and try a banana shake and an old-fashioned deli sandwich.

Guiness milkshake - 25 Degrees

Situated in the Roosevelt Hotel in the heart of Hollywood, 25 Degrees has become very well known locally for one of its menu items: the boozy Guinness milkshake, a combination of alcohol and sweet, sweet ice cream that creates an extra level of indulgence for customers. The name comes from the temperature differential between a medium-rare and well-done burger; this establishment is known for having some of the best burgers and shakes in the city, perhaps an unexpected fact given its location in the swanky Roosevelt.

The Guinness shake blends ice cream and espresso together with the famous Irish dry stout that gives the shake its name. Your shake will come in a glass coated with chocolate syrup on the inside to give it deeper flavor. That sweetness covers the taste of the alcohol, but you will definitely still feel the beer kick in at the end, so make sure to sip responsibly.

Hot fudge shake - Fosters Freeze

Fosters Freeze claims to be California's first actual fast-food chain, originating from a soft-serve store built in Inglewood in 1946. This chain has continued to expand all over California since the day George Foster opened it up almost a century ago, and today, Fosters has added a variety of classic American foods like burgers and fries.

You can't go wrong with any of the options here, but the hot fudge shake is one of the richest and most popular items on the menu. As with all of the other milkshakes served here, this dessert is "made with real milk," and you can feel the difference in flavor this creates from your first sip. It may look like a chocolate shake, but the presence of hot fudge gives it a thicker chocolate ribbon, making it ultra-rich. Keep an eye out for the occasional specials Fosters is known for, like offering a mini milkshake for $2 or a $4 fry and shake combo. 

Saffron rosewater - Mashti Malone's

Beloved by L.A. foodies and those "in the know," Mashti Malone's uses fresh, natural ingredients from all over the world to create unique flavors you won't find anywhere else, without the usual food dyes, artificial sweeteners, or high fructose corn syrup that other ice cream makers employ.

One of the top milkshakes on the menu is the saffron rosewater shake, which combines the floral tones of rosewater with the more fragrant saffron to create an ice cream that simply melts in your mouth with a gentle flavor. Since Mashti Malone's was founded by Iranian immigrant Mashti Shirvani, it's no surprise that the store's best shake features the flavors of a classic Persian ice cream known as Bastani, which traditionally combines milk, eggs, sugar, rose water, saffron, vanilla, and pistachios. 

Red velvet shake - Turn Dough

The whimsical flavors at Turn Dough include a piña colada milkshake, matcha, and Frutti Pebbles. That's right, though this establishment is mostly known for its tasty chimney cakes, it also serves a large — and pretty wild — selection of milkshakes. However, the best item on the menu by far is the red velvet shake. Turn Dough will bake red velvet cake in-house, then break it down to combine the cake crumbs with its classic vanilla bean gelato.

To add that extra layer of flavor without compromising its natural ingredients, Turn Dough uses Madagascar vanilla beans, some of the highest quality and most prized beans on the market. You will be able to feel the difference in the red velvet shake, as the vanilla bean gelato found in it is like nothing you have ever tasted before.

Turkish coffee shake - McConnell's

From Grand Central Market to Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade, McConnell's has spread throughout the city since it was established in 1949, and for good reason. Its menu of shakes is constantly changing, with new seasonal flavors being introduced, so order whatever you like and know that the ice cream is always made from scratch with the best ingredients available.

Customers particularly love the Turkish coffee milkshake, which you can top with whipped cream for a super indulgent drink. The ice cream used in this milkshake is also made with actual Turkish coffee, with a half-cup serving containing approximately ⅓ of a cup of brewed coffee, so you can order this shake in the middle of the day to get an extra caffeine jolt as well.

X-Ray Speculoos - Creamo

The fun, quirky, and vegan ice cream concept store Creamo perfectly matches its young, laidback Silver Lake surroundings. In addition to a variety of vegan ice creams, Creamo serves up a whole lot of milkshakes. This store certainly knows how to have fun with flavors and names; some of its particularly exceptional shakes here include the Paramoreo or the Green Teagan and Sara. However, you definitely want to try the X-Ray Speculoos shake.

This unique concoction is made with the store's X-Ray Speculoos ice cream, which consists of Speculoos cookie butter and chocolate ribbon. For those wondering what this cookie butter is in the first place, it contains ground-up Speculoos cookies, originally a Belgian biscuit meant to be eaten with coffee, sugar, and oil. The cookies are flavored with brown sugar and a touch of cinnamon. All the milkshakes at Creamo are made with the store's vegan ice cream, a concoction of oat milk, and artisan jams.

Malt shake - Perry's Joint

Located just a few minutes away from the world-famous Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Perry's is incredibly popular with locals thanks to its lovingly made and generously large, filling sandwiches, and if you prefer malts to ordinary modern milkshakes, Perry's Joint is definitely the place for you. 

Though similar to shakes, malts are generally made with malted milk powder added in on top of the usual ice cream and milk used to make a milkshake. It's a more old-fashioned way of making a shake, which lines up with the retro atmosphere at Perry's and results in a sweeter, slightly more toasty flavor. You can order any of the basic ice cream flavors to use in a malt here, but the slightly fruity strawberry malt is truly something else.

Ube - The Oinkster

Chef Andre Guerrero, who usually specializes in fine dining menus, decided that he wanted to create a casual dining experience with classic American comfort food that still packs all the nuance and flavor of a gourmet experience. Enter The Oinkster, a retro restaurant that serves gourmet burgers and craft beers in addition to some of the greatest milkshakes in LA. That may be partly because all of its ice creams and shakes are made with top-of-the-line Fosselman's Ice Cream.

If you have to truly only one shake here, go for the ube shake. For those who have never heard of the purple yam ube before, it is a tuber that hails from Southeast Asia and is used in several traditional Filipino foods. 

Classic vanilla shake - Pie 'N Burger

Locals love this Pasadena establishment as it retains a lot of its original decor from the 1960s, and the owner, as well as many of the staff members, have been working here for decades. In addition, Pie N Burger specialized in old-school hand-dipped shakes.

Hand-dipped shakes refer to ice cream that has been scooped by hand into a blender, instead of an industrial shake machine; the shake has to use real ice cream instead of soft serve. It usually results in a richer, thicker, and more indulgent milkshake, which is what Pie N Burger loves to serve its customers. This establishment serves all the usual shake flavors, like chocolate and strawberry, but the store's classic vanilla is the simplest and best choice.

Reese's shake - Beeps

Did you know that in North Hollywood, there is yet another retro family-owned diner that has stuck around since the 1950s? In a city where restaurants regularly open and close in the blink of an eye, Beeps Diner has survived for decades, and for good reason: its menu is out of this world.

Check out the "fancy shakes" menu, which includes Reese's, Oreo, and Butterfinger flavors. The Reese's shake is by far our favorite, mixing together the classic chocolate and peanut butter flavors of Reese's candy into a thick, creamy shake. You can customize the size you'd like to order and ask for a dollop of whipped cream on top if you want. Enjoy this blast from the past in the Valley with some of the friendliest services around.

Peach cobbler - Oh My Burger

The Peach Cobbler shake at Oh My Burger is one of the most unique and flavorful milkshakes in Los Angeles. Diners flock to this Gardena burger joint to get their hands on this extra sweet shake actually topped with small cobbler bites and caramelized peaches. Although it's a great treat no matter what time of year it is, the Peach Cobbler shake is extra popular in the fall; diners love to sip on it as the weather gets slightly chillier to remind them of the classic autumn dessert they probably had growing up.

In addition to the generous burger portions served here, all of the milkshakes come in either 16 ounce or 24 ounce cups, so make sure to drop by Oh My Burger really hungry.

Chocolate peanut butter shake - Fred 62

Located on one of the most popular stretches of Los Feliz, right off Franklin Avenue, Fred 62 attracts customers all day long, whether they're stopping by for brunch or popping in at night for a sweet cocktail. In fact, the establishment closes at 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, making it a great late night spot in the area.

You can build your own milkshake or malt here, by combining the flavors and toppings of your choice, but your best bet is to combine two of the tried and two favorites: chocolate and peanut butter. Individually, these shakes are some of the most beloved items on the menu; when combined, a flavorful shake is created that most customers just can't resist. Vegan flavors and toppings are also available at Fred 62.