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Best Dessert in Santa Monica: The Ultimate Guide

green ice cream in Santa Monica

Last Updated on September 16, 2023

If you’re looking for the best desserts in Santa Monica, then look no further. Let’s face it, Los Angeles as a whole is an absolute gem when it comes to good eats. You can find amazing food and dessert in the many cities throughout LA county such as Culver City, Century City, Sherman Oaks, and downtown LA (Grand Central Market is an absolute must).

Aerial view of Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, CA
Aerial view of Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, CA. Photo by Rodnae

However, Santa Monica is truly a hot spot when it comes to desserts.

From your standard cakes and ice cream scoops to creative smoothies and treats that are works of art as much as they are delicious, there’s no shortage of desserts in the beloved beach town of Santa Monica. In this article, we’ll be exploring 11 of the best dessert spots in Santa Monica.

So save some room in your belly, and come ready with your sweet tooth. Let’s dig in!

Where to find the best dessert in Santa Monica

1. Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee

Woman with hat holding a plate of donuts at Sidecar Doughnuts in Santa Monica
Photo by Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee in Santa Monica

Located on Wilshire Boulevard, Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee is a beloved fan favorite when it comes to sweet treats in Santa Monica. Their offerings are quite simple and straightforward, and that makes them a hit: you can find amazing coffee and easily some of the best donuts in Santa Monica, let alone all of Los Angeles.

Try creative donut flavors such as the Basil Eggs Benedict, Malasada, or Samoa (like the Girl Scout cookies!), or you can opt for a deliciously simple vanilla glazed donut or three. Sidecar sells donuts as singles, a 6-pack box, or a 12-pack box (mix-and-match) so you can indulge in sweetness on your own terms.

Sidecar Doughnuts and Coffee

Location: 631 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Website: Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee

Menu: https://sidecardoughnuts.com/menu/

2. Sweet Lady Jane Bakery

Front door to Sweet Lady Jane shop in Santa Monica
Photo by Sweet Lady Jane Bakery in Santa Monica

With storefronts in Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Calabasas, Encino, Manhattan Beach, and West Hollywood, Sweet Lady Jane is a local favorite bakery that’s been serving up sweet treats in the local area for many decades. Their cakes are the stars of the show, with options to choose from like the Triple Berry Cheesecake, Vanilla Creme Cake, or the Beverly Cake.

If you’re wanting more of a quick and tasty bite, they offer a variety of cookies, bite-sized tarts, brownies, puddings, lemon bars, muffins, and much more- the list goes on and on. The chocolate macaroons are out of this world!

You can visit the store (which I highly recommend), but they also offer curbside pickup and delivery if you’re in a hurry.

Sweet Lady Jane Bakery

Location: 1631 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90403

Website: Sweet Lady Jane Bakery

Menu: https://direct.chownow.com/order/9143/locations/12414

3. Sweet Rose Creamery

Stack of ice cream sandwiches at Sweet Rose Creamery in Santa Monica
Photo by Sweet Rose Creamery in Santa Monica

Sweet Rose Creamery is a truly local ice cream shop in west LA that serves up a great selection of ice cream flavors. What makes them one of the best places for dessert in Santa Monica is that they make everything from scratch, right from their little kitchen in Santa Monica.

Not only that, but all of their ingredients are local, organic, gluten-free, and sourced from farmers in the region!

While their flavor menu varies depending on the month, you can find staple flavors like vanilla, chocolate, or cookies & cream along with creative flavors such as brownie cheesecake, oatmeal cookie, and coconut hibiscus. You can also find amazing ice cream sandwiches at this shop.

Sweet Rose Creamery has two locations in Santa Monica to accommodate your sweet tooth demands.

Sweet Rose Creamery

Locations: 225 26th Street, Suite 51, Santa Monica, CA 90402 or 2726 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90405

Website: Sweet Rose Creamery

Menu: https://www.sweetrosecreamery.com/flavors/

4. DK’s Donuts

You haven’t had Los Angeles dessert if you haven’t tried DK’s Donuts in Santa Monica. Serving the west LA area since 1980, this always-open shop is one of the most popular spots for donuts, coffee, and other amazing food options.

You can go for the typical glazed donut and coffee, or try the shop’s famous o-nuts (a croissant + donut hybrid), wow-nuts (waffle + donut hybrid), ube donuts, bacon-infused donuts, grilled cheese o-nut, and much more. While it’s a surefire hit for a quick in-person visit, DK’s Donuts is also a great Santa Monica desserts delivery option for a rainy day (or if you just don’t want to drive).

DK’s Donuts

Location: 1614 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90404

Website: DK’s Donuts

Menu: https://www.dksdonuts.com/menu/

5. Rori’s Artisanal Creamery

People eating ice cream from Rori's Artisanal Creamery in Santa Monica
Photo by Rori’s Artisanal Creamery in Santa Monica

Right in the heart of Santa Monica is this fantastic gem of a place. The founder, Rori Trovato, is very active at her shop, and actually makes all of the ice cream, cookies, candy, and cones you’ll find at Rori’s Artisanal Creamery.

From classic scoops like vanilla and chocolate to uniquely delicious flavors like Salted Caramel, Biscoff, Black Pepper Pistachio, and Malted Milk Ball, there’s no shortage of flavor and dessert items for everyone.

Rori’s Artisanal Creamery

Location: 910 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90403

Website: Rori’s Artisanal Creamery

Menu: https://www.rorisartisanalcreamery.com/flavors/

6. Huckleberry Bakery & Cafe

Checkout register at Huckleberry Bakery in Santa Monica
Photo by Huckleberry Bakery & Cafe in Santa Monica.

Huckleberry Bakery & Cafe offers many delicious desserts, while also serving up a full menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. All of their cookies, cakes, and pastries served are amazing, but what tends to set them apart is their butterscotch sticky bun, which is one of the best you can find in Santa Monica (and all of LA). The bun is made with a rich, buttery dough, and is topped with a decadent butterscotch glaze.

They also whip up other dessert items like monkey bread, apple pie, tarts, croissants, danishes, and more. All in all, Huckleberry is an amazing Santa Monica place for desserts and/or any other meal you’re going for.

Huckleberry Bakery & Cafe

Location: 1014 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Website: Huckleberry Bakery and Cafe

Menu: https://www.huckleberrycafe.com/menus/

7. Wanderlust Creamery

Person pouring corn flake crumbs on ice cream cone
Photo by Wanderlust Creamery in Venice

With most readers of this blog being avid travelers, Wanderlust Creamery absolutely deserves a mention on this list. While technically located in Venice, Wanderlust is close enough to Santa Monica that it doesn’t make much of a difference. And the ice cream is absolutely delicious.

You can choose from their signature flavors such as Honey Lavender, Abuelita Malted Crunch, or the Sticky Rice + Mango. If those flavors aren’t otherworldly enough, try their seasonal flavors like the Planoffee Pie or Sakura Crunch. The seasonal menu varies month by month, but the ice cream remains the same: ridiculously delicious. This may just be your new favorite in the LA area.

Wanderlust Creamery

Location: 609 Lincoln Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

Website: Wanderlust Creamery

Menu: https://wanderlustcreamery.com/menu

8. Go Greek Yogurt

Front entrance view of Go Greek Yogurt in Santa Monica
Photo by Go Greek Yogurt in Santa Monica

As the name implies, Go Greek Yogurt serves up – you guessed it – Greek yogurt. Especially if you’re looking for a more gut-healthy sweet treat, this yogurteria is an absolutely amazing Santa Monica place for dessert.

You can opt for one of their classic creations such as the Energia, Proteini, or Greek Salad. If you want to customize your cup, you can do so with Go Greek Yogurt’s Greek Experience option, a build-your-own approach.

You can build your meal with a sweet and savory combination or something that is salty if that’s your thing. Eating healthy never tasted better!

Go Greek Yogurt

Location: 1431 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Website: Go Greek Yogurt

Menu: https://www.gogreekyogurt.com/menu-and-flavors

9. Yum Yum Donuts

While many other options on this list are local digs, Yum Yum Donuts is a California-wide chain with more than 20 locations across the West Coast. But refreshingly, this doesn’t come at the cost of quality.

While they serve up sandwiches, coffee, muffins, and other offerings, their many donut flavors are an absolute hit. You can opt for tried and true fluffy donuts like chocolate, vanilla, or plain, or go for something more unique with flavors like cinnamon crumb, coconut, maple iced, and beyond.

Yum Yum Donuts

Location: 2628 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405

Website: Yum Yum Donuts

Menu: https://yumyumdonuts.com/menu

10. Salt & Straw

Glass window with Salt & Straw Ice Cream label on it
Photo by Salt and Straw in Santa Monica

Salt & Straw is yet another local hit for ice cream lovers in Santa Monica. With unique, handcrafted flavors like Rum Custard, Cornflake Cookies w/ Marionberry Jam, Arbequina Olive Oil, and Pear & Blue Cheese, Salt & Straw is loved by adventurous ice cream enthusiasts who want to try something different.

But Salt & Straw isn’t just about the ice cream. Their commitment to sustainability and using locally sourced, organic ingredients truly sets them apart from other ice cream shops around LA. All of their ice cream flavors are naturally gluten-free as well.

Each and every delicious scoop is made with the freshest, highest-quality ingredients for a scoop that isn’t just pretty good. It’s d*mn good.

Salt & Straw has many locations scattered throughout the LA area. While they technically don’t have a shop in Santa Monica, the Abbot Kinney location is right in the area.

Salt & Straw

Location: 1357 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90291

Website: Salt and Straw

Menu: https://saltandstraw.com/pages/flavors

11. Scoops Ice Cream & Treats

Ice cream cones at Scoops Ice Cream and Treats
Photo by Scoops Ice Cream and Treats at Santa Monica Pier

The only true dessert-only option inside Pacific Park, Scoops Ice Cream is a wildly popular ice cream shop conveniently located right on the Santa Monica Pier. You can find many dessert menu options including hand-scooped ice cream, sundaes, milkshakes, and more.

While they don’t create their own ice cream, they proudly serve Lappert’s ice cream, which is a small-batch, premium ice cream company that’s locally owned and operated in Sausalito, CA. Especially if you’re visiting the pier, Scoops is a surefire choice that’s hard to beat.

Scoops Ice Cream and Treats

Location: 380 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Website: Scoops Ice Cream & Treats

Menu: https://pacpark.com/restaurants-santa-monica-pier/scoops-ice-cream-and-treats/

Best Santa Monica Dessert: FAQs

What dessert is Santa Monica famous for?

In short: donuts. While Santa Monica is home to so many amazing dessert options, the entire LA county area is famously known for the many creative donut flavors that local shops spin up. These donut shops are so popular, that many have decided to remain open 24/7 to support the demand.

Where to find the best vegan ice cream in Santa Monica?

There are several amazing shops in Santa Monica that serve vegan ice cream, including Rori’s Artisanal Creamery, Sweet Rose Creamery, Go Greek Yogurt, and Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream.

Where to find the best ice cream Santa Monica Pier?

By far, Scoops Ice Cream and Treats is the best ice cream at Santa Monica Pier. However, Santa Monica Pier has a few other ice cream options, including Dippin’ Dots and Funnel Cake Factory.

Best Dessert Santa Monica: Conclusion 

Cyclists and tourists at Santa Monica Beach
Santa Monica Beach bikeway. Photo by Viviana Rishe

Santa Monica is an absolute food lover’s paradise, and its dessert scene is no exception. From shops that offer a good ole classic apple pie, pie hole, or ice cream sandwich, to creative shops offering many one-off ice cream flavors and artisanal pastries, there’s truly something for everyone in Santa Monica. Here are some of the best Santa Monica dessert options around:

  • Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee
  • Sweet Lady Jane Bakery
  • Sweet Rose Creamery
  • DK’s Donuts
  • Rori’s Artisanal Creamery
  • Huckleberry Bakery & Cafe
  • Wanderlust Creamery
  • Go Greek Yogurt
  • Yum Yum Donuts
  • Salt & Straw
  • Scoops Ice Cream & Treats

Whether you’re a local to west LA just looking for your new sweet treat favorite or a visitor exploring the city, these dessert spots are some of the best options around. So next time you’re in Santa Monica, be sure to check out these amazing Santa Monica dessert spots. Trust me: you won’t regret it.

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