Find refreshing sorbet in LA: Bulgarini Gelato, Mateo’s Ice Cream, Wanderlust Creamery and more

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Fruit, water and sugar are magical together. Depending on how the simple ingredients are manipulated, they can be turned into popsicles, granita, sherbet or sorbet, the icy group of sweets working to keep us cool in hot weather. Sorbet is made from pureed fruit or fruit juice and sugar in the form of a syrup. It’s frozen in an ice cream machine, which turns the ingredients into the smooth texture we expect from a sorbet. 

Sherbet is sorbet but with the addition of dairy, usually milk or buttermilk. By law, sherbet can’t have more than 2% dairy. If you freeze the same ingredients without churning or constantly stirring, you get a granita with its rough icy crystals of sweetened juice. Popsicles are simply the sweetened fruit juice or puree put into a mold with a stick, without any manipulation so they freeze solid.  

The texture of a sorbet is dependent on how much sugar you add. It’s possible to add so much sugar the mixture won’t freeze into a solid. That’s because when you add sugar to water, the resulting syrup has a lower freezing point than water alone. So when making sorbet at home, your job is to create the correct proportion of sugar syrup and pureed fruit so that the mixture is smooth when churned, but will hold together long enough to get the mixture from the scoop to the spoon to your mouth. This tutorial from Serious Eats will get you there. Remember that your sorbet will only be as good as the fruit you choose so select well.  

Bulgarini Gelato - Altadena

-Pear with mastika
-Manila mango

Pineapple sorbet from Bulgarini Gelato. Photo courtesy of Bulgarini Gelato. 

Pear sorbet from Bulgarini Gelato. Photo courtesy of Bulgarini Gelato. 

Gelateria Uli - Beverly Grove/DTLA

-Jamaica - agua fresca mint sorbet 
-Chocolate sorbet
-Coconut lemongrass sorbet 

Lemon sorbet from Gelateria Uli. Photo by Ryan Feng, courtesy of Gelateria Uli. 

Jamaica agua fresca mint sorbet from Gelateria Uli. Photo by Josh Telles, courtesy of Gelateria Uli. 

Fosselman’s Ice Cream Co.- Alhambra

Good selection of sorbets, including strawberry, mango, black raspberry, watermelon and tangerine

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams


Mateo’s Ice Cream - Mid-City/West LA/Culver City/Pico-Union

-Passion fruit
-Mango (with Chamoy)
-Dragon Fruit

Strawberry sorbet from Mateo's. Photo courtesy of Mateo's

Saffron and Rose Ice Cream - Westwood

-Rosewater w/rice noodles (faloodeh)
-Poppyseed slush

Wanderlust Creamery - Fairfax/Pasadena/Tarzana/Atwater/SmorgasburgLA

-Lychee almond milk
-Chocolate hazelnut sorbet

Lychee almond milk sorbet from Wanderlust Creamery. Photo courtesy of Wanderlust Creamery. 

Chocolate sorbet from Wanderlust Creamery. Photo courtesy of Wanderlust Creamery.