If the clock strikes 11pm and some part of your body isn’t twitching at the thought of sugar entering your body, are you even human? Late-night dessert goes against everything our mothers and doctors and tooth fairies have told us for our entire lives, and yet, here we are as adults, using it as a means for daily survival. Sure, anybody can drive to Ralph’s and get a tub of Ben & Jerry’s whenever they want, but you can do better than that. And this guide will tell you how. Here are our favorite desserts in Los Angeles that you can get after 11pm.
Jones Hollywood is one of our favorite restaurants in the city, and one big reason is the apple pie we’d put our contacts back in to go get. Served on a cast-iron skillet with brown sugar sauce and a large scoop of vanilla ice cream, this slice of apple pie is easily shareable amongst friends, or by yourself as you move chair-to-chair around the table.
Open till 2am every day.
If you haven’t heard of Pizzeria Mozza by now, it’s either your first day in LA or you’re one of Barbra Streisand’s cloned dogs. This casual spot at the corner of Highland and Melrose is home to LA’s most iconic pizza, but the not-so-hidden secret is the rest of the food here is also great. Namely, the butterscotch budino. Hitting the table in a tiny mason jar, this little guy doesn’t look like much, but rest assured, it’s magic. We’d buy the rosemary cookies on the side in bulk if we could.
Open till midnight daily.
Located right on Vermont in the heart of Los Feliz, Fred 62 is our go-to late-night diner on the Eastside. There’s an aggressive but endearing 1950’s aesthetic, a mix of local insomniacs and musical theater kids who walked over from The Rockwell, and nine different malt flavors you can mix and match. Does that bossanova waffle sundae taste as good sober? Take some home and let us know.
It’s 1am, you finally found your Lyft at LAX, and your blood sugar levels are in a free fall. Good news, one of the most iconic donut shops in LA is just down the street. Randy’s is best known for the gigantic donut sitting on its roof that’s been in every movie you’ve ever seen, but the donuts themselves are great. The apple fritter, the maple long john, and original glaze are our favorites, but follow your heart, and you’ll leave happy.
This nearly 40-year-old Iranian ice cream shop inside a two-story stripmall on La Brea is an LA institution and home to some of our favorite ice cream in the city. They serve flavors like saffron, rosewater, and roasted pistachio, and they taste like you’re licking potpourri. But once you get over that surprise, you’ll realize this stuff is incredible.
Open till 11:30pm on weekdays, midnight on the weekends.
Best known for having a front patio where every social influencer in LA congregates, the trick to this order-at-the-counter spot in Los Feliz is bypassing the chaotic daytime scene and going late night instead. That’s when you’ll encounter zero lines and some excellent cheesecake. They rotate flavors daily, but just know that whatever is chilling behind the glass on the night you go is going to be very good.
Open till midnight on Sunday-Wednesday, and 1am Thursday-Saturday.
Before ice cream sandwiches became a thing people only cared about photographing in front of brightly-colored walls, there was Diddy Riese. For decades this Westwood staple has been serving excellent dessert sandwiches to UCLA students and anyone else who treasures the art of eating cookies after 11pm. Plus, with over 12 different kinds of ice cream and 10 different kinds of cookies to create your sandwich, you’ll never run out of flavor combinations.
Open till midnight on weekdays, 1am on the weekends.
Do you really care if ice cream is good for you at 11pm on a Tuesday? Not really. But you also have hot pilates in six and a half hours, so it’s good to at least know your options. And if you’re in the market for something on the lighter side, HoneyMee’s vanilla ice cream with drizzled honey on top is as close as you’re going to get. The ice cream shop has locations all over the suburbs, but its only LA proper locations are along Sawtelle, in Little Tokyo, and at a walk-up window in Koreatown. Just don’t forget to add an extra honeycomb on top.
All LA locations open till midnight daily.
House of Pies has been an Eastside go-to for late-night food since 1969, and while you should definitely ignore their full food menu, few things are as satisfying as smashing these pies into your mouth after a long night of drinking or seeing a show at the Greek. Their pie menu is extensive, but if we can offer up one tip, it’s to stick to anything with cream in the name.
Open till 2am on weekdays, 3am on the weekends.
Thrifty Ice Cream
Yes, we are telling you to eat the ice cream from a counter inside a Rite Aid. For anyone who grew up in LA, whining until your parents bought you Thrifty’s was a well-planned strategic attack. It might not taste quite as good now as it did when you were in elementary school, there’s something to be said for being able to pick up solid ice cream while you also shop for your toilet brush.
Hours vary depending on location. Most are 24/7.
It’s midnight, you’re in Santa Monica, and your body needs sugar like it’s oxygen. Unfortunately, your options are limited around this area, save for DK’s Donuts, a tiny donut shop on Santa Monica Blvd. that’s been serving fantastic donuts, pastries, breakfast croissants, and burritos since 1980. DK’s menu is massive and a bit overwhelming, but your first order of business needs to be their double-decker o-nuts, which is essentially their version of a cronut, but twice the size and topped with everything from Nutella to maple bacon. Bonus: They deliver.
The 101 Coffee Shop is a diner on the ground floor of a Best Western on Franklin, and probably best known as that place where you and your friends congregate after losing each other while bar hopping in Hollywood. The place has been around since the dawn of time, and while you can’t go wrong with really anything after five tequila sodas, the best things they serve are their milkshakes. The 50/50 with orange sherbert and vanilla ice cream is our favorite.
Open till 3am daily.
Yes, everybody knows you come to this classic West LA diner for the burgers, but if you aren’t sticking around for the banana cream pie, you’re doing it wrong. The crust itself is fine, but the filling is fantastic and the cream on top has just the right amount of sweetness to it.
Open till midnight on weekdays, 1am on weekends.