Day 45: Mateo’s Ice Cream & Paletas (Culver City)

Happy Wednesday, friends! A couple weekends ago, everyone in my family got hit with a popsicle craving BIG TIME so we hopped in the car and went straight to Mateo’s for some of their amazing paletas (fresh fruit bars). This place is like the Disneyland of fruity and delicious treats – the bright yellow walls, happy decor and rows of frozen pops just make you smile, and it smells like heaven. It’s so good that it’s loved by both locals (my dad) and large publications like LA Weekly, which included the shop in its “30 Scoops in 30 Days” article.

We tried the fresas con crema (strawberries and cream) ice cream and got a whole container of paletas to go. Our favorites are the coco (coconut, for those of you who couldn’t tell – make sure to ask for the one with milk, not water!), mamey (mamey sapote), mango con chilecajeta (goat’s milk caramel), and jamaica (hibiscus). Mateo’s also sells fresh fruit juices, smoothies and freshly prepared fruit. As we were checking out, my daughter spotted a giant container of fresh coconut for ~$4 and her mind was blown that she didn’t have to shell out $6 for a container half that size at Whole Foods!

Don’t let the grimy exterior of the shopping center fool you – inside it is spotless, and we weren’t even the only customers showing up at 8pm on a Monday! Some final notes: they are open from 8am-8:30pm, and require a $10 minimum for credit cards (but trust me, that won’t be a problem), and also have a mid-city location on Pico between Crenshaw and Victoria.

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