In many cities, the shift to shorter days and longer fall evenings can nudge you away from cold treats. But this is LA, where heat waves come well into winter, and the opening of Magpies Softserve takes a childhood favorite to a whole new level. With homemade everything (including out-of-this-world toppings) and vegan options, you’ll find yourself craving this east coast treat even on chilly nights.
How Softserve Came to LA
Magpies is the creation of married chefs Rose and Warren Scwartz. During a family trip (yes, they have two young ones of their own) to Palm Desert they decided to stop in at a Dairy Queen. While enjoying their cones it occurred to them that they should create a “chefy” softserve, like you can find everywhere in Florida, where Rose grew up. Armed with a desire to satisfy nostalgia and discerning tastes all at the same time, they made it happen, and Magpies was quietly born this summer in a little stripmall in Silverlake.
The Schwartz’s have created scratch made soft serve recipes and toppings that are all made in house. They visit old favorites like chocolate and vanilla with twists like Malted Milk Chocolate and Toasted Marshmallow. But they also take it to another level with more complicated flavors like Banana Rum Chocolate and Corn Almond (which both happen to be dairy free) they have layers of flavor that are friendly for a picky palate but especially pleasing for a more discerning one.
For the dairy free, never fear. Magpies always offers two dairy free flavors daily. Even if you’re a milk lover, you have to try these concoctions; you won’t miss the cow at all. You can check their website for their rotating flavor list (but be sure to try the always on offer Corn Almond, it’s addictive).
Topping It With the Good Stuff
Please don’t forget the toppings! They are all made in house and the perfect complement to the amazing flavors being dispensed from those dreamy ice cream machines. Think hazelnut wafers, butterscotch rice krispies, vegan fudge sauce and the quintessential rainbow sprinkle. Far and away faves are the house made chocolate honeycomb and the new chocolate hard shell. Plus, they are all clearly marked to indicate which are vegan and gluten free.
Like any good ice cream shop, Magpies gives your kiddos the choice of a cup or waffle cone (roughly the size of their heads). You can order a junior size or a regular and get two toppings for $.95, which is essential, because it’s impossible to pick just one and more than that would overwhelm the softserve.
If sweets are not your thing, definitely sip on one of their house made cold brews (with or without a gloop of the soft serve in it) while the littles lick their cones.
Good to Know: It’s Get and Go
Magpies is a lovely, well lit space perfect for taking in a cool treat. There are no tables, but benches line the walls. Also, there is no public restroom so make sure everyone takes care of that before arriving. There is parking available in the strip mall, but it is tight! If you can’t find a space in the lot, there are plenty of metered spots on Griffith Park and Hyperion Avenues. Added bonus: Trader Joe’s is just up the street, if you need some staples (it’s also the closest public bathroom if you’re desperate for facilities).
The store opens at 11 a.m. Tues-Sun and closes at 9 p.m. each day but Friday & Saturday when it’s open until 10 p.m. Which means just as your soccer game ends each Saturday this fall, the shop is opening. Just sayin’.
2660 Griffith Park Blvd
Frozen custard? Softserve? Fro-yo? What’s your favorite swirlable treat? We’d love to hear about it in the comment section!
—LeTania Kirkland Smith