Another blazing hot day in Los Angeles, and my thoughts turn to cool, refreshing ice cream. Not just any ice cream, a classic from my childhood (as well as for many who grew up in the Los Angeles area) – Thrifty ice cream. Thrifty ice cream is a blast from the past, before people were concerned about organic, non-GMO, locally-sourced ingredients. When you wanted ice cream, your two choices were pretty much either Thrifty or Baskin Robbins 31 Flavors (Farrell’s and Swensen’s were only for special occasions).
When Rite Aid took over the Thrifty chain, there was worry that the beloved ice cream would be gone too. However, Rite Aid kept the brand alive. The prices have taken a considerable hike from my younger days (25 cents for a single, 40 cents for a double), but at $1.79 for a single scoop, I challenge you to find a place that is a better deal. Most ice cream shops will charge anywhere from $3 – $4 for a single scoop. Even our local Baskin Robbins charged $3 for a teeny tiny scoop (they have since closed).
Most of the flavors are classic – chocolate chip, rocky road, mint chip, etc. They do offer some unusual flavors like Cotton Candy (whose day glo colors most certainly do not look organic) and Medieval Madness (vanilla with chocolate chunks, and perhaps caramel though I don’t remember since it’s been a couple of years since I’ve had it).
The oddly shaped square scoops have long since been replaced by a cylinder scoop, which normally mimics the shape of the cone. On this visit, our scooper paid no heed to creating a perfect scoop, instead choosing to plunge the scooper in again and again to gather as much ice cream as possible. Even I, who enjoys gigantic portions, almost felt compelled to stop her. She did not hold back in her generosity, handing over monstrous scoops.
Unfortunately, Walgreens has recently bought Rite Aid so the fate of Thrifty ice cream is uncertain. I say, head over to a Rite Aid and order a scoop (two, if you dare) and bask in the nostalgia.
Location – 1001 S. Glendon Ave., Los Angeles 90024
Website – none
Kid-Friendly – Yes
Kid’s Menu – No
Pesco-Vegetarian Friendly – Yes
Vegetarian/Vegan Friendly – Vegetarian yes, no non-dairy option
Gluten-Free Options – Yes – get the ice cream in a cup, not a cone.