Mateo’s Ice Cream & Fruit Bars is Good For More Than Just Paletas and Shakes


Mexican smoothies, shakes, and paletas might be ubiquitous in some parts of Los Angeles, but in Culver City if you want a mamey shake, watermelon liquida, or mezcal & walnut ice cream there’s only one place you’ll ever need to go: Mateo’s Ice Cream & Fruit Bars.  Nestled in the corner of a strip mall on Sepulveda between Jefferson and Culver, Mateo’s is well known for their fruit juices, Mexican popsicles, milk shakes, and ice cream.  (And apparently their coffee ice cream is especially good.) But did you know they also serve sandwiches?


For under $10 you get your choice of sandwich (grilled chicken breast, quesillo, tuna fish, or turkey) plus any one of their juices, smoothies or shakes.  The sandwiches are kind of huge, and come topped with queso blanco, black bean spread, lettuce, tomato, onions and mayo on a nicely pressed french style bread roll.  You can also add quesillo (oaxacan string cheese) to any sandwich for an extra charge.   And if that’s not enough, every sandwich comes with half an orange, and a cup of mixed fruit covered in yogurt and shredded coconut.  Bonus!

There’s nothing particularly special about the sandwiches, except to say that they’re just super solid for what they are.  And while I normally can’t stand generic grilled chicken sandwiches, there’s something about the Oaxacan cheese, and the black beans, and the toasted bread, that elevates this one just enough to make me want to go back. (I’m sure the delicious mamey shake helped out a little on that front as well.)  Sure, if you want something a bit more “Mexican”, you’d be better off hitting up the cemitas truck that parks on Venice in front of Smart & Final.  But that truck doesn’t have delicious shakes and coconut paletas.  And if you’re going to use your lunch break to hit up Mateo’s, it’s nice to know you don’t have to make a second stop for some actual lunch.

THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)

  • As good as the ice cream and popsicles and shakes are at Mateo’s, I thought there was a decent chance these sandwiches would completely suck.  Glad to hear they don’t!
  • $10 for a decent sandwich, half an orange, a delicious coconut covered fruit cup AND a shake from Mateo’s?  You can’t beat that deal.
  • Oaxacan string cheese FTW!
  • I work on the Westside and only have time for one stop on my lunch break.  Good to know I can get a sandwich along with that ice cream!

THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • If these sandwiches weren’t being sold out of an amazing ice cream and Mexican juices shop you would never give them a second look
  • Why don’t they serve some real Oaxacan sandwiches!  Not this whitewashed nonsense.
  • Where’s the hot sauce!?  Where’s the flavor?!  I’ll go somewhere else for lunch and just hit up Mateo’s after for dessert.

Mateo’s Ice Cream and Fruit Bars, 4929 Sepulveda Blvd. 310-313-7625


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