It’s hard to spend time in West LA and never have heard of Diddy Riese before. Heck, it’s not just West Los Angeles residents that have heard of this landmark shop, people in the Valley, up in the beach communities, down in the South Bay and even down in Orange County have heard of Diddy Riese. I was recently reminded that it was over 16 years ago that I first experienced Diddy Riese during my 1st year as a student at UCLA. All these years later, Diddy Riese still makes me as happy as it ever has on top of bringing back so many wonderful memories of my time at UCLA.
Diddy Riese is a homemade cookie and ice cream shop located in Westwood Village. Opened in 1983, they are known for their high quality cookies and brownies at super-affordable prices and for their famous custom-made ice cream sandwiches. Apparently, the name Diddy Riese comes from the name of the grandmother of the owners of the store. You can’t beat the quality of their cookies and their rock bottom prices which makes Diddy Riese a mecca for students on a budget to enjoy a treat.
It’s not uncommon on most weeknights and weekend days to see lines for Diddy Riese that run down the block and around the corner. Luckily, the staff inside the store is super efficient and the line, though long, doesn’t really take that much time to wait through.
So, what is it that people come for. Let’s start with the cookies and custom-made ice cream sandwiches. Diddy Riese features 10 different flavors of homemade, usually fresh-out-of-the-oven cookies ranging from chocolate chip to white chocolate chip to white chocolate macademia nut to cinnamon sugar and more. And we’re not talking small, tasteless cookies. We’re talking about big (think twice the size of a Chips Ahoy cookie), thick, soft baked, ultra-flavorful cookies. And those prices you see there are correct, $0.35 per cookie, 3 for $1.00 or a dozen for $4.00. How can you beat that? Lots of cookies for just a little bit of money. I remember when I first started going to Diddy Riese, there used to be a Mrs. Field’s cookie shop (since closed – I wonder why?!?!) just a couple of blocks away in a more high-traffic location than Diddy Riese, and yet there was never anyone inside Mrs. Fields and always a long line outside of Diddy Riese. After I tried the cookies at Diddy Riese for the first time, I understood why no one ever went to Mrs. Fields. Why pay $1.35 per cookie at Mrs. Fields when you could get a tastier, better cookie at Diddy Riese for $0.25 (that was the price at the time). Sixteen years later, it’s amazing that the price of the cookie has barely increased, but the quality of the cookie has remained the same. Diddy Riese also makes homemade brownies (with and without nuts) and uses their high-quality cookies in their famous custom-made ice cream sandwiches.
In addition to their cookies, Diddy Riese also serves ice cream, sundaes and Hawaiian shaved ice. Look at those costs! How can you beat that? And their ice cream is Dryer’s Grand premium ice cream, so you know you’re getting high quality ice cream for a low, low price. It’s hard to go to Diddy Riese and not walk away with more than what you were originally planning on getting because everything just looks so good and costs so little.
Cookies may be what Diddy Riese is most known for, but they have other baked goods as well, including brownies. I’ll admit I’ve never tried the brownies here before, but these looked so delectable behind the display. Chocolate brownies with chocolate frosting and almonds. I think I’m going to have to try something new next time I’m here.
But let’s get to the cookies, the star attraction at Diddy Riese. When you walk into the store, there’s a display case full of hot, out-of-the-oven cookies that greet you. As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, they’re stacked high in the display case. Even at that pace, the bakers sometimes find it hard to keep up with the more popular flavors. Look at these yummy chocolate chip cookies, they are soft perfectly baked and crisp on the outside, but gooey and soft and chunky on the inside. The perfect chocolate chip cookie.
If chocolate chip is not to your liking, how about white chocolate macadamia nut. Where else can you go where you can get a cookie with macadamia nuts in it for only $0.33 per cookie! And it’s not like they skimp on the nuts either. Or what about cinnamon sugar, definitely one of my husband’s favorites.
But that’s not it. There’s candy chocolate chip, which I love. It’s the best of both worlds, chocolate chips with chocolate-flavored candies. And there’s peanut butter which is a true favorite for many. And then perhaps my most favorite cookie at Diddy Riese, the chocolate white chocolate chip cookie, it’s a chocolate cookie filled with white chocolate chips. What a perfect combination.
However, on this particular day, my husband had something more than cookies in mind. We both wanted cookie sundaes! A cookie sundae comes with one scoop of the ice cream flavor of your choice along with one cookie of your choice and served alongside homemade whipped cream and chocolate sauce. This was my creation of a chocolate white chocolate chip ice cream (my favorite!) with a scoop of chocolate chip ice cream. I don’t even know how you call that one scoop, it’s really more like 2 huge scoops. Combine that with a dollop of whipped cream and chocolate sauce and it’s so delicious. You can’t beat the price of $2.oo for this sundae.
My husband chose for his cookie sundae a cinnamon sugar cookie (I told you that was his favorite!) with mint chocolate chip ice cream. He definitely liked his cookie sundae as he ate his faster than I ate mine.
Sometimes, it’s a pain to wait in line to get what you want at Diddy Riese. But one bite of a delicious cookie, or a spoonful of ice cream, or a bite into a cookie sundae, and all the pain of waiting goes away and you realize it was all worth it. Diddy Riese is an amazing revelation and it still amazes me that I don’t find my way over to Diddy Riese more often. I love their cookies, I love their ice cream, I love their cookie sundaes, and I especially love their prices. You can’t beat the quality of the product combined with the low college friendly prices that they offer for what you get. Everyone should try Diddy Riese once. Once you do, you’ll never want to go back to another cookie store!