Constant fog and year-round chilly weather hasn’t stopped San Francisco from being a mecca of amazing ice cream shops. Whether you’ve got a hankering for decadent, stuffed, ice cream sandwiches covered in sprinkles or craving a plain ‘ol scoop of salted caramel that can’t be beat, there is an ice cream shop in San Francisco that caters to your tastes. Among the dozens (literally, dozens) of ice cream shops, we’ve narrowed down seven places that we think are the best ice cream shops in San Francisco. Watch the scoop or jump to the list below (in no particular order).
1. Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous
Delicious, gourmet ice cream in conventional and unconventional flavors. Run by a husband and wife team, this little shop in the Dogpatch has a tongue twister of a name, but is definitely pleasing to the palette. We particularly fancy their chicory coffee and Earl Grey, but flavors rotate daily so it’s always a surprise when you get there!
2. The Baked Bear
The Baked Bear is not for the faint of heart. Here, you can dream up the most indulgent, over-the-top ice cream sandwiches, and get them. No ordinary cookie ice cream sandwiches here. Instead go for the gold with the griddled donut or brownie ice cream sandwiches. Yup. Just be prepared to be in a sugar coma for hours afterwards…
3. Humphry Slocombe
Located in the heart of the Mission District, Humphry Slocombe is that cool, hipster ice cream shop that you wanna be friends with. They make wacky flavors that feature local, artisan ingredients. They are best known for their Secret Breakfast, which is essentially vanilla ice cream with bourbon and cereal. Seems like an odd combination but it’s one you’ll never forget… Along with the proscuitto flavor. I can attest to this fact. Want to go with something a little more “safe”? Try their delicious sundaes, which feature winning combinations of unique ice cream flavors and toppings.
4. Smitten Ice Cream
Like your individual made-to-order pour over coffee but with ice cream. Remember how you used to make “ice cream” in high school with liquid nitrogen? Well imagine that, but way more professional, and then you’ve got Smitten. Using their trademarked Brrr machines, each scoop of ice cream is made fresh when you order. The result? A rich, creamy, perfectly made cup, or cone, of ice cream.
5. Bi-Rite Creamery
Probably one of the most famous ice-cream shops in San Francisco. They are best known for their smoky yet rich salted caramel flavor. However, their roasted banana is no joke, and even their ice cream cakes are one of the best we’ve ever had. Love soft serve? Definitely give theirs a try. It’s highly underrated, so get it while it’s still a secret. We love the vanilla soft serve sundae with housemade graham crackers and berry compote. Yum!
6. Marco Polo Italian Ice Cream
This place is a little confusing at first because it’s called Italian Ice Cream, but it doesn’t seem like that at all. Its no-frills appearance means that they’re focused on one thing and one thing only, ice cream. Featuring an eclectic assortment of classic Italian ice cream flavors, it also has a wide array of unusual Asian ice cream flavors not found at many other ice cream shops. The texture of their ice cream is a mix between thicker, traditional ice cream and the lighter, airier style of gelato. Either way, it is one of our underrated favorites in San Francisco. Their Thai Tea is unlike any other flavor, and if you’re feeling really adventurous, try the Durian.
7. Honey Creme
This popular South Korean and Taiwanese joint venture ice cream shop recently made its US debut right here in San Francisco. They serve up classic soft serve with a sweet twist, by adding a whole chunk of honeycomb. Don’t they say that honey helps with allergies? Well, fix those allergies by swirling fresh honey all over your ice cream, then top it off with a fresh honeycomb. Or go another, sweeter route like we did, with the cotton candy on top. Go big or go home, right?
BONUS! Hometown Creamery San Francisco
Ok, we really tried to keep it to seven, but just couldn’t. Hometown Creamery is a family-owned ice cream shop making small batch, premium ice cream on-site. They feature rotating flavors that are truly unique, and what do we love best about Hometown? Their flights!! I mean, why doesn’t every ice cream shop do ice cream flights?! For those who are wracked with indecision or wanna try them all, you can fully indulge with their signature, five flavor flights. You won’t regret it.
Which one is YOUR favorite? Tell us in the comments below!