I am the ice cream connoisseur and this summer I set out to try all the ice cream shops in San Francisco to let you know what places have the best flavors, richness, variety, and everything that makes ice cream great! I tasted a lot of ice cream, and I finally have determined the best ice cream shops in San Francisco! Don’t get me wrong, all the places I am going to list below are fabulous, but out of all the best places, I am ranking them from my favorite to least favorite! SO! Whether you live in San Francisco or are visiting, here are the best ice cream shops in San Francisco that you will not want to miss out on these drool worthy ice creams!!
1. Bi-Rite Creamery
Bi-Rite Creamery is my top ice cream shop in San Francisco! I mean just look at it! Bi-Rite Creamery is definitely my favorite ice cream shop because of the quality of the ice cream. It is very rich, creamy, and never tastes artificial. On weekends you can find a line outside, because it is that good! Also, Bi-Rite Creamery is located on 3692 18th Street, which is directly across Dolores Park. So, grab your ice cream and go sit down on Dolores Park, how nice!! The flavor above is their peach cobbler ice cream and it is the most addicting flavor you can get!! I highly recommend it!
2. Swensen’s Ice Cream Shop
I love Swensen’s ice cream so much! This is actually the first Swensen’s ice cream shop ever, and it is located on 1999 Hyde Street. Swensen’s is the ultimate old fashioned classic ice cream shop! So, if you want that classic feel, then this is definitely the place to be! They have a wide range of flavors and even make milkshakes, ice cream floats, banana splits, and ice cream sandwiches! This was definitely the best strawberry ice cream flavor I have ever had in my life. The other flavor is mocha fudge and I just about died when I tasted it. Like Bi-Rite Creamery, Swensen’s ice cream is very rich and creamy!
3. Garden Creamery
I mean, this picture says it all, WOW! Garden Creamery is such a unique and amazing place! They are definitely not your conventional ice cream shop, but the quality of their ice cream is absolutely amazing, and that is what makes them so popular. Flavors range from chocolate, strawberry, all the way to black sesame, and other nuanced flavors. Not to mention that on Saturdays from 2-4 they make churro cones! Yes, I repeat, churro cones!! How amazing is that? They make the churro cones in house, and I really can’t think of a better combo! Garden Creamery is located on 3566 20th street, which is right next to Valencia st in the mission, which is an awesome, hip place that has tons of cafes, boutiques, and restaurants!
4. Mitchell’s Ice Cream
Ok, I am officially drooling now, how about you? Mitchell’s is another classic ice cream shop with so many flavors that you might honestly find yourself overwhelmed! I had such a hard time choosing what to get that I decided to get a triple scoop! Top flavor is rocky road, then strawberries and cream, and lastly mocha fudge, with a sprinkles cone of course! Mitchell’s also makes ice cream floats, banana splits, and ice cream sandwiches as well! Mitchell’s is located on 688 San Jose Ave.
5. Smitten’s Ice Cream
Smitten’s is great, because they make the ice cream for you when you order it! They probably have like 5-6 flavor options, because they literally make it right there for you, using the liquid nitrogen, so it is a really cool experience. The ice cream tends to be very rich, especially the cinnamon brown sugar shortbread ice cream. A bit too sweet for my liking, but their vanilla is amazing, and I love how they have the waffle bowls and delicious pretzel cookie dough bites! Smitten’s has multiple location in San Francisco!
6. Salt & Straw Ice Cream
Finally the last ice cream shop on my list! And like I said in the beginning, all of these ice cream shops are incredible, so none are bad, I am just ranking the best of the best! Salt & Straw is another fabulous ice cream shop that always seems to draw a big crowd. Their ice creams range from conventional flavors to more nuanced flavors like Garden Creamery. The ice cream is very rich and filled with flavor that does not taste artificial. The top flavor is their seasonal flavor, strawberry rhubarb, and the bottom flavor is their classic strawberry. Both were delicious; however I prefer Swensen’s strawberry ice cream over Salt & Straw’s. However, I am drooling, because the way the ice cream is melting in this shot is just too perfect! Salt and Straw just opened a new location on 586 Hayes St, but their original location is on 2201 Fillmore St.
If this blog post does not leave you drooling or craving ice cream, then I don’t know what will! But if you can’t head to SF at the moment, then maybe try my to die for peach cobbler recipe or my pumpkin chocolate chip cookies recipe to get you in the fall spirit!
What is your favorite ice cream shop or ice cream flavor? Mine definitely has to be mint chocolate chip, it’s and oldie but a goodie! Talk to you guys soon!