The eggnog, apple pie and rum raisin ice cream flavors are quite good. I liked that the pumpkin didn't overdo the spicing but the flavor of the pumpkin was also too subdued. Actually I liked the eggnog more than the gelato version down the street at Lush which was too subtle.
This was a first visit and the ice cream was surprisingly good. It has a nice texture for mid-range ice creams such as Mitchell's, Swenson's, Bud's, Loards, etc.
You can even buy a slice of ice cream pie. I really think that is really ... uh ... cool. You don't need to commit to the unknown of a whole pie.
There is American diner food with burgers, fries, chili, soup, salads and grilled sandwiches such as a tuna melts, BLTs, classic grilled cheese, French dips and club sandwiches. The prices are on the high side though ... the tuna melt is $9.25.
I thought it beat out Ghirardelli in terms of old-fashioned Ice cream parlor ambiance. It didn't look staged and it was filled with locals rather than tourists. There are booths, marble tables and counter seats to watch the cooks.
The almost 900 reviews on Yelp give it an average four star rating. I realize that Fenton's has been there for generations so some of this probably has to do with sentimentality. BTW, I learned there is a Fenton's at SFO.
However, I was impressed despite going in with a negative attitude. I think Fenton's Ice Cream is good enough that it should be included in any Bay Area ice cream discussion. I'll have to try more to see if they are the best in this category as I suspect. Respect must be paid.
4226 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611