SF Bay Area
Food and drink that has us seeing gold
In a city where the temperatures tend to be above 90 for months at a time, it's no surprise we have our share of spots to cool off with a chilly sweet treat in hand. But if you're after the best, most unique and delicious ice cream, custard or gelato, you've come to the right place.
ICE CREAM SHOPS:
Lake Highlands Creamery
LHC is unique in both method and output. The owner's dedication to his craft and product is clear, because the shop is an actual creamery. That means starting with the good stuff – cream, milk, sugar and eggs – when most other spots start with a "base." And it makes a huge difference you can taste. Then LHC kicks things up with funky flavors like Vampire Cake and Dirty Belgian.
We may have a lot of ice cream in town, but we don't have a lot of soft serve. And we certainly don't have anything even close to what's churning at Cow Tipping Creamery. Every element of every order – from cones to flavors to the shop's plethora of delectable toppings – is house-made. Try a Stacker: a layered treat guaranteed to get the perfect mix of toppings and ice cream in every bite. (Note: CTC is now housed in a food truck parked in downtown Carrollton).
Milk & Cream is a simple concept: take a milk bun (which is like a yeast doughnut but a bit weightier and less sweet), cut it in half, scoop ice cream in the middle and press until warm. These folks make the ice cream flavors in house, which taste fabulous. Odds are you'll go for the milk bun, but you'll come back for the ice cream. It's that good.
Over in the burbs there's a sweet little ice cream shop with a touching origin story to go along with it. You'll feel good eating every single bite of the homemade stuff, made with as few ingredients as possible for a wholesome taste.
What's Da Scoop?
The old ice cream truck has come a long way, guys. Maybe What's Da Scoop? doesn't play tinkly music, but you won't miss it one bit when you see the menu full of flavors like Blueberry Cobbler and Coconut Fudge Crunch, not to mention the Blue Suede Shoes specialty sundae and the Black Magic waffle cone. And since the ice cream's on wheels, be sure to check the latest location on Twitter.
What happens when a donut shop opens an old-school ice cream soda fountain next door? Magic. Pick out a nostalgia-packed candy and add it to your ice cream (which comes from Denton shop Beth Marie's) to make something uniquely yours. Or, ask for "the dream," a warm donut filled with your choice of ice cream. You're not dreaming.
Wild About Harry's
Speaking of old school, Wild About Harry's is a twenty year mainstay of Knox Street in Dallas. Offering 50 flavors of custard, shakes and simple sundaes, plus a food menu featuring hot dogs, corn dogs and the like, Wild About Harry's is just plain greatness. Best bets include peppermint and coffee. Add a Texas chili dog and you're good to go.
A newcomer with a strong custard offering is small area chain Super Chix. Specializing in seriously addictive chicken fingers, fries and old fashioned custard, their sweets are simple and amazing. Super Chix makes it easy with just three choices: Pure Vanilla, Dutch Chocolate or the flavor of the week, which tends to be seasonal in nature and often combines local ingredients. Pro tip: Why choose? Get the custard flight.
Leave it to a Latin American restaurant with stellar baked goods and cakes to churn out some of the best house-made gelato in town, as if it weren't hard enough to choose your dessert. Yes, the cakes are amazing, but the simple pleasure of deep, dark, rich chocolate truffle gelato will make you melt – in a good way.