For a city that rarely gets hot, San Francisco offers plenty of places to cool down with ice cream. If there’s one generalization about frozen treats in this foggy town, it’s that they all have a strong focus on flavor. Whether it’s durian gelato from Marco Polo, salted caramel from Bi-Rite, or Humphry Slocombe’s infamous Secret Breakfast, there’s nothing boring about San Francisco scoops. Here are nine San Francisco ice cream spots, listed alphabetically, all mentioned repeatedly by CHOW readers in recent Chowhound threads (click the links to find out more). What are your favorites? Jump into a discussion on the San Francisco Bay Area Chowhound board.
3692 18th Street, San Francisco
Legendary for long lines that reach as far as Dolores Park on sunny days, Bi-Rite churns out high-butterfat ice cream in vivid flavors that’s well worth the wait.
DELISE DESSERT CAFÉ
327 Bay Street, San Francisco
An extensive sorbet menu makes this a great option at Fisherman’s Wharf.
2790-A Harrison Street, San Francisco
Secret Breakfast—bourbon ice cream flecked with cornflakes—is only the beginning of pastry chef Jake Godby’s wicked sense of humor.
JOE’S ICE CREAM
5420 Geary Boulevard, San Francisco
Try the Joe’s It—Joe’s take on the It’s-It, a local ice cream sandwich legend.
MARCO POLO ITALIAN ICE CREAM
1447 Taraval Street, San Francisco
Try the Asian flavors like black sesame, durian, and coconut.
MITCHELL’S ICE CREAM
688 San Jose Avenue, San Francisco
Tropical flavors abound in the list of Filipino favorites—don’t miss the buko (young coconut) or ube (purple yam).
MR. AND MRS. MISCELLANEOUS
699 22nd Street, San Francisco
Childhood favorites like Rocky Road are served alongside far-out flavors such as candied violet.
SMITTEN ICE CREAM
432 Octavia Street, San Francisco
Freezing with liquid nitrogen gives the ice cream at this permanent Hayes Valley pop-up an extraordinary texture.
XANATH ICE CREAM
951 Valencia Street, San Francisco
The owner is a vanilla importer, so one of the variations on vanilla is the flavor of choice here.
Photo still of Bi-Rite salted caramel by CHOW.com
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