9 Best Ice Cream Shops in San Francisco
Still can’t get tickets to the Museum of Ice Cream? Forget them!
It’s time to ditch the bluetooth and satisfy your sweet tooth. The weather around San Francisco has been running a temperamental gamut from sweltering and smoking to foggy and frigid. On those hot days when you need some cold relief, or on those gloomy days when you need a sugary pick-me-up to lift your spirits, a scoop (or a heap) of ice cream is an unfailing remedy.
And for those of you who are bitter that you didn’t nab tickets to the Museum of Ice Cream before they sold out, we have a sweet solution to make you feel better about yourself–in fact, we have 9. Here’s a list of the 9 best places that have ice cream that you can actually eat, without a $40 admission fee.
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The closest “from farm to cone” ice cream joint in town, San Francisco’s Hometown Creamery is the first creamery in San Francisco to make small batch ice cream completely from scratch on-site. They take pride in not taking any easy shortcuts, exerting ultimate control over the quality of their ice cream by sourcing only local, raw ingredients. They’re so dedicated to their hands-on process that they hand crack over 2,000 eggs a week and even make their own mix-ins, from baklava to fudge.
Hometown Creamery | 1290 9th Avenue, San Francisco, CA | Hours: 12PM-10PM daily | $
2. Polly Ann Ice Cream
Polly Ann‘s staying-power is certainly a testament to their ice cream’s deliciousness. To make matters sweeter, they have a Wheel of Fortune that you can spin for a chance of winning free ice cream. And if you don’t win, the wheel can at least help you decide between the banana Oreo or the sesame.
Polly Ann Ice Cream | 3138 Noriega Street, San Francisco, CA| Hours: Monday-Thursday: 12PM-9:30PM, Friday-Saturday: 11AM-10PM, Sunday: 11AM-9:30PM | $
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3. Mitchell’s Ice Cream
Mitchell’s is a household name around San Francisco, having been an award-winning ice creamery since 1953. A family-owned business in the Mission, all of their ice cream is handmade in their shop daily. If their popularity isn’t appealing enough to lure you in, perhaps their unique ube ice cream flavor will entice you.
Mitchell’s | 688 San Jose Avenue, San Francisco, CA | Hours: 11AM-11PM daily | $
4. Joe’s Ice Cream
Joe’s is another long-standing example of excellence in the ice cream industry. A family-run business since 1959, Joe’s has built its reputation by serving locals ice cream with a distinctly balanced texture. Joe’s is so adored that when it left its home of 50 years to change locations, its popularity soared despite the change of pace. Not only do they have cool flavors like wasabi and yuzu, they have a grill so you can complement your scoop of creamy goodness with a burger.
Joe’s Ice Cream | 5420 Geary Boulevard, San Francisco, CA | Hours: Monday-Thursday: 11AM-10PM, Friday-Saturday: 11AM-11PM, Sunday: 11AM-11PM | $
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5. Marco Polo Italian Ice Cream
When you say Marco, we say gelato. Marco Polo is an artisan gelato producer that has been serving the community of sweet-toothed locals for over 3 decades. Hop onto your Vespa and head here for authentic gelato made with imported machinery and real ingredients.
Marco Polo Italian Ice Cream | 1447 Taraval Street, San Francisco, CA | Hours: Monday-Friday: 12PM-10PM, Saturday-Sunday: 11AM-10PM | $
6. Honey Creme & Tea
Honey Creme has the most aesthetically inspiring product on this list, considering that their soft-serve is topped with the likes of cotton candy, kettle corn, and chocolate beans. Visit this trendsetting Korean joint for soft-serve that is out of the ordinary. Their signature honeycomb soft serve will keep your taste buds buzzing.
Honey Creme & Tea | 839 Irving Street, San Francisco, CA | Hours: Sunday: 12:30PM-9:30PM, Tuesday-Thursday: 12:30PM-9:30PM, Friday-Saturday: 12:30PM-10PM, closed Mondays | $
7. Salt & Straw
You don’t have to go on a 9-hour drive to Portland to get a cone of almond brittle with salted ganache ice cream anymore. After gaining monumental success at their Oregon location, Salt & Straw expanded their business and opened a storefront in San Francisco, forming long lines of yuppies eager to get their hands on their unexpected flavors like olive oil and lemon.
Salt & Straw | 2201 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA | Hours: 11AM-11PM daily | $
8. Humphry Slocombe
Though Humphry Slocombe‘s owners were inspired by British comedy (Humphry Slocombe is named after the two lead characters Mr. Humphries and Mrs. Slocombe from the sitcom Are You Being Served?), their ice cream is anything but dry. Their eclectic shop features wonderfully unusual flavors like strawberry balsamic, bacon, and even foie gras. The owners’ open-mindedness and penchant for humor explains their avant-garde menu. But if their “bizarre” flavors make you feel sheepish, feel free to sample each and every flavor–they welcome your curiosity.
Humphry Slocombe | 2790A Harrison Street, San Francisco, CA | Hours: Monday-Thursday: 1PM-11PM, Friday-Saturday: 12PM-12AM, Sunday: 12PM-11PM | $
9. The Ice Cream Bar
Your eyes aren’t fooling you. At The Ice Cream Bar in Cole Valley, you can have alcohol with your ice cream. Enough said.
The Ice Cream Bar | 815 Cole Street, San Francisco, CA | Hours: Sunday-Thursday: 12PM-10PM, 12PM-11PM | $