Let us preface by saying, we’ve got love for ice cream. From Double Rainbow to Ciao Bella and down the line, these classic scoop shops hold a place in our heart. However, this summer we are exploring the newest ice cream shops to open their doors in and around SF, and we’ve compiled our top four new favorites.
Uji Time Dessert – This Japantown spot is the second branch of a Berkeley institution that’s popular with Cal students. Along with a small selection of rotating flavors, guests can always count on matcha, black sesame and tofu flavors. The menu also features parfaits, fish-shaped cones filled with soft serve called taiyaki, or sticky mochi ice cream in flavors like lychee colada and salted caramel. It’s all served in a table-free shop that’s part of a mall by the Peace Plaza.
Freezing Point Creamery – Made to order ice cream is truly having a moment, and this Old Oakland-Chinatown shop is no exception. The eccentric flavors served here are first made when the cream is flash-frozen then chopped and shaped on a cold metal pan into Thai-style ice cream rolls. Ice cream scoops are also available in a variety of flavors, from cookies and cream to Asian varieties like durian or jasmine.
Coletta Gelato – Gelato, in its purest, topping-free form. Two friends studied the art of gelato making at an acclaimed school in Bologna. Post-graduation, they moved to SF to open Coletta in SoMa. There are no toppings – the focus here is on creamy, rich gelato flavors like Irish coffee and amaretto-almond-orange zest, as well as seasonal sorbettos. Coletta is a rare gelateria that makes its own base, so try the most basic fior di latte flavor for ice cream in its purest state. Must-try? California pistachio with Maldon sea salt.
Garden Creamery – What is a Monkey Pop, you ask? The Monkey Pop is a banana-salted caramel semifreddo, dipped in milk chocolate and covered with toffee pieces. Yes please! Formerly a catering company and ice cream truck, this cozy, tile-walled brick-and-mortar shop in the heart of the Mission is rapidly climbing to the top of the neighborhood’s competitive ice cream scene. The vibe is slightly tropical; the owner is originally from Hawaii, while intriguing flavors lean Southeast Asian – e.g. Mexanilla Mango (with both Mexican and Manila mangoes) and Bangkok Thai (peanut-toasted coconut with cayenne) – and incorporate local, organic ingredients.