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Very San Francisco Ice Cream Shops

Bi-Rite Creamery

Location: 3692 18th St (between Dolores St & Oakwood St)
Neighborhood: Mission
Hours: Mon-Thurs, Sun- 11AM-10PM; Fri-Sat- 11AM-11PM
Phone number: (415) 626-5600

This ice cream hot spot usually has a long line snaking down the sidewalk, with another for soft serve.  Luckily Bi-Rite Creamery has their ice cream flavors posted outside, so you can use the time waiting in line to decide on your ice cream flavor! Or you can justify your wait by sampling ALL the flavors before deciding, up to you! Do yourself a favor though: get a sundae. Their berry compote will blind you with its deliciousness. Same with their caramelized banana.

Ice Cream Style: modern classics


The Ice Cream Bar
Location: 815 Cole St (between Frederick St and Carl St)
Neighborhood: Cole Valley
Hours: Mon-Thurs- 12PM-10PM; Fri-Sat- 12PM-11PM
Phone number: (415) 742-4932

Designed to look like a diner, complete with the servers in the white uniforms and white caps. Perfect for those feeling nostalgic, retro, rockabilly, or just want some old-fashioned all-American ice cream, or if you fancy, an old-fashioned drink from a real soda fountain! Come here with some winged eyeliner, red lipstick, bandana, and order yourself a shake or sundae to share with your date.

Ice cream style: nostalgic, classic

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Mr and Mrs Miscellaneous
Location: 699 22nd St (between Illinois St and 3rd St)
Neighborhood: Dogpatch, Potrero Hill
Hours: Wed-Sat- 11:30AM-6PM; Sun- 11:30AM-5PM
Phone number: (415) 970-0750

“Sophisticated” and “modern” may not arise as the first words used to describe ice cream. Enter Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous. Burnt Sugar, Candied Ginger, Brown Butter, Cardamom—you will NOT find these flavors in your typical ice cream shop! This ice cream store embodies the San Francisco sophisticated techie hipster spirit, and the flavors constantly rotate to delight those with attention deficit disorder.

Ice cream style: modern, sophisticated, exotic

Belly Good Café and Crepes
Location: 1737 Post St Ste 393 (between Webster St and Buchanan St, across from Sanrio)
Neighborhood: Japantown
Hours: Mon-Thurs, Sun 11:30AM-8PM; Fri-Sat 11:30-9PM
Phone number: (415) 346-8383

Warning: cute overload! Not for those who can’t eat pretty or cute foods, or for those who can’t eat foods that stare back at them. You really can’t beat the Japanese when it comes to visually appealing desserts! Come on, they conducted a study on cuteness, of all things!  And yes, the crepes taste as good as they look. Simple and classic ice cream flavors enhance the cute little faces you mercilessly devour.

Ice cream style: cute, fun, Japanese-style crepes!

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Humphrey Slocombe Ice Cream
Location: 2790 Harrison St (between 24th St and 23rd St)
Neighborhood: Mission
Hours: Mon-Thurs 12PM-9PM; Fri-Sun 12PM-10PM
Phone number: (415) 550-6971

You will probably notice the interesting décor upon entering… mainly the two-headed cow on the plaque. Don’t worry though! The Mission houses many strange, unique things, and you should take that in a stride!  With that said, don’t expect your usual ice cream flavors. After all, you entered the Mission knowing that you will experience the strange, unusual, and unique. Humphrey Slocombe carries exotic flavors such as bourbon and corn flakes in their Secret Breakfast flavor,  olive oil, and salt-n-peppa! But for those with a less adventurous palate, perhaps the ultra smooth Blue Bottle Vietnamese Coffee, Butterbeer, or Tahitian Vanilla does the trick. The ice cream itself entices your tongue with its rich, sweet, creamy, and extremely soft texture! Careful not to lick your ice cream off your cone!

Ice cream style: unique, quirky, so soft!!

image by Christine Nguyen


ETC Dessert Café
Location: 1919 Irving Street (between 21st Ave and 20th Ave)
Neighborhood: Outer Sunset
Hours: Mon-Thurs- 6PM-12:30 AM; Fri- 6PM-1:30AM; Sat- 3:30PM-1:30AM; Sun- 3PM-12AM
Phone number: (415) 566-3099

Let’s face it: most people probably don’t view bread as a good pairing to ice cream. Solution: honey toast box. Toasted, buttery, honeyed milk bread tastes mind-blowingly good with ice cream. How do you eat it? Cut open one side and start devouring. You might want to bring friends. This dessert calls for a serious social outing.  And lots of pictures of your fancy-looking dessert. 

Ice cream style: Asian-style dessert hang out spot, extremely sharable

images by Hayne Park unless otherwise mentioned. Illustration by Oaggin Park

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Hayne Park

San Francisco

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