Saturday, October 29, 2011

Best Ice Cream in Bay Area?

We have had our fair share of ice cream...from the typical joints such as Baskin Robbins, Haagen Dazs, Cold Stone, to the "fancier" local ice cream shops. Here's our quick thoughts on the ones we have tried:
  • Fenton's in Oakland: Fenton was featured in the movie "Up", and a couple friends had recommended this place. It was also featured on Food Network's the best thing I ever ate. So, we both had pretty high expectations. I had the creamy caramel with almond and Dan had the mint with cookies & cream. The ice cream was very creamy and thick, and a little on the expensive side ($4.25 for petite - one scoop). We both thought it was good, but not THAT great.
  • Bi Rite Creamery in San Francisco: My all time favorite. :) The best flavor is definitely salted caramel. There's usually a long line but it moves pretty quickly. The soft serve salted caramel is also excellent and there's usually no line for the soft serve, which is sold at their bakery next door. The catch is that soft serve flavors change daily.

  • Ici in Berkeley: Every time we go to Berkeley, the line is really long and moves VERY slow. It seems like we have to wait at least 45 minutes, which sometimes doesn't seem worth it. We have not been back in a while partly because we feel the service is just really slow. Ice cream is really good and My favorite is the earl grey which reminds her of bubble tea's milk tea in ice cream form. :)

  • Tara's in Berkeley: They have more "interesting" flavors. We got the black sesame and thought it was good. No line when we went.
  • Swensen in San Francisco: Swensen sells the traditional ice cream flavor. We both thought it was just ok, nothing special.
  • Mitchell's: Dan's favorite ice cream place. They have more "traditional" flavors. Dan's favorite is grasshopper (mint chocolate chip).
Mitchell's Ice Cream
  • Treatbot ice cream truck: Creamy, pretty solid, but not out of this world.
  • Leatherby's in Sacramento: Ok, technically this is not Bay Area. But this place made an impression on us so we're adding it here. :) Old school diner that serves a mean sundae!
  • Marcopolo: three words: Durian ice cream!!! If you're up for it, their version is almost better than the actual durian fruit itself. :)

  • Gelateria Naia in San Francisco: We were underwhelmed and disappointed...
  • Humphrey Slocombe: We tried Humphrey Slocombe ice cream at bitter+sweet cafe in Cupertino. We really enjoyed the unique and bold flavor of the ice cream here!
Since we can't agree on ONE list, we decided to publish 2 separate lists :)

My list:
  1. Bi Rite - Salted Caramel.
  2. Humphry Slocombe
  3. Ici - Earl grey.
Dan's list:
  1. Mitchell's
  2. Leatherby's
  3. Bi Rite
What is YOUR favorite Bay Area ice creamery?


  1. My dad is a HUGE ice cream fan (I think it's his inner kid :P) and he is with you, Ella. He LOVES Birite's Salted Caramel.

    My suggestion:
    He accidentally discovered "Three Twins Ice Cream":
    when he visited SF last time.

    He said the Green Tea flavor was the best he's ever had. Considering he eats ice cream everyday (even in Indo + wherever he goes), I think you should give it a try!

    My personal favorite is: Scream sorbet but it's because I don't eat dairy :P

  2. Effie, I have actually tried both Three Twins and Scream Sorbet! Forgot to include them :)
    I'll update the list ! :D

  3. I was actually thrilled with the pistachio flavor gelato at the Naia in Walnut Creek