Lemon cookie ice cream

Three Twins

Address and Info

Lower Haight

When you’re in the market for a classic cone, lemon cookie is the way to go. Soft, creamy lemon ice cream dotted with crushed vanilla sandwich cookies are matched by a crisp waffle cone. It’s a playful twist on cookies and cream, full of bright citrus flavor and vanilla, like a high-end Dreamsicle. You can grab a pint at your local grocery store, but you want try out this local favorite in its natural cone habitat.

Frozen Kuhsterd

Cupcake sundae

Frozen Kuhsterd

Address and Info

Food truck

Frozen Kuhsterd's cupcake sundae pairs a full-sized Mission Minis cupcake with a scoop of frozen custard and a delicious topping, so you can choose the flavors for each part of the sundae, and create your ideal cupcake and custard mashup, or take a recommendation from someone who would know best. Founder Jason Angeles recommends the vanilla bean cupcake with Thai tea frozen custard and a condensed milk topping (yeah, that sounds pretty good to us). The Frozen Kuhsterd truck roams the city, but you can track it down on Twitter, or head over to Off the Grid at Fort Mason on Friday nights. Stay tuned for a new addition to the Frozen Kuhsterd: their first brick-and-mortar location is opening soon at 18th and Mission St.

Jacker Crack

ShakeDown

Address and Info

Tenderloin

Jacker Crack transforms your favorite nostalgic snack into an upscale ice cream experience. It’s a figurative rollercoaster for your tastebuds, veering between salty and sweet, crunchy and creamy. Sticky swirls of rich dulce de leche weave through a luscious popcorn-infused ice cream, studded with chunks of crushed peanut butter brittle.

San Francisco's Hometown Creamery

Ice cream flight

San Francisco's Hometown Creamery

Address and Info

Inner Sunset

Wine flights, beer flights, cheese flights -- isn’t it about time ice cream got into the flight game? San Francisco’s Hometown Creamery has got you covered. Pick from their rotating selection of flavors, and they’ll set up five mini scoops for you to enjoy. When you get to make five ice cream choices all at once, you no longer have to longingly eye the ice cream case and wonder if you’ve made the right choice. Most of the ice cream flavors change every two weeks, though they keep a couple classics on the menu year round. Make sure to include a scoop of their classic peanut butter chocolate fudge ice cream in your flight.

The EMT

Rocko's Ice Cream Tacos

Address and Info

Food truck

Four words: Grown up Choco Taco. Rocko’s Ice Cream Tacos offers a spin on a childhood favorite, and their EMT is the perfect ice cream taco makeover: they take a freshly baked waffle cone-style taco shell and stuff it with zingy espresso ice cream, then dip the thing in milk chocolate to create a hard, chocolatey shell. Mmhm. If for some strange reason you're espresso-averse, you can create your own customized ice cream taco with their menu of ice creams and dips, or try one of their other decadent sweets, like ice cream cake pops and frozen s’more tacos. The ice cream truck travels all over the Bay Area, and this summer they will be in the Upper Haight on the last Thursday of every month.

Flickr/Phil Dokas

Keller's Farm sundae

The Ice Cream Bar

Address and Info

Cole Valley

What’s more summery than cherries and ice cream? Ice Cream Bar SF offers a riff on a berry shortcake with this cherry-laced sundae. A scoop of crème fraîche ice cream and a scoop of morello cherry ice cream are drizzled with cherry and rosemary sauces, then paired with buttery cornmeal shortbread. Bonus points for the charmingly old-school interior and full menu of classic soda shop drinks and treats.

Dark chocolate dip cone

Twirl and Dip

Address and Info

Outer Richmond

No Golden Gate Park day is complete without a dark chocolate dip cone from Twirl and Dip. Creamy vanilla bean soft serve gets scooped into a fresh waffle cone, then cloaked in rich dark chocolate and sprinkled with crunchy sea salt. And if you're stopping by the truck with vegan pals, Twirl and Dip offers a delicious range of vegan options, including a menu of organic frozen juice lollipops and chocolate-dipped frozen bananas.

Flickr/lesleyk

Secret Breakfast

Humphry Slocombe

Address and Info

Mission

There’s a reason Secret Breakfast has achieved cult classic status. Rich bourbon ice cream studded with corn flakes is a frozen revelation that continues to delight, no matter how many times you try it. And if you're looking for the perfect second scoop pairing, choose from their revolving menu of seasonal favorites and chef’s choice selections. A little sun-splashed outdoor seating makes the Mission location the perfect place to soak up some rare summery rays as you enjoy your cone.

Banana split

St. Francis Fountain

Address and Info

Mission

The banana split is the martini of the ice cream world, a classic that, when done well, is down right transcendent... and St. Francis Fountain knows how to deliver the best. This joint has been slinging ice cream since 1918, making it San Francisco’s oldest ice cream parlor. The banana split is a veritable feast of flavors, with three types of ice cream, topped with sauces, whipped cream, and almonds, all balanced on a split banana. This timeless classic is best enjoyed in a similarly timeless atmosphere: slide into a booth, or hang out at the counter and enjoy St. Francis’ retro soda shoppe vibe.

Courtesy of Souvla

Frozen Greek yogurt with baklava crumbles and honey syrup

Souvla

Address and Info

Hayes Valley

Souvla isn’t just churning out San Francisco’s buzziest spit-fired Greek sandwiches, it’s also home to one of the city’s most refreshing desserts: an elegant twist on the classic frozen yogurt. A tart swivel of frozen Greek yogurt gets topped with crumbled baklava and a heavy drizzle of honey syrup, then served in an iconic blue-and-white Greek coffee cup. Tangy, sweet, and aesthetically pleasing, this sophisticated froyo has all of your dessert bases covered.  

Chocolate ice cream and cheesecake crepe

Genki Crepes & Mini-Mart

Address and Info

Inner Richmond

Watch in mouthwatering awe as the culinary geniuses behind the counter at Genki Crepes combine all of your favorite desserts into one handheld mega-treat: they take these fresh, golden crepes, and gently wrap them around a smorgasbord of chocolate ice cream, cheesecake slices, and a serious dollop of whipped cream. Roam the aisles of this Japanese convenience store while you wait, and pick up some Pocky and green tea Kit Kats for tomorrow, when your tastebuds have fully recovered. There’s very limited seating at Genki, so expect to take your crepe to-go. Fortunately, the Inner Richmond is the perfect place for people-watching and window-shopping as you take your giant crepe for a long stroll.

Mitchell's Ice Cream

Halo Halo

Mitchell's Ice Cream

Address and Info

Bernal Heights

From late spring until early fall, Mitchell’s is making their classic Halo Halo, a Filipino dessert chock full of bright flavors and delicious Mitchell’s ice cream. They combine sweet beans, ube, pineapple, palm fruit, and more with a splash of evaporated milk, poured over shaved ice and a scoop of ice cream. Halo Halo season at Mitchell's comes just once a year, so it's basically the Girl Scout cookies of the ice cream world -- get it while you can.

Sam's Sundae

Bi-Rite Creamery

Address and Info

Mission

Try out a sophisticated, savory-and-sweet spin on the traditional sundae. Decadent Bi-Rite chocolate ice cream is topped with a drizzle of bergamot-laced olive oil, flaky sea salt, and a dollop of fresh whipped cream. The results are an unforgettable and elegant explosion of textures and flavors. And if you're in the market for a major ice cream splurge (you are), Bi-Rite Creamery is also home to a full menu of ice cream pies and ice cream cakes.

Courtesy of Smitten

Berry crisp sundae

Smitten

Address and Info

Hayes Valley

Smitten has turned the best parts of a summery berry crisp into a series of fresh sundae toppings. Classic Smitten vanilla ice cream gets a drizzle of strawberry-spiked prosecco sauce, then gets a dose of rich pie crisp topping and a cloud of homemade whipped cream. With ripe summer berries and made-to-order ice cream, it doesn’t get much fresher or more flavorful than a Smitten sundae. While there are only a few benches at the Hayes Valley location, nearby Patricia’s Green park is the perfect place to get some sun, or you can walk to neighboring Proxy theater to check out an outdoor movie.

CREAM San Francisco

Ice cream cookie

CREAM

Address and Info

Mission

This place basically offers you an ice cream sandwich choose-your-own-adventure. Get creative as you mix-and-match your favorite freshly baked cookies with a menu of inventive ice cream flavors, including vegan and gluten-free cookie options, so everyone can join the party. If you're up for a different style of sandwich, swap out the cookies with brownies, waffles, or a taco shell.

Honeycomb soft serve cone

Honey Creme

Address and Info

Inner Sunset

A favorite dessert spot in Asia, HoneyCreme just opened their very first US location in San Francisco. Their menu is full of wild concoctions, combining creamy, soft serve ice cream with a dazzling array of toppings. Start with their famous honeycomb soft serve cone: a crisp cone full of lightly sweetened fresh milk soft serve, drizzled with honey, and topped with a chewy chunk of honeycomb. Or go for the cotton candy affogato, which tops a swivel of soft serve with an airy explosion of cotton candy, then pairs the super-sugary combo with a balancing shot of espresso.

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1. Three Twins Ice Cream 254 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94117 (Lower Haight)

The Haight location of this sought-after local ice cream company is dolling out certified organic ice creams (even the cones are organic) in flavors like lemon cookie, mint confetti, chocolate malt and butterscotch pecan. Pop inside Three Twins' vibrant green space to take a pint, quart or pack of ice cream sandwiches to take home. You can get a fresh scoop, too — just be prepared to carry it around with you because there isn't room for seating here.

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2. Frozen Kuhsterd 428 11th St, San Francisco, CA 94103

This Bay-area custard truck invented West Coast-style frozen custard by infusing scoop-able consistency with experimental flavor combinations and artisan suppliers. If you want a taste of the flavors exclusively sold on the truck and in-store (like Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Four Barrel Coffee, Thai Latte, Saikyo Miso, Toasted Coconut and PB&J), you ca easily track the truck's location down on Twitter.

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3. ShakeDown 835 Geary St, San Francisco, CA (The Tenderloin)

ShakeDown has got it all figured out. Their small batch ice cream is the perfect blend of sweet and creamy and go perfectly with their fresh house-made buckwheat waffle cones. Because the small batches are actually quite small, flavors can change several times a day, and include flavors like Fig Goat Cheese, Cinnamon Toast Brunch and, their best seller, Jacker Crack: popcorn infused ice cream with swirls of Dulce de Leche and crushed peanut brittle.

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4. San Francisco's Hometown Creamery 1290 9th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94122 (Inner Sunset)

San Francisco's small batch old-school ice cream makers are the Hometown Creamery, who pride themselves on making everything in-house, from self pasteurizing their ice cream base to baking the baklava topping. Hometown also offers something entirely new—an ice cream flight. Similar to a whiskey or beer flight, the ice cream version lets you pick 5 flavors from their constantly changing list for a tasting perfectly suited for your taste buds. Flavors here change every two weeks or so, so return regularly to try them all.

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5. Rocko's Ice Cream Tacos 428 11th St, San Francisco, CA 94103

This modern re-imagination of one of your favorite childhood treats is almost too good to be true. Using locally sourced, organic ingredients, Rocko's delves out insane little creations made with freshly baked waffle shells, which are stuffed with your choice of ice cream salted caramel, mint chip or espresso. Then, if that weren't enough to get your mouth watering, they dip it into a vat of chocolate- or peanut butter-flavored sauce. The location changes every day, so hunt them down on their website.

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6. The Ice Cream Bar 815 Cole Street @ Carl, San Francisco, CA 94117

A convivial meeting spot for Cole Valley patrons and nostalgic patrons alike, this 1930s style soda fountain serves up ice cream made on site, as well as outrageously addictive black bean burgers. The retro space -- decked out with diner counters and accessorized with old-school forks and clinky metal dishware -- completes its funky, vintage look with an authentic, old-fashioned soda fountain.

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7. Twirl and Dip 1717 17th St, San Francisco, CA 94103 (Golden Gate Park)

Whether served in a housemade cone or in a cup, the ice cream here is superb. Try the specialties like Mitchell's pistachio ice cream with butterscotch, toasted coconuts, whipped cream, and a Luxardo cherry.

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8. Humphry Slocombe 1 Ferry Building, San Francisco, CA 94111 (Embarcadero)

This ice cream is definitely for more adventurous palettes — we're talking flavors like cheese, corn, jalepeno and beet. But even the pickiest eater will flip for their most beloved flavor, Secret Breakfast, made with bourbon and corn flakes, because that's really what breakfast should taste like. Grab a cone to go and walk the harbor just outside its doors or sit inside and enjoy your bizarre treat along the '50's diner-style bar.

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9. St. Francis Fountain 2801 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110 (The Mission)

Done up in an old-fashioned, nostalgic aesthetic that mimics diners of yore, this classic "soda fountain" serves up homey egg-centric breakfasts with spuds, biscuits, and a choice of protein. Renown, juicy burgers are also on offer, and can be enjoyed on top stools and classic diner counters that look like they haven't been changed since the '50s.

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10. Souvla 517 Hayes St, San Francisco, CA 94102 (Hayes Valley)

This is not your parents' gyro stand. Souvla turns the concept of Greek meat cooked on a spit on its head, with juicy rotisserie chickens marinated in feta, olive oil, lemon and oregano, served in pita wrapped souvlaki-style sandwiches. The pork and lamb options are equally impressive and high quality. Get the Greek-style wraps with French fries inside and finish off the meal with frozen Greek yogurt with olive oil and sea salt.

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11. Genki Crepes and Mini-Mart 330 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118

The brightly colored orange and yellow exterior of this creperie and market stands right out in the heart of Richmond District. If you're not ducking in to pick up your favorite Asian drinks, snacks and candies from the small selection in the rear of the store, make absolute sure to order a crepe on your way out. They're made right in front of your eyes: Batter is poured onto a circular skillet before it's stuffed with your choice of assorted fruits and ice creams before its drizzled with syrup or chocolate.

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12. Mitchell's Ice Cream 688 San Jose Ave, San Francisco, CA 94110

This San Francisco proves that sometimes you can get quality right the first time around. Mitchell's hasn't changed much since it opened its doors in 1953; It's still owned by the beloved Mitchell family, it still makes 16-percent butterfat ice cream daily and it still sources all of its ingredients locally. Although it offers more than 40 flavors including avocado, green tea, horchata and pistachio, the mango flavor always has been and still is the shop's biggest hitter.

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13. Bi-Rite Creamery 3692 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110 (The Mission)

It's universally acknowledged among San Franciscans that Bi-Rite's ice cream is worth waiting for, which is why there is almost always -- at least on sunny weekend afternoons and summer evenings -- a line out the door. Owned and operated by two Bay Area natives, this popular Mission haunt makes small-batch ice cream in true artisanal flavors like honey lavender, orange cardamom, and the house specialty: salted caramel. The scoops are small, so your best bet is to order a double or a triple of whatever's on the seasonal menu.

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14. Smitten Ice Cream 432 Octavia St. #1A, San Francisco, CA 94102 (Hayes Valley)

This Hayes Valley outpost is named exactly for how you'll feel after having one of its made-in-front-of-you-using-liquid-nitrogen ice creams -- smitten! Featuring seasonal flavors and classics, all made from scratch, Smitten's no gimmick -- these super-creamy, foodie-approved treats are the real (tasty) deal.

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15. CREAM 3106 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103

CREAM (also known as "Cookies Rule Everything Around Me") is a California chain offering you an ice cream sandwich choose-your-own-adventure. Patrons can mix-and-match their favorite freshly baked cookies with a menu of inventive ice cream flavors like caramel cinnamon. There are vegan and gluten-free cookie options, so everyone can join the party. You can also swap out the cookies with brownies, waffles, taco shells, or donuts—there's literally no way to make a bad ice cream sandwich.

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16. Honey Creme 839 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122

The venerable Koran soft serve chain Honey Creme has its first ever U.S. location in San Francisco's Inner Sunset district, the perfect place for a little corner sweet shop. The chain is most well known for their signature concoction, the Honeycomb, which is drizzled with honey and topped with a generous chunk of real honeycomb. Unique toppings are the calling card of this place, which uses a savory rather than sweet Asian-style soft serve as a base for its creations. The shop is small, clean, and bright, with just a few seats. It's bound to be busy when you go, so expect a line and take your cone to go.