Courtesy of Bill Singleton
Courtesy of Nick Vasilopoulos
Courtesy of Smitten Ice Cream
Courtesy of Three Twins Ice Cream
Cold Stone Creamery®
Courtesy of Bi-Rite Creamery
Courtesy of Ghirardelli
Courtesy of Smitten Ice Cream
Courtesy of Humphry Slocombe
Courtesy of Positive Perceptions Photography
Mitchell's Ice Cream
Courtesy of Eloise Lim
Joe's Ice Cream
Flickr/Michael Ocampo
Courtesy of Swensen’s®
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1. Eureka! Cafe 451 Castro St, San Francisco, CA 94114 (The Mission)

Sure, Eureka!'s ice cream isn't made in-house, but it's either from Strauss Family Creamery or Tara’s Organic, so it's definitely the place to stop for ice cream if you're in the Castro.

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2. The Ice Cream Bar 815 Cole St, San Francisco, CA 94117 (Cole Valley)

This ice cream parlor sports three different bars, black marble tables, and enough Ayn Randian decoration to fit into any level of Bioshock: art-deco tiles, porthole mirrors, glowing blue diamond lights, and presumably soon, terrifyingly dead-eyed children.

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3. 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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4. 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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5. Cold Stone Creamery 119 Ellis St, San Francisco, CA 94102 (Fishermans Wharf)

Sure, it's a national chain, but that doesn't mean their copious amounts of ice cream -- that's made fresh daily -- is any less delicious. Plus, they use that famous granite slab to chop and fold in things like gummi bears and brownies and hot fudge and rainbow sprinkles and... You know what we're talking about.

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6. 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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7. Ghirardelli 24 Willie Mays Plz, San Francisco, CA 94107 (Soma)

Sure, you have to go to a Giants game to get ice cream from this particular Ghiradelli location, but who doesn’t want to go to a Giants game? It's also the best hot fudge sundae in town, so there's really no reason to not get one while you're here.

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8. Smitten Ice Cream 2404 California Ave, San Francisco, CA 94115 (Pacific Heights)

Smitten ice cream is high-tech and made-to-order in this second San Francisco location. The benches are made from Radio Flyer wagons and the lights from milk bottles, transporting you back to simpler, childhood days while the Brrr machine flash-freezes your seasonal flavor of choice (we suggest Strawberry White Balsamic when you can get it).

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9. Humphry Slocombe 1 Ferry Building, San Francisco, CA 94111

With creative flavors and offbeat names, this ice cream outpost is sure to intrigue every time. Ice cream mastermind Jake Godby is always coming up with new ideas like peanut butter curry and carrot mango.

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10. Over the Moon 2144 Chestnut St, San Francisco, CA 94123 (The Marina)

Over the Moon is an ice creamery that also bakes homemade cookies from an old family recipe. So, obviously, go ahead and build yourself an ice cream sandwich. We like the honey lavender smooshed between two oatmeal raisin cookies.

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11. Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous 699 22nd St, San Francisco, CA 94107 (Dogpatch)

Started by a pair with experience working at Wolfgang Puck's Spago, this hidden Dogpatch parlor has both regular flavors and some crazier ones like Chocolate Chicory Coffee, which you can also get in float form, or how you'll feel after eating it.

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12. Mitchell's Ice Cream 688 San Jose Ave, San Francisco, CA 94110 (The Mission)

Homemade ice cream takes center stage at Mitchell's in the Mission -- from a dizzyingly long list of standard and seasonal flavors the store features 40 delicious options a day, so you'll probably want to block out an hour or two for decision-making time.

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13. Lush Gelato 1817 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109 (Nob Hill)

Savor something sweet at the first shop licensed to make gelato in San Francisco proper, with production on Polk Street and stores in Piedmont and Berkeley as well. Lush prides itself on creating innovative flavors –- think mascarpone balsamic, fresh mint, and orange cardamom –- on a rotating, seasonal menu. If the donut ice cream sandwich is available when you go, don't miss that, either.

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14. DeLise 327 Bay St, San Francisco, CA 94133 (North Beach)

Catherine Eloise Lim-Dennis Leung began her baking career in the Philippines and continued a passion for pastries until she landed in San Francisco and opened DeLise Café in 2008. Her cupcakes, cookies and coffee have captured a raving fan base of tourists and locals alike. Flavors at DeLise rotate weekly, but you can always expect Asian flavors such as coconut and sesame to make an appearance.

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15. 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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16. Joe's Ice Cream 5420 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94121 (The Richmond)

Since 1959, Joe's has been making homemade ice cream in SF. Even though the Richmond is often covered in fog, there's still a line out the door on Saturday nights to try flavors like Irish Coffee or Wasabi.

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17. Toy Boat Dessert Cafe 401 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118 (Inner Richmond)

This place has been delighting patrons of all ages for 32 years thanks to the toys covering the walls, Butterscotch (the electric horse from the 1950s) and the super generous samples. Go for the banana split because, seriously, when was the last time you had one of those?

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18. Polly Ann Ice Cream 3138 Noriega St , San Francisco, CA 94122 (Outer Sunset)

Polly Ann has a rotating selection of 500 flavors, 50 of which are offered at a time, and can range from classics (Chocolate Chip is always a good choice) to their best seller, Star Wars: mint ice cream with marshmallows and a blue tint. If you can't decide, spin their flavor wheel and you may even win a free cone!

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19. Holy Gelato! 1392 9th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94122 (Inner Sunset)

This local spot has 18 regular gelatos and 12 vegan gelatos (the cones are vegan too). Go for either the Goat Cheese of the Irish Morning (coffee, fudge, cookies, and WHISKEY). Or both.

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20. Swensen's Ice Cream 1999 Hyde St, San Francisco, CA 94109 (Russian Hill)

This Russian Hill shop is the original location of the San Francisco-based ice cream chain that opened in 1948. Swensen's has some of the best ice cream in the Bay Area, and flavors run from traditional ones like chocolate and sticky peanut butter to the exotic, Bi-Rite-level lemon chiffon and Bordeaux cherry. Note, it's cash-only.

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21. Shaws San Francisco 122 W Portal Ave, San Francisco, CA 94127 (West Portal)

Shaws is any child's dream candy store. Bins, rows and racks of hard candy, chocolates and homemade fudge line the walls, and there's generous scoops of Mitchell’s Ice Cream on offer in the back.