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.
Bi-Rite Creamery is best known for its ice cream that people line up on the sidewalk for even when it’s cold and foggy. But the founders were pastry chefs before they started chilling and churning, so it only makes sense that they branched out into pie. During the holidays, there are more pie flavors to choose from, like pumpkin and pecan, but you can always get a classic apple pie with a crumb topping as well as their signature Chocolate Bourbon Mousse Pie made with a bourbon-infused chocolate mousse and topped with whipped cream and chocolate shavings. Pies come nine-inch (serves six to eight people) and some also come in six-inch (serves two to three, but you could definitely take one down by yourself with a little effort). Can’t pick between ice cream and pie? The creamery has a couple of ice cream pies as well.
How to order: Buy in person at any of the Bi-Rite Markets. You can also order ahead for pick-up or delivery from the Mission and Divisadero locations on the Bi-Rite website or via Instacart. Ice cream cakes are available for pick-up or delivery. Order online.
This scoop shop on 18th Street always has a line of people out the door eager to satisfy their craving for house-made, small-batch, organic ice cream. Trust us when we say that the Salted Caramel is worth the wait, as are whichever seasonal flavors strike your fancy—in the summer, the Balsamic Strawberry with organic strawberries and roasted with balsamic vinegar is a must-order. There are also dairy-free options, as well as soft serve. If you’re headed home after you enjoy your cone, grab a pint of another flavor to enjoy later on. And if waiting in lines isn’t your thing, you can order ahead for pre-packaged pints, popsicles, bars, sandwiches, and ice cream cakes. Or have a pint delivered with your next grocery order from Bi-Rite Market.
How to order: Order ahead or get it delivered online. Otherwise, walk-ins are welcome.