The 5 Best Frozen Dessert Shops in San Francisco

The 5 Best Frozen Dessert Shops in San Francisco

Some of the hottest places have the coolest treats, and San Francisco is certainly no exception to this frozen dessert rule! Known as the cultural, financial, and commercial center of Northern California, where you can find a little bit of everything, San Francisco is also a great place to find some tasty frozen treats. So if you’re going to be visiting the Golden Gate City anytime soon or if you’re a native looking for the best of the best, come with us as we check out our top five frozen dessert spots in San Francisco!

Holy Gelato!

If you’re on the hunt for some interesting and unusual Italian ice cream flavors, then look no further than Holy Gelato! This cozy little nook on 9th Avenue not only offers up the more rare gelato choices, but also coffee and tea, cookies, Acai bowls, and a variety of other fun snacks and beverages. Along with the regular flavors, you can also find more exotic choices here such as Burgundy Cherry, Honey Lavender, and Blackberry, which is also vegan. Holy Gelato! sells their Italian ice cream by the scoop, served in a sundae, as an Affogato, a banana split, and even by the pint.

It seems that Holy Gelato’s mission is to help their customers enjoy the little things, and it’s hard not to when you have such a fun variety creamy, tasty gelato desserts right in front of you!

Word on The Street

Folks love the convenience of being able to get so many tasty treats at Holy Gelato! Fan favorite frozen desserts include their Burgundy Cherry gelato, their Affogato, and their Dragon Fruit gelato.

The Ice Cream Bar

Located on Cole Street, The Ice Cream Bar is an old-fashioned spot that brings back the nostalgia of going to the ice cream parlor in the 1930’s with made-to-order treats like hand-crafted milkshakes, custom sodas from the authentic soda fountain, and even sassafras root beer! Along with the usual chocolate and vanilla, you can also get more unique flavors like Morello Cherry, Roasted Pineapple, and Caramelized Honey by the scoop or by the pint. Ask about their ice cream cookie sandwiches and baked good as well!

Everything that The Ice Cream Bar serves is made in house, from their ice creams all the way to their baked goods, and they take great pride in locally sourcing all of the dairy and produce used in their wares. Due to Covid-19, they have scaled back on many of their menu favorites, but as things slowly begin to open up again, they look forward to adding more and more of everyone’s favorites back into the mix for good.

Word on The Street

Guests love the nostalgic feel of this classic ice cream parlor just as much as the hand-crafted treats! Fan favorites include their butterscotch ice cream, their Coconut Milk Chocolate Chip ice cream that is non-dairy, and their ice cream cookie sandwiches.

San Francisco’s Hometown Creamery

San Francisco’s Hometown Creamery is a rustic little shop located on 9th Avenue and surrounded by murals all throughout the neighborhood. They serve up ice cream and ice cream-themed desserts like sundaes and ice cream sandwiches, as well as cookies, Churros, and Maple Pecan Bars made fresh every day. Their every day ice cream menu consists of flavors like Chocolate Sorbet, Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge, and Madagascar Vanilla, but their rotation of seasonal flavors include Banoffee oce cream, Khao Niao Mamuang (Thai cocnut mango & sticky rice), and Horchata ice cream.

Brothers Adar and Saadi Halil opened the creamery in 2014 because they had a desire to open up a family business where they could provide folks with a quality product and their family-style customer service, all within a feel-good environment where you can’t help but smile and be happy! They take pride in being as close to from farm to cone as you can get, as they were the first creamery in San Francisco to make their ice cream from scratch in small batches right there on-site.

Word on The Street

Folks love the rotating ice cream flavors at this family-owned establishment. Fan favorite flavors include their Khao Niao Mamuang ice cream, their Vegan Chocolate Sorbet, and their Mint Chip ice cream.


Powder is a sweet little shop on Divisadero Street where ice cream meets shaved ice. They serve Taiwanese shaved ice that looks like delicate ribbons, called Shaved Snow, that’s made only with organic ingredients and a variety of fun toppings. Choose from tempting flavors such as Black Sesame, Vietnamese Coffee, and Mexican Chocolate, then top it off with choices like Mochi, toasted marshmallows, or Azuki Red Beans. Think of Shaved Snow as creamy, delicate, and airy, just like freshly fallen snow.

This little shop is proud to serve up one of Taiwan’s oldest treasures, Shaved Snow, with a fresh and healthy California twist. They’re proud to make their snow with organic dairy as well as other fresh and flavorful, locally sourced ingredients. They’ve also been featured in publications such as Eater, SF Gate, and Bon Appétit.

Word on The Street

Everyone seems to really like this Taiwanese twist on shaved ice, especially the variety of flavors and toppings it comes in and with! Fan favorites include their Mango Snow, Strawberry Snow with Fruity Pebbles on top, and Black Sesame Snow with Mochi.

Smitten Ice Cream

Smitten is a hip, outdoor ice cream shop made from a recycled shipping container located on Octavia Street that hand-crafts their small-batch ice creams with locally sourced ingredients and liquid nitrogen. Along with classics like chocolate and vanilla, you can also get flavors such as Cookie Dough with pretzels and chocolate chips, Brookies n Cream that features brownies as well as cookies, and a variety of rotating flavors. They sell their ice creams by the scoop, pint, and you can get the Dough My Goodness sundae that includes their Cookie Dough ice cream, cookie dough chunks, chocolate sauce, and whipped cream. Oh yeah, and don’t forget the awesome variety of toppings they have as well!

It was the flagship shop in Hayes Valley, surrounded by the colorful murals of Linden Alley, where Robyn Sue first came out of what is called the patented “Brr Machine” in 2011. Smitten churns out five flavors a day in small batches and always have a long line of fans waiting for their turn to order up their favorite tasty frozen treat.

Word on The Street

Many folks refer to this outdoor Smitten location as a “San Francisco staple” that “has their more fun flavors.” Fan favorite flavors include their Earl Grey, their Tcho Chocolate, and their Brookies and Cream ice creams.

No matter where in San Francisco you may be, there are so many great frozen dessert shops to choose from that you’ll have no trouble finding at least one out of our top five choices that has all of the wonderful flavors and treats that your sweet tooth desires!

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