Where To Find The Best Ice Cream & Gelato in San Francisco

It probably won't come as a surprise that the culinary capital of California is also home to some of the best gelato and ice cream in the USA. San Francisco is close to organic dairies and some of the juiciest & freshest produce — together they make the flavors of gelato in San Francisco vibrant.

In this selection we've chosen an array of the best ice cream and gelato shops that make traditional flavors like chocolate and vanilla as well as over-the-top zany concoctions with Sriracha, bacon, pretzels and even toasted garlic! If you're spending a hot weekend in The City By The Bay, plan a day seeking out the best ice cream and gelato in San Francisco.

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Where to Find the Best Gelato in San Francisco

Gelateria Naia

Gelateria Naia

It all started with a question — "Why can't we find a decent scoop of gelato in the Bay Area?" So, three friends traveled the world sampling the finest gelato and returned to SF to open an authentic gelateria, fittingly in Little Italy.

Fave flavours at Gelateria Naia? Ritual Roasters Coffee, Tcho Chocolate, Pistachio & Limone. Around Valentine's Day they showcase 22 different flavors of chocolate gelato!

La Copa Loca Artisan Gelato

La Copa Loca Artisan Gelato

Founder Mauro has pedigree. He's worked in the best restaurants in London and has cooked for everyone from Madonna to the Queen of England!

He studied gelato making in Italy before opening his shop in the Mission. His flavors are refreshingly old-school Italian — Gianduia (smooth chocolate & hazelnut), Bacio (crunchy hazelnut with a chocolate kiss) & Panna Cotta.

Holy Gelato

Holy Gelato

At Holy Gelato you find eighteen different gelato flavors made daily, including a dozen dairy-free options. Irish Morning is a creamy concoction of coffee, fudge, cookies and whiskey. Charlie Brown's Nightmare is a decadent blend of chocolate, peanut butter and cookies. The newest flavor is Sriracha gelato!

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Lush Gelato

Lush Gelato

If you're in the mood for crazy flavors head to Lush where popular gelatos include Cilantro-Salted Chocolate Chips and Point Reyes Blue Cheese & Cranberries.

At Lush, twelve flavors are rotated daily. You can even have gelato delivered to your home if you're lucky enough to live in the San Francisco Bay area.

Smitten Ice Cream

Smitten Ice Cream

This hipster ice cream & gelato haven uses only local ingredients, made in small-batches. The ultra-decadent favorite flavors change with the season and the mood of the makers but might include Cookie Dough with Pretzels & Chocolate Chips, Lemon Gingersnap, Salted Caramel, and everyone's fave — Classic Vanilla.

  • 2268 Chestnut Street, and
  • 432 Octavia Street, and
  • 2404 California Street, etc
  • Website

Alimento

Alimento

It's the sort of Italian market that seems like its been around for generations, instead of the eight years that is the case. Set in the heart of North Beach, it's the place to get your fix of fragrant hanging salamis, traditional cheeses, and rustic wines. Tucked in the corner you'll find a gelateria.

There are two dozen flavors offered daily, ranging including White Chocolate Raspberry, Salted Caramel, and Banana Health Bar.

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Finding the Best Best Ice Cream in San Francisco

Mitchell's Ice Cream

Mitchell's Ice Cream

The good folks at Mitchell's have been churning ice cream since the Eisenhower administration (1953).

This is the place to come for old fashioned goodness — milkshakes, ice cream sandwiches, and seasonal delights. Try the Cantaloupe and Peach in summer and their delectable Eggnog during the holiday season.

Bi-Rite Creamery

Bi-Rite Creamery

Bi-Rite's ice cream is made from organic milk produced by the Straus Family Creamery, just 45 miles outside of San Francisco.

Coffee Toffee, Honey Lavender, Roasted Banana, and Balsamic Strawberry are favorites, but each is only made in season. If you want to make a version at home, grab their cookbook, Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones.

Humphry Slocom

Humphry Slocom

This place is named after the two main characters in the 1970s British sitcom Are You Being Served? — Mr. Humphries and Mrs. Slocombe.

The Food Network says, "San Francisco's Humphry Slocombe blazes a trail with unique flavors, and customers can't get enough of Secret Breakfast." Best selling flavors here include Bacon, Candied Ginger, and Malted Dulce Dulce.

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The Ice Cream Bar

The Ice Cream Bar

Ever wanted to time travel? Step back to an authentic 1930s soda fountain and lunch counter that also serves housemade ice cream.

Have a grilled cheese, malt, or milkshake — the O Canada! is made with maple syrup, cream & buttermilk. The Summer in Siam is made with brewed coffee and sweet, condensed milk.

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