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11 of SF’s Best Soft Serves for a Sunny Day

Where to find swirly treats around town

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Soft serve is a thing of beauty on a hot day, dripping down the side of a cone or pooling at the bottom of a cardboard cup. It’s also an ideal vehicle for rotating flavors, toppings, and even dips. There are many excellent options for regular, hard ice cream in this city, but soft serve has its own special following. From cotton-candy-topped creations to old-school dipped cones, here are the best soft serve options for a warm day in San Francisco.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Loving Cup

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2356 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 440-6900
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Loving Cup’s non-fat flavors include chocolate, vanilla, or vegan banana. Choose one, and then have your toppings mixed in at one of their three locations. It should be noted that there is also the option of rice pudding, an equally smart choice.

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2. Gott's Roadside

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San Francisco Ferry Bldg, 1 Vallejo - San Francisco Ferry Building #6
San Francisco, CA 94111
(415) 318-3423
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Dipped cones are everything, and Gott’s has its own stand in the Ferry Building to provide them. Choose from tart, vanilla, Dutch chocolate, fior di latte, coffe, or salted caramel, then have it dipped in cherry, chocolate, peanut butter, or blue raspberry and topped with mochi and sprinkles.

 

Briana Marie Photography

3. Angler

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132 The Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 872-9442
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It’s not exactly a casual trip an ice cream stand, but Angler’s soft serve sundae should be hunted down by soft-serve lovers nevertheless. It’s a signature dessert at this Michelin star restaurant from chef Joshua Skenes: Simple but rich vanilla ice cream with smoky “barbecue” caramel and cacao nibs.

Caleb Pershan

4. Super Duper Burgers

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721 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 538-3437
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The burgers are good, but the soft serve is also worthy of a visit. Simple but well-done, there are multiple locations around town to snag a treat on a warm day. Choose chocolate, vanilla, or go crazy with a swirl.

5. Uji Time Dessert

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22 Peace Plz #440
San Francisco, CA 94115
(628) 444-3003
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Matcha and black sesame soft serve in a taiyaki cone is not only pleasantly Instagrammable, it’s delicious. Mild but earthy, the matcha and sweet, cakey fish cone are a match made in soft serve heaven. Other rotating flavors include options like lavender.

6. Souvla

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517 Hayes St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 400-5458
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Though this soft-serve is actually frozen Greek yogurt, it makes the cut for its creamy tartness, and selection of fine toppings. Get some swirled into a cup, then top it with sour cherry, pieces of baklava, or Greek olive oil with chunks of sea salt.

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7. RT Rotisserie

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101 Oak St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 829-7086
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The dessert options at RT Rotisserie are simple: A mint chocolate cookie, or soft serve in “milk ice” and chocolate flavors. Get a swirl of both with he optional candied almond topping.

8. Twirl & Dip Soft Serve

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335 Martin Luther King Jr Dr
San Francisco, CA 94118
(415) 205-8261
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It’s an organic soft serve truck, roaming the streets of San Francisco (mostly in Golden Gate Park, though). Vanilla, dark chocolate, and seasonal flavors like fresh mint, strawberry, and fresh ginger are piled onto hand-rolled sugar cones. Don’t skip the dip: Have your flavor of choice dipped into 60.5 percent Tcho chocolate and sprinkled with Maldon sea salt.

9. Honey Creme

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839 Irving St
San Francisco, CA 94122
(415) 298-7913
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This SF location is the South Korean chain’s first US location, where it serves creamy soft serve topped with honey comb. Those less enthused by actual honey comb can order toppings like cotton candy, caramel popcorn, or Himalayan salted dark chocolate.

10. Tartine Manufactory

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595 Alabama St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 757-0007
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It’s not fair: How can Tartine do it all? Inside the bakery and restaurant’s multi-faceted SF Manufactory, they serve some of the richest soft serve imaginable, thanks to jersey cow and water buffalo milk and Carpigiani soft-serve machines. Get it at the pastry counter through the side entrance.

11. Bi-Rite Creamery

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3692 18th St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 626-5600
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One of SF’s most classic soft serves, Bi-Rite’s creamy flavors are worth skipping the hard stuff for. Double 8 Dairy provides the base is the canvas for flavors like balsamic strawberry and greek yogurt. You can also snag some at their Civic Center cafe.

1. Loving Cup

2356 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109

Loving Cup’s non-fat flavors include chocolate, vanilla, or vegan banana. Choose one, and then have your toppings mixed in at one of their three locations. It should be noted that there is also the option of rice pudding, an equally smart choice.

2356 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109

2. Gott's Roadside

San Francisco Ferry Bldg, 1 Vallejo - San Francisco Ferry Building #6, San Francisco, CA 94111
Briana Marie Photography

Dipped cones are everything, and Gott’s has its own stand in the Ferry Building to provide them. Choose from tart, vanilla, Dutch chocolate, fior di latte, coffe, or salted caramel, then have it dipped in cherry, chocolate, peanut butter, or blue raspberry and topped with mochi and sprinkles.

 

San Francisco Ferry Bldg, 1 Vallejo - San Francisco Ferry Building #6
San Francisco, CA 94111

3. Angler

132 The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94105
Caleb Pershan

It’s not exactly a casual trip an ice cream stand, but Angler’s soft serve sundae should be hunted down by soft-serve lovers nevertheless. It’s a signature dessert at this Michelin star restaurant from chef Joshua Skenes: Simple but rich vanilla ice cream with smoky “barbecue” caramel and cacao nibs.

132 The Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA 94105

4. Super Duper Burgers

721 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94103

The burgers are good, but the soft serve is also worthy of a visit. Simple but well-done, there are multiple locations around town to snag a treat on a warm day. Choose chocolate, vanilla, or go crazy with a swirl.

721 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94103

5. Uji Time Dessert

22 Peace Plz #440, San Francisco, CA 94115

Matcha and black sesame soft serve in a taiyaki cone is not only pleasantly Instagrammable, it’s delicious. Mild but earthy, the matcha and sweet, cakey fish cone are a match made in soft serve heaven. Other rotating flavors include options like lavender.

22 Peace Plz #440
San Francisco, CA 94115

6. Souvla

517 Hayes St, San Francisco, CA 94102

Though this soft-serve is actually frozen Greek yogurt, it makes the cut for its creamy tartness, and selection of fine toppings. Get some swirled into a cup, then top it with sour cherry, pieces of baklava, or Greek olive oil with chunks of sea salt.

517 Hayes St
San Francisco, CA 94102

7. RT Rotisserie

101 Oak St, San Francisco, CA 94102

The dessert options at RT Rotisserie are simple: A mint chocolate cookie, or soft serve in “milk ice” and chocolate flavors. Get a swirl of both with he optional candied almond topping.

101 Oak St
San Francisco, CA 94102

8. Twirl & Dip Soft Serve

335 Martin Luther King Jr Dr, San Francisco, CA 94118

It’s an organic soft serve truck, roaming the streets of San Francisco (mostly in Golden Gate Park, though). Vanilla, dark chocolate, and seasonal flavors like fresh mint, strawberry, and fresh ginger are piled onto hand-rolled sugar cones. Don’t skip the dip: Have your flavor of choice dipped into 60.5 percent Tcho chocolate and sprinkled with Maldon sea salt.

335 Martin Luther King Jr Dr
San Francisco, CA 94118

9. Honey Creme

839 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122

This SF location is the South Korean chain’s first US location, where it serves creamy soft serve topped with honey comb. Those less enthused by actual honey comb can order toppings like cotton candy, caramel popcorn, or Himalayan salted dark chocolate.

839 Irving St
San Francisco, CA 94122

10. Tartine Manufactory

595 Alabama St, San Francisco, CA 94110

It’s not fair: How can Tartine do it all? Inside the bakery and restaurant’s multi-faceted SF Manufactory, they serve some of the richest soft serve imaginable, thanks to jersey cow and water buffalo milk and Carpigiani soft-serve machines. Get it at the pastry counter through the side entrance.

595 Alabama St
San Francisco, CA 94110

11. Bi-Rite Creamery

3692 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

One of SF’s most classic soft serves, Bi-Rite’s creamy flavors are worth skipping the hard stuff for. Double 8 Dairy provides the base is the canvas for flavors like balsamic strawberry and greek yogurt. You can also snag some at their Civic Center cafe.

3692 18th St
San Francisco, CA 94110

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