Ice Cream in San Francisco

healdsburg farmers market dipticDowntown Healdsburg Farmers Market (one of my fav stops)

A few months ago my husband and I decided to plan a vacation to California to visit wine country and San Francisco.  I was so excited!  I waited patiently and checked off the days until our vacation.  I was excited for many reasons.  I was looking forward to learning more about wine about and tasting wine in the heart of country where it is grown.  I was also excited to visit San Francisco given its notoriety as a food town.

Our vacation finally arrived at the beginning of September.  Needless to say, we ate our way through the vacation.  We filled our stomachs with the food of the season and region.  On the last day of our vacation, we drove South to San Francisco.  One day is definitely not enough to time to explore this city, but we packed our day full of sight seeing and eating.  One of my favorite stops was at the Ferry Building Marketplace, but the highlights of the day were our stops at two famous ice cream shops.

humphry slocombe outside humphry slocombe

The first scoop of the day was found at Humphry Slocombe in the Mission neighborhood of San Francisco.  This scoop served as a pre-lunch snack.  Humphry Slocombe is active on twitter and I receive daily tweets about the crazy flavors and concoctions, so I was very excited to see the place for myself.  Unless you have heard of Humphry Slocombe, you would not guess by its unassuming store front and plain decor that a treasure of ice cream is hidden inside.  Oh but there is – secret breakfast (can you say bourbon?), peanut butter curry, malted vanilla, salt & pepper, strawberry balsamic, chocolate smoked sea salt.  Mmmm.  How could I decide?  I tasted, savored, and tasted again.  I settled on the chocolate smoked sea salt.  My husband ordered the same and paired it with a scoop of peanut butter curry (my second choice).  The consistency of the chocolate smoked sea salt was creamy and dense and full of chocolate flavor with just a hint of smokiness.  The peanut butter curry was sweet, nutty, and complex.

After a full day of driving circles around the city, taking pictures, and stuffing ourselves to the brim, we found room for one more scoop of ice cream at Bi-Rite Creamery.  A trip to this scoop shop placed us back in the Mission neighborhood and in a line that wrapped around the block.  Normally I would not wait 40 minutes for ice cream, but this was my last day in CA and I heard it was worth it.  Locals standing in line said they had never seen the line as long as it was that night (I would not suggest visiting on a holiday weekend).  Before I even reached the front door I knew what flavor I wanted – Salted Caramel.  This flavor is a long time favorite of mine, plus Bi-Rite is apparently famous it.

bi rite creamery salted caramel bi rite creamery

I stepped inside the shop and noticed a small, brightly lit space with a small seating area.  An eclectic mix of pop and techno music was playing in the background and the staff was as quirky as the music (in a good way).  They were friendly and laid back and willing to let me try every flavor, but I chose two – honey lavender and salted caramel.  I had to try the honey lavender because it is a flavor I have made myself, and to my delight the flavor was spot on!  Yeah me:)  The taste of lavender did not sway me from my original choice of salted caramel.  The salted caramel was rich and sweet with a burnt caramel taste.  I think it could have used more salt but it was very tasty.  Very different from other salted caramels I have tried but excellent in its own way.

Both stops are a must if you are visiting the San Francisco area and you love ice cream!

Bi-Rite Creamery
3692 18th Street (@ Dolores)
San Francisco CA 94110

Humphry Slocombe
2790 Harrison St
(between 23rd St & 24th St)
San Francisco, CA 94110


  1. says

    The salted carmel ice cream at Bi-Rite had me hooked from the first lick. I adore it and try to stop there every time I'm in S.F. I love the honey lavendar too, but the salted caramel really gets me. I'm trying to remember what flavors I've had at Humphrey Slocombe. Ah! I remember. It was the Blue Bottle Vietnamese coffee (really nice but a bit one heavy after the first few bites) and the Limoncello which was excellent.

    I'm on vacation in Berlin at the moment, I had a really nice organic pistachio ice cream (eis) the other day. Mmm.

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