Here's The Scoop: SF's 9 Newest (And Upcoming) Ice Cream Shops

After weeks of storms, spring has finally arrived, and with it comes the promise of warmer (and drier) days.

To celebrate, we've rounded up the city's newest and soon-to-arrive ice cream shops, perfect for grabbing a frosty treat on a hot day.

Mission: Garden Creamery
3566 20th St.

Garden Creamery's first brick-and-mortar location opened on January 28th, taking over the former Jocelyn’s Bakery. Since launching her specialty ice cream line in 2011, founder Erin Lang, a native of Hawaii, has gained a loyal following selling frozen treats like vegan sorbets and chocolate-dipped ice cream sandwiches from her red food truck.


Mission Local reports that Lang signed a 10-year lease for the new space last year. The 1,100-square-foot outpost features a kitchen in the back, fitted with a pasteurizer that allows Lang to craft small batches of ice cream in-house.

Mission: Smitten Ice Cream
904 Valencia St. 

Smitten Ice Cream, which already has several locations around town, celebrated its grand opening in the Mission on March 23rd, kicking off its first day with a "pay-what-you-will" event with all proceeds going to La Cocina, a culinary incubator for low-income women and immigrants. 

Smitten's new location features its original prototype Brrr machine and red wagon. | Photo: Smitten Ice Cream/Facebook

Founder Robyn Sue Fisher got her start in the Mission back in 2009, churning out ice cream made with liquid nitrogen using her prototype Brrr machine, which is now on display at the new location. 

For the first few weeks, she'll be offering flavors created with the help of other Mission businesses, like Dandelion Chocolate's Mission hot chocolate and Mission Cheese's apricot and chevre. 

SoMa: Steep Creamery and Tea 
270 Brannan St.

Steep Creamery and Tea, a spinoff of Steep Coffee and Tea (240 Ritch St.), softly opened on Monday. Alongside boba beverages and matcha teas, it's offering Thai-style rolled ice cream, with traditional options like Cookie Crush (made with cookies and chocolate ice cream), as well as tea-infused flavors like Original Oolong and MyThai (Thai tea ice cream).

Photo: Steep Creamery and Tea/Facebook

Inner Sunset: Let's Roll Ice Cream
1152 Irving St.

With an assist from our dedicated tipsters, we discovered that the Inner Sunset's JJ Ice Cream shuttered back in October. It's now been replaced by Let's Roll Ice Cream, which, like Steep, specializes in pan-rolled frozen treatsYelper Daniel S. reports that the shop is currently serving Bud's ice cream until its rolling machine arrives. 

Photo: Daniel S./Yelp

The menu will soon include options like the Funky Monkey, featuring Nutella and banana, and the 3x's Berries, a concoction that includes strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries.

Soon To Come

Japantown: UJI Time
22 Peace Plz. (#440)

Berkeley-based dessert shop UJI Time is expanding to Japantown's Peace Plaza complex. While an employee in Berkeley tells us that an opening date has not been set, the new shop is aiming to softly open in mid-April, taking over the space currently occupied by boba cafe Mitsu Teahouse.

Photo: Gavin M./Yelp

UJI Time is known for its modern Japanese desserts, including soft-serve ice cream, mochi and taiyaki (fish-shaped pastries filled with red bean paste or Nutella). You can also enjoy matcha or black sesame soft serve in a taiyaki cone.

Potrero Hill: Milkbomb
1717 17th St. 

Thanks to proprietors Jan-Michael Manuel and Marion Valenzuela, dessert aficionados no longer have to choose between two classic treats. Opening in the former brick-and-mortar location of Twirl and DipMilkbomb will offer donuts filled with ice cream flavors like horchata, Vietnamese coffee, and ube (purple yam). 

Photo: Milkbomb/Facebook

The duo is planning to open in the summer, but Valenzuela hopes that the shop will be ready before then. 

Hayes Valley & Pacific Heights: Salt & Straw
2201 Fillmore St. | Hayes & Laguna

Portland's Salt & Straw is bringing not one, but two new ice creameries to San Francisco. The first outpost will open in spring, taking over the former Evolution Fresh location on Fillmore Street.

While the specific address of the second outpost hasn't been specified, we think it's headed to the five-story mixed-use development on the northeast corner of the Hayes & Laguna intersection. 

Photo: Salt & Straw/Facebook

Salt & Straw, which also has locations in Los Angeles, is known for its unusual flavors, which include rose water, saffron, and pistachio; blue cheese and pear; and avocado and strawberry sherbet. For the less adventurous, vanilla, Woodblock chocolate, and sea salt caramel are also options.

Castro: The Castro Fountain
554 Castro St. 

This new ice cream shop and soda fountain, from the team behind Cole Valley's The Ice Cream Bar, is taking over the previous home of L'Occitane. Like the Ice Cream Bar, it will combine a scoop shop with an old-fashioned soda fountain and bakeshop.

The storefront of the Castro Fountain in 2016. | PHOTO: STEVEN BRACCO/HOODLINE

We previously reported that the Castro Fountain would open sometime in the fall/winter of 2015, which was then moved back to the end of 2016. The fountain remains delayed because of issues obtaining permits from various city agencies, as Pries explained in our recent feature on retail vacancies in the Castro. However, she hopes to open within the next few weeks. 

Do you know of any other new ice cream shops on their way to the city? Leave a comment below, or text us at (415) 200-3233.

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