The 15 best ice cream and frozen yogurt spots in the South Bay

The 15 best ice cream and frozen yogurt spots in the South Bay
Hand-rolled ice cream at Icicles in Cupertino. Photo: Facebook
By Brianna Richard - Published on October 15, 2021.

Ice cream has a way of making everything better, regardless of how bad your week has been. A giant cone of chocolate goodness is the quickest way to forget about that parking ticket for the time being. Ice cream shops are the kind of places where you leave feeling noticeably better. After all, how could anyone's day not be brightened by some rainbow sprinkles?

The summer heat is here to stay for a little while longer, and that's a great excuse to dive into an embarrassingly large bowl of froyo or ice cream, even if no one really needs one. Here are fifteen outstanding ice cream shops to visit before the weather turns cold. They have it all: froyo, soft serve, gelato, and crazy toppings. Because they're not in any particular order, you might as well go through them all one by one. Screaming is required because they are guaranteed to make you happy and cooler.

Willow Glen Creamery

Best Ice Cream Shops in the South Bay

On any hot day, Willow Glen Creamery's ice cream shop has a line out the door and down the street. But don't worry; the line moves quickly, and the frozen treats are well worth the wait. Willow Glen Creamery, which opened in 2002, wanted to serve ice cream made in the shop and wanted to offer something for everyone. It's difficult to know where to start because there are so many good options. First and foremost, you must try their Dole Whip. They have vegan dole whip that tastes like it came from Disneyland. It's soy-free, dairy-free, nut-free, and vegan. Frozen yogurt, ice cream, shakes, and custard are all delicious! The flavors are interesting and change frequently. You can get your froyo in an awesome hot pink waffle taco shell if you don't want to order it in a cone. All of your Instagram followers will be envious of your photos of this stuff.

Visit WebsiteCall: 4082925961
1100 Lincoln Ave #130, San Jose


Sweet Rendezvous

Leading Ice Cream Near Santa Clara County

Where can you find 52 different ice cream and dessert flavors from around the world? San Jose's Sweet Rendezvous is distinguished from other ice cream parlors by one feature: the teaser. Every order includes a free Sweet Rendezvous teaser. This is how it goes. Step one: choose from one of Sweet Rendezvous' 52 flavors. It's difficult because some flavors, such as Saffron Pistachio, aren't available anywhere else. Step two is to get your free mini ice cream scoop or teaser on top. Try something out of the ordinary, like horchata or macapuno. Let your imagination run wild. Try something you've never considered ordering before. You'll be won over, and you'll want to come back all the time.

Visit WebsiteCall: 4082255004
668 Blossom Hill Rd, San Jose


C.R.E.A.M. (Cookies Rule Everything Around Me)

Top-Notch San Jose Ice Cream Parlors

Dolla Dolla bill y’all! This Wu-Tang-inspired scoop shop with locations in San Jose, Milpitas, and Cupertino as well as Berkeley, Livermore, and San Francisco, has been made famous for its ice cream sandwiches. The concept is straightforward but highly effective. Choose a cookie or other sweet treat for the outside, ice cream for the inside, and any toppings you want to add. The most popular combination is ice cream in the middle with cookies on the outside. However, if you want to mix it up, donuts, brownies, or waffles can be used as the vessel for your ice cream and as the outside of your sandwich. For those with allergies, CREAM offers a variety of vegan and dairy-free options. It's also open until 1 a.m. on weekends, so you can satisfy your late-night ice cream cravings.

Visit WebsiteCall: 4083201519
49 S 1st St, San Jose


Italian Brothers Bakery

Top Ice Cream Shops in the South Bay

Mangiamo! Sandwiches, cakes, and Italian delicacies are popular at Italian Brothers Bakery. There are many things they do well, but the gelato is at the top of the list. Marco and Giacomo, two Italian brothers, make their gelato from scratch with fresh ingredients. The gelato is creamy, smooth, and delicious. Amaretto, pistachio, and oreo are among the most popular flavors. Try the ice cream panini if you like carbs as much as I do. Choose your favorite ice cream flavor and have it sandwiched between two brioche buns with Nutella. It's the ideal warm-weather treat. 

Visit WebsiteCall: 4083201123
1401 W San Carlos St, San Jose


La Original Paleteria Y Neveria

Leading San Jose Ice Creams

If you are planning on visiting La Original Paleteria Y Neveria, you are going to need two things. First, bring some money to this cash-only establishment. Next, bring a cooler, as there are so many kinds of paletas to choose from you will want to take a variety home with you. Paletas are similar to popsicles, but they are far superior to the store-bought variety. They're made by hand and have unique flavors that can't be duplicated. The zapote fruit, for example, has cantaloupe and papaya flavors. Guanabana is a citrusy cross between an apple and a strawberry. Strawberry with cheese, or Queso Con Fresa, has a sweet and salty balance that will make you swoon. Bring your cooler and join us for a paleta every day of the week.

Visit WebsiteCall: 4082028631
273 Willow St, San Jose



Top-Notch Ice Cream Near Santa Clara County

Forget about racking up your electric bill by cooling off in front of the air conditioner. Pennylane is the answer. Gelato, frozen yogurt, sorbet, custard, Italian Ice, and vegan options for those who are dairy-free are all available. Everything is made from scratch in-house. The vanilla cake batter is absolutely divine. Pennylane is the place to go if you've never had the chance to try frozen custard. Regular ice cream is richer, creamier, and thicker than custard. Consider a thin layer of custard inside a cake, but 10 times larger and served in a cone.

Visit WebsiteCall: 4089636080
715 W Hamilton Ave #1130, Campbell


Tin Pot Creamery

Best San Jose Ice Cream Parlors

Tin Pot claims that their ice cream is for your inner child or, if you have one, your actual child. As a result, a trip here ensures that everyone will be satisfied. Tin Pot's ice cream is made from scratch with only the finest ingredients. There are some decadent and unique flavors available here. If you've never been, the maple crumb donut and salted butterscotch are must-tries. The brownie batter is unlike any other if you are dairy-free. Dairy-free ice cream is typically fruit-based and has a texture that is more akin to shaved ice than ice cream. Tin Pot Creamery gets it right, and this chocolatey vegan ice cream is perfectly smooth and rich. Take a trip to the Pruneyard Shopping Center ASAP to try out Tin Pot.

Visit WebsiteCall: 4084128668
1875 S Bascom Ave #370, Campbell



Leading Ice Cream Near Santa Clara County

Scoopzilla is on a whole new level. There isn't anything like it anywhere else. Almost everything here is made from scratch with fresh local ingredients, from the toppings to the ice cream. My personal favorite is the "Genmtatcha Zilla Style." Genmatcha ice cream with marshmallow fluff, matcha, matcha poky, and a sweet cream drizzle, made by hand. Finally, they toast the marshmallow fluff with a blow torch, as if it were roasted over a campfire. The flavors shift with the seasons, ensuring that all of the ingredients are as fresh as possible. They offer a variety of inventive, exciting, and intriguing combinations. This popular scoop shop will quickly become one of your favorites.

Visit WebsiteCall: 4083782733
1600 Saratoga Ave, San Jose



Top-Notch San Jose Ice Cream Parlors

Icicles is the place to go if you want to try rolled ice cream. Choose your own flavor and an ice cream barista will make it right in front of your eyes. The difficult part is deciding on a flavor. There are over 24 to choose from, including vegan-friendly dairy-free options. The ice cream barista will then pour your custom concoction onto a cooling pan after you've chosen a flavor. It will turn into an unforgettable bowl of goodness as it freezes in front of your eyes. The Butterface, a cookie butter ice cream with graham cracker, is a popular flavor. Watching the ice cream baristas rolling your sweet treat is just the right amount of summer entertainment, and it's the ideal place to visit the next time you're looking for a little sugar and a lot of fun. Did I mention they have unlimited toppings?

Visit WebsiteCall: 4083262186
1275 Lincoln Ave #1, San Jose,


Milk + Ice

Top Ice Cream Shops in the South Bay

On Instagram, this place gets a 5/5 for summer treat worthiness. Homemade ice cream, Italian ice, boba, soft serve, and taiyaki are all available at Milk + Ice. Everything is done a little differently here, and it truly distinguishes them from other establishments in the area. A must-try is the gelato ice cream milk tea. Choose up to three gelato flavors and watch as they are blended with milk and tea. It has a thick, milkshake-like texture but isn't overly sweet. Try the taiyaki cones for an extra special gram-worthy treat. Taiyaki are fish-shaped cakes with a waffle-like texture. Fill them with sweet beans, ice cream, and then whatever toppings you want. This well-liked store will keep you coming back all summer.

Visit WebsiteCall: 4088419134
2390 Almaden Rd #30, San Jose


Mister Softee

Leading San Jose Ice Creams

We can't talk about ice cream without mentioning an ice cream truck. If you can, you'll want to track down Mister Softee, an ice cream truck. It's almost impossible to eat this ice cream because it's so pretty. Imagine swirly ice cream piled high on cones and topped with sprinkles and sauces if you close your eyes. In 1956, Mister Softee began as a soft-serve ice cream truck. Over 600 Mister Softee ice cream trucks are now driving through neighborhoods across the country, making people happy. Soft-serve, soda floats, sundaes, and milkshakes have all been perfected by Mister Softee. The location changes on a daily basis, so keep their contact information handy and pay a visit to Mr. Softee on the next hot day.

Visit WebsiteCall: 8885876383


Sweet Retreat

Top-Notch Ice Cream Near Santa Clara County

Look no further, ice cream connoisseurs. Sweet Retreat has a cult following in San Jose that dates back decades. They do things a little differently in this scoop shop. Many ice creams are made with pre-made pastes and bases. Sweet Retreat prefers to make everything from scratch, using recipes developed in-house. Choosing what to order is the most difficult part of visiting Sweet Retreat. Every week, they rotate between 35 standard flavors and five fun flavors. The portions are large, the flavors are delicious, and the ice cream is cold. Sweet Retreat is a whimsical and memorable place to visit.

Visit WebsiteCall: 4086224443
846 Blossom Hill Rd Ste D, San Jose


Vampire Penguin

Best San Jose Ice Cream Parlors

The name Vampire Penguin is more than just a catchy moniker — this location serves the best shaved snow in the area. This is not to be confused with the shaved ice chips doused in sticky blue sugar water. This isn't like anything you've ever seen before. Like ice cream, shaved snow is light, fluffy, and creamy. Penguin Vampys (or visitors to Vampire Penguin) can choose from cotton candy or honeydew melon as a base snow flavor. Vampires can then choose from a variety of creative toppings, such as boba or brownie bits, before finishing with syrup. On their website, Vampire Penguin offers a free storybook about the vampire penguin's adventures. Listen to the audio version on your way there and become a Penguin Vampy for life.

Visit WebsiteCall: 4083244935
10445 S De Anza Blvd Unit 103, Cupertino


Pints of Joy

Leading Ice Cream Near Santa Clara County

A couple of Sunnyvale moms enjoyed making ice cream for their kids that was not only delicious but also healthy. They decided it was the perfect time to bring their sweet creations to the world after losing their jobs due to Covid-19, and Pints of Joy was born. Everything is made by hand in small batches, and they have unique flavors that you must try. Gulab jamun, my personal favorite Indian dessert, has been transformed into ice cream. Pints of Joy values its customers so much that it will buy back your empty ice cream pint for a dollar. Simply wash out your empty pint and write a message on the front, and they'll display it in their shop and give you funds towards another purchase. As if we needed another reason for a return visit.

Visit WebsiteCall: 4084756333
153 E Fremont Ave, Sunnyvale


Rosy Yogurt

Top-Notch San Jose Ice Cream Parlors

Rosy Yogurt is a Los Gatos-based ice cream shop run by a sweet family. Rosy Yogurt offers a variety of frozen yogurt flavors, as well as Lappert's ice cream and shakes. The flavors here change on a daily basis and according to the seasons, making repeat visits exciting and full of surprises. Peanut butter ice cream and plain tart frozen yogurt are two of the most popular flavors. Pineapple Dole Whip is also available at Rosy Yogurt, which is gluten-free, vegan, and all-natural. Because it is healthy, you order the largest size available and eat it guilt-free in place of a meal. One of the best things about Rosy Yogurt is that it doesn't skimp on anything.

Visit WebsiteCall: 4083951150
464 N Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos