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With a cult like following and lines wrapping around the block, Bi-Rite is a San Francisco staple. Offering a wide range of flavors, the Bi-Rite Creamery and Bake shop's menu uses only organic and local goods. Along with the staples like chocolate, vanilla and mint chip, Bi-Rite offers an eclectic mix of seasonal scoops like honey lavender, salted caramel, and tangerine. Whether seated at the wooden bar inside the tiny shop or lounging below the palm trees outside, this is a great place to taste a variety of sweets.
Mr. & Mrs. Miscellaneous is an ice cream shop that was opened in 2010 and quickly gained fans. Located in the Dogpatch, the ice cream menu changes daily, but you can check their Facebook page to see what they're serving. The shop also sells a whole array of freshly baked sweet treats like cookies, muffins and brittle.
Founded in 1955 by Lee and Ted Hanson and later bought over by Mei and Charlie Wu, Polly Anne ice cream is famous for their exotic flavors. Mei and Charlie, being from Taiwan, have added a touch of Asian flavor to their list like lychee, green tea and red bean. Their clients are not only locals but also a number of students and tourists alike. They have got a list of over 500 flavors, but if you find it a mind boggling task to select one, the staff is ever happy to create a flavor of your choice as well. For some excitement you can try the wheel of fortune that chooses the flavor for you, so if you feel lucky try it.
Caffe Sport is a popular North Beach establishment patronized by celebrities, tourists and locals. The restaurant is vibrant and artistic. Majolica tiles and brightly-colored paint cover tables, benches and walls. Folklore-inspired knick-knacks hang to the left and to the right. It specializes in Sicilian cuisine, offering a variety of pasta and seafood dishes. The pasta is topped with gourmet goodies like Italian cheeses, shrimp, scallops, lobster, zucchini and garlic. With seafood stew, steamed mussels and chilled crab salad available, fish lovers will have a hard time deciding what to order.
Got a craving for some authentic deep dish pizza? This hip, fresh joint has food of tantalizing tastes to satisfy even the most jaded pizza enthusiast. Try the Mediterranean chicken pizza, or try the vegetarian pizza, which will have you converted in no time. Little Star also offers thin crusts, which are, honestly, just as good as the incredibly taste-infused deep dishes for which they are famous. With minimalist decor and a blaring jukebox to boot, Little Star will have you hooked.
They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so then it is logical to do breakfast right. To experience this, the Pork Store Café is a place to be. Though small in dimension, the food here is huge. Every plate served is colossal, and, more importantly, delicious. It touts lots of meat on the menu (it's called the Pork Store, after all.) Ham, bacon, sausage, chops, all served with eggs, potatoes, toast and endless cups of strong coffee is served up by the friendly wait staff. If you are not feeling carnivorous, order a short stack of pancakes, omelet, French toast, or a veggie and tofu scramble. Sit at a window table or choose a stool at the counter, where you can watch all that fabulous food being prepared.
Using locally produced products from Straus Organic Dairy, Humphry Slocombe is a unique ice-cream shop located in the Mission district of San Francisco. This funky little shop serves up some of the wackiest flavors, including old Hebrew ale, foie gras, butterbeer, candied ginger, government cheese and many other odd but delicious icy concoctions. With over 75 flavors created, 10-12 are usually available in the shop and rotated often. They are also partnered with various restaurants and shops around the city, so getting your hands on some Humphry Slocombe ice-cream is rather easy.
It doesn't get more authentic than this classic soda fountain that dates back to 1918. The place was last remodeled with linoleum floors and cozy booths right after WWII, and the Christakes family, which has owned it from the beginning, has not seen a need to change anything since. It is a place where teenyboppers swooned over Frank Sinatra while sipping the same strawberry sodas you can order up today. Virtually everything on the menu is made in-house and from scratch, including the mayonnaise on the egg salad sandwiches, the ice cream and syrups in the sundaes. The homemade soups are a local institution with the patrons who range from students new to old-timers who have been coming here since it was (relatively) new.
This is a happy hybrid selling delectable indulgences and collectible, pop-culture toys. Nothing can compare to savoring a slice of pumpkin cheesecake while simultaneously gloating over finding a fire-breathing wind-up Godzilla or a complete miniature set of the South Park gang. The toys cover the walls, shelves and windows of this turquoise-blue Victorian, while the treats occupy display counters in this whimsical enterprise for grown-ups still in touch with their inner kid. There is both table and booth seating for about 20. Double Rainbow ice cream, Just Desserts baked goods, as well as coffee, hot chocolate and tea are served.
Since 1959, this old-fashioned soda fountain has been serving homemade ice cream and all-American grill items. It only makes the classics, things such as hamburgers, hotdogs, and milkshakes. Sit at the retro ice cream counter and enjoy thick chocolate malts and banana splits, '50s style. The atmosphere has not changed much since Joe's opened way back when. Unique ice cream flavors that reflect the neighborhood include azuki bean, green tea, and Irish coffee, but fear not, it also makes all the usual flavors like chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. The service is terrific.
This ice cream parlor combines the best of Italy and China. The result is an ingenious Italian gelato with spicy Chinese flavors. It's definitely worth the trek to this establishment. Neighborhood teenagers bop to the overhead Chinese pop music and visit with their friends. The atmosphere is funky, fun and loud. Musky mango, lychee and java fruit are a few of the unusual flavors offered. For the less adventurous, there are a few traditional options including raisin rum and vanilla. The establishment does not accept credit cards, so please carry cash.
Patxi's (pronounced "Pah-cheese") is for those who love good old deep dish pizzas with gooey cheese, and a variety of toppings. Bill Freeman and Patxi Azpiroz have been serving up yummy pies since 2004 at this casual and stylish joint. Choose from a list of specialty- and stuffed Chicago-style pizzas topped with a special homemade tomato sauce. You can even create your own pizzas or opt for a crunchy salad. Wash your meal down with a cool beer or some smooth wine!