Ice cream is more of a lifestyle in San Francisco

There is a man named Kenny that I work with who is quite the Renaissance man – he bakes bread, goes mushroom picking, bikes, and loves ice cream just as much as I do. He has an ice cream classification system that sorts various brands in either New School or Old School. He’s a man that gets me.

I too am just as interested in ice cream especially after just accepting that I work out for the sole reason to eat more of it. I have recently been trying to find a way to classify my ice cream experience just as Kenny has and I think I finally thought it through. Is this the most nerdy thing to ever have been blogged? Let’s see.

Category 1 – Home Style

  • A lot of custards
  • Toppings offered: chocolate sprinkles, rainbow sprinkles, whipped cream from the can,  maraschino cherries, crushed peanuts
  • Potentially offering soft serve
  • Home made but distributed across Bay Area grocers
  • Cake and sugar cones only
  • Example locations: Mitchell’s Ice Cream at the border of Glen Park and Bernal Heights, and Swenson’s Ice Cream in Russian Hill

Category 2 – Nostalgic

  • They call soda “pop”
  • They offer floats and banana splits
  • They have waffle cones
  • Employees wear paper boat hats and white aprons
  • Flavors are modern and made with high quality ingredients
  • There are vegan options
  • Example locations: Ice Cream Bar in Cole Valley

Category 3 – Fashionable

  • Flavor combinations are modern (e.g. lavender vanilla, cardamom cream, strawberry balsamic)
  • Various methods used to create the ice cream like liquid nitrogen
  • Will rarely have cones
  • Might offer a side product
  • Example locations: Loving Cup in Russian Hill, Smitten Ice Cream in Hayes Valley

Category 4 – Modern

  • Probably the most popular in SF
  • High quality ingredients
  • Will use words like “small batch” and “local”
  • Hipsters might work there
  • Waffle cones or cups only
  • Limited topping options
  • Vegan options available (and you bet they’re good)
  • Example locations: Bi-Rite Creamery in the Mission, Humphrey Slocombe in the Mission or Ferry Building, and my current personal favorite, Little Giant Ice Cream in the Financial District

This is just the beginning. Ice cream truly is a life style and with new places like Salt and Straw coming from L.A., there will never be a stop which is fine because I’d much rather talk about this than dating any day. Regardless, I will probably use this as a forward in my life’s manifesto. Keep up with my ice cream journey on Instagram with the hashtag #GenEatsIceCream

Cocoanutz and key lime pie in a waffle cone from Little Giant Ice Cream
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