We love ice cream. But when it comes down to it, we love soft serve even more. And if you’re anything like us, soft serve is basically a weekly necessity. So whether you want a classic chocolate-vanilla swirl or a soft serve sundae topped with boba, this list has tons of great options in SF.
Rich Table’s casual spin-off serves sandwiches, rice bowls, and whole and half chickens - but what you really need to know is they also do creamy, excellent soft serve. Sweet milk flavor is always on the menu, as is one that regularly changes (expect to see things like mandarin orange, cantaloupe, and strawberry sorbet). If you can’t decide between the two, just get it swirled.
Twirl And Dip
You can find the Twirl & Dip truck at the Music Concourse in Golden Gate Park from Thursday to Sunday, 1-5:30pm. On nicer days when the park is busier, you should expect to wait in line - but their creamy, chocolate-dipped vanilla soft serve with chunks of sticky honeycomb candy is worth it.
If you like your soft serve dressed up like it’s going to a dinner party at Mary Crawley’s estate, hit up Angler. Their incredibly smooth soft serve sundae comes together with peppered caramel, smoked salt, and cocoa nibs. It’s an excellent follow-up to a meal that will probably also include antelope tartar and oysters. Angler has outdoor seating, and will open their dining room on Oct. 23rd.
We’re at Matcha Cafe Maiko so often that our phone’s map app now suggests it as a daily destination. Their matcha soft serve is unbelievably smooth and thick, and is even better as a boba sundae drizzled with their house-made kuromitsu syrup. They’re open for takeout at their Japantown, Chinatown, and Stonestown Galleria locations.
Super Duper Burgers
We love stopping by this burger spot for their rich chocolate-vanilla swirl soft serve on a cake cone, and a side of fries for dipping (a combo as old as time). You can currently do the same at all of Super Duper’s locations around the city, except the Montgomery Street spot, which is temporarily closed.
Bi-Rite is a staple for ice cream, and for good reason. They make delicious, drippy soft serve with a buffalo milk base that consistently sends us into a state of pure, unadulterated bliss (and right now, we’ll take all the unadulterated bliss we can get). We love their vanilla, but we love it even more with a chocolate swirl.
Gott’s Soft Serve in the Ferry Building is soft serve at its best. You could stick with a classic chocolate-vanilla swirl and be happy, or get one of their other flavors like fior de latte or salted caramel. Top it with everything from M&Ms to sour gummy worms.
Angelina's Deli Cafe
Angelina’s Deli Cafe does it all - sandwiches, salads, bagels, pastries, and coffee. But the neighborhood cafe in the Outer Richmond stands out for their excellent soft serve, which you can get in a cup or cone and sprinkled with peanuts.
The flavors at this Outer Sunset ice cream spot range from Turkish coffee to pineapple hibiscus sorbet. But if you want your frozen dessert in swirled form (always encouraged), grab a cup or cone of their vanilla soft serve. It’s not as thick as most soft serve and the texture is on the icier side, but it’s delicious nonetheless.
Uji Time does fantastic soft serve and taiyaki, which you can get filled with red bean paste or Nutella. They have a range of seasonal flavors from cherry blossom to Thai tea, as well as standbys like matcha and black sesame. Swirl a couple of flavors, and top it with sprinkles or matcha Pocky sticks.
Loving Cup is a great spot if you’re in the mood for soft serve - and a range of toppings and unique flavors. They use massive drills to blend toppings like Nutella, animal crackers, or strawberries into a frozen vanilla, chocolate, or banana base. If you don’t want to choose your own mix-ins, order one of their combinations - we like the Crunchy Cereal with vanilla and caramel, and the Monster Oreo with vanilla and cookie dough.
Souvla’s tangy frozen Greek yoguanrt is super refreshing on a warm day, and we inexplicably crave it, Pavlov-style, every time the temperature tops 70 degrees. They have four toppings to choose from: baklava, sour cherry syrup, olive oil and sea salt, and honey, all of which are delicious.
If you want a dairy-free version of soft serve, Indie Superette is here for you. The Cow Hollow market has vegan flavors like coconut, oat milk, and matcha (our favorite), which you can top with things like cacao nibs, fruit, granola, and more.