No matter what kind of frozen treat you’re looking for, you’ll find it in San Francisco’s East Bay. Oakland and Berkeley are home to many ice cream parlors, gelaterias, and more, each offering their unique twist on the quintessential warm weather dessert. Check out our favorite spots for ice cream in the East Bay. Did you know – Culture Trip now does bookable, small-group trips? Pick from authentic, immersive Epic Trips, compact and action-packed Mini Trips and sparkling, expansive Sailing Trips.
Located just blocks away from the Berkeley University campus, CREAM is a favorite among college students and anyone else on a budget. It’s cash only, so bring a few dollars and you can get a huge scoop of ice cream sandwiched between two warm, gooey cookies for only two dollars. At peak hours, the line can stretch around the block, but the people at CREAM are experts at serving a hungry crowd with lightning speed. While you wait, you can decide how you’ll customize your sandwich — and with 10 kinds of cookies and dozens of ice cream flavors available, there’s plenty to choose from!
Tara’s Organic Ice Cream
Fenton’s Creamery has a distinct 1920s ice cream parlor feel and is famous for its over the top sundaes – think massive scoops of ice cream swimming in sauces and toppings. If you think you can handle it, chow down on the Fenton’s Special, a tall glass filled with alternating layers of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry ice cream, along with generous helpings of hot fudge, caramel sauce, and strawberries. If you’re not quite that hungry, try a simple sundae with one or two scoops of ice cream and your favorite topping.
If you want to feel decadent without shelling out a lot of money, head to Gelato Firenze, located just a short walk from the Oakland’s popular Grand Lake neighborhood. With flavors like pomegranate, lavender, hazelnut, and amaretto, this place represents a perfect mix between classic Italian flavors and new inventive ones. If you’d rather enjoy Firenze’s gelato in the comfort of your own home, you can even buy a pint.
Nieves Cinco de Mayo
Nieves Cinco de Mayo, a family owned ice cream spot located in Oakland’s Fruitvale district, offers mouth-watering treats with a Mexican twist. If you’re in the mood for a traditional Mexican dessert, try the Mangonada, with fresh mango, chili, and lime with mango sorbet, shaved ice, and a straw coated with mango-chili paste. If spice isn’t really your thing, you can’t go wrong with a snow cone or milkshake, both of which come in common varieties like vanilla and strawberry as well as Mexican flavors like hibiscus, tamarind, and sweetened milk.