Freeze! Here’s the Scoop on the Best Ice Cream in Oakland, Walnut Creek, Berkeley & Beyond
Guess who has the scoop on the best ice cream in Oakland and Walnut Creek and everywhere in between? We do! And we are willing to share…
That’s right, we have taken our licks and discovered a sweet cross-section of creative gourmet creameries for adventurous foodies and family parlors for ice cream traditionalists.
Check out these favorites, which are listed alphabetically and not ranked by their deliciousness – because, well, they all are heavenly!
Cookiebar is a small East Bay chain that creates outrageous flavors like Fruity Pebbles and “1606” (peppermint, house-made cookies ‘n cream cookies, Oreos, and chocolate fudge). For the more sophisticated palate, menu items have included Toasted Black Sesame and Calamansi Sorbet. And, as the name promises, they have fresh baked cookies, too. 517 8th St., Oakland and 647 Central Ave., Alameda.
>> Wanna live close enough to stroll to one of these ice cream shops?
Cream is a small chain that specializes in ice cream sandwiches, tacos, sundaes, and shakes. Customers can create the perfect ensemble by picking a favorite cookie (or brownie, donut, waffle “taco shell,” etc.), ice cream, and topping. Locations include Berkeley, Oakland, Alameda, Walnut Creek, Concord, and Livermore.
Curbside is a hometown scoop shop in Oakland’s popular Temescal Alley. Curbside is well known for a menu that includes vegan selections made with cashew milk and for its creative ice cream sandwiches (cinnamon on snickerdoodles…yum!) 482 49th St., Oakland.
Fentons has more than 120 years of ice cream experience and is a beloved Bay Area institution. 4226 Piedmont Ave., Oakland and 1669 E. Monte Vista Ave., Vacaville.
Guanatos is a family-owned company whipping up fruity flavors of Mexican-style ice cream in Contra Costa County. Some family recipes go back 80 years! Flavors range from cookie dough to chongos zamoranos (sweet curdled milk with cinnamon) and lucuma (a South American super fruit). Locations in Bay Point and Oakley.
iScream in Berkeley uses seasonal organic ingredients, including dairy from Marin County’s Straus Creamery. Their popular small-batch ice creams are made daily. 1819 Solano Ave., Berkeley.
7. Little Giant
Competing for the title of best ice cream in Oakland is Little Giant. Located in Uptown, this stylish shop serves ice cream made from locally sourced ingredients (Clover Stornetta Farms in Petaluma). Bonus: The glass-enclosed kitchen allows your kiddos to watch the Little Giant team craft new flavors. 1951 Telegraph Ave., Oakland.
Loard’s is a longtime chain that has been scooping ice cream and making classic sundaes since 1950. Visit shops in Alameda, Castro Valley, Moraga, Livermore, and San Leandro.
Lottie’s makes small-batch treats and changes up the flavors frequently, so keep going back to see what’s new on the blackboard. 1414 N Main St., Walnut Creek and 145 E Prospect Ave., Danville.
Nieves Cinco de Mayo is where you go to taste what a true mom-and-pop shop has to offer. Located at the Fruitvale Public Market, Luis Abundis serves his sweet ice creams and traditional Mexican treats, such as sandia-loca (a.k.a. crazy watermelon) and mangonada (a sweet/sour/spicy drink made with mango, mango sorbet, chamoy sauce, chili powder, and ice). 3340 E 12th St., Oakland.
Every scoop has been hand-churned and frozen in Smitten’s one-of-a-kind, patented “Brrr” ice cream machine that uses a liquid nitrogen process. Cookie dough ice cream with pretzels and chocolate chips? Yes, please! Smitten keeps its flavors current and recently introduced its new “MVP” flavor created in honor of Madam Vice President Kamala Harris. It’s a combo of Malted salted Vanilla ice cream and chewy pecan Pralines served in a custom pint container. 5800 College Ave. in Oakland.
Tara’s offers artisan flavors like Kaffir Lime Leaf and Tasmanian Honey (and, of course, plain ol’ chocolate). 4731 Telegraph Ave. in Oakland and 3173 College Ave. in Berkeley.
Tucker’s has been serving scoops on Alameda island since 1941. The all-time favorite? Salted Butter Caramel. Other featured flavors have included Red White and Blueberry (created for the USCGC Stratton commissioning ), Lemon Custard, and Maple Bacon. 1349 Park St., Alameda.
Ready for an explosion of quirky flavors and colors like blue vanilla cookies n cream or banana rocky road? Visit the Berkeley shop or get it delivered straight to your door. 2079 University Ave., Berkeley.
Vegans rejoice! There’s cold creamy stuff for you, too. Mr. Dewie’s makes all the classics plus some creatives like Tumeric Spice. Lots of locations: 1116 Solano Ave., Albany; Emeryville Public Market at 5959 Shellmound St.; 4184 Piedmont Ave., Oakland; 4239 Park Blvd, Oakland.
Join the Bay Area connoisseurs who know that the best small batch ice cream comes from a retro cart outside the Albany Twin theater on weekends. Randy’s was started by chef Brandon Nguyen, who plays with flavors like Vietnamese coffee, mango coconut rice, and popcorn salted caramel. 1115 Solano Ave., Albany.
Ready for something different? Uji Time scoops and soft serves come in a fish-shaped taiyaki cake or waffle cone. Try ice cream flavors like matcha, black sesame, passion fruit, and red velvet. Locations include 2705 Stoneridge Dr., Pleasanton; 2575 Telegraph Ave., Berkeley; 6193 Jarvis Ave, Newark.
Which place is your fav? Did we leave it off our list? Leave a comment below.
>>Read More: Best Brunching in Oakland
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