Best Desserts in San Francisco
We’re Real Sweet on These 9: Best Desserts in San Francisco
It’s easy to get caught up in the swirl of options when you want the best desserts in San Francisco, but the search doesn’t have to sour your mood! This city offers some of the best sweet-tooth satisfaction around, be it ice cream, candy, baked confections, or even a good old-fashioned soda pop. Whether you’re a weekend visitor or a local on the lookout for a new favorite spot, you’ll find everything you need in our list of the best desserts in San Francisco. Fulfill your craving and wear your stretchy pants – trust us, you’ll be glad you brought ’em 😉.
Best Desserts in San Francisco #1
- Location: 2201 Union Street (Check website for other locations)
- Hours: Monday-Thursday 12-9:00 p.m., Friday-Sunday 12-8:30 p.m.
- Must- Try: The Dude Abides
We consider Loving Cup to be one of the best desserts in San Francisco for two main qualities: hand churned and made to order. Soft serve has never tasted so good since it was swirled up fresh just for you. They can churn frozen yogurt or rice pudding, and they can cater it to your event or host you at one of their four (!) different locations around San Francisco. Loving Cup has something everyone can enjoy.
Simply choose your size, flavor, and toppings, and watch as the ingredients are blended right in front of you. The yogurt is gluten-free, cultured, and all-natural — certainly words we don’t usually use when we talk about sweets, but Loving Cup delivers something fresh and unique. Start your sugar search strong with a stop at one of their top-class establishments.
Photo Courtesy @lovingcupsf
Photo Courtesy Yelp
Best Desserts in San Francisco #2
- Location: 446 Columbus Ave
- Hours: Open 24/7!
- Must-Try: Cannoli
We know what you’re thinking: what if I want my sweets at 4am? Or 9pm? Or midnight on Friday and every place is closed and I still need to find the best desserts in San Francisco?! Don’t worry – Stella’s got your back. Not only do they serve some of the most delectable cookies and pastries on the north side of town, they literally never stop serving. You can satisfy your cannoli craving 24/7 at this pastry shop. Oh, Stella. We wish they could all be like you, but we know you’re just a special type of bakery.
Best Desserts in San Francisco #3
- Location: 1290 9th Avenue
- Hours: 12-10 p.m. Daily
- Must-Try: Any Ice Cream Flight
Hometown Creamery: a Sunset essential firmly among the best desserts in San Francisco. They were the first small-batch creamery in San Francisco to produce their ice cream from scratch, and the two owners are both licensed pasteurizers, so their ice cream is about as close as you can get to farm-to-cone dairy. You can taste the freshness in every bite!
The creamery is owned by two brothers, Adar and Saadi Halil, and the flavors rotate on a daily basis, so there’s something new with every visit. Can’t decide on just one? Try them all with their signature ice cream flight! Talk about one of the best desserts in San Francisco 😋
Photo Courtesy San Francisco Hometown Creamery
Photo Courtesy Nick Vasilopoulos
Best Desserts in San Francisco #4
The Ice Cream Bar Soda Fountain
- Location: 815 Cole Street
- Hours: Wednesday-Thursday 3 p.m.-9 p.m, Friday-Saturday 2 p.m.-10 p.m, Sunday 2 p.m.-9 p.m.
- Must-Try: The Root Beer Float or any Remedy
The Ice Cream Bar and Soda Fountain definitely has a unique style for one of the best desserts in San Francisco. We love the idea behind this: a classic, 1930s-style ice cream shop with a full service counter and sodas made on the spot. But there’s much more than just ice cream and soda here. There’s also a full lunch and dinner menu, wine, beer, and even adults-only sodas playfully named “Remedies.” They’re good for the spirit 😉
Chef Lori Rich makes everything in-house, including the dairy-free ice creams and floats for the vegan crowd. If there’s one thing that makes a great eatery, it’s a specialty place that still has something for everyone. Be sure to stop by next time you’re in Cole Valley!
Best Desserts in San Francisco #5
- Location: 740 Valencia Street (Check website for other locations)
- Hours: Sunday-Thursday 7:30 a.m.-10 p.m, Friday-Saturday 7:30 a.m.-10 p.m.
- Must-Try: Frozen hot chocolate with cocoa nib whipped cream
We sure love ourselves some chocolate when we’re bouncing around the best desserts in San Francisco, and we couldn’t be happier to have Dandelion Chocolate so close to us. This bean-to-bar chocolate factory out in the Mission District has come a long way since its initial opening in 2010, and they have full control over the entire chocolate process. They now have a factory where they roast, crack, sort, grind and temper all the beans before molding them into chocolate bars.
They also sell the beans if you want to try and make some of your own chocolate at home, but we know we’re going to leave it to the pros with these artisan chocolates. They also offer factory tours, so if you’re still unsure about this chocolate shop pumping out some of the best desserts in San Francisco, come and see how they do it for yourself! For those looking for a cafe type of experience, we suggest a visit to the Valencia street retail outlet, where you can savor their delicacies in one of San Francisco’s most happening neighborhoods.
Photo Courtesy of @dandelionchocolate
Photo Courtesy of Bi-Rite Creamery on Yelp
Best Desserts in San Francisco #6
- Location: 3692 18th Street (Check website for other locations)
- Hours: Daily a.m.-9 p.m.
- Must-Try: Honey lavender
Soft-served donuts? Yes, please! We’ll take three, and for us, that’s one of the reason we have to choose Bi-Rite Creamery as one of the best desserts in San Francisco. They use local dairy mainly from Strauss family creamery, a north bay business that helps deliver farm-fresh goodness in the shortest distance possible from the source to the scoop.
Another thing we love about this creamery, besides their impeccable selection of baked goods, is the fact that the soft-serve ice cream is made with Double 8 Dairy buffalo milk, which adds a richer flavor due to the higher butter fat content. The Bi-Rite Market itself has been a Mission District staple for nearly 80 years, so it’s only fitting they’d provide us some of the best desserts in San Francisco.
Best Desserts in San Francisco #7
- Location: 1621 Polk Street (Check website for other locations)
- Hours: All Day, Every Day
- Must-Try: The Big Donut
No trip down a sugar-filled lane of best desserts in San Francisco would be complete without a visit to Bob’s Donuts. This is the only spot on the list that comes with its own challenge: Finish a donut in three minutes or less and enter the Hall of Fame. The faster you do it, the bigger the prize. Sound easy? Not so much once you consider the size of your opponent – 10 inches long and standing at a colossal 2.24 inches high, it’s the equivalent of 14 regular donuts. Best of luck.
If you’re not into dessert as an extreme sport, they’ve still got a rich selection of donut classics that have given the Lower Nob Hill neighborhood some of the best desserts in San Francisco since the 1960’s. Pro tip: try the apple fritter!
Photo Courtesy of Hali M. On Yelp
Photo Courtesy of Lisa W. On Yelp
Best Desserts in San Francisco #7
- Location: 303 Columbus Avenue
- Hours: Sunday-Thursday 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday-Saturday 11 a.m.-1 a.m.
- Must-Try: Cookie of the Month with Toasted S’Mores
We sure do love ice cream when we’re out looking for the best desserts in San Francisco, but there’s one thing that takes that up just a notch: Customizable ice cream sandwiches. Great for us, we can head on over to The Baked Bear anytime we need our fix. These aren’t just any ice cream sandwiches, either. They’re behemoths that will ratchet up your calorie count for the next few days (or weeks – but who’s counting, right?)
The company originally opened in San Diego with childhood best friends Rob Robbins and Shane Stanger, and has since grown to multiple locations across California and other states as word spreads about their sweet service. How can you resist two red velvet cookies with cookies and cream ice cream topped with fruity pebbles?? I mean, come on!
Best Desserts in San Francisco #8
Craftsman and Wolves
- Location: 746 Valencia Street
- Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m, Saturday-Sunday 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
- Must-Try: Heart of Manhattan
Did someone say “hickory-smoked chocolate mousse?” That’s right, one of the best desserts in San Francisco isn’t ice cream or donuts, but a special type of cake only Craftsman and Wolves can provide. Their desserts are as beautiful as they are delectable, and they even serve breakfast and lunch on top of their house-made pastries. This contemporary pâttisserie has a rotating menu that keeps people coming back to see what’s on the offering plate for the day.
You can visit either shop on Valencia Street and Yosemite Avenue, or pay them a visit at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market on Saturday mornings. Another bonus with them is their nationwide shipping option off their online store. Send some cookies to your loved ones, or make sure you never lose your fix if you ever end up leaving San Francisco. Either way, Craftsman and Wolves makes sure you have access to a handful of the best desserts in San Francisco anytime.
Photo Courtesy of SanDee W. On Yelp
Photo Courtesy of Sixth Course on Yelp
Best Desserts in San Francisco #9
- Location: 1544 15th Street
- Hours: Thursday-Saturday 1 p.m.-7 p.m. Sunday 1 p.m.-5 p.m.
- Must-Try: A gelato cake
Chocolates and pastries and gelatos, oh, my! The Sixth Course became one of our top choices for best desserts in San Francisco in the Mission District back in 2014, where chef and owner Gianina Serrano created a space to share her love of sweets. This desserts-only shop keeps the environment in mind with their recyclable products and organic, locally sourced ingredients. Freshness is key here, a common theme for our favorite sweet pit stops. They use local Clover Stornetta dairy and Sierra Nevada Cheese for that small-batch, close-to-home goodness in every bite. If you’re all ice-creamed out from all the other options on this list, you can join us over in the truffle section where we’re hoping the calories we consume are empty. Doubtful, but worth a try.
Love Stretchy Pants?
Want to have a real treat of an experience with the best desserts in San Francisco? Don’t worry about getting too wrapped up in all of the options at your fingertips — let us show you some of the hottest spots in the area! We offer a wide variety of San Francisco food tours.
Join our Alamo Square Food Tour to try some of the best local ice cream and chocolate, gaze upon the famous Full House house, and taste the iconic San Francisco sourdough while learning all about what makes it so special — yes, it really does taste different from other sourdoughs! The tour is only a mile long, so kick back, relax, and satiate that sweet tooth while you put those stretchy pants to good use.
STRETCHY PANTS EXPERIENCES
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