Best Desserts in San Francisco

Satiate Your Sweet Tooth With the Best Desserts in San Francisco

It’s easy to get caught up in the swirl of options when you’re searching for the best desserts in San Francisco, but it doesn’t have to be that stressful! We know this city offers some of the best food, drinks, and desserts in the whole state, if not the whole country, and we pride ourselves on a lot of the quality products that come through these city walls!

Whether you’re in for a long weekend or a local with an eye open for a new favorite spot, we’ve put together a list of some of the best desserts in San Francisco. We’re sure any sugar craving you have will thank you at any of the following locations.

Best Desserts in San Francisco #1

Loving Cup 

  • Location: 2201 Union Street (Check website for other locations)
  • Hours: Monday-Thursday 12-9:30 p.m., Friday-Sunday 12-10:30 p.m.
  • Must- Try: The Dude Abides

When thinking about the Loving Cup when we consider the best desserts in San Francisco, two qualities stand out for us here that make this different than a lot of other places: hand churned and made to order. That’s right, soft serve has never tasted as fresh as it does when it’s ordered from the Loving Cup. From frozen yogurt to rice pudding, from catering to the ability to visit them in 5 different locations around the San Francisco area, the Loving Cup has something everyone can enjoy.

Simply choose a size, pick a flavor, decide on some add-ins, and watch as the ingredients are all blended together to give you a creation you won’t be able to taste anywhere else. The yogurt is gluten-free, cultured, and all-natural — certainly words we don’t usually think of when we think of sweets, but the Loving Cup knows how to deliver, which is why they claim their spot as one of the best desserts in San Francisco.

Best Desserts in San Francisco - Loving Cup

Photo Courtesy @lovingcupsf 

Best Desserts in San Francisco - 20th Century Cafe

Photo Courtesy @20thcenturycafesf 

Best Desserts in San Francisco #2

20th Century Cafe

  • Location: 198 Gough Street
  • Hours: Wednesday-Friday 8 a.m.-5p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Must-Try: Strudelach 

We are all about European-inspired sweets, especially when we’re on the hunt for the best desserts in San Francisco. Fortunately, for us, we can head on over to the 20th Century Cafe anytime we need our fix — especially if we’re really hungry and craving a meal on top of it! We know we love all the sweet treats here, but that doesn’t stop us from cruising on over to the entree side of the menu, either. 

Founded in 2013 by chef and owner Michelle Polzine, we must admit, we are totally here for the honey cake! Folks usually enjoy the retro-themed cafe space that’s ambient yet energetic, and we love the blend of local California ingredients mixed with the European-based flavors. Even though this is a great spot to taste some of the best desserts in San Francisco, the savory dishes and fresh loaves of bread add another dose of flavor to this amiable little cafe. 

Best Desserts in San Francisco #3

Hometown Creamery

  • Location: 1290 9th Avenue 
  • Hours: 12-10 p.m. Daily
  • Must-Try: Any Ice Cream Flight

There’s way more than one reason we head over to Hometown Creamery anytime we’re on the lookout for the best desserts in San Francisco. For one, they were the first creamery in San Francisco to produce their small-batched ice cream from complete and total scratch. For two, they’re about as close as you can get for farm-to-cone ice cream, and with their no-shortcuts-taken approach, the freshness is evident in every bite!

The creamery is owned by two brothers, Adar and Saadi Halil, and the flavors rotate on a daily basis. That’s yet another reason we hail this as one of the best desserts in San Francisco, because there’s something new with every visit. Plus, their environmentally-friendly compostable cutlery and napkins don’t hurt, either. Neither does the fact that they offer an ice cream flight that helps when you can’t decide on a flavor. 

Best Desserts in San Francisco - Hometown Creamery

Photo Courtesy San Francisco Hometown Creamery

Best Desserts in San Francisco - Ice Cream Bar Soda Fountain

Photo Courtesy Nick Vasilopoulos

Best Desserts in San Francisco #4

The Ice Cream Bar Soda Fountain

  • Location: 815 Cole Street 
  • Hours: Sunday-Thursday 12-10 p.m., Friday-Saturday 12-11 p.m.
  • Must-Try: The Root Beer Float, or any Remedy

The Ice Cream Bar and Soda Fountain definitely has one of the more unique styles when considering the best desserts in San Francisco. We love the idea behind this one — a classic, 1930s-style ice cream shop with a full service counter and sodas made on the spot. But there’s oh so 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.”

If dietary restrictions are something on the back of your mind when you’re scrolling through the best desserts in San Francisco, make note of the vegan-based ice creams served at The Ice Cream Bar. Chef Lori Rich creates everything in house, and their modern-day thought process combined with the old-fashioned soda fountains make for an experience in and of itself.

Best Desserts in San Francisco #5

Dandelion Chocolate

  • Location: 2600 16th Street (Check website for other locations)
  • Hours: 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Daily 
  • Must-Try: Kokoa Kamili Chocolate Bar

We know we love us 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 they’re hand-molded into the 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!

Best Desserts in San Francisco - Dandelion Chocolate

Photo Courtesy of @dandelionchocolate

Best Desserts in San Francisco - Bi-Rite Creamery

Photo Courtesy of Bi-Rite Creamery on Yelp

Best Desserts in San Francisco #6

Bi-Rite Creamery 

  • Location: 3692 18th Street (Check website for other locations)
  • Hours: Daily 8 a.m.-9 p.m.
  • Must-Try: Blood Orange Sherbet 

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 just had a remodel and reopening in 2019, and they continue to provide us with incredible ice cream that often showcases the in-season fruits harvested nearby.

Another thing we love about this creamery, besides their impeccable selection of baked goods, is the fact that the ice cream is made with Double 8 Dair buffalo milk, which helps add a more rich 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

Bob’s Donuts 

  • 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 over at 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, 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, which is 10” long, 2.24” inches high, and is nearly the equivalent of 14 of one of their regular donuts. Best of luck.

If you’re not as into the challenge, they’ve still got a rich selection of donut classics that has given the Lower Nob Hill neighborhood some of the best desserts in San Francisco since the 1960’s. Outside of their giant donut, their most known for their must-try apple fritter.

Best Desserts in San Francisco - Bob's Donuts

Photo Courtesy of  Hali M. On Yelp

Best Desserts in San Francisco - Baked Bear

Photo Courtesy of Lisa W. On Yelp

Best Desserts in San Francisco #7

Baked Bear 

  • Location: 303 Columbus Avenue 
  • Hours: Sunday-Thursday 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday-Saturday 11 a.m.-12 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 take up your calorie count for a few days (or weeks, sometimes we shudder to look.)

The company originally opened in San Diego with childhood best friends Rob Robbins and Shane Stanger, but has grown outward into multiple locations across California and other states, but that doesn’t stop it from giving us some of the best desserts in San Francisco. It’s hard to resist the opportunity to bookend 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-Thursday 7 a.m.-5 p.m., Friday until 6 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Sunday until 5 p.m.
  • Must-Try: Poppy Seed Cake

The best desserts in San Francisco aren’t always ice cream and donuts, and Craftsman and Wolves proves just that. They have two different locations serving 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.

Best Desserts in San Francisco - Craftsman and Wolves

Photo Courtesy of SanDee W. On Yelp

Best Desserts in San Francisco - Sixth Course

Photo Courtesy of Sixth Course on Yelp

Best Desserts in San Francisco #9

Sixth Course 

  • Location: 1544 15th Street 
  • Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 2 p.m.-10 p.m.
  • Must-Try: A gelato cake

Chocolates and pastries and gelatos, oh, my! The Sixth Course is one of our top choices for best desserts in San Francisco whenever we’re craving any of those. This dessert boutique started off 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, which is yet another reason it provides the best desserts in San Francisco. 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 it all the same.

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 culinary experiences and food walks, but if it’s your sweet tooth that’s itching for a fix, we definitely recommend joining us one of our food walks. 

Without spoiling too much about the tour itself, participants can expect 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 incredible — and yes, it really does taste different than other sourdoughs! The walk is around two hours and is only a mile long, so kick back, relax, and satiate that sweet tooth while you pull out those stretchy pants and join us for a sugar rush!

Andrew J. Stillman 

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Due to COVID-19 and San Francisco’s Shelter in Place order we are temporarily closed through August 2020. Currently, we are due to open in Phase 4. If you have an existing reservation, please contact us for rescheduling. If you would like to support us, please purchase a gift card.  For the latest updates, recipes and more please join our newsletter! We look forward to serving you again one day soon.

Cheers,

Kara & Ruby