Yesterday I had my first paleta in Chicago – spring is officially here! San Francisco is lucky enough to have better weather year-round, and maybe that is the reason it has such a huge artisanal ice cream scene, which we can totally get behind. We wanted to try at least one ice cream shop when here, and Bi-Rite Creamery (3692 18TH ST.) came particularly highly recommended. Bi-Rite was an oasis of ice cream in a pretty residential neighborhood of the Mission, and we knew we were in the right place when we saw the red neon sign and the big line!
The store itself was tiny, and had a line snaking out the door, even at about 7 pm on a Thursday. Bi-Rite is known for its unusual flavors, and has its list of both classic and seasonal flavors posted outside, so you can think about your choice when you wait. I went with the much-lauded salted caramel and the Blue Bottle coffee flavor with almonds and chocolate chips. The classic flavors of honey lavender and Ricanelas cinnamon cookies were popular, and other tasty seasonal flavors included Creme Brulee, Orange Cardamom and Balsamic Strawberry. You can get your flavors in either a cup or cone and even in sundaes with clever names like the “Dainty Gentleman” which consists or honey lavender, sea salt and blood orange.
You can also buy a variety of baked goods like rhubarb pie and cupcakes, ice cream cakes, ice cream sandwiches, Bi-Rite gear and pints to take home. There was a separate counter for soft serve, which was, at the time, empty. Later, we come to find out that they were serving buffalo milk soft serve! Maybe next time… There is also a Bi-Rite gourmet/natural food market just a block away, if you can’t get enough artisanal cuteness. We wish we lived closer to Bi-Rite so we could sample all of the flavors, especially a signature sundae.