Bi-Rite Creamery: Enticing Missionaries with Cups + Cones

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Ice Cream San Francisco

Bi Rite Creamery & Bakeshop is a sweet spinoff from the nearby market.

The one-block stretch of 18th Street between Dolores and Guerrero probably features more culinary firepower than my entire L.A. neighborhood. Tartine Bakery anchors the eastern end. Delfina, Delfina Pizzeria and Bi-Rite grocery occupy the middle. Our reason for visiting the block: Bi-Rite Creamery, which was a 2006 offshoot of Sam Mogannam’s grocery. They source milk, cream and eggs from Straus Family Creamery near Pt. Reyes, meaning their core ingredients can’t get much better.

Ice Cream San Francisco

The 20-bin display case featured enticing flavors like chocolate coconut, roasted banana and balsamic strawberry.

Ice Cream San Francisco

My cup cradled scoops of brown butter pecan and oatmeal stout ice creams. Bi-Rite sourced Stout of Circumstance from nearby Magnolia brewpub to create the addictive roasted malt flavor.

Ice Cream San Francisco

Crème fraîche is a good test for ice cream, since the focus is on the cream. Bi-Rite’s version was nice and tangy, but it wasn’t as impressive as the adjacent honey lavender scoop, which was floral and intensely flavored. In general, Bi-Rite’s flavors were vivid and distinct.

Ice Cream San Francisco

Bi-Rite Creamery’s signature flavor is salted caramel, for good reason. The creamy combination is just classic. They also produce a good coffee toffee ice cream, using beans from nearby Ritual Coffee Roasters, San Francisco’s best coffeehouse. Unfortunately, there was no indication of which Ritual coffee Bi-Rite used. Ritual, like a lot of the top coffee roasters, source a steady rotation of seasonal single-origin beans. It would be fun to know which bean came into play.

Cookie San Francisco

We also scored a dark chocolate cookie straight from the oven, studded with bacon and only 75 cents. The hot, rich cookie was awesome with ice cream.

Bi-Rite produced my favorite San Francisco ice cream (so far). Of course, at the time of our visit, I still hadn’t been to Humphry Slocombe, which has more experimental flavors, so I wasn’t ready to crown Bi-Rite just yet.

Bi-Rite Creamery: Enticing Missionaries with Cups + Cones


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

Blog Comments

Make sure you get over to the East Bay for Ici as well! I would also recommend Sketch, but their doors are closing in a few days (if not already) as they move to online/catering orders only. So sad.

I’ve heard good things about Ici and Humphry Slocombe. Those will be my next two ice cream stops in the Bay Area.

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