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I am such an idiot. I won’t tell you who, but years back, someone with a thriving restaurant on 18th Street in San Francisco alerted me to a great business opportunity nearby. Food-related, of course. I passed, and now the area is the culinary destination in the Bay Area.

(Aside from the taqueria on Church Street across from the Afeway…)

Although I missed the proverbial boat, I’m glad to see the smart folks at Bi-Rite Creamery scooping up some excellent ice cream in that neighborhood. I sampled just about all of them, from the fruity Cherry-Almond to the most curious Soy Chocolate. There’s a seductive Salted Caramel and a Butter Pecan as well. But my absolute, hands-down favorite scoop was the Mint Chip. Flavored with organic mint oil, it’s a big dose of refreshingly cool mint with big, honkin’ chunks of housemade chocolate chards. Think the best kind of Girl Scout cookies all mashed together and piled in a cone. Yum!

There’s plenty of toppings to choose from at Bi-Rite Creamery, but where there are salty little grains of fleur de sel enrobed in dark chocolate from Michael Recchiuti, why order anything else?

Bi-Rite Creamery
3692 18th Street
San Francisco, CA

(For those who can’t make it to Bi-Rite Creamery, their most popular recipes can be found in their book, Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones.)



    • Mary

    Little bits of salt enrobed in chocolate?! I’m drooling all over myself here.

    • Diva

    So David.. did you weigh yourself before the trip?
    Sounds like a food orgy to me!

    I am on my way back in July.. sushi is first on my list for foods I miss!
    I can make my own burrito’s.. actually can make my own sushi too but the sushi bar experience.. sake.. eating at the bar…
    is what I miss.

    and peanut butter on english muffins for breakfast!

    • Bob

    I know this is completely off the subject, but is there anything one can use in place of lemon zest? I mean something that will give the same lemon flavor!? HELP!!!

    • Michelle

    You know, David, there are many reasons why I read your blog. You seem to be quite charming, you are humorous and entertaining, and you offer lovely baking advice and tips.

    This week, though, I especially enjoy your blog because I am going to San Francisco next week and you have quite a few suggestions of where I might take myself – including the Bi-Rite Creamery. Thank you! I can’t wait to go and tell the boyfriend, who will be spending his week at a conference, how wonderful it is.

    (Although if you could convince the nice people at Chez Panisse to not be completely booked on Friday, that would help me out. The boyfriend and I went on our last trip together and it was so good that we are trying to go back. I suppose this is what happens when you make arrangements at the last minute, though… c’est la vie! Drat their popular hides!)

    • Phoodie

    ooooOOOooo I am so stopping there, after a jaunt to Lush (skin products that smell oh-so-wonderful). However, though the ice cream looks marvelous, what is up with that NAME? Reading the title, I thought you’d gotten stuck at some wierd midwest manufacturing plant. It sounds like the worst kind of 70’s era holdover market, or was there really a market called bi-rite back then? I suppose it’s a testament to the resilience of Bay Area folks that we can boldly tramp past the worst of marketing blunders for really, really, really good food. Don’t forget to stop in Sushi Bistro, on Balboa and 5th! Speaking of Ice Cream, I wish Rick’s Rather Rich was still around in Mountain View, I loved their chocolate with candied oranges and the rosewater & pistachio..yummmmmmmmmmmm.

    • Toni

    I had to laugh……Hands down favorite being mint chip. That was me in 6th grade. No question. Yes, I loved chocolate anything, but the combo of chocolate with mint always sent me over the top! Thanks for a trip down memory lane..

    • connie

    Mmm, Bi-Rite is my latest indulgence. The hubby and I fight over the s’more ice cream pie. So, did you pop into Tartine and/or Delfina?

    • ParisBreakfasts

    Could you please ask the By-Rite Folks to open a shop in New York?
    They’d have the market to themselves except for GROM.
    Or better yet YOU come and open a shop! :)
    Would you believe there’s an ice cream shop in NYC where you CAN NOT see the flavors only a list! UGH

    • Lee Ping Chong

    Hi David,
    I came by from Jaden’s blog (steamy kitchen), I am interested to find out how to make ice cream without ice cream machine. I have a small kitchen and would prefer not to buy another big appliance, if possible. ;)

    • Alice Q. Foodie

    Gak – I can’t believe I was there just a few weeks ago and didn’t know about the ice cream. I will definitely have to pick some up on my next visit. Sounds like you’re having a good time!

    • Ilansrfr

    As an ice cream lover, I will definitely stop for a sampling at Bi-Rite. I have a dear friend who has purchased a copy of “The Perfect Scoop” as well as the Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker for $119. I am the benefactor of every batch of ice cream, if at least a “petit gout”. Thank you for your wonderful collection of one of my “favorites”, ice cream.

    • 2moresheep

    I found your blog by Googling for salted caramel ice cream after I read Patty Unterman’s Bi-Rite review in her newsletter that ex-pat San Franciscans (like me and spouse) can subscribe to. If you improve your recipe after your Bi-Rite experience, please post it. Can’t wait to get my ice cream maker and copy of Perfect Scoop (which Patty also recommended in her newsletter). And can’t wait to go to Bi-Rite next month in SF.


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