Introducing a new feature for Sparkle Meets Pop: Explore SF! It’s a challenge for me to find the best of San Francisco and report back to you. Any locals with suggestions, let me know. Heck, let’s even go together. :)
A little background: I live just outside of San Francisco and relish a visit over the bridge whenever I can. Yet, it wasn’t always that way. Having grown up across the bridge, I always considered San Francisco to be where you go Christmas shopping, see Phantom of the Opera or take visitors to see Pier 39. My young mind was baffled as to why it was such a vacation destination. My lack of SF knowledge hit its pinnacle when I stared dumbfounded at friends who wanted me to take them to Lombard Street. I hadn’t even known the windiest street in American existed.
There was so little I knew about the city that I was determined to explore it. Over the years I’ve done some fun things, eating amazing food and had some adventures, but there’s always more things to do, eat and see in a city as ever-changing as this one.
Fast forward to last night. My husband and I crossed the bridge to cheer on the SF DogFish, a Major League Ultimate team. (Yes, Ultimate Frisbee is officially legit now.) After the game and some grog and grub at a local pub, we headed to the car to drive back. I was sad to say goodbye to the city after just a few hours of fun, when Matt asked if I wanted to go to that “ice cream place.”
San Francisco is becoming known for its artisan ice creams – like Bi-Rite, Smitten and Humphry Slocombe – but my heart was set on a trip to The Ice Cream Bar. It’s a swanky little ice cream shop and soda fountain complete with soda jerks and phosphate. Without a time machin, The Ice Cream Bar is the closest I can get to living out a scene from my favorite movie, A Date With Judy from 1948. It’s the perfect retro touch, with silver serving dishes and authentic furnishings, but with the modern conveniences of credit cards and vegan-friendly options. Choose from homemade flavors like butterscotch, creme fraiche and chocolate chip almond milk – although flavors do vary by season and availability.
While we were there for ice cream, next time we are definitely going back to the soda fountain where we can get a phosphate with a little sting in it, as Judy’s Grandpa Foster would say.
The Ice Cream Bar
815 Cole St., Cole Valley, San Francisco
Ice cream, soda fountain and classic lunch counter food.
Reasonable prices, attentive service, limited parking, accepts credit cards.