Belly Up to the Bar – the Ice Cream Bar in SF

A few weeks ago I saw the “Hot Spot” section in the SF Chronicle and knew my family was going to have to make a pilgrimage to The Ice Cream Bar in Cole Valley.  We had a full day in the city starting with the SFMOMA.  On Sundays they have fun and creative kids crafts and art activities which my kids really enjoyed.  It also gave my husband and I a bit more time to look around at the art we sometimes hurry past because the kids aren’t engaged enough.

Next we headed to Cole Valley.  We realized we were hungry, so we’d have to put have dinner before heading for ice cream.  We found a new favorite for my son, Crepes on Cole.  My son loves crepes.  This was a good pick because of all the choices of sandwiches, salads and crepes.   There was something to please everyone.  They even had almond milk for my daughter – hurray.

Finally it was time to hit the Ice Cream Bar.  There was a small line out the door for this cool neighborhood spot.  Inside there are a few small tables and a bar at the ice cream coolers and another bar in the back.  It’s a bit overwhelming at first.  You have to navigate the system and lines depending on what you order.  Plus keep your eye out for a table or stool.  The front ice cream case is for ordering ice cream, sorbet and sundaes.  The back bar which looks more like an adult bar (lots of bottles and potions and shakers) is for phosphates, floats and egg creams.  Yes, all those old fashioned favorites are hand made here.  The person behind the bar even crushes ice by hand with an old fashioned metal crusher.  I hadn’t seen one since I was a kid.  Luckily my kids got stools and shared a root beer float (homemade rootbeer of course).  My husband and I stood and had scoops of coconut and chocolate ice cream.  It was all very yummy.  I’d love to take my parents back.  My mom talks about ordering phosphates and hanging out at the local soda fountain with her friends.  I have a feeling this is more crowded and hip, but I think it would bring back some tasty memories and stories just the same.

 

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