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The New Cool Kids: Ice Cream, Popsicles and More

Just in time for the most beautiful day, here's a lick of good news to go with it. Looks like the city is soon to be even richer in ice cream (and popsicle) shops. Here's the scoop.

Christopher Elbow in Hayes Valley makes some of the most exquisite truffles in the city. I'm always surprised that I don't hear about his shop more often (I wonder if this is a ilttle foodie xenophobia, since Elbow started in Kansas City first; we're very faithful to our own here). The caramel fleur de sel is like drinking caramel; the bananas foster is fun, but perfectly sophisticated. Mr. Elbow is a pro. So I have to assume that his ice cream will be too and word on the street (well, on his Facebook page) has it that he's opening an ice cream shop in May. Looking forward to it.

Opening next Wednesday, hopefully, is Chile Pies and Ice Cream, which SFoodie reported is coming to the city courtesy of the Green Chile Kitchen folks. The shop will include sweet pies (chile-apple pie with cheddar crust), savory pies (New Mexico-style Frito pie), as well as Straus soft-serve frozen yogurt. There's no mention of actual ice cream, but we have to assume that's on the menu too, due to a mention of a "pie milkshake" made with an entire slice of pie blended in. We feel a Big Eat selection for 2011 in the make.

Sfoodie also just reported (they're clearly on a frozen food bender over there at the SF Weekly) on a place we've never heard of called Mandarina's Ice Pops in Hayes Valley on Octavia Street. Mandarina's also sells smoothies and juice. I've always thought a cool little paleta cart would be all nouvelle–street food rage, but I have yet to hear of it. Mandarina, want to make money? Here's the plan: Get some girls dressed up like Peachy Puffs to wander the hills of the park hawking fruity popsicles to hungover hipsters on a hot day—you've got yourself a goldmine.

And last, but not least, Bi-Rite Creamery is back in action after a temporary remodeling and expansion. With 10 stools now, and, as of three days ago, a window where you can order soft-serve ice cream (yesterday's flavors included malted vanilla), the beloved ice cream shop is back and badder than ever. And P.S. Bi-Rite makes popsicles too, so if Mandarina doesn't take my idea, well, then, Bi-Rite, it's all yours.

Any ice cream or popsicle shop openings that I missed here? Let me know!