Hot weather has never been a prerequisite for devouring ice cream in San Francisco. If it were, we’d hardly eat any. July marks National Ice Cream Month, making it the perfect time to indulge in a scoop or three.When it comes to sundaes, local ice cream makers can’t resist experimentation. They use trending ingredients and global inspiration to produce innovative treats. Here are five to check out this summer:
1. Afternoon Snack at Bi-Rite Creamery ($7)
It’s impossible to choose just one flavor from Bi-Rite without sampling the gamut. Fortunately, that’s allowed. Deciding on a sundae is even more difficult with options like the Berry Sundae made with ginger ice cream and berry compote and the Dainty Gentleman with honey lavender ice cream and blood orange olive oil. Nostalgia propels me toward the Afternoon Snack. Intensely fruity roasted banana ice cream is drizzled with caramel and mounded with whipped cream. Nuggets of homemade graham cracker are strewn about, reminding me more of campfires than homework time.
2. Tin Roof at Humphry Slocombe ($5)
A few ingredient substitutions add sophistication to what looks like a classic sundae. It begins simply: stellar vanilla ice cream and hot fudge. Then, ordinary peanuts get swapped for frosted ones, coated in meringue for a candy crunch. A finish of Maldon sea salt cuts through the sweetness.
Photo via Foodspotting
3. Banana Split at The Ice Cream Bar ($9.75)
At this retro spot in Cole Valley, the soda jerks glamorize the banana split by caramelizing each long slice of banana to have crispy, copper exteriors encasing creamy interiors. Two sauces, butterscotch and hot fudge, slide down the scoops of strawberry, milk chocolate, and vanilla ice creams, though you can exchange those for any other flavors. For a double dose of banana, try the banana pudding ice cream with its scattering of housemade vanilla wafers. Strawberries, toasted almonds, and plenty of whipped cream complete this two- to three-person treat.
4. Boba Guys Sundae at Frozen Kuhsterd ($7)
Jason Angeles, who runs the Frozen Kuhsterd truck, has partnered with Boba Guys to create a sundae for bubble tea fans. It starts with almond jelly, followed by Angeles’s lush custard in any flavor you like (flavors are updated via Twitter daily), then boba and condensed milk. The Boba Guys produce the jelly and boba. You’ll find the truck at SOMA Street Food Park and Off the Grid: Serramonte.
5. Ice Spaghetti Pomodoro at La Copa Loca ($5)
This Mission parlor presses its proprietary vanilla gelato into “noodles” to create the pomodoro sundae. Strawberry sauce approximates marinara while white chocolate shavings mimic Parmesan.