5 essential ice cream spots near BART

We can try to blame it on the sun, but let’s be honest: That sweet tooth longs for ice cream, rain or shine. Sometimes you want a fancy flavor conjured by an alchemist devising unlikely combos; sometimes you just want a fat scoop of a simple one-word classic. Whether you crave a trendy or traditional cool-down, you’re in the right place because these BARTable ice creameries around the Bay will keep your cup or cone more than half full.

Smitten Ice Cream

Smitten Ice Cream

Smitten Ice Cream is located at 5800 College Ave. in Oakland, a 2-minute walk from Rockridge Station. Another BARTable location is at 3545 Mt. Diablo Blvd. in Lafayette, a short walk from Lafayette BART Station. Photo courtesy of Smitten Ice Cream. 

Yes, you’ll be smitten with these seasonal scoops and the story behind them. The owner of this ice creamery first started churning made-to-order servings out of a Radio Flyer Wagon on the streets of San Francisco in 2009. Now the Smitten next to Rockridge Station earns lines for its liquid nitrogen-frozen sweets.

Humphrey Slocombe

Humphrey Slocombe

Humphrey Slocombe is located at 1 Sausalito in San Francisco, inside the San Francisco Ferry Building. It’s a 4-minute walk from Embarcadero Station. Photo courtesy of Humphrey Slocombe.

Harvey Milk and Honey Graham. Elvis (The Fat Years). Jesus Juice Sorbet. If those names of Humphrey Slocombe flavors don’t give you an idea of the ice creamery’s innovative tendencies, we don’t know what will. This San Francisco spot nestled in the Ferry Building off Embarcadero Station makes icy surprises out of things like prosciutto.

Nieves Cinco de Mayo

Nieves 5 de Mayo

Nieves Cinco de Mayo is located at 3340 E. 12th St #2 in Oakland, an 8-minute walk from Fruitvale Station. Picture courtesy of Dave Cook, Flickr.

It’s a beloved family-owned dessert hot spot near Fruitvale Station. When we say hot spot, we mean it: mango-chili paste and other Mexican influences make their spicy way into some of Nieves Cinco de Mayo’s classic cold sweets (try the mangonada). Hit up the Fruitvale Public Market for this small operation with a big following. 

Bi-Rite Creamery

bi-rite creamery

Bi-Rite Creamery is located at 3692 18th St. in San Francisco, a 10-minute walk from 16th St. Mission Station. Photo courtesy of Bi-Rite Creamery.

Sitting alongside baked goods, the small-batch organic ice cream made by hand at Bi-Rite Creamery is a standard for sunbathing crowds across the way at Dolores Park. When you want a sundae featuring chocolate ice cream with blood orange olive oil and sea salt, you’ve come to the right artisanal place.

John’s Ice Cream

John's Ice Cream

John’s Ice Cream is located at 2204 Shattuck Ave. in Berkeley, a 2-minute walk from Downtown Berkeley Station. Pictured: chocolate ice cream and ube (purple yam). Photo courtesy of John's Ice Cream.

John’s keeps it real and simple with big servings at ultra-friendly prices. With a price of $1.50 a scoop, it’s no wonder this Downtown Berkeley Station neighbor lures lines. Here you’ll find the bright hues of its ube (purple yam) flavor, a standard crowd pleaser, alongside other exotic tastes and old-school classics. 

1. Smitten Ice Cream

5800 College Ave.
Oakland, CA 94618
Nearest BART Station: 
Rockridge (Oakland)
Walking time: 
2 minutes

2. Humphrey Slocombe

1 Sausalito
San Francisco, CA 94111
Nearest BART Station: 
Embarcadero (SF)
Walking time: 
4 minutes

3. Nieves Cinco de Mayo

3340 E. 12th St #2
Oakland, CA 94103
Nearest BART Station: 
Fruitvale (Oakland)
Walking time: 
8 minutes

4. Bi-Rite Creamery

3692 18th St.
San Francisco, CA 94110
Nearest BART Station: 
16th St. Mission (SF)
Walking time: 
10 minutes

5. John’s Ice Cream

2204 Shattuck Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94704
Nearest BART Station: 
Downtown Berkeley
Walking time: 
2 minutes

6. Smitten Ice Cream

3545 Mt. Diablo Blvd.
Lafayette, CA 94549
Nearest BART Station: 
Lafayette
Walking time: 
7 mins
Nearest BART Station: 
Rockridge (Oakland)
Nearest BART Station: 
Embarcadero (SF)
Nearest BART Station: 
Fruitvale (Oakland)
Nearest BART Station: 
16th St. Mission (SF)
Nearest BART Station: 
Downtown Berkeley
Nearest BART Station: 
Lafayette

Plan Your Trip

Starting from:
E.g., 06-29-2017
Author: Linda Koffman
Linda Koffman is a BARTable writer. The SF-based freelance writer/editor is also a performing songwriter, beginner gardener, and DIY crafter passionate about engaging with the Bay Area’s diverse environmental and cultural beauty. When not writing, she currently keeps her hands busy (and dirty) with old guitar strings, drought-tolerant plantings, and charcoal drawings. She loves puns to a fault and shamelessly laughs at her own jokes.

Other Features

BARTable This Weekend (May 26-28)
It’s a holiday weekend, and we have an event for everyone in this week’s edition of BARTable This Weekend. On this week’s menu: Celebrate cultures...
Get some dim sum
Like a Chinese version of tapas, dim sum is just plain fun to eat family style. It’s also fun to get to have a little taste of everything. Hone your...
Station closure in Oakland this weekend
This 3-day holiday weekend Lake Merritt Station will be closed, and there will be no train service in the area.

Also Check Out