Five essential ice cream spots near BART

Ice cream from Curbside Creamery. Photo courtesy of Curbside Creamery.

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.

Editor's Note: Please wear a mask and keep a physical distance of at least six feet while riding the trains or inside the ice cream shops listed here. Before you travel on BART, use our Trip Planner to get estimated arrival and departure times. See BART's 15-step plan to safely welcome back riders here.

Soft serve at Curbside Creamery. Photo courtesy of Curbside Creamery.

Curbside Creamery

This small shop tucked into a trendy Temescal Alley was initially started to create faux-ice cream for the underserved vegan market, but now serves roughly a half-and-half offering of standard and vegan creations, the former made with Straus dairy and the latter made with cashew milk. You won't find any unusual flavors here, just the classics such as mint chip, cinnamon, fresh strawberry, and salted caramel. 

When: 12-10pm daily 
Where: 482 49th St, Oakland, CA 94609
Station: MacArthur
Walk time: 14 minutes
Humphrey Slocombe has plenty of funky flavors. Photo courtesy of Humphrey Slocombe.

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.

When: 12-7pm Monday-Friday; 11am-7pm Saturday-Sunday
Where: One Ferry Building, San Francisco, CA 94111
Station: Embarcadero
Walk time: Four minutes
Ice cream and snow cone flavors offered at Nieves Cinco de Mayo. Photo courtesy of Dave Cook, Flickr.

Nieves Cinco de Mayo

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. 

When: 11am-6:30pm daily
Where: 3342 E 12th St, Oakland, CA 94601
Station: Fruitvale
Walk time: Eight minutes
The banana split at Knudsen's Ice Creamery. Photo courtesy of Knudsen's Ice Creamery.

Knudsen's Ice Creamery

Castro Valley locals know this spot as the go-to ice cream shop in the area. Enjoy homemade ice cream and confections in a fun, inviting and family-friendly environment. Kid sundaes are available to everyone, so if you want to lightly indulge in satisfying your sweet tooth, this is the place to be. Black and tan sundaes and tall, thick milkshakes reign as popular items.

When: Tuesday-Sunday: 12-8pm; Closed Mondays
Where: 3323 Castro Valley Blvd, Castro Valley, CA 94546
Station: Castro Valley
Walk time: Nine minutes
A cup of ice cream at Bi-Rite Creamery. Photo courtesy of Bi-Rite Creamery.

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.

When: 1-8pm daily
Where: 3692 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Station: 16th St Mission
Walk time: 10 minutes

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