Chill Out at the Bay Area’s Greatest Frozen Yogurt Shops

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Everywhere we look, the 80s are back in style–but luckily, we haven’t seen any legwarmers yet! These days our tastes are (thankfully) a bit more refined, and one 80s fad we’re happy to get behind is the frozen yogurt one. Get your sweet fix with gourmet flavors like watermelon or açai and a multitude of toppings at one of the several hundred froyo shops in the Bay Area. And with health benefits like probiotics, calcium, potassium, among others, picking up a cup of frozen yogurt is guilt-free and family-friendly. Here’s a short list of our favorite spots to beat the heat with a tasty treat this summer.

photo courtesy of Blush Organic Frozen Yogurt’s Facebook

BEST Self-Serve
Kids will love the interactive experience at Nubi Yogurt where you can create your own swirl and sprinkle your own toppings. This is the perfect place to let the family go wild yogurt-style. Nubi has a ton of yogurt flavors, ranging from classics like plain tart to gourmet tastes like banana cream pie and Greek black cherry. When concocting your cup of froyo, just remember that they charge by the ounce. Feel free to stay a while–most locations offer free wireless internet and satellite radio.

Locations: Two in San Francisco, one in Milbrae, San Leandro, Stockton, San Jose, and San Mateo.

BEST Organic
At Blush Organic Frozen Yogurt, you can feel good about your frozen treat knowing that the dairy ingredients used do not include rBGH growth hormones, antibiotics, or chemicals and pesticides that hurt the environment. We like Blush for their wide array of seasonal flavors (think pina colada and pumpkin) and because the more you eat, the more you get! Eight visits will get you an original yogurt with two toppings if you use their loyalty card.

Locations: Dublin, Walnut Creek, Burlingame, Milpitas, and San Francisco.

photo courtesy of Pinkberry’s Facebook

BEST Gourmet
Fraîche Yogurt also uses organic milk from local dairy Clover to produce its European-style fresh yogurt that is also turned into their dessert-style frozen yogurt. Take the kids for breakfast and order the fresh yogurt or steel-cut oatmeal (and a cup of local Blue Bottle coffee for you!), or after dinner for the fat-free valrhona chocolate frozen yogurt. As for the vegans out there, Fraîche also offers a fat-free and lactose-free soy frozen yogurt. The low-fat options don’t skip a beat in flavor or consistency, proving their “sinfully delicious, outrageously healthy” motto true.

Locations: One in San Francisco and two in Palo Alto.

BEST Import
The international frozen yogurt empire Pinkberry is often credited with reviving the froyo fad when it launched in 2005 by a two-woman team that merged a passion for frozen desserts and design at their innovative spaces. Many shops have copied their style, from the toppings bar to the colorful mod furniture. Try the original at their Silicon Valley locations or the next time you fly out of SFO. Or better yet, hire Pinkberry to cater Junior’s birthday with his own private swirl party–they will come to you with all the yogurt and fixings!

Locations: Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, San Ramon, SFO Airport and four more locations in San Jose.

photo courtesy of clogozm on Flickr

BEST Reader Suggestion
Yogofina wins our reader suggestion award! With 27 toppings, including 12 fresh fruit selections to choose from, you can’t go wrong. We were told to try the peach, mango, and original, but heck, they all look tasty! With 11 locations throughout the East Bay, from Danville to Castro Valley to Modesto, folks there don’t have to go far to find some Froyo goodness.   – submitted by Kristiana Tom.

We want to hear from you! Where do you get your frozen yogurt fix?

— Sarah K. Choi

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