Swenson's Ice Cream

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1999 Hyde St
(between Union St & Warner Pl)
San Francisco, CA 94109

Swenson’s is serious candidate for best ice cream in the city: with rich, creamy texture, a focus on natural flavorings, and tons of unique and interesting flavors to choose from. It’s also a local tradition, having opened its doors atop Russian Hill for the first time in 1948. The old-fashioned parlor-style setting looks as though it’s barely been touched in the decades since, and still features the classic invitation “See Us Freeze” in neon on the front window. The chain is now global, but their Hyde Street location remains the only place to buy in California, which keeps fans from all over the state coming back for seconds. What more can we say? Try their fantastic “Sticky Chewy Chocolate” or fan fave “Swiss Orange Chip!” If you’re looking for something a little more elaborate: split one of their Sundaes with the family. We like the “cable carfaits” (a nod to their SF heritage) and the traditional banana splits. Beware though: parking is extremely difficult in the area around Swenson’s. For the easiest access, take public transportation: for instance, the #45 bus up Union Street after a day of hitting the shops.

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