Bi-Rite was one of the two Ice Cream places in San Francisco we wanted to try out. The other one was Mitchell’s. We unknowingly walked to Bi-Rite while doing a lot of exploring that day. We basically took a taxi from Tenderloin (where our hotel was) over to Alamo Square, then walked to Haight Ashbury for some shopping, then over to Castro, then through Mission, to our last stop of Incanto in Noe Valley. We stopped buy a couple places to eat and snack that were on our list, but had no clue we were close to them. We kind of just saw them on the way.
Anyways, Bi-Rite was recommended by a friend, and seems quite popular, with line ups going through the door. There were two shops side-by-side — an ice cream shop, and a smaller soft-serve shop a few steps down. There isn’t much seating room inside, but they also have benches outside.
I went up first, and ordered two scoops of roasted banana ice cream with caramel sauce on top in a cup. Now, that was dumb of me, because you actually get to choose two different flavours with each scoop. I could have got 4 different flavours.
For my taste, I found the caramel sauce to be cooked a few seconds too long. It was dark, and a bit too bitter for me. I like my caramel sweeter. The roasted banana ice cream tasted good, but the texture was a bit off. Not sure what it was, but it felt like there was some ice chunks in there – unless it was just chunks of frozen banana slivers? I’m not sure. Overall not that great for me.
My friends on the other hand, liked theirs. I think I only tried one other one, and I agreed that it was a lot better than mine. Beipas liked hers toasted coconut ice cream, but she found her salted caramel ice cream a bit too sweet, but I think that caramel was already mixed in with the ice cream, while mine was freshly poured on top.
Bi-Rite Creamery and Bake Shop
3692 18th St
San Francisco, CA