Bay Area Bites Guide to 10 Favorite South Bay Ice Cream Parlors

A pair of cookie sandwich creations at CREAM. (Jeff Cianci)

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This article was updated on June 11, 2019.

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream. With summertime upon us, what better time than now to discover some new spots to enjoy America’s favorite frozen treat. The following ice cream parlors serve up a variety of styles and flavors and range from the neighborhood ice cream shop to a karaoke ice cream truck. If you’re looking to enjoy more than just plain vanilla, there are plenty of options available. So, prepare for summer eating by using this guide to ten of our favorite South Bay ice cream parlors.

If we missed any ice cream spots in the South Bay you are fond of, please let us know.

Sweet Rendezvous
668 Blossom Hill Rd, San Jose [map]
Ph: (408) 225-5004
Hours: Mon-Sun 12-9pm
Facebook: Sweet Rendezvous
Price Range: $ (entrees under $10)

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This charming neighborhood ice cream store serves gourmet flavors and European desserts such as macarons. While Sweet Rendezvous serves a standard fare of flavors, there are several Persian specialties such as the floral-flavored, Saffron Pistachio. An added treat is that each scoop comes with a tasting scoop of any other flavor you'd like. If a sundae is more your style, be sure to enjoy the Baklava Heaven with vanilla bean ice cream and crispy bites of baklava drizzled with date syrup.

Treatbot
100 N Almaden Ave, San Jose [map]
Ph: (408) 548-7328
Hours: Sun-Wed 11am-10pm; Thur-Sat 11:30am-11pm
Facebook: Treatbot
Twitter: @treatbot
Price Range: $ (entrees under $10)

This is not your childhood ice cream truck. Instead of the classic repetitive jingles you grew up with, at Treatbot you may instead hear someone belting out a karaoke tune as they wait to be served a scoop. Started in 2010, Treatbot includes both a mobile ice cream truck touring the South Bay as well as their “factory,” a stationary truck that serves ice cream inside San Jose’s San Pedro Square Market. Popular flavors include a creamy and cinnamon-spiced Eastside Horchata and sweet and nutty Macapuno.

Willow Glen Creamery
1100 Lincoln Ave, San Jose [map]
Ph: (408) 370-3178
Hours: Tue-Fri 12-10pm; Sat-Sun 11am-10pm
Facebook: Willow Glen Frozen Yogurt
Twitter: @WGfroznyogurt
Price Range: $ (entrees under $10)

This local favorite is regularly awarded "best ice cream" by Metro Silicon Valley. Willow Glen Creamery serves both gourmet flavors created by San Jose’s Treat Ice Cream Company as well as frozen yogurt that lends itself well to the cornucopia of available ice cream toppings. A recently renovated patio is a great space to enjoy a cone or cup on a balmy summer evening.

Tin Pot Creamery
855 El Camino Real, Palo Alto [map]
Ph: (650) 327-1715
Hours: Mon-Thu 11am-9pm; Fri-Sat 11am-10pm; Sun 11am-9pm
Facebook: Tin Pot Creamery
Twitter: @TinPotCreamery
Price Range: $ (entrees under $10)

Located in the Town and Country Shopping Center in Palo Alto, Tin Pot Creamery makes delectable gourmet ice cream available by the scoop or take home pints. Crowd favorites include a toasty and sweet salted caramel ice cream, Rich Chocolate with TCHO Shards and Malted Milk with Milk Chocolate Pieces. If you (with the help of your new best friend) are looking for an indulgent ice cream treat, go for the Tin Pot Sundae: salted caramel ice cream with moist brownies and hardened chocolate sauce.

Mission City Creamery [CLOSED]
2905 Park Ave, Santa Clara [map]
Ph: (408) 615-1080
Hours: Mon-Sun 11am-10pm
Facebook: Mission City Creamery
Twitter: @MissionCreamery
Price Range: $ (entrees under $10)

Mission City Creamery has the atmosphere of an old school neighborhood ice creamery with the taste of small batch gourmet ice creams made in-house using organic and locally-sourced dairy products. In addition to the standard ice cream flavors, some curious offerings include a rich and floral Honey Lavender, Creamy Birthday Cake and Apple Pie ice cream with bits of roasted cinnamon apples.

Icebox [CLOSED]
19929 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino [map]
Ph: (408) 257-7564
Hours: Mon-Thu 11:30am-10pm; Fri-Sat 11:30am-11pm; Sun 12pm-10pm
Facebook: Icebox
Price Range: $ (entrees under $10)

This Cupertino ice cream shop creates ice cream sandwiches with gourmet-flavored Macarons including Salted Caramel, Birthday Cake, Pistachio and Earl Grey, to name a few. From the ice cream case some popular flavors include: Thai Tea, Pistachio, Ube, Tin Roof Sundae and Old-Fashioned Vanilla. In addition to ice cream, Icebox serves snow creations such as the incredibly refreshing Lotsa Lychee Snow with lychee boba, lychee jelly and condensed milk.

Sweet Retreat Ice Cream Parlor [CLOSED]
6061 Cahalan Ave, San Jose [map]
Ph: (408) 629-8139
Hours: Mon-Sun 11am-10pm
Facebook: Sweet Retreat
Twitter: @1sweetretreat
Price Range: $ (entrees under $10)

Sweet Retreat Ice Cream Parlor is a long-standing favorite in South San Jose for frozen treats. This classic neighborhood ice cream store serves Treat Ice Cream flavors such as Strawberry Cheesecake, butterscotch, Tin Roof Sundae as well as sherbet and frozen yogurt. Not just the flavors are nostalgic, good prices and generous scoops keeps a line out the door in the summer.

Palo Alto Creamery Fountain & Grill
566 Emerson St, Palo Alto [map]
Ph: (650) 323-3131
Hours: Mon-Wed 7am-10pm; Thur 7am-11pm; Fri 7am-12pm; Sat 8-12am; Sun 8am-10pm
Facebook: Palo Alto Creamery Fountain & Grill
Twitter: @PACreamery
Price Range: $ (entrees under $10)

This Palo Alto institution is a delicious time machine where you can sit at the soda fountain counter and order piled-high sundaes and ice cream sodas alongside a menu of classic American diner food. A hot fudge sundae and a side order of onion rings is a must. Also worth experiencing is a malted milkshake served with a seemingly bottomless steel cup of extra milkshake.

Rick's Rather Rich Ice Cream
3946 Middlefield Rd, Palo Alto [map]
Hours: Mon-Thur 11am-9pm; Fri-Sat 11am-10pm; Sun 11am-9pm
Facebook: Rick's Rather Rich Ice Cream
Twitter: @RicksRatherRich
Price Range: $ (entrees under $10)

The sweet scent of freshly-made waffle cones greets you as you walk into this classic Palo Alto Ice cream parlor. Rick’s Rather Rich has been making gourmet ice cream for several decades and enjoys generations of happy customers. Popular flavors include Salty Caramel, Caramel Praline and the Silicon Valley-inspired Computer Chip chocolate ice cream with orange essence. Sundaes and milkshakes are also very popular crowd pleasers.

CREAM
440 University Ave, Palo Alto, CA (multiple locations)
Ph: (650) 321-2390
Hours: Mon-Wed 12pm-12am; Thu-Fri 12pm-2am; Sat 11am-2am; Sun 11am-11pm
Facebook: CREAM of Palo Alto
Twitter: @CREAMNATION
Price Range: $ (entrees under $10)

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CREAM pairs freshly baked cookies with gourmet ice cream flavors for outrageously tasty ice cream cookie sandwiches. Upon entering (after likely waiting in a line with other excited customers) you are greeted by the sweet smell of cookies fresh from the oven. From there you can pick out your ultimate cookie and ice cream flavor combination. The cookie flavors range from standards such as chocolate chip and peanut butter to gourmet flavors like Turtle (chocolate caramel and peanuts) and Banana Walnut Chocolate Chip. On the ice cream menu, a selection of 22 different flavors can make it difficult to pin down your pick.

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