Awesome Ice Cream Shops in Marin & Beyond
Ice cream is one of those foods that's synonymous with summer, although it's pretty wonderful at any time of year! On a hot day, there's not much better than getting a big scoop of your favorite ice cream on a waffle cone. To help you find that summer joy, we've put together this guide to our favorite ice cream scoop shops in Marin County (and we've thrown in a couple of our Sonoma County favorites that are worth the trip, too).
Here they are, arranged from south to north. Many of these shops are family owned and operated, but we've included a few of the popular chains, too.
Mill Valley Swirl on bustling Miller Avenue creates its seasonal handmade "Sweet Annie's" ice cream in-house and also offers ice cream cakes, frozen yogurt, and other treats. 417 Miller Avenue, Mill Valley 94941. millvalleyswirl.com
This outpost of the Seattle-based vegan ice cream parlor recently opened in Marin Country Mart in Larkspur Landing. They offer plant-based treats with flavors like beet strawberry rose sorbet, mint brownie, salty caramel ash, and more. Marin Country Mart, 2257 Larkspur Landing Circle, Larkspur 94939. frankieandjos.com
Lappert's Ice Cream has been a fixture on the tourist hub of Bridgeway in Sausalito since 1981. Still family owned, it offers ice cream in a variety of flavors, including some Hawaiian-inspired concoctions like "Kauai Pie" and guava sorbet. Lappert's has two locations, at 689 and 815 Bridgeway in Sausalito 94965. www.lapperts.com
Frankie & Jo's
Central Marin Ice Cream
This small ice cream shop in downtown Fairfax offers a rotating selection of innovative organic ice cream flavors like vanilla honey lavender, toasted hazelnut and Mexican chocolate, as well old favorites like strawberry and chocolate. Vegan-friendly sorbet and soy options are always offered, too. They take cash and local checks only. Fairfax Scoop located at at 63 Broadway. (415) 453-3130.
Silbermann's has been a Marin tradition since 1966. Originally a Swenson's shop, it was re-christened with the owners' family name in 1989, but retains the old-school atmosphere and delicious house-made ice cream. Location: 196 Northgate One, San Rafael 94903. silbermanns.com
Marin's only outpost of this ice cream chain is located in downtown San Rafael. In case you haven't been there, their speciality is ice cream with toppings mixed in, which they do right before you on a cold marble slab. Location: 1010 Court Street, San Rafael 94901. www.coldstonecreamery.com
San Rafael's popular Double Rainbow Cafe serves premium ice cream, sandwiches, and other lunch fare. Location: 860 4th Street, San Rafael 94901. doublerainbowcafe.com
Located adjacent to McInnis Park's Swing-n-Putt miniature golf course, Slush by the Park offers soft-serve gelato in addition to its signature Italian ices. Try a half-and-half! Location: 350 Smith Ranch Road, San Rafael 94903. mcinnisparkgolfcenter.com
This nostalgic, old-school candy store in downtown Novato not only has every kind of sweet you've ever dreamed of (and some that you haven't), but they also scoop up 16 flavors of ice cream and sorbet, including at least one vegetarian/vegan option. They'll make you sundaes, malts, shakes, and floats, too. 879 Grant Avenue, Novato 94945. celinessweets.com
Bliss, a new ice cream shop in Novato's San Marin Plaza shopping center, offers Japanese-style soft-serve with flavors like matcha, taro, and ube, served in a tayaki fish cone. They also scoop up locally made Fiorello's Artisan Gelato which includes specially made flavors like black sesame, red bean, and lychee. 109 San Marin Drive, Novato 94945. For more info, call (415) 895-1429.
Novato's La Michoacana serves up delicious Mexican-style ice cream, frozen fruit bars (paletas), and other sweet treats. La Michoacana offers plenty of well-crafted ice cream standards, as well as a lot of flavors that you won't find at other ice cream stores, like Mexican vanilla, pine nut, mamey, and piña colada, so it's well worth a visit if you're in Novato. Location: 1219 Grant Avenue, Novato 94945. (415) 408-3044
Novato is home to this once-ubiquitous ice cream chain that scoops up familiar favorites. Ice cream cakes and other treats are available there, too. Location: 1769 Grant Avenue, Novato 94945. www.baskinrobbins.com
Tuttimelon scoops up a wide variety of premium gelato and sorbet as well as frozen yogurt and smoothies. Location: 132 Vintage Way Suite #F-9 Novato 94945. www.tuttimelonnovato.com
Another newcomer to Marin's ice cream scene is Wicked Slush in Novato, which serves a variety of soft-serve flavors made with Straus organic milk. Of course they also serve Italian ices or "slush" and you can get a split: half soft-serve and half slush. Location: 7400 Redwood Boulevard, Novato 94945. www.amyswickedslush.com
The Palace Market in downtown Point Reyes Station serves up water buffalo milk soft-serve gelato at it's butcher counter in the back of the store. Location: 11300 State Route One, Point Reyes Station 94956. palacemarket.com
In addition to their rich and delicious homemade organic ice cream, Angela's also offers sundaes, milkshakes, and baked goods. Locations: 134 Petaluma Boulevard North and 1390 N McDowell Boulevard East, Petaluma. www.angelasicecream.com
The Petaluma Creamery is operated by the same people who run Spring Hill Jersey Cheese and the fantastic Peter Pumpkin patch at Spring Hill Farm. Their award-winning Petaluma Gold ice cream is offered in a wide range of delicious flavors, and serving sizes are generous. They also offer cheese and lunch items, like sandwiches and BBQ, here. Location: 711 Western Avenue, Petaluma. www.springhillcheese.com
Whenever we find ourselves in Sebastopol, we try to work in a visit to Screamin' Mimi's for some of their amazing ice cream. Screamin' Mimi's offers a rotating selection of over 300 different flavors, depending on what's in season, made from local ingredients. Old standbys like chocolate, pistachio, and vanilla share space on the "Today's Flavors" chalkboard with more unusual offerings including lavendar, caramel apple, and ginger. Location: 6902 Sebastopol Avenue, Sebastopol. www.screaminmimisicecream.com
Sweet Scoops on the square in Sonoma creates handcrafted ice cream using local ingredients. They also offer sundae, ice cream cakes, malts and shakes, and coffee. 408 First Street East, Sonoma. www.sweetscoopsicecream.com
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