Diego Perez/The Skyline View
Chocolate gooey brownie. Salted, malted, chocolate chip cookie dough. Honey lavender. Roasted strawberry tres leches. Salt and Straw has two San Francisco locations with an eclectic menu of flavors sure to tantalize every single taste bud.
The Portland-based ice cream shop opened a location on Fillmore Street in San Francisco one year ago; shortly after, Salt and Straw added another scoop shop in Hayes Valley. They serve everyone who comes in delicious scoops of complex flavors that include different textures while combining sweet and savory components; they are a far cry from the old-fashioned classic ice cream selection.
This creative take on a classic dessert is an experience you have to taste to believe. Unlimited samples allow for thorough exploration of their diverse menu, and with peculiar options such as Berkeley olive grove olive oil (my personal favorite) and lots a’ nacho, a taste test is greatly appreciated.
Spoon shoots are placed below the ice cream counter so you don’t have to hand a dirty spoon back to the scooper (the sample spoons are metal). The ice cream is amazing and every flavor contains quirky ingredients that create an unlikely harmony in your mouth.
The service is fantastic, even at peak hours. The scoopers are pleasant and are happy to let you try as many flavors as you’d like. The decadent ice cream comes at a price ranging from $7 to $10 depending on cone variety and if it’s a double or split scoop.
Salt and Straw’s alternating flavor selection changes monthly and April was the Student Inventor Series. The scoop shop worked with nearby elementary school students to come up with limited edition flavors “inspired by the cravings, dreams and childhood memories of our young collaborators” as stated on saltandstraw.com.
The Hayes Valley Salt and Straw, located at 586 Hayes Street, is situated between Alamo Square Park and San Francisco City Hall. The scoop shop is three minutes off the Octavia exit when traveling northbound on Highway 101. Parking can be difficult, but the pleasant ambiance of the neighborhood and the high caloric value of ice cream make for a nice walk.
The 2201 Fillmore Street location is at the corner of Fillmore and Sacramento Street and parking can be a challenge at this location as well, but the sweet smell of in-house freshly made waffle cones will guide you right to their front door.
If you can not make it out to one of Salt and Straw’s local scoop shops, they also offer pint-sized home deliveries. Salt and Straw has two options for delivery that include five classic flavors or five seasonal flavors. The downside to the home delivery option is Salt and Straw only delivers packs of five, making the minimum delivery price $65 plus shipping.
Salt and Straw has an unorthodox approach to creating ice cream flavors that are both tasty and innovative. The only thing they are missing is a student discount. Hopefully, their continual rise in popularity will continue their Bay Area expansions.