Gourmet Ice Cream Sandwiches in San Francisco

Cool off by the bay with these made-to-order treats 

Forget cupcakes. Forget doughnuts. San Francisco’s latest obsession is made-to-order ice cream sandwiches. Here are five spots to get your fix. 

Over the Moon

At Over the Moon, owner Brian Horwitz bakes cookies fresh throughout the day and encourages customers to order whatever just came out of the oven to pair with more than 24 single-batch ice creams. Cookie options include family recipes like snickerdoodle and oatmeal raisin, and ice cream flavours range from honey lavender to Persian pistachio saffron. Can’t decide on a combination? Try Horwitz’s pick: coffee caramel crunch ice cream stuffed between two cookies-and-cream cookies.

The Ice Cream Bar

Authentic soda jerks in white aprons and bow ties staff this 1930s-style ice cream parlour located a few blocks from the famous Haight-Ashbury. Choose from 16 organic ice creams including perennial favourites banana puddin’, morello cherry, and butterscotch. Marry any of them with a house-made cookie like classic snickerdoodle or chocolate chip. In a rush? Nab a pre-packed ice cream cake sandwich from the freezer. Depending on the week, you might get devil’s food cake with crème fraîche ice cream or carrot cake with cream cheese ice cream. You really can’t make a bad decision here.

SWICH

SWICH owner Sandy Lam, a former teacher, began baking cookies to help teach fractions to her students. Now, at her bakery in the Outer Sunset neighbourhood, she bakes cookies in a sheet pan and cuts them into thin and chewy squares. The result is a geometric treat that allows for the perfect ice-cream-to-cookie ratio in every bite. Try the red velvet cookies with white chocolate ice cream, or go with the popular chocolate walnut fudge cookies and mint chocolate chip ice cream.

The Baked Bear

Of the many food vendors at Fisherman’s Wharf, only one offers hot ice cream sandwiches. At The Baked Bear, 20 seconds under a special sandwich press warms the cookies without melting the ice cream. For the sandwich tops and bottoms, mix and match brownies, cookies or doughnuts and then fill with ice cream flavours like peanut butter cup, coffee and birthday cake. Or, try the Baked Bear Combo—half brownie, half cookie, crammed with your choice of ice cream and toppings like mini chocolate chips or sliced almonds. A second location in the city’s North Beach neighbourhood is set to open mid-June.

CREAM

Father-son duo Jimmy and Gus Shamieh opened the first CREAM (Cookies Rule Everything Around Me) shop in Berkeley in 2010 as an homage to memories of smashing ice cream between mom’s homemade cookies. Ice cream creations here include salted caramel and We Be Jammin—vanilla ice cream striped with raspberry jam and chunked with chocolate. Pair the latter with a peanut butter cookie for a spin on the PB&J. In true Bay Area style, CREAM also offers many gluten-free ice creams and some soy-based ones, plus vegan and gluten-free cookies. All cookies are heated-to-order, and mini sandwiches are available for smaller appetites.