Freeze Tag

Cold sweets for warming weather

Even though San Francisco lacks the scorching days of summer, we do love our frozen desserts. File our list of favorites away for a day when the temperature hits 70 degrees and you need to cool off.

Dessert Where to Find It
Mangonada We love the ice creams and raspados at Luis Abundis's Fruitvale shop, Nieves Cinco de Mayo, but we're currently fixated on his version of this Mexican slushie ($5): a great pileup of shaved ice, chopped mango and mango sorbet, doused in tart chile sauce.
Pistachio Milkshake The Ice Cream Bar owner Juliet Pries bills this shake, served in a goblet sized for two ($16), as the "world's best," and the hyperbole is justified: The Sicilian pistachio extract that tints the drink jade-green is more aromatic than nutty, and the sour-cherry whipped cream on top keeps it from seeming overly rich.
Italian Ice On your way to Dolores Park, pick up small containers of these sugary ices ($4), a nostalgic favorite for East Coast expats, at Pizzeria Delfina. They look like solid blocks of ice, but transform into sorbets when you scrape the surface with a wooden scoop. Chocolate or lemon? Equally delicious.
Ice Cream Sandwich Even though this sandwich is wrapped in foil, just like the ones you used to get at camp, Miette's version is far from a sticky chocolate cookie filled with cheap ice milk. The crème fraîche ice cream, pressed between buttery, fluted graham crackers ($5), reveals a sweet tartness as it melts.
Silvanas These technicolor Filipino sandwich cookies ($2), displayed in the freezer case at Cako's Metreon stand, have to be eaten cold, when the ground-cashew wafers are crisp and friable, and the buttery filling still half-solid. Our favorite flavors: ube, mango and pandan.
Snow Ice Taiwanese snow ice is a relative newcomer to the Bay Area, and we have a new favorite source: Raging Boba, inside South San Francisco's Ling Nam Noodle. The milky, flavored ice (coconut, coffee or green tea; $5 each) is shaved into millimeter-thin sheets, then smothered in colorful boba pearls, jellies and squiggles of sweetened condensed milk.
Honey Nectarine Ice Cream Every time we're in line to order Robyn Sue Fisher's liquid-nitrogen ice cream at Smitten ($5 for a small; $6 for a regular), we hear someone gasp, reveling at their first encounter with its silky texture. The vanilla and TCHO chocolate are perennial favorites, but this is the moment for clean, bright fruit ice creams.