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SF's Best Frozen Yogurt
by Lily Ko on Sep 09, 2010
The frozen yogurt trend is in full swing in San Francisco, with new shops popping up all over the city. And it makes sense. San Franciscans love their sweets and they love healthy foods, so frozen yogurt seems to be the ultimate combination of both — a guiltless pleasure. Go ahead, and enjoy our picks for some of the best fro-yo haunts in the City.
101 Spear Street
In 2008, Meinoh Kim decided to walk away from his career as a financial consultant and opened Yocup. Kim has exclusive use of a private dairy farm in Petaluma, where the frozen yogurt is produced in order to keep the recipes secret. Four flavors are offered daily, including the occasional customer request for new flavors. While the daily selection is somewhat limited, their precision and dedication to quality really comes through in each flavor.
“We've worked hard to create the perfect creaminess, iciness, sweetness and texture,” says Kim. Yocup's yogurt has a great consistency, bright flavors and melts slowly. We recommend the Hawaiian Punch (a customer request) swirled with Tart and topped with yogurt chips and fresh strawberries.
1998 Union Street
Cultive is a self-serve frozen yogurt spot that is priced by the ounce. That's nice because you can have as little or as much as you like, while choosing to pile on the flavor, or keep it simple. Cultive rotates 10 of its 50 total low-fat, low-sugar flavors. There is always a chocolate, vanilla, and tart flavor available, as well as a sorbet, but the most popular flavor is currently the Cake Batter. The topping bar looks like a small candy shop, with animal crackers, yogurt covered pop rocks, cheesecake bites, and much more. Owner, Andrew Chun, explains the texture of the yogurt changes throughout the day because of how the machines work. He says when it's busy the yogurt is creamier because the machines really get going. Whether you like it icy or creamy, try the Pink Lemonade Sorbet, York Chocolate Peppermint and Peach Tart.
Michaelis Wine & Spirits
2198 Union St.
What can we say — it's cheap, delicious, and the more the merrier! Jack Zeidan has owned Michaelis Wine & Liquor for the last 25 years. He added the frozen yogurt counter 10 years ago after a neighboring frozen yogurt shop lost its lease. There's nothing quite like walking into a liquor store for some frozen yogurt. Michaelis yogurt is old-school and tastes more like soft-serve ice cream than the trendy tart fro-yo. They serve large portions of smooth, rich, frozen yogurt and offer a very competitive topping bar. Zeidan recommends the Cable Car Chocolate and Peanut Butter swirl, with Reese's Peanut Butter cups, or their bestseller, Country Vanilla.
327 Bay Street
Pastry chef power couple, Dennis and Eloise Leung, opened DeLise Dessert Cafe last year in North Beach. The team met during culinary school at the California Culinary Academy, where they both fell in love with gelato. DeLise offers a daily selection of gelato, sorbet, and, of course, frozen yogurt, along with unique homemade pastries. The frozen yogurt has all of the live and active cultures, but is prepared and served gelato style, which “makes the yogurt more dense, with more flavor,” says Dennis Leung. The flavors change daily and feature intriguing combinations like Pinot Grigio and Hibiscus, or Cuban Cigar with Johnny Walker Black Label whiskey. We recommend the DeLise house-made brownie sundae with any flavor of the day.
1910 Fillmore Street
Fraiche (pronounced “fresh”), is bougie, but it's also very good. Inspired by the European art of yogurt making, Fraiche offers organic fresh yogurt in addition to high-end frozen yogurt. The fresh yogurt is made from scratch with Clover organic milk, and actually serves as the base for the frozen yogurt. Fraiche really pushes the healthy aspect of fro-yo by offering a wide array of novel toppings, such as freshly cut figs, local honeys, and even purees. The thick, creamy yogurts can be mixed and matched in endless combinations, but we recommend Tart with brownies, figs, and honey drizzle.
Blush: Organic Frozen Yogurt
219 King Street
While most frozen yogurt shops offer organic yogurt with some non-organic mixed-in flavors, Blush only uses certified organic and all-natural ingredients. The signature Blush flavor is a pomegranate dragon fruit blend that is crisp and fruity. Blush offers six flavors that change seasonally, with Cookies & Cream as the current favorite. They also offer Blush Blends, a delicious, milkshake like frozen yogurt smoothie. Decadent toppings include freshly shaved chocolate from the block and heaps of crushed Almond Rocha. We recommend the frozen yogurt smoothie with tart yogurt, strawberries and peaches.
by Lily Ko on Sep 09, 2010
DeLise. Photo Credit: Lily Ko
Michaelis. Photo Credit: Lily Ko
Fraiche. Photo Credit: Lily Ko