The summer is heating up fast. Whether you’re grinding through summer classes, holding down an internship or just taking it easy, you probably deserve a break. What’s the best way to relieve stress and enjoy the sunny season at the same time? Eat your weight in ice cream, clearly. Here are the best places to get your fix in Berkeley:
- Ben & Jerry’s
Have you heard of it? Though not exactly original, my good friends Ben and Jerry never fail to come through with consistently good ice cream in classic and unique flavors. Plus, they’re anything but stingy with portion sizes, which counts for a lot in my book. Their reliability and high quality earn Ben & Jerry’s a spot on the list, but lack of local flare keeps them at five of five.
- Tara’s Organic Ice Cream
Tara’s absolutely screams Berkeley. Here, you’ll find a plethora of creative and organic ice cream flavors, including some vegan ones, which never disappoint. It’s conveniently located along the 51B route, so stop in for a pick-me-up while you’re waiting for the bus back from Safeway. Or better yet, take your ice cream with you on a stroll down College Avenue to fully enjoy Berkeley’s summer weather. Tara’s originality earns the place major points, but the scoops are small and a tad pricey, landing it at fourth on the list.
- Lush Gelato
Tucked away in the Gourmet Ghetto, Lush is easily missed, but this local gelateria is far from forgettable. The flavor variety is plentiful and innovative. Take this chance to try something new — maybe mascarpone balsamic with chocolate chunks or rumchata (rum + horchata)? And make sure to bring your Cal ID with you to cash in on the 10 percent student discount!
- Yogurt Park
Though not technically an ice cream place, Yogurt Park is too good to leave off the list. A Berkeley staple, Yogurt Park has been serving UC Berkeley students the creamiest and most delicious frozen yogurt out there for more than 40 years. It has everything: top-tier yogurt, fast service, extensive topping options and cheap prices. Pro tip: A cup of cookie dough from YoPo is only 50 cents. Honestly, it’s hard to not come here every day.
You’ll have to travel pretty far north to get to this Berkeley establishment, but we promise it’s worth it. Before you even taste anything, you’ll be able to smell the amazing quality of iScream’s homemade ice cream, candies and waffle cones. The shop rotates through flavors seasonally — look out for two of my favorites: ginger and sweet cream toffee. Family-owned and locally sourced, iScream is unique to Berkeley, so be sure check it out. This spot perfectly balances being delicious, sustainable, independent and charming, warranting the top spot on this list as the best ice cream place in Berkeley.
Next time you’re feeling bogged down, take yourself out to one of the many first-rate ice cream places Berkeley has to offer. Enjoy one of the world’s tastiest pastimes and let the experience remind you of the beauty of a Berkeley summer.
Contact Margo Salah at [email protected].