San Francisco, California – Joe’s Ice Cream

Restaurant: Joe’s Ice Cream
Cuisine: Ice Cream/Desserts/Froyo
Last visited: November 7, 2010
Location: San Francisco, CA (Richmond)
Address: 5351 Geary Blvd
Price Range: $10 or less

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!

Food: 4
Service: 4
Ambiance: 3
Overall: 4
Additional comments:

  • Since 1959 (bought 1979)
  • Japanese run/operated
  • Family owned
  • Home made ice cream
  • Local favourite


Joe’s Ice Cream in San Francisco, California is an old fashioned ice cream parlour serving home made ice creams prepared by the Japanese family that owns and operates it. It offers some sugar free and low fat ice cream flavours as well as some unique Asian flavours such as green tea ice cream made with actual green tea. They are all home made on site in the back, but it’s not 100% organic or all natural ingredients.

They also offer non-fat frozen yogurts, traditional milkshakes, ice cream floats, and chocolate dipped bananas. It’s become a long-time local favourite for people in the neighbourhood and it’s a place that would bring back child hood memories. The ice cream is actually pretty good and reasonably priced, but I didn’t find it anything out of this world.

On the table:

**Green Tea – 4.5/6

  • This was my favourite.
  • I actually really liked the green tea here although it looks really fake. It doesn’t taste fake in flavour at all though and it’s made with actual green tea infused into the cream. It’s sweet, but still earthy and aromatic.

Butterscotch Marble & Mocha Fudge – 3.5/6

  • Considering I’m not a huge fan of butterscotch, the butterscotch marble was actually pretty good. I did prefer the chocolate/sweeter traditional dessert flavours over the fruit flavours.

Mango Sorbet & Banana – 2.5/6

  • The fruit flavours were alright and they don’t taste that artificial although they look really artificial.
  • The mango didn’t really taste like mango, but it tasted like a light and icy combination of mixed fruits with a subtle taste of mango. The mango also looked more like peach and kind of tastes like it.
  • The banana had a very strong banana flavour and it was a bit thicker and creamier. I’m not a fan of fake banana taste, but this wasn’t too sweet either and it was made with some real banana despite the colour.

Vanilla Frozen Yogurt

  • Fat free. I made a point to order this considering I had Lucky Penny Restaurant that morning, followed by burgers at Pearl’s Deluxe Burgers, and then I had dinner plans at Incanto later that night.
  • It wasn’t that tangy tart frozen yogurt, but more like the McDonald’s soft serve ice cream. It wasn’t as thick in texture, but it was still creamy and enjoyable.

Joe’s It – A Frozen Treat – 3.5/6

  • $2.95
  • This is a signature item and it’s pretty much an ice cream sandwich or 3 desserts in 1, or an excuse to eat 2 cookies and ice cream.
  • It’s made with 2 soft oatmeal cookies sandwiched with vanilla ice cream and dipped in chocolate. It’s something I expect to see from Dairy Queen.
  • It was enjoyable, but better after you let it thaw out or the cookies are really hard and brittle and the flavours of everything gets lost.
  • It’s not gourmet anything, but it’s pretty much as good as you would imagine.


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1 Comment

  • Bow says:

    Too bad you didn’t try a float or a shake…I love an old fashioned shake that uses real milk instead of cornstarch. Am curious though, can you compare it to gelato or only to North American ice cream like Ben and Jerry’s, Hagen Das, etc.,etc. ?

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