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Fentons Creamery Strawberry Sorbet: Before I left the East Bay, I wanted to try the ice cream at Fentons Creamery, an Oakland institution that opened its doors back in 1894. It's a classic family-friendly diner, like what you would imagine Friendly's was like before it became a national franchise. The ice cream flavors are, for the most part, traditional Americana, with flavors like heath bar, cookies 'n cream, and rocky road. Sitting down with my cup of raspberry sorbet, I overheard another patron, cone-in-hand, reprimandi... (read more) 2.5/5.0

2.5 sorbet strawberry fentonscreamery icecream sf oakland
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Berkeley Bowl Bar snack mix: The Berkeley Bowl bulk snack mixes are generally good, but this standard bar mix with cheddar crackers, pretzels, peanuts, and almonds is not really better than the sum of its ingredients. None of the flavors compete, but it’s not particularly interesting, and there are much better alternatives. 3.0/5.0

3.0 mix snack bar berkeleybowl crackers
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Tea Hut Jasmine milk tea with boba: It’s kind of outrageous how saturated quality bubble tea shops are in the Bay Area. We’ve all become accustomed with fine-tuning our drinks to our exact specifications - with numerous toppings, sugar levels, and even the amount of ice, down to a percent. With the range of available options, tea shops are resorting to other ways of distinguishing themselves beyond ingredients, turning to the beverage’s vehicle itself: the humble cup. Here at Tea Hut, a small bubble tea shop right next to b. P... (read more) 4.0/5.0

4.0 tea milk jasmine teahut milktea boba bubbletea drinks sf recommended
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Matcha Cafe Maiko Matcha soft serve with matcha powder and mochi: According to the Matcha Cafe Maiko website, the San Francisco shop located in the Japantown center is the first to open in the "American mainland," with an original location in Hawaii. Its matcha products are imported all the way from Harima Garden in Kyoto. While the menu features their matcha soft serve, they have a surprising variety of lattes, floats, and other beverage pairings as well. At $5.50, their soft serve is a bit steep for a single serving, but it has a concentrated herbal f... (read more) 3.5/5.0

3.5 mochi powder serve soft matcha matchacafemaiko icecream softserve dessert sf japantown recommended
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House Kombucha Rose black Kombucha: Strikes a decent balance - not overly floral yet still clearly tastes of rose. Rose mixed with a vinegar-y fermented flavor is hard to pair with food, though, so this is more of a drink to have on its own. 3.0/5.0

3.0 kombucha black rose housekombucha drinks
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Cheeseboard Cheese Roll: This is a quintessential offering at Cheeseboard, combining the two things the famed bakery is know for: cheese and bread. The roll has a tangy, sharp flavor both from the melted crispy gruyere and from its sourdough base. Slightly crusty but soft and fluffy inside, it’s delicious in its simplicity. 3.5/5.0

3.5 roll cheese cheeseboard bread berkeley recommended