Best Cheap Desserts in San Francisco

December 9, 2014
by Zagat Staff

Satisfy your sweet tooth on the cheap at these SF Area eateries.

Mitchell's Ice Cream
Noe Valley · $
Food 4.6 · Decor 3.2 · Service 4.0

"What an ice cream parlor should be" is how fans describe this "old-school" , family-run Mission "institution" cranking out an "absolutely fabulous" array of "super-rich" and "innovative" "seasonal flavors" (think purple yam or avocado) right "on the premises" , and offering them by the scoop and in sundaes and shakes; yes, it's relatively "expensive" and "always busy regardless of the weather" , but the "line moves quickly" and the "friendly" crew "provides tastes" , while prepacked gallons keep "locals buying by the tub."
b. patisserie
Lower Pacific Heights · $
Food 4.8 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.1

"Even when compared with Paris standards" , this "charming" Lower Pacific patisserie/cafe is an "awe-inspiring" showcase for baker Belinda Leong’s "world-class" "array" of "decadent pastries" (the "buttery" "kouign amann reigns supreme" ); the space sports an "appealing" "European feel" , and while "the line can be daunting" , "dessert addicts" "pretty much can't go wrong."
Bi-Rite Creamery
The Mission · $
Food 4.6 · Decor 3.5 · Service 4.1

"It's worth the wait" and "extra weight" insist fans of the wares at this "cute" Mission creamery and bakeshop, where the "ridiculously creamy" scoops in a variety of "witty and unique flavors" are "gourmet as gourmet ice cream gets" ; there's "limited seating" , but "friendly" staffers manage to keep "round-the-corner-lines" moving and gladly offer "samples" , while impatient types can always "grab a pint" to go or "try the soft-serve window instead."
Chile Pies Baking Co.
Mexican · NoPa · $
Food 4.3 · Decor 3.9 · Service 4.0

"Yummy pies" of both the "sweet and savory" variety are the raison d'être of this "down-to-earth" NoPa cafe where fans indulge in "awesome" desserts featuring a "flaky" crust, or turn their attention to the "extra-sinful" pie shake; it may be on the "expensive" side considering the "casual" setting, but the "nice" staff is a sweet perk; P.S. "delish" stews from Green Chile Kitchen are also on the menu.