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Keep in mind: this activity is in San Francisco
Retro Cool
Artisanal Sodas & Ice Cream
The Ice Cream Bar
Cole Valley

Owner Juliet Pries focused on every detail to lend a 1930s parlor feel to the space. A vintage soda fountain and marble counter was hauled back from Michigan, the comprehensive menu is packed with old-time treats like egg creams and sassafras floats, and it's hard not to love getting your drinks slung by a "soda jerk" in uniform - we're talking starched white clothes, black bow ties and old-fashioned white hats.

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Inside, it’s a cross between an oversized, wood-paneled Airstream and a post-war Woolworth lunch counter—complete with art deco glass blocks, black tiles and vintage lamps.

Head back to the best seats: the stools at the original 1930s marble counter. Here you’ll have easy access to the ex-Rickhouse barman, who’ll advise you about which of the 75 homemade syrups and tinctures he could turn into custom sodas.

Get giddy with twelve to fourteen ice cream flavors (roasted pineapple, sugar cookie and sweet cream, Sicilian pistachio) and seasonal baked goods; find homey fare to balance the confections (grilled cheese, high-end hot dogs, and soups).

At the back bar, mixologist Russell Davis (Rickhouse) tinkers with an arsenal of homemade tinctures and syrups, creating made-to-order sodas, shakes, and floats. Dabble in the root beer or challenge the barmen with an off-the-cuff request (they like that).

815 Cole St
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 742-4932
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Thomas Hawk