Take a sweet journey through the entire Bay Area and uncover classic desserts that have been around for generations. From North Beach’s traditional Italian pastries to a vintage soda fountain in Danville, your sweettooth will thank you. (But maybe not your waistline.)

Greenlee’s Bakery
1081 The Alameda
San Jose, CA 95126
(408) 287-4191

Greenlee’s Bakery is a family-owned and operated bakery famous for it’s “Best” cinnamon bread. These sweet carbs are so popular, Greenlee’s is available nationwide. Lucky for us (and you!), the real thing is right here in San Jose.

Romolos Cannoli and Spumoni Factory
81 37th Ave
San Mateo, CA 94403
(650) 574-0625

Romolo & Angela Cappello came to America from Sicily and opened their bakery and ice cream shop all the way back in 1968. Today, their grandsons continue the tradition, serving up Italian specialties using fresh, local ingredients. You won’t want to miss their sweet and crunchy chocolate-dipped cannoli.

Preston’s Candy & Ice Cream
1170 Broadway
Burlingame, CA 94010
(650) 344-3254

Stepping into Preston’s is lik stepping back in time. A Burlingame treasure since 1946, Preston’s ice cream is a real taste of nostalgia. But don’t just indulge in a few of Preston’s old-school ice cream flavors. Try some of their spectacular house-made candy. And it’s worth a peek into the back kitchen. Some of Preston’s chocolate boiling pots are over 100 years old!

It’s It Ice Cream
868 Burlway Rd
Burlingame, CA 94010
(800) 345-1928

A Bay Area favorite since it’s debut at San Francisco’s long-gone ‘Playland’, It’s Its are IT! Ice-cream sandwiches in a variety of flavors, even our own Thuy Vu keeps a box in her fridge. You know, for her daughter.

Swensen’s Ice Cream
1999 Hyde St
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 775-6818

Few businesses in San Francisco have been around as long as Swensen’s. This Nob Hill spot is set in the heart of one of the City’s chic-est neighborhoods, and you might want to stick around and enjoy your Cookies ‘N Cream ‘for here.’ The equally vintage Hyde Street cable car runs right past Swensen’s door.

Stella Pastry
446 Columbus Ave
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 986-2914

The authentic Italian pastries created at Stella Pastry & Café are always a sure way to tantalize your taste buds.. Famous for their traditional Sicilian Cannolis, customers flock from all over San Francisco (and all over the world) to indulge in these delicious pastries. Counting calories? No problem. Stella’s offers all of their pastries in both full and miniature sizes. And everyone knows, the mini-version never counts.

Victoria Pastry
1362 Stockton St
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 781-2015

Since 1914, Victoria Pastry has been a San Francisco institution. Businessmen from the nearby Financial District swing by to this North Beach icon to pick up pink boxes of Italian cookies before heading home. Try Thuy’s favorite, the St. Honore cake, a custard, cream, and rum-soaked taste of Italy.

A Taste of Denmark
3401 Telegraph Ave
Oakland, CA 94609
(510) 420-8889

From around the globe, foodies make a point to stop by to dig into this Oakland bakery’s famous Chantilly cake. You’ll find a taste of history in between layers of sweet cream and rum. That’s right, rum.  And since we’re having a Denmark experience, you’ll need to pick up a danish while you’re there. Maybe the chocolate custard one?

Vally Medlyn’s Fountain & Coffee Shop
330 Hartz Ave
Danville, CA 94526
(925) 552-6449

An old school dinner, you’ll want to order up Valley Medlyn’s Sunkist milkshake, an orange sherbert shake that’s an insider favorite. Thuy describes it as “a burst of orange-y goodness in your mouth.” Grab a seat at the counter, grab a burger and as always, make sure you save room for dessert.

Ready to bite into another foodie adventure? Head over to Eye on the Bay’s Food & Drink section and discover the best of the Bay.

Comments (5)
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  2. Aireen says:

    Sounds good. I can’t wait to try theses sweet places. It’s so hard to find a great places for a good dessert. Thanks for sharing your ideas.

  3. Lloyd Harrich says:

    One of the absolute best Italian dessert bakery in San Francisco or Bay Area is called Dianda Pastry or Dianda Bakery located on Mission street near 23rd street. Your 2 North Beach Italian bakery could take lessons from Dianda’s. Dianda bakery has been in business since the 50’s and is still owned by Pat Dianda, 2nd generation. Their rum cake is 2 die for. I frequently drive from San Ramon to San Francisco just to buy one of their fabulous cakes. Off the top of my head, I don’t know the exact address but can provide.

  4. Archie says:

    A Taste of Denmark has been only there for a year or so. It was Neldems for a long time before. So there has been a bakery there for a long time but not A taste of Denmark.

    You missed Loards Ice Cream in San Leandro which has been here since 1950.