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Best Paleta source in the Bay Area

  • r

Ok, we all know there are no real fresh paleterias in the Bay Area with, at best, the occasional fruit pops from Sketch in Berkeley.

What is the best Mexican Market, paletero, etc in the Bay Area for paletas. I'm looking for quality and variety.

Doing some paleta research on the web (link below), I was relieved to find there really IS a different paleteria in San Jose - Paleteria 2000. I was beginning to think this was just my imagination. It keeps getting 'best of awards' from the South Bay press.

I don't have info beyond that. I don't know if they are only sold from ice cream carts (carritos). I don't know if they make their own or just use a good brand. Anyone have experience with San Jose paletas?

On the general board, someone mentioned Palapa Azul for paletas bought in a market. Anyone know if they are sold in the Bay Area?

A national publication mentioned La Palma in SF as a good source. I think they sell La Michoacana. Do they have a good variety?

I do know I hate Delicias De Michoacán of Obtario Ca and Chicago, IL, which unfortunately is what the paletero on my street sells.

One newspaper mentioned Aguililla (3250 Middlefield Rd., Menlo Park) not only as a good source but having a great taqueria (they have nopales tacos).

Any other good places? I know I'll be keeping my eyes open in the East Bay Mexican markets now that I know there are differences in brands of supermarket paletas.

Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

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  1. I purchased La Palapa Azul paletas at Whole Foods (4th St in SF). Although the packaging looks nice, the paletas were ok. They do have interesting flavors like grapefruit, cucumber w/ chile. I still miss Latin Freeze on 24th St and haven't found anything like them since they closed.

    1. Must be the weather, I've been thinking of paleterias, too.

      There used to be an amazing place on 24th just above Mission... a small storefront with nothing but two deep freezes on either side of a narrow aisle, and a cash register in the back. Mmm, tamarindo. But it's no longer there and I've been wondering if anyone knew what became of it. I hope beyond hope that perhaps they relocated to a larger storefront, still in the neighborhood?

      3 Replies
      1. re: bernalgirl

        That was Latin Freeze, which I mentioned below. I don't think the owners moved elsewhere. I remember their coconut paletas and peanut butter - those were good.

        1. re: Mari

          Yep, I missed the last line of your post, that was the place. Sorry to hear they don't seem to exist any longer.

          1. re: Mari

            I think Latin Freeze may have been the place where 2 guys from New York had a brainstorm and created FrozFruit. They're millionares, and Latin Freeze is a memory.

        2. I heard that Bi-Rite's creamery soon to open on 18th is going to have fresh home-made paletas!!! I hope that they are delicious because I had so amazing ones in Crucecita, Mexico this summer and it made me jones for a coconut one.


          2 Replies
          1. re: finchycocoa

            The paletas have yet to arrive at Bi-Rite Creamery. I think it is the wrong season for them. It is worth checking out the place because the people who work there seem really committed to their product. Also they were playing Siouxsie And The Banshees while we ate our ice cream. And I am in love with their organic flavors. They let you use a real spoon to taste samples so it's more ecological to eat. Their cookies and cream is the best I've had. It was soft and creamy and spattered with Newman O's instead of Oreos. The texture was more melty than normal ice cream which added to the homemade quality. Their goatmilk vanilla and chocolate soy ice cream is also delicious with no funky after-taste. I am dying to try their roasted banana ice cream pie.

            1. re: finchycocoa

              Thanks for the update. The paleta was going to be my first choice there.

              If you are ever in Valejo there is this paleteria that has the most wonderful coconut paleta. They will also dip any paleta in chocolate, so as far as the coconut, it is like a frozen mounds bar on a stick ... so good.

              La Michoacana Ice Cream & Bakery
              504 Broadway, Vallejo


          2. Anyone chance upon a paleta shop recently, with house-made paletas? I am craving a good arroz con leche one. I know there is an ice pop cart roaming around, but did not see them at one of their supposed spots.

            If there is one in SF, I would be stoked! Any leads are appreciated too.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Eat.Choui

              The best arroz con leche paleta I've tasted is made in Santa Rosa.

                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  I would also love to know where you got it in Santa Rosa?

              1. No leads? How about locally-made ice pops?

                5 Replies
                1. re: Eat.Choui

                  Here's an East Bay paleteria, now in Walnut Creek: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/715951

                  I don't know any in SF, but Guanatos is very good. I haven't tried their rice pudding flavor, but I will soon.

                  1. re: Eat.Choui

                    A new vegan paleta cart has turned up at the Alameda Point Antique Market. It's name is Pop something. The name will come back to me eventually.

                    They have non-traditional flavors and cost $3. The peach bourbon did taste of liquor and was very peachy. The grapefruit mint was slightly bitter and not at all minty. I'll bet the watermelon mint would have been a better match. They also have a dark chocolate which I didn't try.

                    1. re: chocolatetartguy

                      Little Bee Pop? It's a new start-up in Silicon Valley with non-dairy flavors. Haven't tried it yet myself.

                      1. re: Melanie Wong

                        No, if we were playing charades, 2 words, 1st word Pop, 2nd word ? I have their card at home somewhere. Their frozen treats are paleta shaped and mostly fruit flavored. A tasty way to hydrate out at the flea market.

                        1. re: Melanie Wong

                          I came upon their card in the bottom of my cloth market (flea and farmers) bag. It's Pop Nation. Their slogan: freedom from the scoop.

                    2. I've never had a paleta, but they sound great. What makes a good one?

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: The Librarian

                        Paletas come in two basic types: de agua (water) or de leche (milk). The leche ones are essentially ice cream bars, but made with little air, and the really good ones have quite high butterfat content and no emulsifiers so have to be eaten freshly made. The agua ones have a very pure expression of flavor since there's no dairy and you'll find many flavors that are essentially pureed fresh fruit sweetened with a little sugar. The flavors just POP!

                        1. re: Melanie Wong

                          Thanks for the information. Now I really want one!

                          1. re: The Librarian

                            Be sure to go to a paleteria. The ones sold in grocery stores are pallid in comparison.

                      2. After lunch at Nopalito, the finishing touch is the house made chocolate paleta - better than a fudgesicle.