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Pinkberry in the Bay Area?

vinoveritas May 25, 2007 12:21 AM

I just moved back to the bay area from LA, and I am having terrible withdrawals from pinkberry, does anyone know of anything even remotely similar here up north? I'd REALLY appreciate it.

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  1. Gary Soup May 25, 2007 06:55 AM

    I wouldn't hold my breath. When Bay Area foodies find out it's just plain Yoghurt mixed with powdered flavorings (PB has been forced to admit as much), I doubt there will be a rush to support outlets.



    4 Replies
    1. re: Gary Soup
      Robert Lauriston May 25, 2007 08:34 AM

      It's not yogurt:


      1. re: Robert Lauriston
        Gary Soup May 25, 2007 09:07 AM

        That's not clear from any the citations; it can't be called "FROZEN" yogurt, but the company still maintains they start with plain yogurt and add unspecified stuff to it -- Kool-Aid, perhaps ;-)

        1. re: Gary Soup
          Robert Lauriston May 25, 2007 09:32 AM

          Fresh yogurt contains live cultures. At Pinkberry they reportedly start with fresh nonfat milk and add yogurt powder. There are only two flavors, plain and green tea.

          1. re: Robert Lauriston
            kweesee Jan 7, 2008 06:18 PM

            Yes, pinkberry is NOT yogurt. My friends opened up a VERY similar (basic identical) shop and they said that its just powder, not real yogurt. On the other hand, it's still overpriced yumminess!

    2. d
      Diana May 25, 2007 09:16 AM

      I live in LA. I find Pinkberry just bleah.

      1. h
        Humbucker May 25, 2007 09:41 AM

        This article seems to suggest that Cafe Aroma in Santa Clara might be Pinberry-esque.


        Here are some photos on Yelp:


        1. m
          ML8000 May 25, 2007 11:20 AM

          You might try Yogurt Park in Berkeley.

          3 Replies
          1. re: ML8000
            Agent 510 May 25, 2007 10:55 PM

            Another thread on this board actually pointed to a store just across the street from Yogurt Park...can't remember the name, but they have a product called "Mangoberry" that comes pretty close to the Pinkberry experience.

            1. re: Agent 510
              kc72 May 25, 2007 11:10 PM



              1. re: Agent 510
                chemchef May 26, 2007 07:28 AM

                I tried it last week and thought it was pretty good. I've never had Pinkberry, so I can't make a comparison, however, I can say that it had the yogurt flavor in the background (more so than most common fro yo places). It was a bit sweeter than I would've liked, though.

                While not fro yo, I did like the flavor of Naia's natural yogurt flavor (it had a definitive Greek yogurt taste to it), but they don't have all the fresh fruit to go on top

            2. meloncollie Dec 20, 2007 11:25 AM

              I hope it's not too late for this reply--
              Maybe you've already tried it and found it, but Fraiche in Palo Alto is just like Pinkberry ... reportedly :)

              9 Replies
              1. re: meloncollie
                jsgjewels Dec 20, 2007 01:44 PM

                Blasphemy! Fraiche is so much better, and it's made from real food not powders. They also have a greek yogurt bar and delicious chocolate chip cookies.

                1. re: meloncollie
                  daveena Dec 20, 2007 05:16 PM

                  I finally had Pinkberry, and agree that Fraiche is much better. The frozen yogurt I had at Pinkberry (Santa Monica branch) was icier, sweeter, less tangy, and less creamy than Fraiche's.

                  Even better than Fraiche, though, is the yogurt flavor gelato at Gelato Firenze in Oakland.

                  1. re: daveena
                    ceekskat Dec 25, 2007 01:44 PM

                    Missed Pinkberry during our summer trip to L.A. but got to taste it this past weekend at the Beverly Hills location. Really don't know what the fuss is about. I agree that it is sweeter, a fake sweetness, and much colder than Fraiche's. I actually didn't order, my 9 & 11 yr old girls did & they too agreed that Fraiche is MUCH better!

                    Also, we noticed a looong line down the street which turned out to be Sprinkles. Hopefully, that cupcake is better than the hype as I read on CH that it is coming to Palo Alto.

                  2. re: meloncollie
                    Melanie Wong Jan 6, 2008 09:15 PM

                    In Palo Alto tonight and had a chance to try Fraiche. Yep, it's really good. I tried a "junior" size with half chocolate and half natural topped with raspberry sauce. I liked the subtle tones of the chocolate and especially the silky texture. While the natural was good too, I like Harmony's just a bit better with its tangier finish and softer texture. I noticed that the milk out for coffee drinkers was Clover organic, so presumably that's what's used to make the yogurt. Even though it's a very cold night, the place was really busy with lots of kids. I appreciated being able to take a seat inside, and how well-heated the space is.

                    644 Emerson St Ste 110, Palo Alto, CA 94301

                    1. re: Melanie Wong
                      jsaimd Jan 7, 2008 08:28 AM

                      Yes they do use clover organic milk according to the owner. At least as of this summer.

                      1. re: jsaimd
                        Melanie Wong Jan 7, 2008 10:02 AM

                        Thanks, I was almost tempted to top off with a hot chocolate, but deferred that to another visit to Palo Alto.

                        Adding more Place links:

                        Swirl Culture
                        1400 Grant St, San Francisco, CA

                        1515 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA

                        Michelle's Yogurt & Sweets
                        2430 Durant Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

                        Trendy Bean Cafe
                        1054 Kiely Blvd, Santa Clara, CA

                        Cafe Aroma
                        3488 El, Camino Real Santa Clara, CA

                        Cafe Delatti
                        42 Elm St., Los Gatos, CA, CA

                        1. re: Melanie Wong
                          Debbie M Jan 7, 2008 05:54 PM

                          Just before Xmas, I walked up from the office to have lunch at Medicine. On the bottom level of the Crocker Galleria, where Bath & Body Works used to be, there was a "coming soon" sign for a place called So Green Yogurt. It didn't have a grand opening date, but it did list a webpage that doesn't really have any information


                          Judging by the name and graphics, I'm assuming it will be comparable to Pinkberry.

                          1. re: Debbie M
                            Melanie Wong Jan 7, 2008 06:16 PM

                            Do keep us posted on its progress.

                            Another link:

                            2510 Channing Way, Berkeley, CA 94704

                            1. re: Debbie M
                              Melanie Wong Jan 9, 2008 12:44 PM

                              I contacted SoGreen Yogurt and the targeted opening date is Feb 14, Valentine's Day.

                              Ryno’s Yogurt
                              2380 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

                              SoGreen Yogurt
                              50 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94104

                    2. l
                      ltsao01 Dec 20, 2007 12:38 PM

                      It's not exactly like Pinkberry's, but pretty close: Yogurt Bar at Union: www.yogurtbarsf.com

                      1. w
                        wanderlust21 Dec 20, 2007 02:03 PM

                        I second the recommendation of Yogurt Bar on Octavia near Union, it's creamier and better than Pinkberry. There's also Harmony in San Carlos.

                        Some pics:

                        Harmony Frozen Yogurt
                        1226 Arroyo Ave, San Carlos, CA 94070

                        Yogurt Bar LLC
                        2760 Octavia St, San Francisco, CA 94123

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: wanderlust21
                          Melanie Wong Dec 24, 2007 07:44 PM

                          I tried Yogurt Bar last night for the first time. Nice tang to the frozen yogurt and big portion, but I didn't like the powdery finish. I like Harmony's product much better.

                          Next I need to try Jubili on Fillmore,

                        2. Scott M Dec 21, 2007 09:22 AM

                          Heard some compare Papamingo in Berkeley on Channing Way to Pinkberry. Haven't been myself so I can't confirm.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Scott M
                            theSauce Dec 29, 2007 09:52 PM

                            Saw some American Express commercial (Plum Card) on Pinkberry. I think it will be in San Francisco soon.

                          2. d
                            dragn8 Jan 7, 2008 12:22 AM

                            There is a great place in the fillmore district called jubelii in the san francisco. They have a few flavors and a great selection of toppings. Its right behind The Fillmore. Great place to see a concert. I hope this satifies your withdraws...

                            1. hhc Dec 17, 2008 07:49 PM

                              SJ Mercury Newspaper mentioned Pinkberry plans to open in Santana Row January '09

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: hhc
                                Agent 510 Dec 18, 2008 08:44 AM

                                I was at Santana Row a couple days ago and saw where it's going in, right on that median park strip.

                                Interesting that both Sprinkles and Pinkberry chose to open their first Bay Area locations down south rather than in the city.

                                1. re: Agent 510
                                  gyc Dec 18, 2008 12:45 PM

                                  It probably had to do more with the draconian anti-chain regulations in SF. IIRC, the city also put the kibosh on Red Mango from opening a store in the city.

                              2. bmubyzal Dec 18, 2008 05:59 PM

                                In cupertino, there's Tartini and Yogurtland. I prefer Tartini.

                                I'm not sure, but Red Mango might also be open here too.

                                20488 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino CA, CA

                                Yogurtland Cupertino
                                19700 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino, CA 95014

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: bmubyzal
                                  Humbucker Dec 18, 2008 06:19 PM

                                  There is a Red Mango in Cupertino, as well as at least three other froyo places in addition to the ones mentioned above.

                                  Red Mango
                                  20560 Town Center Lane, Cupertino, CA

                                2. meloncollie Jan 26, 2009 12:40 AM

                                  Pinkberry and Red Mango both just opened in San Jose--Santa Row and Valley Fair, respectively.

                                  And! Funny enough, they both opened on the SAME DAY.

                                  (Is it just me or is that comedic?)

                                  In any case, I got in on the free Red Mango. It's good if you like your frozen yogurt a little creamier. I don't particularly care for Pinkberry--I find their flavor to be way too artificial-tasting.

                                  I hate self-serve yogurt places because the yogurt themselves detract any semblance of good flavor, a la Yoswirl and Yogurtland, but if you don't care too much about the yogurt itself and would rather have the opportunity to go buckwild with the toppings and only be charged by oz, then go for it.

                                  I am still a stickler for Fraiche, but it may be because I'm a yogurt Nazi and I love original flavor. I could seriously (and have) buy their original flavor frozen yogurt by the pint, without the toppings.

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: meloncollie
                                    hong_kong_foodie Feb 23, 2009 11:29 AM

                                    There are several other Red Mango locations in the south bay: one in downtown Palo Alto, one on S De Anza Blvd in the same complex as Curry House and Amici's, and maybe a couple more. They have definitely grown their presence in a short amount of time. Pinkberry on the other hand took forever to get here.

                                    I agree that Fraiche is by far superior to the other two. The mochi at Fraiche is not bad either - it's soft, fresh, and doesn't leave an after taste.

                                    1. re: meloncollie
                                      Melanie Wong Feb 23, 2009 11:52 AM

                                      I hadn't been to Fraiche for a while and had a chance to stop there again a couple weeks ago. It was so cold out, i went for the fresh low-fat yogurt rather than frozen this time. It was the first time I'd tried it and it won't be the last. Dense with a lilting tang, I let it warm up to near room temperature before eating it. I had a bite of the valrhona chocolate frozen yogurt and liked that very much too.

                                      1. re: Melanie Wong
                                        hmruthi Feb 23, 2009 11:58 AM

                                        The valrhona chocolate is divine. It beats the pants off of anything at Pinkberry or Red Mango.

                                        1. re: hmruthi
                                          Melanie Wong Feb 23, 2009 12:01 PM

                                          Almost without exception the chocolate flavor at a frozen yogurt shop will be my least favorite. Here, Valrhona comes to the rescue . . . and of course, it didn't hurt that this serving was covered with a blizzard of shaved Callebaut chocolate too!

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