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Sep 17, 2007 01:12 PM

Best in the BayArea...Gelato Firenze(Oakland)

We are diehard gelato gunkies and have driven all the way to Petaluma for the good stuff and we were thrilled to find the best of the Bay right in our own negihborhood. It is Gelato Firenze right on Lakepark in the Grand Lake/ Lakeshore district of Oakland.

They have strsight up genuine Italian gelato and sorbetto that could have easily come from any shop in Florence or elsewhere in Italy. They have over 30 flavors and also make soy versions.

I had a large (up to 4 flavors) with Rum Raisin, Mocha, Butterpecan and Chocolate. Can I tell you I almost died and went to heaven?

The Owner is a sweet gal named Ashley who really loves what she does and was totally open to feedback and even my recipe for homemade caramel sauce as she is experimenting with that flavor.

Please try to go to this great find. It's a welcome addition to the area.

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  1. Is the place located to the left or right of Kwik Way Hambergers, as you are facing the hamberger place?

    1 Reply
    1. re: MofCarson

      To the's just about next door to the KFC, to the right.

    2. Since it's not in the places yet, the address is 478A Lake Park Ave in Oakland. Does anyone know what the hours are like?

      3 Replies
      1. re: JasmineG

        I think the hours are something like noon-10 during the week and then open until 11 or midnight Friday and Saturday...a good stop right before or after a movie at the Grand Lake.

        1. re: JasmineG

          Uh, actually it's had a places record for a couple of weeks. Hours are on the places record.

          I agree it is the best gelato in the Bay Area and I've had lots more since my first visit

          Don't forget the give a free size upgrade with a Grand Lake ticket stub.

          My favorite remains the cherry.

          1. re: rworange

            Huh, then the Places search didn't work, because it still doens't come up when I search for it.

        2. After hearing your report ,I went to check it out.

          Service was fine,gelato display looked great!

          Tried 6 different flavors with my GF ($4 for a 3 scoop cup)

          Sadly,none of the natural ingredients came through at all.

          It was kinda strange?

          We were really disapointed,it actually tasted like cheap artificially flavored ice cream from Safeway.

          Plus with Kwik Way closed for remodeling, the area was pretty creepy at night.

          8 Replies
          1. re: Mission

            Wow, sorry to hear you didn't like the gelato...which flavors did you try?

            I've only been there once, and tried the cherry, the caramel, and the super chocolate, all of which I liked.

            1. re: chompy

              Yeah, really ... which flavors did you try? Some of them are more strongly flavored than others, but the one thing for all flavors has been the fresh fruit taste.

              1. re: rworange

                I tried watermelon gelato and it was very delicate in flavor and color, not too sweet. My husband's coconut was sweeter than he generally likes, but still very nice.

                1. re: rworange

                  I tried both the non-dairy and dairy strawberry and both were really good. Strong taste of strawberry.

                  I've also had the caramel and coconut and both were very good.

                  I love that this place has opened in my neighborhood! Even though a previous poster called it "kinda creepy at night"....which I don't see at all. Maybe because it's across the street from the parking under the freeway which is sorta deserted at night?

                  1. re: oakjoan

                    I like the passionfruit and the regular chocolate.

                    It really is a great addition to the neighborhood!

                    1. re: Lillian Hsu

                      We tried rumraison,coconut,mintchip(i think they call it something else)
                      Chocolate ,strawberry and pistachio.

                      We parked in front of Holy Land and walked around the corner at night.
                      When open, Kwik way added a lot of light and activity to that area.
                      Now its very poorly lit,drunks at Serenaders Bar and panhandlers at the B of A ATM.
                      I would not recommend the walk for a women at night.

                      FYI, I 'm 45 and was born and raised in Oakland.

                      1. re: Mission

                        I'd try to park on Grand and walk back to Gelato F. There's more traffic and better lighting. Lakeshore is pretty dead at night and what's open is mostly at the far end of the street, near Mandana.

              2. re: Mission

                I second this...kind of yuck. We tried two flavors...if I recall it was pistachio and coffee. Coffee was passable, but he other tasted fake, fake, fake. You are better off buying Ciao Bello at the grocery store.

              3. We finally made it in here yesterday. We had to wait several minutes for the couple already in the store to vacillate among the flavors and to sample several others. Plenty of time to mull things over. When it was finally our turn, I asked if we could have the 4 flavors in two different cups (it's kind of hard to "share" w/ my husband) and the clerk seemed generally flummoxed. I said never mind and I sampled the passionfruit which was amazingly tart and true to the real fruit. We ordered the American Black Cherry, watermelon, mango and pineapple. Only the watermelon for me bordered on disappointment. It was oddly more reminiscent of a vegetable in its mildness and delicacy. Now that I think about it, the watermelon was more like cucumber! (Same general biological family, or something like that?)
                The clerk did give us a paper cup of tap water when asked. On a tangent, I liked the tasting spoons (which are also the regular spoons), both size and color, as well as the cups used to serve the gelato. The four flavor serving was $4.75.

                1. Finally got there tonight. 13 year old son liked the cookies & cream. Hubby loved the persimmon and pineapple. I enjoyed the super sticky and dark super chocolate, but the real standout for me was the rice (riso). Fresh, clean flavor with moderately chewy grains of rice.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: lexdevil

                    I stopped by tonight hoping for persimmon, but they won't have more for about two weeks.

                    They have some nice holiday flavors right now and they also have a few wine gelatos.

                    The standout for me was the cranberry gelato which had great cranberry flavor and wasn't overly sweet.

                    I liked the petit sirah gelato a lot. The merlot was ok.

                    The had rum raisin with a cute little airline-size rum bottle on top ... you know ... how pieces of fruit usually on top to identify the flavor. The ginger was good, but don't remember if I reported on that before. Lavander is one of their 'work in progress' flavors and pretty nice.

                    I'm sorry but I just don't get the negative reports on the place. I could understand different tastes but what I'm reading is not remotely close to anything I've tried. To me it remains some of the freshest and most flavorful gelatos in the Bay Area.

                    This is the only food site getting these slams of this place. Everyplace else (and I've checked a few) is just giving it raves.