The Great SF Froyo Debate

On a sunny afternoon in June, Tori messaged me with a list of the top 10 frozen yogurt spots in San Francisco. Although froyo doesn’t have the same cult-like following as ice cream, there are still a few artesian shops in yuppie neighborhoods duking it out. Tasting and rating these places seemed like the perfect job for the ladies who ventured across town for ice cream two years ago. Within a few hours we had the Facebook event created (3 months in advance) and people were immediately jumping on the bandwagon. I created two possible routes with varying shops on each that everyone voted on. The list that won included Fraiche Yogurt, Cultivé Frozen Yogurt, Yogorino, and Loving Cup – shops within walking proximity to each other.

On Saturday, August 24th, all of the ladies met outside of Fraiche Yogurt on Fillmore. The judges included: Whitney, Elise, Tori, Amelia, Laura, Hope, Vickie, Jesse, Iris, Laura and myself.

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First Place: Fraiche Yogurt

Fraiche Yogurt’s Chocolate with Olallieberry Pie topping + mochi.

Price: $5.00 for a small with 3 toppings
Number of people in line before us: 5
Flavors Available: 3; Natural, Chocolate, and Soy
Cup: Appropriately sized – classic waxy outside paper inside froyo cup.
Spoon: Standard
Seating: Inside and outside. All inside seating was taken, so we sat outside.
Known for: Quality ingredients and pre-set topping combinations.
Atmosphere: Rustic, modern and fresh – full of yoga moms, ladies and babies.

Overall Rating: The ladies favorite! They loved the topping choices and the taste of the yogurt itself.

My Rating: I agree with the ladies here. The fresh, interesting ingredients definitely make all the difference. The yogurt itself has just the right amount of creaminess with a hint of tart. When paired with their famous olallieberry sauce it reaches the perfect level of sweet. Their mochi texture is the perfect balance between hard and soft. I love that they have recommended pre-set topping combinations, it does a good job at preventing that urge to put everything in the cup. However – their quality is definitely reflected in their price; Fraiche was the most expensive stop of the day. My only beef with Fraiche is that when you ask for a junior they automatically give you a small unless you are actually a child. Every girl asked for a junior and the only one that got one was Amelia.

The judges at Fraiche Yogurt.

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Runner Up: Cultivé Frozen Yogurt

A tasting plate of Cultivé’s finest. Key Lime Pie, Salted Carmel, Peanutbutter, and something-I-forget frozen yogurt. Strawberries, raspberries, cookie dough, nerds, and mango & strawberry exploding Boba.

Price: $0.46 per oz
Number of people in line before us: 0
Flavors Available: 8
Cup: Oversized – classic waxy outside paper inside froyo cup.
Spoon: Standard
Seating: Two tables with 4 chairs each inside.
Known for: Self-serve – 8 flavors and endless toppings.
Atmosphere: Cute and brightly colored, definitely felt younger than Fraiche.

Overall Rating: Classic froyo joint. The most topping choices we had ever seen, easily beating out Yogurtland.

My Rating: Cultivé is exactly what I’ve come to expect in a froyo shop. From the bright pink walls to the 8 handles pumping out ‘Key Lime Pie’ and ‘Cake Batter’ – it’s a sweet overload. Any notion of froyo being ‘good for you’, whether true or not, is gone here. The frozen yogurt was more icy than creamy and particularly sweet. The topping selection was absolutely enormous. After filling my cup with odds and ends, my favorite was the mango and strawberry exploding Boba. Cultivé was the cheapest of the stops in both price and ingredients, but sometimes that’s exactly what you want.

The judges at Cultivé Frozen Yogurt.

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Runner Up: Yogorino

Yogorino’s natural frozen yogurt with raspberries and oreos.

Price: $3.75 for a mini cup
Number of people in line before us: 2 customers and 1 crazy homeless person.
Flavors Available: 1
Cup: They have a fun blue plastic cup that they’re known for, but we got the classic, appropriately sized froyo cup.
Spoon: Blue & clear.
Seating: A few tables in the very back, down a long hallway.
Known for: Italian-Greek style frozen yogurt and the slogan “”Best Tasting Yogurt In The World.”
Atmosphere: Futuristic (blue track lightning) and sterile, didn’t feel welcoming or friendly. It was the opposite of Cultivé.

Overall Rating: We’d eaten too much froyo at this point, but Iris did say that she liked how yogurt-like it tasted. Close, but not above, Fraiche. They only had 1 flavor of froyo, so most of the girls opted for the giant spinning wheel of gelato instead.

My Rating: I didn’t really like Yogorino, to be honest. I think it was the pretentious atmosphere that turned me off, rather than the taste of the yogurt. The yogurt definitely had a Greek tartness, as advertised, but they only had 1 option… which is boring (to me). The topping choices are limited, mostly fruits and a few sauces. The raspberries and oreos I got were really fresh and delicious.

The judges at Yogorino.

The last place on the list, that we didn’t make it to, was Loving Cup. It sounds like they mix their toppings in Dairy Queen Blizzard-style and I can’t wait to try it. Got a different shop we should check out? Please let us know!


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