Milkshakes bring all the kids to the yard! What I love about milkshakes is my kids can be quiet and drink them in the back of my car. I can get 7 seconds of quiet while my kids try and suck the ice cream through the straw (especially those compostable ones that break apart). It’s nostalgic, delicious, and easier to eat with kids than a sloppy cone.
Thanks to Brooke Shapiro, founder of East Bay parent resource group Sprinkles Parents, for sharing her favorite shakes with us. In addition to hosting events for parents, Brooke reviews ice cream on Instagram with her toddler.
Looking for secret ice cream stops? Look here >
My favorite go-to milkshake spots include two plant-based options denoted with a 🌱.
Absolute favorite places to get milkshakes in the East Bay
Lucia Drive-Through Espresso, Oakland
This is by far the best milkshake/smoothie experience in the Bay. Because it is that it’s a drive-thru, no one needs to get out of the car. Sometimes if my kids fall asleep in the car, I can order the milkshake and drink it before they wake up. My go-to milkshake is the Sandbar (banana, peanut butter, and chocolate). That’s healthy, right?
Location: 5225 Shattuck Ave, Oakland
🌱 Malibu’s Burger, Oakland
Even though my son preferred it when this Black-owned business was serving out of their school bus, they now have a permanent spot on Piedmont Ave. It’s a vegan quick-serve for burgers, but I tend to go for the milkshakes. Malibu’s uses the best vegan ice cream around for their shakes (Eclipse – you can buy their pints in stores), and they know how to transform them into creative flavors with french fries and fun.
Socials: @eclipsefoods and @malibusburgers
Location: 3905 Piedmont Ave, Oakland
Park Burger, Oakland
My toddler only eats ice cream and french fries, but luckily those are the two main staples at Park Burger. I love the milkshake options like thin mint, brownies, blackberry peaches and cream (again healthy), or standard strawberry.
Location: 4218 Park Blvd, Oakland
Looking for ice cream shops with seating for your little ones? Look here >
🌱 Mr. Dewie’s Cashew Creamery, Albany, Oakland, & Emeryville
I love that Mr. Dewies is vegan and dairy-free. As a mom of a kid with a sensitive stomach, I know there won’t be a tummyache afterward. The good news is that they have just started selling their cashew-milk-based shakes. Mix up ice cream flavors in your shakes like turmeric and chocolate.
Pro tip: Ask for a little bit of their delicious hot fudge on top.
Albany: 1116 Solano Ave., Albany
Oakland: 4184 Piedmont Ave., Oakland
Emeryville: Emeryville Public Market, 5959 Shellmound St.
San Francisco Creamery, Walnut Creek
San Francisco Creamery is most famous for their Kitchen Sink Challenge (which is 8 scoops of ice cream and 8 toppings, served in an infant-tub-sized sink), which I attempted and failed. I guess I’ll never be the host of Man vs. Food. If you don’t feel like taking on the challenge, you can opt for their milkshakes or ice cream sodas. The fresh banana milkshake is the best!
Location: 1370 Locust Street, Walnut Creek
O’Briens Ice Cream, Walnut Creek
O’Briens has the best flavors in the Bay Area because the milkshakes are based on the most delicious Guanatos ice cream, which is all the way in Oakley (not to be mistaken with Oakland). It’s authentic Mexican ice cream with real fruit. My favorites of the most delicious flavors are corn, cojita, and avocado. They also make fruit shakes that are extra refreshing in the Walnut Creek heat.
Location: 704 Bancroft Road, Walnut Creek
Bonus: Taqueria El Mezcal, Hayward or San Pablo
With the most height and creativity in their toppings, I had to mention Taqueria El Mezcal. Also known for their Hot Cheetos burrito, this is not a place I’d bring my toddler for a quiet sip of a shake, it’s more of a teen paradise. Or a place to share a milkshake for the whole family.
San Pablo Location: 14260 San Pablo Ave, San Pablo
Hayward Location: 194 Harder Rd, Hayward
Thanks again for the scoop, Brooke. Follow Sprinkles Parents to find out about in-person and virtual events for East Bay parents. Follow @letspoon_podcast to find out what new ice cream flavors Brooke is digging into.