Review: La Copa Loca!  »

I am on some kind of cold dessert kick lately. Can I tell you when I last had a cold-n-creamy dessert? No, because it has been rather a long time. Still, I am reminded of the delicious gelato of La Copa Loca several times a week, as I find myself walking past the delivery truck parked on Capp and 26th Streets, or the storefront on Capp and 22nd. If we start reviewing by familiarity alone, my next write-up is going to be about the guy selling oranges on 23rd Street, I see that guy almost daily.

Right, but that’s not the point. We were discussing the beauty of La Copa Loca and its three vegan flavors of vegan gelato: vanilla, chocolate, and coffee. I will grant you that Gelateria Naia’s vegan chocolate hazelnut tastes exactly like Europe (yes I mean the continent), and Copa Loca only ever makes the three flavors, none of which can really match Naia in depth or richness. Color me extremely biased; I did spend many months in Germany eating as much chocolate and ice cream as possible.

Of course not everyone feels this way. Copa Loca’s vegan coffee gelato is very good. Also, it is much more accessible than Naia—longer hours, around more restaurants, in a much more walkable neighborhood—what’s better than a nighttime stroll with a scoop of gelato in a colorful fluted cup? (because obviously it’s the cup that makes it.) You can say hello to all our friends in the Mission: the recovering mentally ill from the halfway houses; the cold, underdressed prostitutes; the rowdy guys spilling out of bars after international soccer games. Oh the friends you can meet while enjoying your tasty Copa Loca gelato! It’s inexpensive, too; you can get two cups of two scoops each for under $5, which in these economic times is so cheap it’s basically free. I mean, right?

La Copa Loca makes good vegan gelato. It’s open late, for San Francisco (ugh, city, we don’t all go to bed at midnight), it’s inexpensive, the vegan supply hasn’t run out on me yet, and the sign outside is so cheery and appetite-whetting, you have to be of great willpower to deny its siren song of vanilla-chocolate-coffee goodness. La Copa Loca’s storefront makes the neighborhood a little brighter, as it will your day when you give in to the gelato. Or do what I do, and don’t ever carry cash if you’re just out running errands. OR-or, succumb to the music and get a scoop every time; a little gelato now and then is good for you. It’s certainly good for your peace of mind. And happiness of tum.

[photos, top to bottom: acordova, mswine, mattdork]

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