I’ve been obsessed with root beer floats lately, mostly from the Fosters Freeze (400 4th St, Santa Rosa – (707) 576-7028) too dangerously close to my house for comfort. There’s something about that creamy soft serve bubbling together with the nip and tickle of root beer that I can’t get enough of. Seems I’m not alone: I got an email this week from a CHOW how to make your own root beer, and I know that Diane Peterson is working on her own tasting over at Kitchentalk. Everything old is new again.
Want some seriously tasty fresh-brewed root beer? Third Street Aleworks brews their own for a house-made dessert float. It’s almost nothing like the sicky sweet stuff from the fountain — instead, their brew is a pungent, earthy, spicy flavor of true root beer. 610 3rd Street, Santa Rosa, (707) 523-3060.
A&W also makes a decent float, which you can find at 6700 Commerce Boulevard, or 6610 Hembree Lane, Windsor, (707)584-9070.
Got your own favorite? let me know.
21 thoughts on “Root Beer Floats”
After reading your review we were inspired to stop by Third Street Ale Works for lunch today. For dessert I ordered the Pappy’s Root Beer Float-what a disappointment! The glass it came in was the same size small water glass they served the ice tea in. There was a tiny half-scoop of ice cream with ice crystals in it floating in a 2/3 filled glass of Root Beer! I asked them to fill up the glass! For 5 dollars I expected alot more! The Root Beer had a nice flavor but they sure do not know how to make a good float there-next time I will go to Superburger!
I ordered the rather pricey Fish and Chips at $13 and it came sitting in a pool of grease-I had to put my napkin under the fish to soak up the oil, the fish was very bland, I could only eat one piece. My husband ordered the turkey and Ortega chili grilled cheese sandwich and it came with unrecognizable pinkish dried turkey on it with a whole canned chili just stuck in the middle and no cheese. Instead of grilling it they just painted a circle of margarine on the bread-it was totally unappetizing! I do not recommend this place at all.
My daughter and I had lunch at Superburger over the weekend and when she asked for a rootbear I suggested a rootbear float. We each had one and boy was that a treat! It’s a massive and creamy delicious affair served in a huge stainless steel (shake style) cup! It is our new fav.
Does anybody have a suggestion on where I can find a drive-in style restaurant that serves root beer floats? You know – where they bring your order out to your car? I was just telling my eight year old about this and she’d love to go to a place like that.
Thanks for the clarification 🙂
That makes sense. “Hand-scooped” doesn’t sound quite so pretentious now.
Nothing like a good coke float too. We make the here at home. Orange soda, welchs grape soda, Pepsi (my favorite) , cream soda. You name it it all works!!. It is a win/win situation. Root beer has gotten a little boring
I agree with Pattilou Dempsey’s in Petaluma has a great rootbear float. They are made with home made rootbeer and really fine vanilla icecream and when put together it’s a little slice of heaven.
Looking for a great rootbeer float try Dempsey’s
hand scooped differs from soft serve which is what places like foster’s freeze and a&w offer.
How does one scoop ice cream for a root beer float, if not by hand? Is “hand-scooped” really a necessary qualifier?
Try it with chocolate ice cream–another crazy twist, but delicious!
Glad your float was satisfying – I have had a string of really bad floats from that particular A&W. I so miss the one that used to be in Santa Rosa!
i just satisfied my craving at the a&w in petaluma and although the float was delicious it was not enjoyable waiting for a ridiculously long time in the drive-thru. the romanticism of the original a&w establishment had been bastardized by the partnership with former kentucy fried chicken which is now kfc and trying to push “healthier” menu choices. i miss riding my bike down the the drive-in and getting a float in the icey mug.
when i have a craving again i’ll head for dempsey’s where i can enjoy my float waterside. their rootbeer is made on site and i believe they use clover ice cream.
Try David’s Dogs in Windsor for a great root beet float! They have Sprecher Root Beer which is one of the best I have ever had. Plus you can get a great hot dog to go along with it.
Heather- thanks so much for reminding me about Foster’s Freeze and their floats. So good! I had one recently at D’s Diner in Sebastopol and it wasn’t very good at all. A very frozen lump of Vanilla dumped in a cup of not very good root beer.
The Bear Republic has awesome homemade root beer which can’t be beat! You have to try it! Do Stout Floats count? If so, Third Street Ale Works & The Bear have pretty good ones!
Dreyers has RootBeer Float ice cream in the stores now.
Sadly our son has an allergic reaction to dairy, but he loves the local brewpub root beers – 3rd Street’s especially. Might have to see if they’ll fill a growler so we can make our own floats with soy ice cream at home!
How about hand scooped vanilla, rootbeer and a rootbeer syrup floater at Superburger? Disclaimer- it’s my restaurant, but floats ARE on the menu.
My boyfriend and I have been making them at home lately, so it is just too funny that I stumbled across this article today! He’s been making them with fresh halved cherries and raspberry almonds! Crazy, but good. Also a good change up is to make them with butter pecan ice cream instead of vanilla!
My favorite root beer float, tasty though bound to give a stomache ache, is Haagen-Daz vanilla ice cream and Henry Weinhard’s root beer. So decadent, very sweet.
Dempsey’s in Petaluma brews, in addition to their beers, root beer. It’s not for the faint hearted, but makes a great float.