I've been coming to Fenton's since my family moved to Oakland in 1985, and I've never been disappointed by their ice cream. Service can fluctuate, as they mainly hire local teenagers who are sometimes adjusting to the idea of working their first or second job. However, their crab salad sandwich is one of my favorite nostalgia dishes in the bay area. Followed with a gigantic, creamy root beer float, you can't go wrong. Their seasonal flavors (eggnog, pumpkin, pomegranite, etc.) are wonderful as well, and are rotated throughout the entire year. Waits can be long, parking is consistently terrible, and I can?t vouch for the rest of their menu, but Fenton?s is truly an Oakland institution and still a great place to grab an ice cream dessert...and of course, a crab salad sandwich. And even if you can?t stand their ice cream, they should at least be lauded for their continual efforts to give back to the Oakland community. They always have running ice cream specials and fundraisers to benefit local charities. They also offer a ?heroes? discount to firemen and police officers who drop by in uniform.
Pros: Crab sandwiches, ice cream (esp. floats and seasonal flavors), continued commitment to local community
Cons: Parking is terrible, waits can be long for eat-in service, noise level can be almost deafening on occasion