Ice cream and cookies is a combo that is not easily improved upon. Yet CREAM has pulled it off, and dessert lovers are rejoicing (and lining up around the block). The latest (and first San Francisco) location has recehtly opened its doors on 16th Street between Valencia and Guerrero streets in the Mission District.

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The Recipe
CREAM’s foolproof formula is using still-gooey cookies straight from the oven (with more than a dozen varieties to choose from), and pairing them with just about any ice-cream flavor imaginable. But your not done yet—next, customers get to pick from a rainbow-colored bar of toppings, from classic sprinkles to crumbled graham crackers to fruity gummy bears, to finish off their master piece. Considering each dessert is made to order, and demand is high, CREAM has developed a fairly efficient system that makes the wait minimal (maybe a few of those third wave coffee joints should take notes). But with all those choices, we can’t promise the little ones will make up their minds in a timely matter.

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The CREAM Story
CREAM’s first outpost was opened in Berkeley and 2010 by the Shamieh family, who wanted to share their family tradition of making ice cream sandwiches at home from scratch, and letting the kids go wild with their flavor combinations. Today, all eight Bay Area locations serve ice cream and cookies made with their proprietary recipes.

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Choices, Choices, Choices!
18 cookie choices (including 4 vegan, and 4 gluten-free options) can be combined with 25 different ice cream flavors (3 soy) and topped with one of 14 toppings. The resulting dessert (or lunch or dinner, for those so inclined) is a hearty treat, and each sandwich, all the bells and whistles included, is only $2.99. If you want to go even bigger, their ice cream taco is nothing if not a photo op: 3 scoops of ice cream in a taco-inspired waffle shell, and 3 toppings ($5.99). Our first visit? We opted for double chocolate chip cookies, mint chip ice cream and graham cracker topping.

CREAM San Francisco
3106 16th St.
San Francisco, CA
415-400-4551
Online: creamnation.com

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Hours: Mon.–Thur., noon–11 p.m.; Fri.–Sat., noon–1 a.m.; Sun., noon–11 p.m.

Have you tried CREAM yet? What’s your favorite flavor combo?

—Erin Feher

 All images courtesy of CREAM San Francisco