By now you’ve probably seen pictures all over social media of the endlessly Instagrammable ice cream cones that look like a churro. The source is Garden Creamery, an ice cream shop in the Mission that opened in February. Originally a Hungarian street treat, chimney cones are sweet yeast dough that’s baked and covered in cinnamon sugar—some compare the cones to a Hawaiian malasada, or a Portuguese donut.
Co-owners Erin Lang and Donny Capozzi worked with the former owner of Keep Rolling, a food truck that served chimney cones to perfect their version of the sugary cone. When Keep Rolling shut down operations, Lang and Capozzi bought their equipment. Now they, along with two other employees, make the chimney cones every Saturday. They make the dough, roll it out, put them onto spindles, and then bake them to be served starting at 2 p.m. And like most good things in SF, the line forms quickly in anticipation, snaking all they way down the block. “It’s something people like to bring their friends from out of town to come and try. People like filling the chimney cones with our colorful flavors,” Lang told Eater.
But, although the cones have been an immediate hit, Lang and Capozzi’s first focus was on ice cream. Lang, born and raised in Hawaii, makes the Asian-inspired flavors in small batches using all organic ingredients. Garden Creamery serves eight coconut-based vegan options every day, from flavors like Thai tea to Kona coffee, in addition to dairy-based options like matcha, pandan leaf, mango sticky rice, and Hawaiian butter mochi. Traditionalists can also find the usual cookies and cream and mint chip.
The catch: For now, the popular chimney cones are only served Saturdays from 2 p.m.- 4 p.m., due to the labor that goes into making them. Lang and Capozzi hope to extend those hours, but won’t do so until they are fully staffed and have the manpower to serve them longer than two hours. “We’re pretty much a two-person shop but we’re starting to hire now that we’re really up and running so we can get to that next level.”
Garden Creamery also serves a variety of frozen treats like popsicles and ice cream sandwiches. The popsicles are made of frozen mousse dipped in chocolate and the sandwich flavors range from Fruity Pebbles to Rice Krispy treats. The shop also has sundaes with mochi that is made by Lang each day.
Ice cream flavors rotate daily, but their most popular flavors, black sesame and haupia macadamia nut, will always remain on the menu. “That’s what I grew up on and what tastes best to me. In San Francisco, people really appreciate that,” said Lang. “I thought people would think it’s a little too weird, but now I’m happy because everyone is so excited about it.”
Hours are 3 p.m.-10 p.m. Wednesday through Friday; 12 p.m.-10 p.m. on Saturday, and 12 p.m.-9 p.m. Sunday. Cones are available on Saturday from 2 p.m.- 4 p.m. (for now).