1581 Webster St., Ste. 150 (between Post Street and Geary Blvd.), Japantown
Photo: Aleex J./Yelp
Aube Creamery is an ice cream spot inside the Japan Center which we first reported on while the space was still under construction. Now open on the first floor of the Kinokuniya Books building, it specializes in Japanese-style soft-serve and shaved frozen milk.
Aube makes its organic ice cream base fresh daily, and offers customers a selection of brightly colored candy-rimmed cones from which to enjoy flavors like "pure milk," hojicha (roasted green tea) and rice cream.
Shaved milk, offered only in bowls, comes with multiple toppings like caramelized banana, torched marshmallow and cream cheese powder.
Aube Creamery currently holds four stars out of 14 reviews on Yelp, indicating early positive attention from patrons.
"I hate most gimmicks with food, but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by this one," Yelper Alfie B., who reviewed Aube Creamery on May 4, wrote of the frozen milk machine. "It adds a nice, slightly crunchy texture to the dish. The milk flavor really complimented my ice cream. I loved it and want more of it."
And Steven Y. declared, "This new joint beats any creamery in LA. Hojicha flavor is seriously off the hook! Must try caramelized banana topping. Almost cake-like texture and it literally melts in your mouth."
Aube Creamery is open from noon-8:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. on weekends. (It's closed on Monday.)
Fk Frozen Custard
791 Haight St. (between Pierce and Scott streets), Western Addition
Photo: Charlene F./Yelp
Fk Frozen Custard is a food truck and multi-storefront local chain offering frozen custard and other desserts. The outpost at 791 Haight St. is its third in San Francisco.
Customers can choose from cones, bowls, and sundaes made from custard flavors like black vanilla, ube, Thai tea, and salted chocolate peanut butter as well as a rotating menu of seasonal flavors. Milkshakes, floats, and ice cream sandwiches made from a doughnut are also available.
With a 4.5-star rating out of five reviews on Yelp, Fk Frozen Custard has been getting positive attention from the first visitors.
Yelper David J., who reviewed Fk Frozen Custard on May 3, wrote, "FK had big shoes to fill. As a St. Louis native I didn't just grow up on frozen custard, it's the symbol of everything I left behind: authentic, unpretentious American sweetness. FK managed to deliver this hometown experience while incorporating just enough of the fresh flavor that brought us out to the Bay in the first place."
"My friends sampled and enjoyed most of the flavors, but the matcha, Andytown coffee and Thai tea stood out the most," wrote Yelper Dennis C. "They have vegan options in the form of strawberry and chocolate sorbet, but the menu is understandably dairy heavy."
Fk Frozen Custard is open from noon-9 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday and noon-10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. (It's closed on Monday.)
520 Columbus Ave. (between Union and Green streets), Russian Hill
Photo: Andrew G./Yelp
Local Bay Area chain Lush Gelato is now open in the former site of Naia Gelateria at 520 Columbus Ave., as we previously reported. The location in Russian Hill is its third.
The longtime producer of scratch-made gelato sources many of its ingredients from local farms and creameries, and sells its treats by the pint and wholesale as well as in cones and bowls from its storefront.
Flavors include whiskey walnut, mascarpone balsamic with chocolate chunks, and banana salted caramel, but may change on a rotating basis.
With a five-star Yelp rating out of four reviews on Yelp, Lush Gelato is off to a good start.
"I might have been too excited about all the new flavors," Yelper Anna H., but said nevertheless, "The employee there was super nice about it and gave good-sized sample spoons which makes me give this place 5 stars! Would come back again... super excited to see what other flavors they will have!"
"I love, love, love Lush Gelato. Yummy, inventive flavors, some of which use cheese or fromage blanc to give an extra depth of flavor. The Mexican chocolate is super yummy," wrote Vena V., who was the first to review Lush on March 11. The Yelper added, "Lush enables all of us Americans to continue the proud tradition of gelaticizing, which is eating gelato while walking up a nearby hill. Soon to be an Olympic sport, I hope."
And Yelper Jessica R. wrote, "My go-to dessert when I have dinner parties (they sell pints.) The dulce de leche is even better than what they make in Argentina. The dulce de leche, fresh mint, and banana salted caramel are my favorites."
Lush Gelato is open from noon-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and noon-11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
211 O'Farrell St. (between Pierce and Scott streets), Tenderloin
Photo: Kirstie P./Yelp
Chocolate Chair is a dessert spot whose specialty Dragon's Breath item (made with liquid nitrogen) has made it popular on social media, as the San Francisco Chronicle recently reported. The Santa Clara-based chain has a planned eight locations in San Francisco.
The Dragon's Breath treat, made with puffed cereal chunks, causes a harmless mist to flow from the eater's mouth and nose. Chocolate Chair also offers liquid nitrogen-made ice cream and sorbet, cupcakes, and jelly flower cakes.
The sweet shop's current rating of four stars out of two reviews on Yelp indicates the newcomer is finding an audience, but it's still early days.
Yelper Alvaro A., who reviewed Chocolate Chair on March 17, wrote, "This is a new location across from the Starbucks on Powell and O Farrell. Kind staff and the dragon ice cereal was refreshing and very cool when you place them in your mouth!"
Lance H. noted, "Saw some people eating the dragon breath dessert and stopped in to try. Pretty tiny inside. Crowded. Staff was nice and friendly. Dragon breath was a fun novelty and that was about it."
Chocolate Chair is open from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. on Monday-Thursday and 10 a.m.-10 p.m. on Friday-Sunday.