Brothers Aadar and Saadi Halil opened their Inner Sunset ice cream shop out of a former Japanese restaurant space in 2014. They continue to outdo themselves with inventive flavor ideas, whether offering scoops and pints of sufganiyot ice cream (cinnamon-olive oil ice cream with raspberry jelly donut pieces) for Hanukkah or cocktail-inspired caipirinha sorbet in the warmer months. There are also sundaes, churros, cookies, and some excellent maple pecan bars, along with a restored 1970s VW bus that makes regular stops to sell scoops on the Marina Green and in other spots around town.
In the pursuit of making a uniquely San Francisco flavor, the shop created this ice cream with cheesecake pieces, biscotti crumbles, and a ribbon of espresso. We’re not exactly clear why this combination spells "SF", but it’s fabulous. Like other flavors here, it’s balanced well and doesn’t go over the top.
Those who are fond of electric green mint chip ice cream may not know what to do with this flavor, which is white with tiny flecks of fresh mint chip. It’s a refreshing palate cleanser that feels like one of the more adult choices on the menu.
Frozen bananas can be hell on your teeth, but this banana sorbet delivers on intensity—the shop claims it uses 100 pounds of bananas per batch. It’s icier than most berry sorbets that we typically come across—almost the vegan version of ice milk.
Thick milkshakes are a menu option only if you’re visiting the scoop shop in person (they’re not available for delivery). You can select two flavors to go in your cup, but we suggest just choosing this: the always-available peanut butter fudge (peanut butter ice cream with swirls of chocolate fudge). The flavors are subtle, so the shake goes down smooth.
San Francisco’s Hometown Creamery usually stocks chocolate chip cookies that are pathetically low on chocolate chips and should be skipped. But if you’re a pecan person, don’t sleep on the bourbon maple pecan bar. It’s good on its own or as a scoop base that you can dig into with ice cream on top.