Creamistry is a liquid nitrogen ice cream chain that recently opened its first store in San Diego last Thursday.
We’ve seen liquid nitrogen ice cream stores pop up in Los Angeles and Orange County and have been pretty impressed. I remember a few years ago there was a small store in San Diego that offered liquid nitrogen ice cream, but the results weren’t very good and it was more gimmicky than anything. Things have changed a lot since then, and the liquid nitrogen ice cream being served now is incredibly creamy and rich. And since they are all made-to-order, it allows for a lot of customization. So I was definitely excited by Creamistry’s opening.
The ordering process is fairly easy, though the hardest part is choosing what you want. You start with your ice cream base and there are four to choose from: I especially like that they offer a coconut milk base which is non-dairy, gluten free and vegan. It’s nice to know that the people with those dietary restrictions can still enjoy creamy ice cream and not be limited to sorbets.
After that, you choose your flavor and there are dozens to choose from. Then you choose toppings, if any. And you can get the toppings mixed in or put on top. You can also get drizzles or upgrade to a brownie, waffle or chocolate bowl.
We stopped by twice. First on grand opening day (Thursday), when they were giving out a free scoop of ice cream to every customer. The line stretched past the end of the complex, wrapping around the corner. Yikes! I was fortunate to have gotten an invite to visit during their media hour. After a delicious first visit, we returned over the weekend. I wanted to check them out again to get the non-media experience and see how things were operating before writing up my post. While it was still pretty busy, there were no longer super long lines and things ran pretty smoothly.
Here is what we tried over our two visits:
Cookies and Cream (signature premium base), Nutella Drizzle, Brownie Bowl Upgrade
I love cookies and cream, Nutella and brownies– so I really enjoyed this one! The ice cream was ultra creamy, with crunchy cookie pieces mixed in at the end for extra texture and cookies and cream flavor. I also really enjoyed the brownie which was fudgy, rich chocolatey.
Taro (signature premium base), fruity pebbles mixed in, waffle bowl upgrade
I was excited to see some of my favorite Asian flavors served as well, like taro. For the topping choices, you can get them mixed directly into your ice cream or sprinkled on top. I opted to get it mixed in, so that the ice cream would be very colorful throughout. I really enjoyed the taro ice cream though I’m not sure fruity pebbles is the best flavor pairing. Next time, I’ll try it with other toppings.
The waffle bowl, which is made to order, was light and crisp and more delicate than traditional waffle bowls. It definitely wouldn’t be able to hold the weight of the ice cream by itself, but it is a nice accompaniment to eat with the ice cream. Personally though, I preferred the brownie.
Coffee (coconut base), mochi
I took a long time before taking this photo, so that is why it looks so melty. It actually started out just as big and solid as the other two pictured above. I was surprised to find the coconut base to be just as rich as creamy as the milk base. It’s a great alternative for people that are looking for dairy free, gluten free or vegan ice cream. I couldn’t really taste the coconut, but I did enjoy how creamy the ice cream was.
Overall, we had a nice time here. I am happy that liquid nitrogen ice cream is now being served in San Diego. The staff was friendly and helpful and there are so many flavors, toppings and customization to choose from. My one issue with the shop is the price point. I don’t mind paying a little more for premium ice cream, made-to-order, and customization. However, I did find the prices a little high compared to the other liquid nitrogen ice cream shop I’ve been to, Cauldron in Orange County. At Creamistry, a single scoop costs $5.50 plus $1 for each topping. When we went to Cauldron, a single scoop was $4.50 and toppings were $.50 each. And a puffle cone loaded with several toppings cost $6. Still though, we enjoyed the ice cream here and will definitely be back.
7420 Clairemont Mesa Blvd #108, San Diego, CA 92111
Please note, as indicated above, I was initially invited in for a media hour preview and received a complimentary ice cream and tour. This post contains photos of both my initial visit and subsequent non-media visit.