Header image courtesy of @bellywongs (via Instagram)
Originally published by Sophie Pettit. Last updated by Janice Lam.
As we all know, the camera eats first in Hong Kong—and when it comes to these delicious and photogenic frozen treats, you better make sure it eats quickly! From ingenious hybrid creations like crème brûlée ice cream crêpes to colourful soft serves, here are the most Instagrammable ice creams in Hong Kong that are worth the brain freeze.
Albeit a churro speciality shop, Twist & Buckle has some of the most aesthetically decorated ice creams in Hong Kong. From the strawberries and cream sundae ($48) to their s’mores sundae ($58), Twist & Buckle piles all sorts of toppings on a white swirl of ice cream, and tops it all off with a churro like a golden halo. Their rainbow sundae ($58) looks absolutely adorable with rainbow sprinkles, fruity pebbles, strawberry sauce, and a rainbow churro arch.
This Sai Kung coffee roastery is loved for both its coffee and ice cream, decorated with a piece of waffle and a tiny metal spoon. Unlike the sweet, eye-catching ice creams in other shops, Hushush’s selection exemplifies the “less is more” approach.
With simple, earth-toned appearances, their ice creams come in all kinds of boozy flavours, from Glendalough Irish whiskey ($68) to California Shiraz red wine ($68). Their non-alcoholic options, including aged pu’er ($55), osmanthus & acacia honey ($52), and affogato ($65), are just as enjoyable and popular. They often rotate their menus, so feel free to go and see if they have come up with any new flavours.
Who says Instagrammable ice creams have to be expensive? Located in some of the most frequented shopping centres in Hong Kong, One More Pancake’s ice cream is more than affordable.
Most people are here for the “ice cream mountain”—the three-scoop jumbo ice cream ($20), with a variety of popular flavours available, such as green tea, cookies & cream, and sesame. But if you are up for something fancier, they also have a series of ice cream crêpes. Just looking at the Marie biscuit with banana & ice cream pancake ($25) and blueberry cheesecake & ice cream pancake ($26) is enough to make our mouths water!
Named after the Chinese word for “pancakes” (班戟; baan1 gik1), crêpe specialist I Love 戟 has an entire section on its menu dedicated to ice cream crêpes. The crème brûlée ice cream crêpe ($32) is easily the most popular item, marrying hot custard with cold ice cream of your choosing—vanilla is a classic choice, though I Love 戟 also offers unique flavours like Okinawan sea salt, ube, and tofu.
There are also ice cream crepes that come with fun toppings such as kiwi, pineapple, and peach & coconut jelly (starting from $26), all of which come together with your ice cream crêpe to create a unique combination. The shop also offers regular ice cream and savoury choices like the pineapple & pork floss crêpe ($26).
I Love 戟, Shop C, 76 Shau Kei Wan Main Street East, Shau Kei Wan | (+852) 9541 0213 (WhatsApp only)
Some may be hesitant when it comes to vegan ice cream, believing it is not as rich as regular, dairy-based ice cream, but Dama throws that worry out of the window with their bright assortment of vegan ice creams. Dama is most recognised for the vibrant soft serves ($58) made from fresh fruit juice. They come in distinct colours and flavours, the most praised being red dragonfruit, Musang King durian, and matcha. You can also switch to a vegan egg waffle cup for $30, or bring home the mini ice cream tubs (starting from $38).
Dama, Shop 411, 4/F, K11 Musea, Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 9527 2033
Those craving a simple yet sophisticated ice cream need not look further than trendy coffee spot Elephant Grounds, which has 10 flavours on offer for $40 a scoop. It’s creamy, it’s rich, it’s—oh, stop you’re making our mouths water. Throw caution to the wind and welcome two cookies to the table with the exclusive ice cream sandwich of the week, or ride the ultimate sugar high with The Peanut Gallery ($68) which blends chocolate chip cookies with peanut butter ice cream, strawberry jam, and candied peanuts.
Pay attention to their social media page for new flavours, like the authentically Hong Kong baby yin yang, combining Horlicks ice cream with Milo cookies and cereal puffs, or Lavender Dream which is lavender and honey. If you still have room after all that, then you have to try the locally roasted coffee too—it’s out of this world, trust us.
The inevitable queues at this popular dessert café require a dedicated time slot in your diary, however, when you tuck into your delectable Japanese treat, you'll be glad you put in the effort. Our editor recommends the warabi mochi mix soft cream ($48)—a combo of matcha and vanilla whipped together and presented in the cup with some little mochi balls and kinako (黄粉; roasted soybean flour) thrown into the mix for good measure. Definitely worth snapping an Instagram shot while you're there—you'll make your friends green with envy!
Via Tokyo, Shop 1A–1B, Leishun Court, 106–126 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay | (+852) 2895 1116
Pretty, yes. But when you take on the job of crafting petals out of ice cream, you open yourself up to super speed melting. The lavender ice cream at Givrés was delicious, especially when paired with the vanilla, and definitely made us keen to try out the other 12 flavours ($50 for one flavour; $65 for two). You can even get the waffle & rose ($75) for a more intriguing Instagram post, and an even messier ice cream experience.
Barista by Givrés, 7 Staunton Street, Central | (+852) 9659 0816
The perfectly frozen slices of kiwi and pineapple were enough to lure the editorial team through the door of I See I See. With flavours such as earl grey pistachio ($42) and straight-up pineapple ($38), there are milk-based and fruit-based lollies respectively. As appealing as they are, it is debatable whether an ice lolly worths over $40. Nonetheless, they make a sweet Instagram snap.
On sunny days you’re sure to spy a Mobile Softee (or as we all call it Mister Softee) parked up near transport hubs and tourist hot spots. Rocking the retro vibe, this much-loved ice cream van offers great value for money as well as the most delicious whippy soft serve vanilla cone we’ve ever tried. Big statement? Not when it will only set you back a modest $12. Short of change? Don’t panic, just whip out your Octopus Card.