There are few things worse than a disappointing ice cream, but few things better than when it totally hits the spot. To ensure that your icy experience is everything you – and your Instagram feed – want and more, we’ve tracked down over 20 of the most famous, outrageous, and downright delicious ice creams Hong Kong has to offer – while experiencing a record number of brain freezes in the process (the things we do for research). Bon appétit!
Want to indulge in a nice cold scoop out in the sun, but don’t want to compromise on your new diet? Look no further, as Happy Cow is whipping up delicious treats for both vegan and health-conscious ice cream lovers alike. Replacing dairy products and artificial flavours with organic coconut cream and fresh fruits, they provide a wholesome treat without compromising on taste or texture. From the tangy Mango to the creamy Banana Caramel Swirl, all of their products are kosher, gluten-free, vegan, low glycemic, and void of cholesterol. We love that this lovely local brand is so committed to creating a healthier and more sustainable alternative for both people and the planet.
Forget fancy toppings and weird combinations, Lab Made is all about the science behind the sweetness. As Asia’s first liquid nitrogen ice cream laboratory, this Tai Hang parlour is the place for curious foodies. Pick a flavour from the weekly selection, and watch as it freezes in front of your eyes in under two minutes. Top marks for performance, however in a city bursting with colourful options, we were left desiring something more when asked to hand over $46 for a small cup.
How much: $46 per cup
Lab Made, G/F, 6 Brown Street, Tai Hang, (+852) 9355 4476
We’re all suckers for a Passion salad here at Localiiz, so it will come as no surprise that we’ve succumbed to the temptation of its colourful gelato once – fine, twice. The passion fruit flavour was creamy, full of flavour, and comes with a glowing recommendation from our editorial assistant. Throw an extra $2 into the pot and you’ll be presented with a waffle that magically transforms any scoop of gelato into a tulip – with a dash of imagination on your part.
How much: $40 – $44 per cup
Passion, Causeway Bay, Central, Mong Kok, Kwai Fong, Tsim Sha Tsui, Quarry Bay, Wan Chai, (+852) 2529 1311
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Living by the motto ‘il gelato come una volta’ (‘like it used to be made’), GROM is a traditional gelato brand with Italian passion running through its veins. With high quality, fresh ingredients, and no less than 50 percent freshly grown and picked fruit in its sorbets, this Central stand is one you can rely on for a wholesome, organic cone of goodness.
How much: $39 – $99 per portion
GROM, Shop 1023, IFC Mall, Central, (+852) 2454 2777
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Emack & Bolio’s
Taking the crown as Hong Kong’s most Instagrammable ice cream, classic American diner Emack & Bolio’s (pictured above) is heaven for creative eaters. Take your pick of cones, embellished with everything from chocolate to marshmallows, and sprinkles to fruit loops, then pile it high with wacky ice cream flavour combinations. While this is definitely not an everyday snack – for the sake of both your waistline and your wallet – a trip to this Central sweet spot will never disappoint on treat days.
How much: $45 per scoop
Emack & Bolio’s, 26 Cochrane Street, Central, (+852) 2505 6626
G42, Miramar, 132 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, (+852) 2780 2680
Shops G09 & G10, Lee Tung Avenue, 200 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, (+852) 2952 3883
Shop UG19, Citywalk, 1 Yeung Uk Road, Tsuen Wan, (+852) 2386 7100
Those craving a simple tub of ice cream joy need look no further than trendy coffee spot Elephant Grounds, which has four sophisticated flavours on offer for $44 a pop. 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 ‘Movie Night’ ice cream sandwich (pictured above) which blends chocolate chip cookies with salted caramel ice cream and candied caramel popcorn. 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.
How much: $40 – $68 per portion
Elephant Grounds, Causeway Bay, Sheung Wan, Mid Levels, Wan Chai, Wong Chuk Hang, (+852) 2562 9000
Not particularly edgy or worthy of the camera eating first, but if you find yourself in dire need of an ice cream hit, you can be sure there will be a Godiva store nearby. Offering a variety of classic flavours during the summer months, and soft scoop vanilla and chocolate the year round, Godiva is a reliable bet every time.
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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 (pictured above) was delicious, especially when paired with the vanilla, and definitely made us keen to try out the other 12 flavours. However, we just don’t quite feel like forking out for the shaping. Nevertheless, Givrés is worthy of an Instagram shot for sure.
How much: $42 – $78 per cone
Givrés, G38, Lee Tung Avenue, 200 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, (+852) 9659 0816
I See I See
The perfectly frozen slices of kiwi and pineapple were enough to lure the editorial team through the door of I See I See. However, the most aesthetically pleasing lollies didn’t tempt our taste buds and as a result, our writing duo ended up with a not-half-as-striking Blueberry Yoghurt lolly each. They were deliciously creamy, don’t get us wrong, but is a creamy ice lolly worth $45? Debatable.
How much: $42 – $58 per lolly
I See I See, Shop 1, Haven Court, 138 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay, (+852) 2337 3361
Outlets: Admiralty, Tsim Sha Tsui, and Victoria Peak.
The inevitable queues at Via Tokyo 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 Mochi Matcha Mix Soft Cream (pictured right) – a combo of matcha and vanilla whipped together and presented in the cup with some sweet little treats 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!
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Shunning tradition in favour of a more colourful, creative, and – well, odd route, Central ice cream parlour Oddies is heaven for experimental dessert lovers. Our marketing exec loves Night Wolf (pictured above) – and with passion fruit, brownie, egglets, crunchy flakes, and caramelised banana ice-cream, who wouldn’t? If you’re feeling really hungry, you could go the whole hog with the doughnut-topped Homer. Definitely ranking up there with the best when it comes to value for money, due to the sheer amount of food packed into your cup, Oddies just goes to show that weird really is wonderful.
How much: From $44 per cup, eggette parfaits starting from $66
Oddies, 45 Gough Street, Central, (+852) 2750 2111
Just when you thought you’d seen it all, Sweet Monster enters the game with the ultimate cinema treat – Ice Cream Popcorn. If flavoured popcorn kernels aren’t doing it for you, ditch the fancy trimmings in favour of the dreamy selection of ice cream flavours. From Tiramisu to Peanut Butter, and Caramel Macchiato to Real Deep Milk – go wild! Just remember to brush your teeth afterwards.
How much: $28 – $39 per portion
Sweet Monster, Kwun Tong, Mong Kok, Sha Tin, Tai Koo, Tsim Sha Tsui, Tuen Mun, (+852) 2697 0510
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Lola’s Ice Pops
Jam-packed with fresh fruit, Lola’s Ice Pops are the perfect partner on a hot summer’s day. Sold everywhere from City Super to Lamma Island, these pretty frozen treats are proving a hit across the city – and no wonder with their refreshing, natural flavours. We’ve recently spied sister brand Lily & Ran Artisan Ice Cream on the supermarket shelves too, and can already feel a new foodie addiction coming our way.
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Head to one of 11 Holly Brown branches across the city, pick your gelato, throw in some fruit or candy if you wish, and watch as the team mix it together on a marble slab and pop it in a waffle cone (pictured above). Feeling fatigued? Let the team take the creative reigns and choose one of the delicious pre-made combos. Whatever you choose, make sure you pair it with a Mocha for a punchy cocoa fix on the recommendation of our mocha-mad marketing exec.
Mobile (aka Mister) Softee
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 $10. Short of change? Don’t panic, just whip out your Octopus Card.
How much: $8-$10 per portion
Mobile Softee, (+852) 2691 1388
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Without a doubt, the favourite ice cream parlour of Hong Kong’s four-legged population, Gino’s Gelato (pictured above) welcomes dogs to join in the fun at both its locations. Whipping up special dog-friendly ice cream, with a generous donation to the SPCA included in the price, this sweet spot is sure to get those tails wagging. It may not be the best value for money or the most authentic gelato you’ve ever tasted, but it will certainly help keep you out of the dog house.
How much: $45 – $95
Gino’s Gelato, Shop G18, Peak Tower, The Peak
Shop G09, G/F, Stanley Plaza, 23 Carmel Road, Stanley, (+852) 2899 0314
With a scattering of shops at various spots across the city, including tourist hot spots such as Victoria Peak, Stanley, and Lan Kwai Fong, Häagen-Dazs is a classic go-to when you’re looking to satisfy those sugar cravings. Make sure you swing by during the Mid-Autumn Festival to bag yourself a selection of ice cream mooncakes in a range of delicious flavours.