Vegan and dairy-free ice creams may not be as widespread as its traditional counterparts, but in Hong Kong, they’re easy enough to find if you know where to look, and they are no less delicious. With the sun beating down on us, we think a chill treat to cool down is just what we need. And the best part? Most of these companies are homegrown Hong Kong brands, so you can eat well and feel good about supporting your local small businesses.
It would be unmerited to do up a list on vegan ice creams without mentioning the OG of this niche industry in Hong Kong. From fruity options like Dragonberry to decadent treats like Cherry Almond Fudge and Salted Caramel Swirl, Happy Cow churns out light, healthy frozen desserts in cup or waffle cone format. They also provide catering services for parties and events, if you fancy piggin’ out on your very own, personal ice cream cart at your next big summer bash. Find Happy Cow at the Central Observation Wheel and at their HKU campus shop, as well as in upscale supermarkets like Fusion and Taste. Prices start at $38 for single scoop, with more add-ons available.
Happy Cow, 33 Man Kwong Street, Central Harbourfront | (+852) 2252 7773
Shop G05, G/F, Composite Building, Main Campus, The University of Hong Kong | (+852) 2252 7773
Igloo Dessert Bar
This pioneering dessert shack located at Central’s Star Ferry pier is famous for its take on the wildly-popular White Rabbit candy-flavoured ice cream that swept up our social media feeds earlier this year. Aside from their wacky, Hong Kong-inspired flavours, they also serve up some mean vegan-friendly scoops made with coconut and almond milk bases, including Crème Brûlée, Dark Chocolate and Charcoal Black, Blood Orange, Soy, and Ribena, and crowd favourites like Red Velvet and Tiramisu. Prices start at $32 for single scoop, with different add-ons offered. Their vegan and dairy-free offerings change on a rotational basis, so it’s best to pop by the shop itself to see what’s fresh on the menu this week!
Igloo Dessert Bar, Shop C, Lower Deck, Pier 7 Star Ferry, Central | (+852) 2656 3318
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Longstanding homegrown gelato brand XTC uses all-natural ingredients to create their irresistible line of icy delights. Boasting a comprehensive catalogue of vegan gelatos and sorbettos, of which 20 different flavours are offered in-shop at any one time, XTC rotates between staples like Vegan Chocolate, Limone Fresca, and Mango, and limited-time options like watermelon. Seasonal creations like Tomato, Pandan, and Pumpkin Pepper gelatos make well-received appearances on the menu, and XTC also offers ice pops in various fruity flavours. However, do note that while most of the sorbetto flavours are vegan, this does not apply to all gelato options, so best double check before you make your final choice. Single scoop prices start at $40.
N*ICE POPS brings gourmet ice lollies to vegan frozen dessert game. Handmade in small batches with premium ingredients, expect seasonal varieties and nostalgic flavours that harken back to classic Western and traditional Chinese desserts. Try their refreshing Peppermint Strawberry Lemonade ($45), decadent Double Chocolate Fudge ($45), or Hong Kong-inspired Black Sesame Tofu Ice Cream ($45). Available on their online shop, as well as in supermarkets like Yata, Wellcome, and Marketplace by Jasons.
N*ICE POPS, available online and in select supermarkets.
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Emack & Bolio’s
Famous for their Instagram-worthy, over-the-top ice cream cones and elaborate sundaes, you may be surprised to hear that American import Emack & Bolio’s also offers vegan and dairy-free sorbets. Choose from three fruity flavours—Mango, Raspberry, and Lemon—for a surefire way to cool down as you make your way through the Central district. Prices start at $43 for a small-size sorbet.
I See I See
I See I See pulls double duty as a dessert shop, serving up handcrafted ice lollies that look as good as they taste. Best known for their natural treats with prominent chunks of fruit, their wide selection of fruit-based lollies boasts flavours like refreshing Mixed Berries and Pineapple to the downright outlandish Black Pepper Mango Passion Fruit. Check out their seasonal offerings as well. Prices start at $38 per ice lolly.
I See I See, 1/F, Lab Concept, Queensway Plaza, Admiralty | (+852) 2337 3361