Ice, ice baby!
The hot weather warnings just keep on coming! So stay cool during these summer months with some deliciously delectable icy treats. If you’ve got a sweet tooth in your family (let’s be honest, that’s all of us!), then this list of our favourite chilled goodies will be sure to satisfy your summer cravings! From fabulous-looking treats that are sure to delight your child (and your Instagram followers!) to guilt-free goodies, from no-fuss, no-frills classics to unusual icy desserts served at restaurants, there’s something for everyone. You can bet your kids won’t be the only ones asking for more…pretty please, with a cherry on top!
Emack & Bolio’s
This multi-award-winning American ice cream store has been delighting kids and adults in Hong Kong alike since opening its first outlet here in October 2015. Now with three stores across the city, more people can try their outrageously good sundaes and delicious scoops of ice cream laden with Fruit Loops or Rice Krispies covered cones, which come with many toppings and sauces. Besides ice cream, it also offers frozen yoghurt, ice cream cakes, milkshakes and chocolates. Make sure to try the Beantown Buzz and the Chocolate Salted Peanut Butter Cup. You’re welcome!
Emack & Bolio’s, 26 Cochrane Street, Central, Hong Kong, 2505 6626
Emack & Bolio’s, Shop UG19, Citywalk, 1 Yeung Uk Road, Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong, 2386 7100
Emack & Bolio’s, Shops G09 & G10, Lee Tung Avenue, 200 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, 2952 3883, www.emackandboliohk.
Oddies has got to be one of the most Insta-worthy favourite ice cream places in Hong Kong, no questions asked! With its awesome, innovative flavours and mouth-watering sundae options, it’s the go-to place for us at Sassy Mama when we need to cool off in the summer. Conveniently located in Central, Oddies is great for a quick weekend catch-up spot or a cheeky post-dinner treat. It’s known for its signature Night Wolf sundae, an indulgent mix of low-fat gelato and the gelato-of-the-day, crunchy flakes, passion fruit panna cotta and best of all, a true HK-style chocolate chip eggette – a must try for anyone with a sweet tooth!
Ordering a Holly Brown gelato for the first time? Well, here’s a handy tip. Look for all the flavours with caramel sauce and ask for more. Always! With plenty of flavours to choose from, make sure you take your time to drool over the menu here. The new flavours that have caught our eye are the Wildberry Crunch (which comes with chocolate sauce, Fruit Loops, cornflakes and Oreos!) and the Coffemisu.
Holly Brown, G01, G/F, D2 Place Two, 15 Cheung Shun Street, Lai Chi Kok, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 2371 2826, 2371 2225
Holly Brown, G/F 22 Stanley Street Central, Hong Kong, 2869 9008, www.hollybrowncoffee.com
Igloo Dessert Bar
Want to give your little one a taste of what Hong Kong was like when you were growing up here? You can do that now, quite literally, with Igloo Dessert Bar, located at the iconic Star Ferry pier. After all, with flavours like the White Rabbit Candy and the Horlicks and Maltesers gelatos, the sweet nostalgia of your childhood is sure to be a hit.
Gino’s has to be our solid staple when it comes to creamy gelato. With two stores in Stanley and The Peak, this gelateria marries fresh ingredients and seasonal fruits to create more than 30 unique flavours. The gelato (and the waffle cones!) are made daily using traditional Italian techniques that the whole family will love. And when we talk about the whole family, we mean the four-legged ones as well! Gino’s offers doggie gelatos in beef and cheese flavours and donates part of the proceeds towards helping Hong Kong rescue dogs.
Gino’s Gelato Stanley, Shop G09, G/F, Stanley Plaza, 23 Carmel Road, Stanley, 2899 0314
Gino’s Gelato The Peak, Shop G18, Peak Tower, The Peak, 2849 8314
For some freshly-churned gelato, Petite House is the place to go. Part of the Gaia family, Petite House serves up fruit-based icy delights with no added sugar. For something a little different, check out the Gelato frappes in Mango, Chocolate Coco Chip or Caramel Coffee.
Petite House, Kiosk S1 & S2, Level G (Half landing), Festival Walk, 80 Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 2115 8048
An oldie but a goodie, XTC Gelato is definitely one of our go-to spots for a scoop. With its massive array of unique, seasonal flavours and innovations for festivals (we’re impressed by the gelato mooncakes for the mid-autumn festival!), there is always something for everyone. For those who are a little more health-conscious, XTC is a great option as all its gelato is curated with fresh, all-natural ingredients, so you don’t have to feel too guilty about indulging in this treat! To top it all off, XTC has stores conveniently located in Central, TST, and Causeway Bay, smaller outlets in Quarry Bay and Admiralty, AND its gelato is available in various supermarkets across HK – so you can always get your fix!
XTC Gelato Central, Shop B, 45 Cochrane Street, Central, Hong Kong, 2541 0500
XTC Gelato Tsim Sha Tsui, KP-01 Star Ferry Terminal, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 2368 3602
When it comes to ice cream staples, Häagen-Dazs makes it onto any list. And the good news is, it’s certainly in plentiful supply across the city! With a wide selection of classic flavours and ice creams to commemorate every occasion, summertime has never been this cool.
Practically an institution in Hong Kong, there is nothing more classic than a Mr.Softee ice cream truck. That red, white and blue truck is sure to bring back happy memories, and that music is definitely calling our name! It might only stock a few options to choose from, but we’ve always gone for the traditional soft-serve ice cream cone that never fails to hit the spot on a hot, humid day in Hong Kong. There are very few of these trucks left, but you’ll always be able to find one outside the Central ferry piers.
Gourmet ice pops that are completely natural with no artificial ingredients or preservatives and are completely organic! Nice Pops makes us mamas feel a bit better about indulging in this sweet treat. We love the refreshing Peppermint Strawberry Lemonade flavour for the little ones, while those willing to experiment will be pleasantly surprised by the Black Sesame Tofu flavour. They’re available at a number of locations around town, can be picked up from its Ap Lei Chau factory, or even found on Deliveroo in select locations.
I See I See
Serving up pretty handcrafted fruit and milk-based ice pops with completely natural ingredients and no preservatives at all, this place is a top choice for families. The refreshing ice pop flavours include juicy honeydew melon, Earl Grey pistachio and many more – perfect for grabbing on the go! Its seasonal specials are also worth watching out for. We love the Christmas mulled wine ice pop, served on a cinnamon stick!
I See, I See, 1/F Lab Concept, Queensway Plaza, Admiralty, Hong Kong
I See I See, MC 04, Avenue of Stars, Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade, Kowloon, Hong Kong, www.iseeisee.com
Read more: Top 5 Ways To Beat The Heat For Kids
Lactose intolerant or vegan ice-cream lovers rejoice! The awesome Happy Cow hit Hong Kong in 2012 and has been delivering delicious, locally produced, plant-based ice-cream ever since. It’s just as creamy and moreish as the milky stuff, but much healthier than your regular tub of soft serve. The wholesome, natural ingredients produce flavours we all know and love such as Mint Chocolate Chip, Salted Caramel Swirl and Cherry Almond Fudge. It has one speciality shop near the Observation Wheel at the Central Ferry Piers, but is also available at a number of supermarket and food stores throughout the city. Get your fill this summer!
If you’re opting for a lower sugar kick, HK fave Yo Mama is a frozen yoghurt lover’s delight. Choose the size you want, the base flavour (there’s a wide range of options including Green Tea, Summer S’mores, Salted Caramel and more) and load it up with a generous amount of toppings. Toppings include fresh fruit and an exclusive line of sugar-free, gluten-free, raw and organic toppings in the “superfoods” selection. Talk about ticking all the boxes!
You can bet there’s something to smile about as you dip into your fro-yo sundae piled high with its fabulous toppings! Smile Yogurt also does Fro-yo chiffon cakes, Fro-yo puffs and plenty more interesting and exciting desserts, so make sure you sample the whole range (we’ve just given you the perfect excuse to go back for more!).
Not the usual icy treats
If you have a penchant for matcha, you really do not need to go anywhere else but Via Tokyo. This popular little soft-serve ice cream store has lines out the door on a daily basis. People can’t resist returning for its green tea creations. The Original Matcha Cone is definitely a favourite.
Via Tokyo Causeway Bay, 1A-1B, G/F, Leishun Court, 106-126 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, 2895 1116, www.facebook.com/viatokyocafe
Via Tokyo Tsim Sha Tsui, G/F, 29A Cameron Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, 2385 6388, www.facebook.com/ViaTokyoTST
Owl Choux & Gelato
If you’re looking for ice-cream with a twist, then look no further mamas! Located in the heart of Tsim Sha Tsui, Owl Choux & Gelato serves up parents and kids gelato in a deliciously-delicate choux pastry. What’s not to love?
Owl Choux & Gelato, 32 Mody Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 2889 8227, www.owlschoux.ecwid.com
Originating from South Korea, the Sweet Monster franchise is serving up its signature Popcorn Ice Cream in the heart of Hong Kong, with the popcorn coming in different flavours (cheese, caramel, and more… take your pick!). You can also opt for just regular ice cream, but why not have the best of both worlds in your paper cup! The website is in Chinese, so refer to Open Rice for details, if you need translating.
Japanese soft serve along with Italian inspiration? Yes, please! This hybrid is nothing short of amazing if you’re hankering for something different from your usual scoop. If you’re feeling like something light and refreshing, try its popular Frutta Crema for its fresh fruit parfaits. The Japanese parfaits from the Giapponese Crema section on the menu are some of its most popular items. Imagine a generous portion of traditional uji-matcha (straight from Kyoto!) soft serve presented right in the centre of a Japanese melon. Talk about playful presentation… yum! It has five locations around the city, three of which are in Causeway Bay.
Ice Cream Gallery
Ice Cream Gallery is your go-to ice cream joint if you’re willing to be adventurous with your frozen treat. The owner, Arron Liu, constantly churns and plays around with quirky flavours, carefully sourcing the freshest ingredients from all around the world and drawing inspiration from French haute cuisine. Expect Lobster, foie gras, black truffle, and more unique variations. Love it so much that you’re keen to learn how to make your own? Check out its ice cream or dessert-making courses offered in the comfort of your own home!
When you’re dining out
When you’re eating out, you almost always have to have a sweet treat to end the meal. And that’s why we are such fans of Little Bao. End your amazing meal with Little Bao’s ice cream sandwiches. With its signature flavours like the Green Tea Ice Cream Bao and the Salt Ice Cream Bao, you’re going to want to go back for more… trust us! The ice cream melts quickly as the baos are fried upon ordering, so you’ll need to eat quickly! But after one bite, we’re sure you’ll gobble this one up in no time.
The epic ice cream sandwiches at Elephant Grounds are more than enough to make you come back for more, if its avo toast wasn’t already enough of an excuse. It offers unique flavours like Thai Iced Tea and Japanese Taro, along with four exclusive flavours at its Mid-Levels outlet. There are also three flavours of pre-packaged ice cream cups at its locations in Wong Chuk Hang, Wan Chai (Star Street) and Sheung Wan.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on 10, June 2016 and was most recently updated by Anita Balagopalan on 26, August 2019.