I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! With the weather warming up ice cream is the perfect treat. Whether it’s velvety goodness from Venchi or Hong Kong-themed flavours from Messina. There’s lots to stay cool this summer!
If you’ve got a sweet tooth in your family (let’s be honest, that’s all of us!) who loves all things ice-cream, gelato, mochi, froyo and more, then our list of 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, and 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)!
The Best Ice Cream Shops In Hong Kong
Barista by Givrés – Rose Gelatos
Mama, is the rose edible? Absolutely! Kids will love Barista by Givrés’ signature gelato roses that come in a variety of flavours (you can pick two or three and see the petals being placed one by one). If you want to grab a coffee while the kids are in tow, go for the Floating Rose Coffee that’s perfect to have on the go – if you have more time, we recommend their Rose Waffles too.
Gelato Messina – Over 30 Ice Cream Flavours To Choose From!
Who remembers the long queues when Messina first opened? Safe to say, the ice-creamery still draws a crowd every day (but the lines move pretty fast!). This Australian cult-favourite is not to be missed – there are loads of scoops to choose from but in the name of research, we go bold – think Hong Kong French Toast, Egg Tart or Salted Duck Egg Dulce (yes, these are all flavours!). Plus, they make real good ice cream cakes too!
Gelato Messina, 37-43 Pottinger Street, Central, Hong Kong, www.gelatomessina.com.hk
Hans & Gretel – Whimsical Kid-Friendly Ice Cream Cones
A mini sweet paradise for kids, we love the generous toppings (including popping candies and fruit jellies) and the whimsical cones that instantly have the kids quiet and bedazzled! Our pick — the Pink Cloud Cotton Candy Cones bring out the inner-child in us and not to mention the palm-tree-shaped slushies that quench our thirst on a hot summer day! Plus, besides ice-cream, there are plenty of other sweet treats like lollipops and gummy bears so be ready to leave with sugar-high kids!
Holly Brown – Edible, Ice Cream-Filled Waffle Bowls!
Ordering a Holly Brown gelato for the first time? Well, here’s a handy tip. Look for anything 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. Flavours that have caught our eye are the Wildberry Crunch (which comes with chocolate sauce, Fruit Loops, cornflakes and Oreos!) and the Coffemisu.
Ice Cream Gallery – Deluxe Lobster, Foie Gras And Black Truffle Ice Cream
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.
i CREMERiA – Japanese Soft Serve Ice Cream
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.
Igloo Dessert Bar – Candy Flavoured Ice Cream
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.
Mr. Softee – An Undeniable Ice Cream Classic
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 iconic 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.
Twist & Buckle – Churros, Churros, Churros!
Photogenic, hand-crafted and a concise menu featuring just the right flavours, Twist & Buckle is always a joy to stumble upon! We can’t deny that we keep going back on the regular for its churros (our kids will second this!) and the pairing with the sundae gives a nice kick. Whether you’re going for one of the originals like Banoffee or a special creation like the Cookie Monster, you’ll be impressed with every bite.
Twist & Buckle, 29-31 Chatham Road South, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Twist & Buckle, LG/F, Eaton Food Hall, 380 Nathan Road, Jordan, Hong Kong, twistandbuckle.com
Via Tokyo – Signature Matcha Cone
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.
XTC Gelato – Natural Low-Fat Gelato & Cheesecake Gelato Stick
With its massive array of unique, seasonal flavours and innovations for festivals, 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! But if it’s cheat day, do indulge in its cheesecake gelato stick!
XTC Gelato Central, Shop B, 45 Cochrane Street, Central, Hong Kong, 2541 0500
More Ice Cream Shops In Hong Kong
- Baekmidang – Signature milk ice cream made with 100% organic milk, 6655 1901, www.facebook.com/bmd1964hk
- Gelato-GO – A variety of gelato flavours including Rhum Raisin, 2383 9118, www.facebook.com/gelatohongkong
- Godiva – Classic soft-serve and cup ice-creams, www.godiva.com.hk
- Häagen-Dazs – The classic ice cream favourite, www.haagen-dazs.com.hk
- Owl’s Choux & Gelato – Gelato stuffed in a delicate choux pastry, 6199 5176, www.owlschoux.com
Best Ice Lollies In Hong Kong
ISEE iSEE – Milk-Based Ice Pops
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!
ISEE iSEE, The Peak, 118 Peak Road, Hong Kong
ISEE iSEE, 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
Nice Pops – Fruity Ice Lollies With No Nasties
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.
Nice Pops, available online, www.facebook.com/nicepopshk
Sugar And Dairy-Free Ice Cream In Hong Kong
DAMA – Insta-Worthy Vibrant Ice Cream Cones
Bringing delectable dairy-free ice cream to Kowloon side, DAMA’s has a fruit to ice cream ratio at up to 80%! Each tub is affordably priced and comes in intense but delightful flavours like dragon fruit, mango coconut pomelo and oat milk. Also, keep your eyes peeled for seasonal flavours. To sample a little bit of this and that, go for the mini cone set to pick four flavours in smaller portions.
Happy Cow – Locally Made Vegan Ice Cream
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. 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.
iceage! – Animal-Free Ice Cream With Real Dairy Protein
Asia’s first-ever animal-free ice cream made with real dairy proteins is birthed by Igloo Dessert Bar and US fermentation dairy food tech company Perfect Day. Want to try a unique ice cream flavour that’s often not explored? Go for the limited editions that feature red date, ginger milk pudding or peanut candy. Want to pack chilled goodies for the kids during summer? iceage! has a limited-edition cooler box and sticker pack!
Smile Yogurt – Froyo Parfaits
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 Froyo chiffon cakes, froyo 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!).
Yo Mama – Low Sugar Froyo
If you’re opting for a lower sugar kick, Hong Kong fave Yo Mama is a frozen yoghurt lover’s delight. Choose the size you want, the base flavour 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!
Best Restaurant Served Ice Cream In Hong Kong
Chilli Fagara – Chilli Flavoured Ice Cream
You may be intimidated by the sound of chilli-flavoured ice cream but you’ll be surprised to know how well the sweet and spicy tastes compliment each other. If your family is a fan of spicy food, this restaurant will not disappoint but trust us when we say a chilli-flavoured ice-cream is a much needed finishing touch!
Elephant Grounds – Exclusive Ice Cream Flavours
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.
Little Bao – Ice Cream Sandwiches
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.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on 10, June 2016, was updated by Anita Balagopalan on 26, August 2019 and most recently updated by Fashila Kanakka on 18, May 2022.