A Kiwi summer wouldn’t be complete without the consumption of copious amounts of ice cream and/or gelato. Lucky for us, Auckland has a fine selection of both.
First things first, let’s clear up the subtle—yet very important—differences between ice cream and gelato. It comes down to three factors: Gelato has less fat, it’s served at a warmer temperature and it has less air churned into it during the freezing process. Technicalities aside, they’re both equally delicious on a hot summer’s day.
So, without further ado, here’s our list of Auckland’s eight best ice creams (and gelatos) to try this summer.
Must try: Aotearoa or Pacific garden
Leading the pack is everyone’s favourite ice cream joint, Giapo. This summer we encourage you to break away from your fave flavour of giapo bueno and try Aotearoa or Pacific garden, depending what’s on offer.
Aotearoa garden is an ever-changing flavour that utilises New Zealand’s seasonal fruit and veges. One of the best combos (we think) has been mint, feijoa, beetroot and passionfruit.
Aotearoa garden is currently M.I.A. while Pacific garden steps up to the plate (or should we say cone?) This flavour features organic Fijian pineapple, Clevedon tangelo and Kerikeri kawakawa. It’s topped generously with pomegranate and toasted pumpkin seeds.
Must try: Giant banana split
Iconic ice cream parlour, Ollies, has been sitting on the corner of the busy Royal Oak roundabout since your dad was a kid. Opening on Valentine’s Day in 1973, the American-styled diner has, indeed, stood the test of time.
Their famous giant banana split is not for the health-conscious. It features three scoops of ice cream, freshly whipped cream, chopped nuts, classic pink wafers and your choice of sauce. Oh, and there’s a banana in there too – not that you can see it underneath all that goodness.
Pokeno Takeaways and Johnson Takeaways
Must try: 12-scoop ice cream
Pokeno is famous for two things: bacon and ice cream. What more could you want?! Yes, Pokeno is a little further afield but it’s an easy detour on your way to the Coromandel this summer.
On Pokeno’s main street (we use the term generously) you’ll find double ice cream bliss. Neighbouring stores, Pokeno Takeaways and Johnson Takeaways, serve up your favourite ice cream flavours. We’re talking gold rush, mint chocolate chip, goody goody gumdrops and, of course, hokey pokey.
Can’t decide what flavour you want? Then opt for their infamous 12-scoop monster cones. Eat all the ice cream.
The Strawberry Farm
Must try: Fresh strawberry ice cream
The best thing about strawberry season is fresh fruit ice cream. Thankfully, you don’t have to head to the countryside to get your fix. Instead, take a pleasant drive to The Strawberry Farm in Mangere for some fruity delight.
Here you can have your strawberries blended with either ice cream or yoghurt (we opted for the latter). Your ice cream is then served sky-high in a waffle cone. Seriously, these things are huuuge—don’t say we didn’t warn you!
Make sure you buy a punnet of freshly picked strawberries to take home with you.
Sweet Val’s Ice Cream
Must try: Sweet valentine nectarine and elderflower black doris yum
Serving up frozen goodness at a festival near you is Sweet Val’s Ice Cream. The pop-up ice cream parlour uses liquid nitrogen to freeze premium ingredients right before your very eyes. The result? The smoothest, creamiest and freshest icecream everrr.
Choosing from their menu is no easy feat. We suggest you try their fruity summer special: sweet valentine nectarine and elderflower black doris yum. For some plum-on-plum action, upgrade to a sundae and top with black doris plum and chia seed jam.
FYI all of Val’s ice creams are free from egg, gluten and refined sugar and there are plenty of dairy-free options.
Takapuna Beach Cafe
Must try: Chocolate honeycomb
Not only famous for its impressive brunch menu, Takapuna Beach Cafe also scoops up some of the best gelato in Auckland.
We suggest you do a coastal walk from Milford and treat yourself to a chocolate honeycomb gelato at the end. The rich, creamy chocolate gelato is packed with sizeable chunks of delicious honeycomb.
These things melt fast in the hot Takapuna sun so enjoy your gelato in the shade of a Pohutakawa tree lining the beach.
White’s & Co.
Must try: Berry froyo topped with mixed berries and chocolate brownie
Making hot summer days stuck in the office more bearable is White’s & Co. Technically speaking, this Britomart froyo joint serves neither ice cream nor gelato but it’s still worthy of a mention.
Pull yourself away from your desk and get amongst their mouth-watering soft-serve yoghurt. Select the size of your tub (or opt for a cone), pick your flavour and choose your toppings.
Our go-to is berry froyo topped with mixed berries and decadent chocolate brownie bits. But who are we to say what you should get? It’s your lunchbreak so order what you like, you strong independent person you!
Charlie’s Gelato Garden
Must try: Christmas cherry
If you’re heading north these holidays you’re gonna want to treat your taste buds with a visit to Charlie’s Gelato Garden in Warkworth.
Their flavours are constantly changing depending on what’s in season but you can expect the likes of apple crumble, banoffee and blackberry with elderflower. Visit before the end of the month to try their seasonal release of sour cherry gelato. It’s like Christmas on a cone. Lick it while you can!
Charlie’s also serve up wood fire pizza so it’s your one stop shop for all things tasty.
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