This heat wave has me craving ice cream all day, every day. Since July 16 is National Ice Cream Day, I found an excuse to compile a roundup of my favorite ice cream spots around the island. After all, there’s no sweeter way to celebrate. Better yet, July is National Ice Cream Month, so you have two more weeks to raise a cone.
The criteria for this guide were simple: The ice cream had to be luscious and made in-house. I looked for newbies in addition to tried-and-true favorites, and here’s what I found:
Butterfly Ice Cream
I go to Butterfly Ice Cream specifically for the house-made waffle cones, which a friend tells me are unlike any she’s eaten.
This has to be the lightest, crispiest waffle cone I’ve had. It almost reminds me of those bubble puff cones that are all the rage now but it’s strong enough to hold a substantial amount of ice cream (I get the super chocolaty Brownie Batter). The marshmallow at the base adds a nice touch — I don’t have to worry about ice cream dripping out the bottom.
I don’t understand why black sesame is the most-ordered flavor until I have a bite of my boyfriend’s scoop. And another. Then another. OMG. How can one flavor taste like three — peanut butter, cookies and cream, with a black sesame aftertaste — all at one time?! Mind-blowing.
Butterfly also has whole waffles topped with ice cream ($12) on their menu. I know what I’m ordering next time.
Butterfly Ice Cream • 324 Coral St. • Kakaako • 429-4483
Kailua Ice Cream
At Kailua Ice Cream, I experience some of the best customer service of my life. The elderly gentleman behind the counter doesn’t even ask if I want a sample — he gives me five of his favorites, which makes decision-making extremely difficult.
I don’t come across dulce de leche ice cream often, and this one is sweet, sticky and reminiscent of the dessert. The Waialua coffee flavor is intense — seriously, a cuppa joe in ice cream form — and complements the dulce de leche well.
Kailua Ice Cream • 418 Kuulei Rd. • Kailua • 888-0200
Pipeline may be famous for its malasadas, but don’t skip the ice cream selection when you go. The two most popular flavors are Molly Madness (crazy good cookies ‘n cream) and the Malafrozada (chunks of malasadas in ice cream). I go for Avery’s Chocolate Avalanche, which is basically rocky road on steroids.
Talk about a chocolate explosion. There are plenty of marshmallows and huge, decadent brownie chunks throughout. The only challenge is keeping up with my rapidly melting ice cream on a sweltering summer afternoon.
Pipeline Bakeshop & Creamery • 3632 Waialae Ave. • Kaimuki • 738-8200
8 Half Desserts
Since 8 Half Desserts opened a kiosk in the Shirokiya Village Walk, you no longer need to go to Kaimuki to get those frozen treats. In case you didn’t know, 8 Half is famous for their unconventional, house-made ice cream flavors — combos like mango shoyu ice cream, ume, poi and more.
I recommend skipping the scoops and going all out for one of their ice cream pie slices. After all, they’re the same price ($7). And for the slice of pie, you get more ice cream per your penny.
I’m a coffee fiend, so I go for the chocolate-and-coffee combo. I love the intense chocolate flavor and the crumbly cookie crust. Be warned: This ice cream pie is frozen solid. I actually broke my plastic spoon while eating it, and had to wait patiently for it to thaw before continuing the damage.
8 Half Desserts • 1450 Ala Moana Blvd. • Ala Moana • www.8halfdesserts.com
Black Sheep Cream Co.
Waipahu’s Black Sheep Cream has generated lots of buzz on the Leeward side, and even though it’s a 20-minute drive for me, it’s one of my favorite ice cream spots on the island.
Why? Because of their ice cream flights ($10.50).
This is the ideal option for indecisive ice cream fanatics — or those who want to share. The most popular flavors are Suga Suga Wrinkle Nut (a salty-sweet blend of brown sugar cream and homemade pecan brittle), Joe Gets Nuts (coffee ice cream and homemade mac nut brownie bits) and Once You Go Black (roasted black sesame). Flight scoops are smaller than single-size ones, so there’s no guilt trip involved.
Black Sheep Cream Co. • 94-1235 Ka Uka Blvd. • Waipahu
Tropilicious Ice Cream Shop
I’ve passed by Tropilicious on Kalihi Street many times on my way to the freeway. Once I saw pictures of their limited-edition Baby Blue Monster flavor on Instagram, I knew I had to stop by. After all, these are only available while supplies last.
Baby Blue Monster is Cookie Monster’s ultimate ice cream. It’s a rich blue and features plentiful Oreo cookies and chocolate chips. I love the creamy texture and cookie pieces studded liberally throughout.
Because I still want to try the Kona coffee flavor, I grab one of the brownie ice cream sandwiches on my way out. Luscious scoops of ice cream are sandwiched between thin, cake-like, heart-shaped brownies. And they’re the same price as a single scoop. What a deal.
Tropilicious Ice Cream Shop • 439 Kalihi St. • Kalihi • 518-8787
Lucy’s Lab Creamery
Lucy’s Lab Creamery recently relocated to Ward Village’s South Shore Market, but their ice cream selection — including flavors like Fruit Loop Vodka, Bacon Whiskey and Strawberry Moscato — remains the same.
My favorite treat: the Lab’s twist on the ice cream sandwich. I first had the pan de crème at Lucy’s original location, and it’s still my favorite whenever I visit. The process used to create this sammich is fascinating — Lucy’s Lab takes the sweet roll and uses a panini press to flatten it into sandwich form once the ice cream is inside. Then, they add the topping and spread you choose.
I like the sweeter flavors, so I choose Cinnamon Toast Crunch ice cream, Oreos and peanut butter. I can never get enough of that fragrant cinnamon flavor and crunchy cereal pieces.
Lucy’s Lab Creamery • 1170 Auahi St. • Kakaako • www.lucyslabcreamery.com
Wing Shave & Ice Cream
I never know what flavors to expect at Chinatown’s Wing, since Miller, the owner, changes up his flavors regularly. I haven’t ever had the same flavor twice. Some of my favorites, though, are the Kona almond fudge, salted caramel and caramel latte.
Wing is known for crazy flavors like pizza, avocado, Chococado (chocolate + avocado), horchata and more. I tend to stick to those with chocolate or coffee and usually get a single scoop ($3.50). But the house-made waffle cones are worth the $1.25 upgrade and double scoops ($5.50) are the perfect way to try more than one flavor. Samples aren’t allowed, so you just have to go with your gut.
Wing Shave & Ice Cream • 1145 Maunakea St.• Chinatown • 536-4929
Magnolia Ice Cream & Treats
Magnolia is famous for Filipino-inspired ice cream flavors such as Buko Pandan, Langka, halo-halo and ube. Especially ube. There are other unique flavors like Mais Queso — yes, that’s corn — as well.
Ube lovers will certainly love this treat — the flavor’s definitely strong. Magnolia isn’t the best place to go if you have a serious chocolate craving, but it’s great if you’re feeling daring or want to try something different.
Magnolia Ice Cream & Treats • 1210 Dillingham Blvd. • Kalihi • 845-4063
Waikiki day-trips are just another excuse for me to visit Lappert’s. Once, I walked from the Royal Hawaiian parking lot — in the middle of the day — all the way to Hilton Hawaiian Village just because I desperately wanted one of these waffle cones.
Anytime I get ice cream in a cone is somewhat of a big deal, since I hate dripping, melted ice cream and prefer to eat it with a spoon. But Lappert’s cones ($6.02 single scoop) are always worth it. They’re thicker, perfectly crispy and just complement that rich, creamy ice cream so well … regardless of what flavor you get.
Lappert’s Hawaii • 2005 Kalia Rd. • Waikiki • 943-0256