Auckland's Best Ice Cream and Gelato Joints for 2023
Whether you're a cup, cone or strictly chocolate-only type of person, these ice cream scoopers will have something for you.
Whether you're a cup, cone or strictly chocolate-only type of person, the ice cream and gelato maestros that follow will have something for you. We cover the top spots to visit when you need to tame your sweet tooth, or cool down after a day in the sunshine. With amazing summers, and beaches left, right and centre, it's no wonder Auckland has some of the best ice cream and gelato offerings in the country.
TAKAPUNA BEACH CAFE, TAKAPUNA
First up, and everyone's favourite place to take their mum on Mother's Day, is Takapuna Beach Cafe. Set in a picturesque location, this beachside spot is the perfect destination after a meander along the Milford to Takapuna coastal walk. This eternally busy cafe, restaurant and ice cream stop is popular with locals, and provides a great incentive to travel all the way across the bridge. Their ice cream and sorbet selection is extensive. They have a wide range of flavours and cater those unlucky enough to be dairy-free. But, what makes this one of Auckland's best ice cream and gelato spots is the life-hack not many know. You can order a single scoop ($6) and choose two flavours half-and-half. And boy are their scoops generous. A few of our favourite flavours are the salted caramel, lemon curd yoghurt, mango sorbet and the espresso. Go on, get yourself a double scoop ($8). After all that beach walking, you deserve it.
LITTLE 'LATO, MORNINGSIDE/ WYNYARD QUARTER
There's nothing little about these guys. With big scoops and even bigger imaginations, Little 'Lato has created a constant rotation of innovative flavours you won't want to miss out on. From fairy bread to crumpets with golden syrup or scones with cream and jam. No we aren't talking about the cabinet food on offer. These are all bespoke Little 'Lato ice cream inventions. All gelato is made on site and they have some great dairy-free options that use alternative nut milks. You can find Little 'Lato and its big creations at Crave in Morningside and at the Auckland Fish Markets.
DUCK ISLAND ICE CREAM, PONSONBY/ NEWMARKET
The mighty Waikato's claim to fame. Duck Island has finally opened not one, but two ice cream havens in Auckland central. Stocking at least 24 flavours at any given time, it's safe to say that there's a scoop to please every ice cream lover. The salted caramel cacao crumb is a decadent go-to, packed with caramel sauce swirls and a biscuit crumb. Meanwhile, chocolate lovers rejoice. Opt for the silky Whittaker's milk chocolate. Vegan and dairy-free options using a coconut milk base are also in full supply, helping cement its places on this list of Auckland's best ice cream and gelato joints.
GIAPO, AUCKLAND CBD
Okay okay, what list would be complete without a mention of, potentially the holy grail of Auckland ice cream, Giapo? This is an absolute institution and is always a must do when you're showing out of towners a good time. This ice creamery has been around for many years but always manages to come up with innovative and exciting ways of whipping up the good stuff. When you head down to the Fort Street store, arm yourself with wet wipes (for the drips of course) and pants with an elastic waistband. The walk in experience is second to none. Always say it's your first time there, so you get taken through a tasting session and shown all the new treats on offer. As well as out of the box flavours (i.e. Aperol spritz, Giapo Buono and Bberry's Mustard) you can choose from a variety of cones, including those you can wear. It's too hard to cover all the delights of Giapo, we suggest putting this one at the top of your list to visit this weekend. The gelato ranges from $9.50 to $17 a pop.
MIANN, AUCKLAND CBD/BRITOMART/MORNINGSIDE
From their flagship store on Fort Street to the Britomart hotspot and Morningside's chocolate factory, Brian and Roselle Campbell's Miann serves up some of the best dessert in Auckland. As well as cabinetry lined with florescent bon bons, mousse gateaux and inventive macarons, each venue boasts a luxurious selection of gelato and sorbet. The flavour lineup — available by the cup, cone or in milkshake form — includes baklava with pistachio and honey, salted caramel with macadamia praline and brownie, mango and gingerbread cheesecake, and charcoal coconut, among plenty of others. The brand's gelato cart is also available for hire and can offer up to eight different flavours for your special event.
OLLIE'S BURGERS & ICE CREAM, ROYAL OAK
This suburban icon in Royal Oak with its signature red and white retro American décor has ice cream definitely worth braving the worst roundabout in Auckland for. Established on Valentine's Day in 1973, Ollie's has been scooping up New Zealand's finest Tip Top ice cream for 47 years. It now offers around 30 different flavours of ice cream. Classics such as Goody Goody Gumdrops and rum and raisin, to the much-loved Gold Rush and maple walnut fudge are always on the menu. Ollie's is a beacon of hope after you have braved the crowds at the local Pak n Save or Dressmart down the road. The offerings don't stop at scoop ice cream. The giant banana splits ($13.50) and chocolate fudge cake served with ice cream, cream and sprinkles ($10.50) are much-loved favourites and are sure to hit the spot. Don't forget to ask for extra caramel sauce — that stuff is liquid sunshine, and essential for anyone hitting up this Auckland ice cream shop.
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