The best ice cream in Hong Kong: Emack & Bolio’s, Via Tokyo and more

By YP cadets Hanna Hipwell Serfaty, Olivia Tan, Indi Ray

Japanese style soft-serve on egg waffles, HK classic Mobile Softee and a vegan choice from Happy Cow all made it on our list

By YP cadets Hanna Hipwell Serfaty, Olivia Tan, Indi Ray |

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Emack and Bolio’s at Cochrae Street

To celebrate the start of the school holidays, Young Post’s cadets went on a mission to find the best ice cream spots in Central and Causeway Bay. Here’s what we discovered.

Emack and Bolio’s

Where: 26 Cochrane Street, Central

What: This place provides a rock ’n’ roll ice cream experience! Since arriving in Hong Kong in 2015, the American chain has become one of Central’s most popular dessert spots, especially among teens. It is best known for its funky flavour combos, such as “Deep Purple Chip”, which pairs a blackberry base with fruity pebbles and chocolate chips. What’s more, you can eat your scoop of ice cream out of a cone covered in your favourite childhood cereal, from Coco Pops to Fruit Loops.

Signature item: Space Cake, Grasshopper, and Stoney’s Dream ice cream

What we ordered: A scoop of Space Cake ice cream in a Froot Loops Marsh “Mellow” Cone and a scoop of Cookie Monster ice cream in a Coco Pops Marsh“Mellow” Cone

Price: $$$ – A scoop of ice cream costs HK$48 and the cones range from HK$12-$20. We paid $136 for two one-scoop cones.

Ambience: The shop’s interior will instantly transport you to the 70s: classic rock album covers line the walls and music plays from a vintage jukebox.

Additional notes: Emack & Bolio’s also sells smoothies, milkshakes, frozen yogurt, and chocolates.

Our thoughts: We thought that this place was a bit overpriced, but the quality and taste were pretty good. If you love to post on social media, you can’t go wrong here. With such a wide selection of flavours and cones, you’re sure to get a great pic for your feed.

Rating: 4/5

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Oddies Foodies

Where: Central, 45 Gough Street

What: This Sheung Wan hangout combines Japanese style soft-serve with Hong Kong street food, giving one of the city’s street food staples – egg waffles – a modern update. The waffles come in different flavours, like red velvet and Nutella, and are filled with chocolate sauce or Nutella, topped with soft serve, and sprinkled with additional toppings. These tasty creations attract foodies from far and wide.

Signature item: “Kido” waffle

What we ordered: “Kido” waffle and Italian low-fat milk gelato with Nutella sauce

Price: $-$$ – An eggette and ice cream combo costs around HK$69.

Ambience: The shop has a mostly minimalistic interior with industrial-style cement floors, but neon signs add some fun.

Additional notes: Oddies Foodies is tucked away at the end of a small street in Sheung Wan, so isn’t very convenient to get to. It took us a while to find, making it more of a destination in itself, but it is definitely worth the trip.

Our thoughts: We loved the food here! The waffle we tried was amazing, and provided a wonderful twist on the classic Hong Kong eggette. It paired really well with the ice cream, and the additional toppings made for an overall very exciting and tasty combination.

Rating: 5/5

Happy Cow

Where: 33 Man Kwong Street, Central

What: Happy Cow is Hong Kong’s leading vegan ice cream company. All its ice cream is coconut milk-based, which means it is not only free of egg and dairy, but also soy and gluten. The flavours are mostly traditional classics like chocolate and vanilla.

Signature item: Salted caramel swirl ice cream

What we ordered: A scoop of salted caramel swirl ice cream

Price: $$ – Each scoop is HK$38, or HK$28 for students

Ambience: Happy Cow is outdoors near the Hong Kong Observation wheel, which isn’t the most convenient of locations, but it has a backdrop of the city which is very pretty. There are also plenty of chairs with umbrellas to keep sheltered under.

Additional notes: The ice cream is not only free of egg and dairy, but also soy and gluten

Our thoughts: The coconut cream and sugar in the ice cream were a bit overpowering, despite the bold salted caramel flavour. The texture was also a bit odd. However, this is a great alternative to dairy ice cream for vegans and anyone with dietary restrictions.

Rating: 3/5

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Mobile Softee Ice Cream Truck

Where: Central Harbourfront

What: Mobile Softee is a Hong Kong icon. The music from the ice cream van is the soundtrack to many a Hong Kong kid’s childhood. We came across one in our quest for the city’s best ice cream and decided we had to include it on our list.

Signature item: Vanilla soft serve

What we ordered: Vanilla soft serve in a cone

Price: $ – A cone costs HK$10

Ambience: As Mobile Softee is a food truck, there isn’t much of an ambience. However, its familiar look and music made us feel very nostalgic.

Additional notes: Mobile Softee trucks can be found all over the city, such as in Stanley and at Hung Hom ferry pier.

Our thoughts: The ice cream had that typical, slightly artificial taste of vanilla soft-serve, but we were happy with the convenience and throwback to our childhoods.

Rating: 3.5/5

Via Tokyo: Causeway Bay

Where: Leighton Road, 106-126

What: Via Tokyo is a Japanese ice cream parlour that serves matcha flavored soft serve. Matcha flavoured desserts are very popular in Japan and in Hong Kong. The ice cream, green and white soft-serve swirled together, is very aesthetically pleasing and makes for a great Instagram!

Signature item: Shiratama Azuki Matcha Soft Cream

What we ordered: Shiratama Mix Soft Cream

Price: $$ – We paid HK$49.

Ambience: The store has a simple interior, with primarily wooden walls and furniture. The staff were friendly and efficient.

Additional notes: They offered free lemon water, which we thought was quite generous.

Our thoughts: The soft-serve here was amazing. It wasn’t too sweet and had a very smooth and creamy consistency. Ours came with mochi, which we thought provided a nice contrast in texture to the ice cream. Via Tokyo may only have two flavours – vanilla and matcha – but what it does, it does so well.

Rating: 4.5/5

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Yo Mama

Where: 4/F Windsor House, 311 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay

What: Though frozen yoghurt isn’t technically ice cream, we had to include this place on our list. When it comes to frozen yoghurt, Yo Mama is our go-to. There are several locations on the island and one in Kowloon, so you can grab a cup whenever the craving hits. You can also personalise your yoghurt by adding fruits, sauces and other toppings. Treat YO’self to some fro-yo this summer!

Signature item: Acai yoghurt and Original yoghurt

What we ordered: Regular Original frozen yoghurt with M&Ms, Crumbled Oreos, and strawberries

Price: $$ – A regular-sized cup with one topping costs HK$39 dollars. Each extra topping costs HK$8. We paid HK$55 for ours.

Ambience: The interior is clean and simple, much like any other fro-yo shop. The staff were friendly and efficient. There is limited seating, so take-aways are more common.

Additional notes: Yo Mama prides itself on being 98 per cent fat free and low GI.

Our thoughts: The frozen yoghurt was both tasty and refreshing; we truly believe that it is the best in the city. It is the perfect summer treat, and with such a huge array of flavours and toppings, everyone will find something to fall in love with.

Rating: 5/5

Edited by Charlotte Ames-Ettridge