The Shop: Giapo Ice Cream
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Our first stop on our trip around the world is New Zealand! We went to New Zealand for the hiking and for the nature, but there’s no better reward after hiking than a well-deserved cone of ice cream. Though we have to admit, we got ice cream before we did any hiking. The first ice cream shop we went to was Giapo Ice Cream in Auckland, a place with incredible flavors and even more incredible cones.
Let’s start with the cones, as they are really what makes Giapo unique. They have a “Selfie Cone”, which is a chocolate cone with a chocolate picture frame that frames your ice cream- perfect for all your Instagram needs. They have a giant chocolate “Colossal Squid” or “Auckland Sky Tower” (the iconic Auckland landmark), which can be placed on top of your ice cream cone.
You can even order a chocolate lined Yorkshire pudding and get your ice cream served on top of that. Their cones are made from a variety of methods- 3D printing molds, laser cutting, and even by hand with rice paper for the Selfie Cone. They have descriptions on the cones with the technique, designer, and some facts- the Selfie Cone took two years to create! (We didn’t get a chance to ask what exactly was involved during those two years.)
We did ask the staff how often the fancy cones are ordered, and they said fairly rarely, only a handful a day. But it’s certainly a clever way to get people into the store! We tried the Yorkshire pudding, mostly because we didn’t know what one was. It was unique but not sweet, apparently it’s not supposed to be, but it wasn’t quite what we expected; we wouldn’t get it again.
The cones alone are a reason to visit, but Giapo also has a nice flavor selection, with a selection of crazier flavors as well as more standard ones. When we were there, the most unique flavor they had was Avocado Sweet Soy Gravy & Walnut, but they also had New Zealand classics such as Hokey Pokey, which is vanilla with honeycomb. We got the “Giapo Buono”, which seems to be one of their standard flavors, which has caramel, hazelnut praline, and amaretti, and also the “Kofe Samoa”, a coffee flavor with Samoan chocolate.
One other fun perk is you choose which flavor you want on top, and you get a different custom topping depending on which flavor is on top; we got some powdered chocolate and chocolate square on top of our “Kofe Samoa”. The first time we visited, it was about 30 minutes before closing and they were out of about half their flavors (and there was still a decent line out the door) so we’d recommend going in the early afternoon, which is what we did on subsequent visits.
Is there any bad news? The price. Giapo is quite expensive, even by New Zealand standards. At the time of writing, one scoop will cost you $9, two cost $12, and these are not large scoops. The more expensive cones (the Selfie Cone or the Colossal Squid) cost around $17, ice cream not included. So come ready to spend money, but know you’re going to enjoy it and have a very unique and delicious ice cream experience in Auckland!
The Great: Most amazing cones we’ve ever seen, very Instagram-worthy. Even without the cones, the ice cream itself is a work of art. Also, the staff is extremely generous with samples and brings around large samples in small cups.
The Not-so-Great: Quite expensive
Pro Tip: Come early, maybe for lunch dessert or an afternoon snack, so they are not out of flavors.