7 Kaimukī Sweet Spots to Satisfy Your Sweet Cravings

When it comes to desserts, Kaimukī is tops.


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1. Via Gelato

Via Gelato, in flavors that include strawberry liliko‘i, black sesame and green tea.
Photo: Steve Czerniak

On a wall in the dining area at Via Gelato, an artisan gelato shop on 12th Avenue, there’s a small bulletin board littered with scraps of paper and napkins scribbled with suggestions for new flavors.


There are the familiar (lemon meringue pie, peach cobbler), the nostalgic (Tootsie Roll, Snickers), the trendy (Thai basil, maple bacon) and the, well, more interesting suggestions (corn, meat jun).


In fact, since opening in March 2014, Via Gelato has served more than 100 flavors, although not all of them end up in the regular rotation. Adding flavors to the menu is a thoughtful process. And “wow” factor just isn’t enough.


“I try to make things that a lot of people will love and want to talk about,” says owner Melissa Bow, who garnered a fiercely devoted following when she started serving her handmade gelato and freshly baked waffle cones from a truck back in 2012. “The flavors have to have some kind of emotional value. You want people to connect with the flavor and feel strongly about it.”


Which explains why flavors like Frosted Flakes, Snickerdoodle and PB & J do so well.


“For me, it’s about creating flavors that people can relate to,” says kitchen manager Julie Newman, who concocts flavors alongside Bow. “Even better if they can bring you back to your childhood.”


Despite the diverse offerings—Fluorescent Frosting (a mistake involving too much food coloring), Black Sesame, Li Hing Shiso—the most popular flavors are still the basics: chocolate and vanilla. And everything, even the fudge and caramel that gets swirled into base gelato flavors, is made from scratch.


“It takes time,” Bow says, “but it’s way better.”


1142 12th Ave., 732-2800, viagelatohawaii.com


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Honolulu Magazine September 2018
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