Taste Test: We Tried (Almost) Every Flavor at Via Gelato in Kaimukī
14 gelato and sorbetto flavors change daily. Which ones won out?
We don’t turn down gelato. That’s just a fact, especially when it feels like it’s 90 degrees outside (no matter what the thermometer says). Best of Honolulu winner Via Gelato has 14 flavors to pick from every day, so one of the best parts of any trip are those samples scooped up on those adorably small silver spoons. Of course, you can’t try all 14.
But we can.
This month, for our series that ranks every item offered by one company, we went to Kaimukī and ate gelato for lunch. Unfortunately, the peanut butter Oreo on the board was not in the case, so we had to settle for just 13 flavors. Sigh. But we powered through. Here are our results.
13. Macadamia Nut
Christi Young, editorial director: It was all coconut because of the added coconut milk.
Martha Cheng, dining editor: I didn’t taste macadamia nut at all.
12. Frosted Flakes
MC: I feel like it’s normally better. I didn’t really get cereal today.
CY: Me too. I just got milk.
11. Strawberry Lemonade
MC: To be fair, I didn’t have it today, but I’ve tasted it before, and it’s low on my priorities.
CY: It was lemonade heavy, so it was really tart which was nice, but I was expecting more strawberry.
10. Cookies and Cream
CY: They did say the case wasn’t as cold for some reason so the cookies and cream is softer than usual.
MC: It was really light today.
CY: The flavor’s good, but it didn’t feel like very indulgent.
CY: It wasn’t super strong vanilla bean in your face flavor, but it was nice and creamy.
8. Strawberries and Cream
MC: It’s not that there’s anything wrong with it, but I liked the other ones more. I also generally like swirls and things in ice cream—keeps it lively. I’m much more likely to get a swirled strawberry instead of a plain strawberry.
CY: Then put mochi and marshmallows on top and you’re all good!
7. Milk Tea
MC: It tastes like milk tea. I just like a little bit of bitter in ice cream so that tea is nice.
CY: I rated it a little lower just because I find milk tea, to me, is not really a distinctive flavor in general. It’s just milky.
6. Coffee Fudge Swirl
CY: Loved the coffee. It was strong and almost a little bitter. I like black coffee so I don’t like it when it’s too creamy and too sweet.
MC: I gave it a nine but only because I don’t normally choose coffee ice cream. When I want coffee, I want black coffee.
5. Pineapple Whip
CY: It’s like Dole Whip.
MC: But lighter.
CY: When we say that it’s like Dole Whip, we both like Dole Whip right?
MC: Yes! I love Dole Whip!
4. Chocolate Almond Toffee
Chocolate almond toffee gelato on top, fierce chocolate gelato on the bottom.
Photo: Martha Cheng
CY: The toffee was really nice, still crunchy, a good size, not too big pieces. I felt like the flavor got into the ice cream base. I was asking you what was the flavor of the base because it tasted like toffee, that brown sugar.
MC: I like the crunchiness of the toffee and almond bits. Sooo good.
3. Green Tea Mochi
Mountain apple sorbetto on top, green tea mochi gelato on the bottom.
Photo: Martha Cheng
MC: I like the mochi in it. I always like marshmallows and mochi in my ice cream.
CY: So, if you could get the marshmallow mochi sundae here you would be all good.
MC: Sometimes I wonder how much of that is just the mochi, I wonder if you just put the mochi in the vanilla would I just like the vanilla. I don’t know. I almost always get the green tea when I come.
CY: I love the green tea flavor, really creamy.
2. Fierce Chocolate
MC: It’s intense in flavor but light on the tongue. This is my favorite.
CY: You like the bittersweet. The flavor to me, and this is weird, but the flavor to me is like a flourless chocolate cake. It’s really deep and chocolatey.
CY: I was surprised the essence of mountain apple was captured well. That first bite you don’t really taste anything, but when you get that …
CY: The finish, yeah, on the back was really good. Plus, it’s limited and it’s my favorite fruit ever.
MC: Really? Above mango and lychee?
CY: Yes, because I have uncle with a lychee tree and a lot of people have mango, I don’t know anyone with a mountain apple tree.
MC: It almost tastes like they’ve added rosewater, which really captures the essence.
CY: This is the last week to get it. I’m taking a pint home.