Ultimate Guide to 11 Luscious Local Ice Cream Shops
All the scoops on what you’ll find at OG standards and newer players from Chinatown to ‘Ewa Beach.
Sunday may be National Ice Cream Day and July may be National Ice Cream Month, but ice cream is always in season in our ever-80-degree climate. While there is no shortage of chains and international brands, O‘ahu is home to a slew of delicious local ice cream makers that deserve your time and attention. Here, we spotlight these homegrown favorites.
Black Sheep Ice Cream Co.
Where and When:
- Waipio: 94-1235 Ka Uka Blvd., (808) 600-5655, open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily
- Wahiawā: 43 S. Kamehameha Hwy, (808) 620-5550, open Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- Kaka‘ako: H Mart, Second Floor, 458 Keawe St., open Sunday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- Ko Olina Center & Station, 92-1049 Olani St. #3-101C, open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily
Black Sheep specializes in thick, rich ice cream that pulls apart in slow spoonfuls. The micro chain makes an assortment of eyebrow-raising flavors, including Buttah Cakes, whose cream cheese base is embedded with chunks of butter cake; and the loaded Salted Crackamel, featuring salted cream, caramel ribbons and crispy cracker brittle. Pictured above is the popular Creep It Real, a luscious and filling take on cookies n’ cream. Grab your choice in a cup, classic or chocolate waffle cone, shake or float. Coffee lovers can even submerge their scoop in an affogato.
Butterfly Ice Cream
Where and When: Inside Rabbit Rabbit Tea University, Mō‘ili‘ili, 2700 S. King St., (808) 429-4483, open Tuesday to Sunday from noon to 7 p.m.
Located inside a boba shop below the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Butterfly Ice Cream serves over a dozen creamy house-made flavors. The black sesame is a standout, with a sweet, nutty taste that hovers pleasantly on the tongue. Butterfly’s specialty is “spirited” alcohol-infused ice cream, so we tried every dad’s timeless favorite: rum raisin. The rum-soaked raisins and undercurrent of alcohol lend depth to the flavor without overpowering the senses, an off-duty treat that goes down smooth.
Dave’s Hawaiian Ice Cream
Where and When:
- ‘Aiea: 98-820 Moanalua Road, (808) 487-7887, open Sunday to Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
- Waikīkī: Ilikai Hotel, First Floor, 1777 Ala Moana Blvd., (808) 425-4496, open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily
- Pearl City: 850 Kamehameha Hwy, (808) 456-8888, open 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily
- Waimānalo: 41-1537 Kalanianaʻole Hwy, (808) 259-0356, open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily
- Waipi‘o Shopping Center, 94-1040 Waipi‘o Uka St., (808) 677-0028, open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily
After 40 years of serving local ice cream, Dave’s remains a household name. The scoops may not look as glitzy as some of the newer kids on the block, but Dave’s honed its straightforward flavors long ago. For a place that serves over 40 flavors, Dave’s has quite a few winners, including toasted macadamia nut, azuki bean and mint chip. It’s safe to call the green tea ice cream an island classic, with a creamy and distinctive flavor that’s kept locals hooked for decades.
Double Fat Ice Cream
Where and When: ‘Alohilani Resort Waikīkī Beach, 124 Kealohilani Ave., open from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. daily
Double Fat offers intriguing flavors with a nostalgic, local bent. Take the honey furikake flavor, based on the Chex Mix snack that you munched on as a kid at a post-game potluck, or the almond cookie flavor, with the buttery color and taste of the Chinese confection. Looking for something even more adventurous? Try the Crack Seed Delight, a sweet-salty-sour creation of strawberry and sweet cream ice cream, mochi crunch, condensed milk, li hing powder and whip.
Where and When: 234 Beach Walk, Waikīkī, (808) 772-8822, open from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily
Nestled between bustling Waikīkī hotels, Henry’s Place serves ice cream in styrofoam cups with flavor names scrawled on the side in Sharpie. While the presentation is unassuming, seasoned foodies know not to judge a book by its cover. The ice cream here is wonderfully light, smooth and addictive. Fruity flavors such as mango, liliko‘i and pineapple are perfect after a sweltering day at the beach. Henry’s Place is cash-only and outdoor seating is limited, so make sure to come prepared.
Where and When: Hilton Hawaiian Village Rainbow Bazaar, Waikīkī, 2005 Kalia Road, (808) 943-0256, open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily
Lappert’s is another veteran local ice cream maker, born of humble beginnings on Kaua‘i. While the majority of locations are on the neighbor islands, Lappert’s in Waikīkī offers the brand’s expansive selection of ice cream, baked goods and coffee. Fans of chunky, hearty ice cream loaded with caramel, nuts and fudge will find their match here. If you’re hungry for dessert, feast your eyes on the Kaua‘i Pie, a mouthwatering combo of Kona coffee ice cream, coconut flakes, dark chocolate fudge, macadamia nuts and vanilla cake crunch.
Where and When: Pop-up times and locations vary; follow Sage’s social media and see their calendar for details
Sage Creamery whips up local ingredients into delightful and intriguing flavors on a menu that changes monthly. While the popular Strawberry Fields and Cookies + Cream are frequent fixtures, other months have seen sumptuous limited-time choices like Butter Mochi, Guava Cream Pie and Blue Jasmine Milk Tea. While Sage Creamery is currently on a rotation of pop-up locations, fans are eagerly anticipating a planned storefront in ‘Ewa. They tend to sell out, so if you want a taste, make a point to stop by sooner in the day.
Sweet As Ice Cream
Where and When:
- Lā‘ie: Hukilau Marketplace, 55-370 Kamehameha Hwy, (808) 762-0644, open daily except Wednesday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- Hale‘iwa: 62-620 Kamehameha Hwy, open Monday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Sweet As blends its ice cream with ripe fruit, creating colorful treats with potent flavor and texture. It’s simple: Choose your ice cream (vanilla, coconut, dairy-free coconut or soft serve) and your fruit (mango, strawberry, pineapple, blueberry, raspberry or mixed berry) and Sweet As will blend the two together. You can savor the scoops in a cup or a handmade waffle cone.
Where and When: 1430 Kona St., Kaka‘ako, (808) 260-4725, open Sunday to Thursday from noon to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from noon to 10 p.m.
Sweet Creams specializes in rolled ice cream. After placing your order, you can watch the ice cream makers spread patches of ice cream on a cold plate before crafting them into snug, sweet rolls. There are vegan-friendly options and customizable combos allowing you to choose a base ice cream and up to four toppings. Speaking of toppings: Sweet Creams has everyone (and every ice cream) covered, with over 30 choices ranging from gummy bears and Fruity Pebbles to fresh fruit and Okinawan sweet potato.
Uncle’s Ice Cream Sandwiches
Where and When: Various retailers; see the map here
Once a North Shore stand dreamed up by hydroponic lettuce farmers, Uncle’s Ice Cream Sandwiches is now an island-wide enterprise. You can find the treats at grocers and retailers like ABC Store and Whole Foods. Uncle’s rich ice cream and thick cookies make for a satisfying mouthful, with flavors running the gamut from honey peanut butter to North Shore coffee.
SEE ALSO: Cool Operator–Uncle’s Ice Cream Expands
Wing Ice Cream
Where and When: 1145 Maunakea St. Ste. 4, Chinatown, (808) 536-4929, open Tuesday to Saturday from noon to 8:30 p.m., Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. (at the time of writing, operating hours are temporarily different; check their site and social media for more details)
This popular Chinatown ice cream parlor offers upbeat flavors like mango and chrysanthemum as well as heavier flavors like the bourbon-based Daddy Chill and a chocolate Oreo marshmallow swirl mashup fittingly called S’mOreos. If you’re looking for non-dairy options, try the coconut-based ice creams such as the chocolate and banana Coco Monkey and the cherry and chocolate Mon Cheri.