I find myself saying the above often after meals. I’m sure many others do too.
So when in Honolulu, where are the best places to get ice cream? For me, there are two places that get me excited every single time.
Bubbies Homemade Ice Creams
Bubbies is probably one of Honolulu’s treasures. Going inside a Bubbies is like walking into a utopian time capsule where family values are still wholesome and the economy is always great and growing. It’s amazing, because that’s the perfect, complementing environment one should feel a part of when eating ice cream. The sign I once saw on their wall pretty much sums it all:
Bubbies is known for their mochi ice creams, which are sold in the U.S. mainland at select gourmet retail stores. But I’m happy with their regular ice creams, whose texture and creaminess is the best I’ve ever had. They routinely update their flavors with some new experimental ones, but even their permanent flavors like green tea and Oreo (which my boyfriend swears by) get me coming back in no time. I even love getting a simple chocolate vanilla milkshake from here. In a nutshell, I only say no to going to Bubbies when pigs fly.
Not going to be in Honolulu any time soon? Not a problem. You can order their ice cream online. 5 pints per shipment, and they “can make nearly any flavor that you desire”. Even I’m tempted to order, but I can’t because online orders are only for U.S. mainland.
Wing Ice Cream Parlor
Wing is like if Bubbies had a nephew who spent some time in SLC Punk!’s Salt Lake City and came back to Honolulu and decided to branch off the family business. Wing is run by some young guy named Miller Royer whom upon first encounter you would think is running the business as a fun joke because he’s also in a band, but then you quickly realize he has an intense passion for experimenting with ice cream flavors, and is really good at it. The first time I came to Wing, Miller was serving pizza ice cream. I asked him what inspired him to make pizza flavored ice cream, and he answered, “I woke up one morning with the idea of how to make it, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it until I made it.” Fair enough. And yes, it tasted uncannily like pizza—not what I usually look for in an ice cream, but it was impressive nonetheless.
The problem with Wing is that you never know what flavor you’re going to get. Not only is Miller’s passion for experimenting with ice cream intense, it’s also neverending and never constant. I still daydream about the honey chrysanthemum I tried over the summer and was ecstatic when he made my wish for horchata ice cream came true just last month (Miller keeps a white board in his store called “Wing Ice Cream Wish List”). Wing is truly the perfect foil to Bubbies; Wing is the go-to for thrills, and Bubbies is who you depend on. Between the two joints, I never get bored with my ice cream options.
Wing does all sorts of random community events too, like a record-listening party on weeknights. It’s all documented on Miller’s Instagram, which makes running an ice cream shop look a hundred times more fun than it probably actually is.
Varsity Center location
Across Varsity Theater on Coyne Street
1010 University Avenue
Honolulu, HI 96826
Hawaii Kai location
Koko Marina Shopping Center
7192 Kalanianaole Hwy D103
Honolulu, HI 96825
Wing Ice Cream Parlor
1145 Maunakea St Suite 4 (entrance on Pauahi Street)
Honolulu, Hawaii 96817