I was super lucky to be invited to Giapo earlier this year to have a tour of their store and kitchen and to taste some of their unique ice creams. Needless to say, I was impressed! As a business student myself, it is always fascinating for me to see amazingly innovative companies with a dedicated vision, and Giapo ticks all the boxes. Giapo has a vision to promote New Zealand by bringing people from all over the world to try its ice cream – each of which represents the country in some way.
Giapo really do work tirelessly to continue to innovate and create new flavours and ideas. Every single one of their ice creams has had a huge amount of thought put into it to make it perfect. They like to experiment with different kinds of milks, which means there are a number of vegan ice cream options. Every single one aims to represent what is unique about New Zealand’s culture and culinary experience. If there’s a company strives to make New Zealand’s best ice cream, Giapo is it.
The Innovation Area
Yep, you read that right – this ice cream parlour has a dedicated area just for innovating. There are drawings and designs all over the walls, they have 3D printers and molds, and they have replicas of some of their most successful designs. It’s the kind of place that inspires creativity and new ideas – which, of course, is the idea.
The customer experience at Giapo
The service – just like everything else at Giapo – is top notch. Unsurprisingly, there are usually queues forming out the door, but still each customer is treated with patience and friendliness. Once you reach the counter, you can request to taste as many flavours as you like and they will give you little cups full of each one. Once you decide which flavour you want, you then have to decide what you want your ice-cream to come in – which is where it gets really interesting!
The Giapo ice-cream flavours
At Giapo, they are always creating new flavours, but the number of items on the menu stays the same! This is because they are constantly coming up with new flavours to test out. If you can’t decide, remember you can have two flavours in a single cup for the same price!
My favourite flavours:
Central Otago Sheep Milk Banana
This ice cream, made with sheep milk instead of cow’s, has a really distinct flavour, and it actually tastes like bananas! It’s not overly sweet, it is just a really wholesome flavour. It comes topped with little crunchy peanut butter rice bites.
Christchurch Hazelnut, Dominican Chocolate
This is your typical sweet, rich chocolate flavoured ice cream. A classic choice, so you can’t really go wrong. This comes topped with a hazelnut spread which is made right there at Giapo. Personally, this is my favourite.
If you want a unique taste of New Zealand, try the afghan cookie, which is an ice cream-ised version of a classic New Zealand favourite biscuit. The ice cream flavour incorporates all of the things that make the afghan so good – it’s filled with cornflakes and topped with chocolate and walnuts.
NZ Hokey Pokey
Another ice cream to try if you are interested in New Zealand cuisine is the hokey pokey, a traditional New Zealand ice cream flavour. Giapo does a great job at producing this classic flavour.
Top vegan ice-cream flavours
Giapo is so awesome at catering to different diets, and they have heaps of vegan and gluten free options. Personally I’m all for reducing the use of animal products so I think it’s great that they make use of different kinds of ingredients to create vegan friendly ice creams which still taste just as good – and because they are so unique, you really have to try them, even if you’re not vegan!
Coconut Choc Chip
This is your traditional sweet, chocolate-flecked ice cream made with coconut milk. It comes topped with coconut chocolate and even a full chocolate chip cookie! This is probably the less risqué out of the vegan flavours, so you can’t go wrong.
Five New Zealand Citrus
This is a new one which has just been introduced to the menu, and luckily I had the chance to try it just last week, in time for writing this post. This is a fruity, sour sorbet which is super refreshing and perfect for those coming summer months. It comes topped with macadamia nuts and those little sour bites which pop in your mouth.
Ways to hold your Giapo ice-cream
I mean, you could just go for the cheapest option and get it in a little paper cup (which, honestly, it is still a lot of ice-cream so if you’re not a big eater it might be your best bet). But one thing that makes Giapo so unique and exciting is all the different ways that you can choose for your ice-cream to be held!
Top picks for Giapo ice cream holders
Mother of the Yorkshire Pudding
Who would have thought Yorkshire Pudding could be an ice cream? This is just another of Giapo’s weird and wonderful inventions. It’s warm, it’s sweet, and it just goes so well with ice-cream! Who’d’ve thought? They are truly geniuses.
Hot Chips in a Cone
Who of us hasn’t dipped their Maccas hot chips into the soft serve every once in a while? It’s an objectively GOOD combo. Of course, seemingly the only ones to think to make this into a real thing is Giapo. And they think of every detail – from baking the chips for hours to achieve perfection, to making little holes in the cone to allow the chips to ‘breathe’ and not melt the ice-cream or make the cone soggy! Truly genius, and as a huge fan of chips AND ice cream myself, I’ll have to crown this my favourite.
This sugar glazed treat with a chocolate coating and filled with crystalised sweets is a ‘Giapo’ take on the traditional Indian bread. It’s a unique idea but again, goes perfectly with ice cream! It’s so true – why does ice cream have to be confined to cone and cup?
You might be feeling just that little bit ‘extra’- and let’s be real, you’re at Giapo, so it’s literally the best time to be outrageous! If you want to truly experience all things Giapo, you’d better try one of these ‘extra’ add-ons. It’s a lot to take in, but it’s worth it – if not just for the Insta feed.
My favourite whammies
The chocolate squid is actually a tribute to a famous New Zealand squid. The largest squid in the world – the colossal squid – was caught in 2007 by a kiwi fisherman and it has been a source of fascination for many ever since. Last year, to commemorate 10 years since its death, Giapo came up with a chocolatised representation of it. The colossal squid is a fascinating creature with so many quirks. It is currently on display at the Te Papa museum in Wellington, and you can read more about it here, but I’ll leave you with one fun fact: the colossal squid’s food has to pass through its brain before it can reach its stomach! Sounds like a few people I know…
Auckland Sky Tower
It’s no real surprise that Auckland’s Number One landmark is on the menu here. What tourist wouldn’t want an edible replica of the country’s tallest building to add to their experience? Giapo have also worked on a number of other famous landmarks, including Sydney’s Opera House and the Eiffel Tower, but as a New Zealand brand they tend to stick to the New Zealand icon for its icy deserts – for now!
Facts about Giapo
Where is Giapo
Giapo is located at 12 Gore St in Auckland’s CBD. It’s a super central location close to Queen St, Britomart train station and the Viaduct Harbour.
Prices at Giapo
For a premium ice cream you’ve got to expect no less than premium prices. Prices start from around $10 for a standard cup, and can range anywhere from $5 to $17 for the add-ons. Let me tell you that for Giapo, it’s well worth the price. It’s not just an ice-cream, it’s an experience, after all.
Remember, the menu changes semi regularly and some of the menu items are seasonal. You can always check out their updated menu on their website, though.
Why you should visit Giapo
If the lines of people spilling out the door (even in the heart of winter) don’t convince you, or the numerous glowing reviews, or the lists of great ice cream in Auckland which Giapo seems to top all the time… I know what you’re thinking: They’re doing so great, they will expand. They’ll come to my city. I’ll get another chance to try them. Well, you’re wrong about that. As Giapo told me himself, they have no plans to expand whatsoever. “What we do is so unique, we don’t think it will be well replicated elsewhere, we don’t want to dilute our brands and values in the pursuit of profit.” Giapo is a small, family-owned enterprise with no wish to get any bigger. So there you have it. It is one-of-a-kind and you’ll just have to make sure you try it when you come to Auckland. It might just be Auckland’s best ice-cream place.
>>What’s your favourite ice cream place in the world? Would you try Giapo? Let me know in the comments!
Don’t forget to pin this post if you liked it – or just so you don’t forget to visit Giapo on your trip to New Zealand!