Giapo: Taking Ice Cream and Gelato to an Art Form

Giapo. Just thinking about their ice cream and my mouth is watering. Who would have thought the best ice cream in the world is found in Auckland New Zealand?

Giapo has turned ice cream into an art form, a perfect handmade combination of flavours. The secrets are passion, attention to every detail, and fresh New Zealand ingredients. The shop is staffed with 25 employees including 9 chefs working behind the scenes 24 hours a day creating everything from scratch. The result is nothing short of perfection.

Not surprisingly, there is always a queue when I arrive, often out the door of this 45 square meter shop. It seems to move quickly and once at the front I am greeted, asked about allergies and my favourite flavours, and given samples. The menu varies by season. Some of my favourite options from my last visit included Chocolate Evolution, Tiramisu, Giapo Buono, Christchurch Hazelnut, and Tarte Tatin. Sometimes there are flavours named for pop stars or local politicians.

I wish I could share a spoonful, but at least I can share the art:

Colourful ice cream creations from Giapo in Auckland New Zealand

When Annarosa brought out our ice cream creations, and I stopped to take the photo, it seemed that everyone around turned to have a look. They are works of art and taste even better than they look.

I met the owner and head chef a few weeks ago, a charming Italian born man named Gianpaolo Grazioli, or Giapo for short. He wasn’t working at the moment, so no chef uniform. Instead, he wore a button-down shirt and matching cap, both with ice cream cones printed  across them. You couldn’t help but smile when you spoke with him. Giapo knows all 67 farmers and suppliers, and assures he has the quality ingredients required to create his masterpieces (only the chocolate, vanilla, and a few spices are not grown in New Zealand).

Colourful ice cream in a cup at Giapo in Auckland New Zealand

Cup or cone, each treat is a work of art.

Created with care, each piece of edible decor is hand placed at Giapo in Auckland New Zealand

Created with care, each piece of edible decor is hand placed in its ideal location creating a taste sensation you won’t soon forget.

Queue for Giapo in Auckland New Zealand

It seems there is always a queue at their Queen Street location, which isn’t really surprising as they serve about 1,000 people every day, estimating Giapo to be the busiest hospitality place in New Zealand.

Practical Information about Giapo:

  • Giapo is located at 279 Queen Street in Auckland, a few doors from the Civic Theatre.
  • The store opening hours are from midday until around 10:30pm Sunday to Thursday, and until 11:45pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
  • For more information, check out their official website.
  • The servings are huge, so arrive hungry.
  • I have been to 42 countries so far, and Giapo offers the best ice cream I have found.

My Big Announcement

Are you wondering why I had six ice cream cones? Like every order, mine was custom made, but not for eating, rather specifically for the photo to be used in my upcoming book. (Who am I kidding, of course we ate the ice cream after I got the shot – and like always it was spectacular!).

I wrote the Auckland edition of the Choose A Way series of books. It’s an interactive travel guide taking you to exciting places like Giapo, as well as over forty other Auckland destination. The book will publish in April, but today I can finally share the cover, which I think came out great. (Thanks Chris!):

Cover for Choose A Way Auckland due out April 2016

Important: Free downloads will be available for the first few days after it publishes. Sign up to my mailing list to be notified as soon as it is released.

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Have you tried Giapo yet? What is your favourite flavour of ice cream? What do you think of my new book cover?

If you enjoyed learning about Giapo, please share this article on social media including pintrest:

Colourful ice cream creations from Giapo in Auckland New Zealand

This post is also linked to BeThere2Day for Wordless Wednesday on Tuesday, Our World Tuesdays, Trekking with Becky for Expat Tuesday, Travel Tales at Girl on the Move, Travel Tuesdays at Lauren on Location, and Wednesdays Around the World at Photographing New Zealand.

Disclaimer: I was provided with complementary product for photography, however the opinions expressed here are strictly my own.

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  1. says

    Hi Rhonda – I think I’d travel over to NZ to see these … and obviously try each and everyone – and I prefer savoury foods! They look amazing .. wonderful photos – cheers Hilary

  2. says

    I was licking my lips as i was reading that and looking at the photos heheh!, It must be ice cream heaven in there 🙂

    Have a conetastic week Rhonda 🙂

  3. says

    Congrats on the book – the cover looks amazing! But, of course, I’m very partial to shots of the Auckland harbor with boats sailing along. That ice cream looks amazing – I don’t think I’ve ever seen a place that makes ice cream cones into a work of art before. Yum!

    • says

      You must have walked by Giapo hundreds of times, it’s right on Queen street just a few doors past the entrance for the Civic Theatre. And, I am excited about the book cover too. I took the photo from the top of Mt. Victoria, but the editor made the cover.

  4. says

    WOW, WOW, WOW about looking at this at 10:00 am in the morning. I want some GIAPO ice cream or gelato. What a brilliant man. Of course he Italian. Ha,ha,ha. Did I tell you that I was also ( brilliant ) Italian. LOL. Beautiful photos but why don’t we see you eating and one of those cones?

    Have a wobderful Tuesday Rhonda. See ya.

    Cruisin Paul

    • says

      Wow is exactly how I felt when she walked out with those ice creams for us. I didn’t know you were a brilliant Italian, but I should have guessed by your name.

  5. says

    Love the book cover. Very nice. I also signed up for a free copy. Way cool.

    I love ice cream and I would be visiting this shop for sure. My favorite here is Cold Stone. They have some amazing creations too,

    Have a fabulous day Rhonda. ☺

    • says

      The sign up puts you on my mailing list. You will get my blog as well as the newsletter which will tell you when the book is available for free. You will still need to download a copy. By the way, I like Cold Stone too, but Giapo is better 🙂

  6. says

    6 ice creams… I would go into a food coma for a week. Nice cover, by the way – very clean, simple and gets to the point exactly! Looking forward to its release 🙂

  7. says

    Wow…just wow! This gelato looks delicious and so funky too. My husband is heading to Auckland soon for work, so I’ll have to tell him about this place as he LOVES ice cream. Congrats on the new book too!

  8. says

    Oh wow, that photo really drew me in. Those cones are each a piece of art, and the flavors you mentioned sound divine. Just another excuse to visit Auckland. And when I do, I’ll need your new book with me. Congrats on the publication!

  9. says

    interesting, Rachel Hunter when she did the ice cream ad, said it wasn’t real ice cream she was “eating” It was mash potato so it won’t melt.

    Visiting from Auckland,

  10. says

    Congrats with your book series. Wishing you lots of success! Got addicted to gelato when we visited Italy 3 years ago. Like it even better than ice cream, because it is not as sweet (which makes one thirsty again soon in such a hot climate as California). Of course – chocolate is always my first choice! Wishing you a happy rest of the week!

  11. says

    OMG! So much awesomeness! I’m an ice cream nut and would love to go to this place! I’ve never heard of an ice cream store with a line, so this means it must indeed be spectacular. And HUGE CONGRATS on your upcoming book! The cover looks awesome, and I’m so excited for you! I definitely want to feature this on my blog when it comes out. 🙂

  12. says

    This post has me drooling uncontrollably. I’m a baker and cake decorator so such edible works of art appeal to me so much.
    I just can’t get over how beautiful those ice cream cones look (the one with the stamp seal on it my favorite, of course!).
    I found your blog through the A to Z! Looking forward to seeing more of your posts and hopefully getting a chance to visit this place sometime in my life!

    ~ Saraallie

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