Giapo. If you have been to Auckland, your taste buds probably just came alive from hearing the name. There is no doubt in my mind that Giapo serves the best ice cream in Auckland, possibly the world. Now, at a new location and with a discombobulating menu, Giapo is more irresistible than ever.
Are you wondering what this means? First, let me reassure you, the old favourites are still here. The new creations expand the menu created by Auckland ice cream chef Gianpaolo Grazioli, better known to his fans simply as “Giapo”. Today’s menu challenges the boundaries of ice cream.
As far-fetched as the concept sounds, there is a method to Giapo’s apparent madness. All these creations are inspired by everyday comfort foods from around the world.”
In one bite from the new menu, you take a magic journey to two places: it could be to a street cart in Mumbai, to a trattoria in Naples, an izakaya in Tokyo, or to an old-school Maori family gathering. The other part of the journey is to somewhere new, a place where ice cream speaks to you in a new and thrilling language – a journey to a Giapo state of mind.”
Not surprisingly, there is always a queue when we arrive, often out the door of the shop. It moves quickly, yet once at the front, you will be greeted, asked about allergies, offered samples, and made to feel like you are the only person that matters at this moment. Over-delivery is the motto. We are never disappointed.
On a recent visit, we were invited upstairs, into the workspace next to one of the kitchens. It’s an enchanting place where creativity flows and Giapo’s brilliant creations begin to take form. We sat, talked, and enjoyed one of their classics. Did I go for my favourite Giapo Bueno, or did I branch out and try a Hokey Pokey or a Kiss Kiss on that day? I can’t remember. I love them all.
In fact, all of my old favourites still exist as ice cream turned into an art form. Giapo continues to offer the perfect handmade combination of flavours. The secrets are passion, attention to every detail, and fresh New Zealand ingredients. The former shop staff of 25 employees included nine chefs working behind the scenes 24 hours a day creating everything from scratch. Now, I am sure there are more. The result is nothing short of perfection.
The first time I met Giapo, he wasn’t working, 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. He 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 grown outside of New Zealand).
A few flashbacks to the original location, which no longer exists anywhere but our memories:
Practical Information about Giapo:
- The new location is at 12 Gore Street in Auckland.
- The store opening hours are from 12.15 pm until 10:15 pm Sunday to Thursday, and until 11:15 pm on Fridays and Saturdays. It’s our favourite of the things to do in Auckland at night.
- For more information, check out their official website.
- The servings are huge, so arrive hungry.
- Giapo is featured in many travel books, including my favourite local guide: Lonely Planet’s New Zealand Travel Guide.
- If you are looking for more delicious treats, you might want to try an Auckland food tour from Viator.
Do you agree, Giapo is the best ice cream in Auckland? What is your favourite New Zealand ice cream?
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Disclaimer: We were provided with the ice cream we photographed, as well as the other images and press release information used in writing this article. However, the opinions expressed here are strictly my own.