Frozen treats abound on Hawaii’s Big Island, where shave ice, in particular, is a popular snack. When you want something a bit creamier, however, you can’t go wrong with gelato. Unfortunately, quality desserts other than shave ice can sometimes be surprisingly difficult to find. If you’re in the know, however, you’ll discover a few local places that vacationers often miss.
A top option for your sweet tooth itinerary? Gypsea Gelato. There are currently three locations available, but the Kealekua store is a great option when you’re navigating the Hawaii Belt Road and need to make a quick stop.
Founded by former commercial fishers, Gypsea Gelato prioritizes local farmers and fresh ingredients. This dedication to the Big Islan community can also be seen in Gypsea’s partnerships with other small businesses, with the products from their passion projects available for purchase at the gelato shop.
When you enter the store, you’ll feel right at home. The space is undeniably cheery — thanks, in part, to the local artwork on display. If you’re like most visitors, however, you’ll make a beeline for the counter. There, you’ll observe a vast selection of flavors on display.
There truly is something for everyone, including both classic and adventurous options. You’ll welcome to order two flavors, which can be enjoyed in either a cup or a cone. Everything is handmade on a daily basis, so you can rest assured, knowing that any flavor you select will be fresh.
In addition to serving gelato, Gypsea offers delicious Kona coffee. This is a welcome option when you need a little caffeine or simply want to enjoy Hawaii’s legendary Java. When you really need a jolt, opt for the espresso. This pairs wonderfully with a classic gelato flavor, such as vanilla bean.
There’s no need to sacrifice if you are unable or unwilling to eat dairy. Gypsea Gelato offers several excellent options that are just as tasty as their conventional counterparts. The dairy-free gelato is made from macadamia milk, although sorbet is also available. Low-sugar desserts are also offered, with monk fruit ensuring that these selections remain wonderfully sweet.
In addition to gelato and sorbet, this Gypsea location serves a small selection of pastries. These pair perfectly with coffee or gelato. When in doubt, you can’t go wrong with the cannoli.
A few of our favorite gelato flavors include the following:
Toasted Coconut Haystack
Coconut lovers will adore this unique flavor. The coconut cream base would be appealing on its own, but it takes a step up with a generous serving of chocolate-covered coconut flakes.
There’s no gelato flavor quite like Tom Kha. Featuring coconut, lemongrass, ginger, and turmeric, this flavor certainly won’t make everyone happy — but there’s no denying that it’s unique.
A local favorite, this passionfruit flavor conveys the essence of the Big Island, making it the perfect option when you want something distinctly Hawaiian but aren’t in the mood for shave ice.
100% Kona Coffee
Whether you order a cup of coffee or want to stick exclusively with gelato, you can get your fair share of coffee flavor when you order a 100% Kona scoop. Simple and delicious, this is the go-to order for coffee lovers.
Dragonfruit White Pineapple Sorbet
If you’re on the hunt for a dairy-free treat, look no further than the sorbet selection at Gypsea Gelato. While any scoop of sorbet is sure to satisfy, there’s nothing quite like this special version, which incorporates fresh, local fruit.
Satisfy your cravings with the delectable frozen treats from Gypsea Gelato. After a long drive, there’s no better stop than the Kealekua location, where you can indulge in Big Island’s most exquisite desserts.
-This location is dog-friendly, so don’t hesitate to bring your pooch along for the fun. Your four-legged companion may even score a complimentary scoop.
-If you just can’t get enough gelato or would like to try a few additional flavors, be sure to grab a pint (or two) to go.