Papalani Gelato Poipu Shopping Village

Papalani Gelato - A Hot Gelato Spot to Cool Down in Kauai
Local Expert's Rating:
4.5 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Papalani Gelato gets its name from the Hawaiian word for heaven, and its clientele wouldn't disagree. This soft, silky treat comes in a variety of forms and flavors, including ice cream sandwiches and frozen bars. There are also 12 dairy-free sorbettos for those who want something delicious without lactose. 

- The Local Expert Team

Papalani Gelato is a popular place in Koloa (on the island of Kauai) to grab a scoop of award-winning gelato. Known for its high-quality ingredients and friendly staff, the menu changes regularly based on what’s in season. The business also offers an array of dairy-free sorbettos to ensure everyone in the family gets to cool off.

The word “papalani” is a Hawaiian one meaning ‘heaven’, and this ultra-premium gelato doesn’t disappoint. There are 28 flavors that rotate throughout the year, and you’re welcome to eat them in a cone, from a cup, or in your room (if you take home a hand-packed pint or quart). Italian milkshakes, also known as Papalani™ Breezes, chocolates, truffles, and gelato cakes round out the menu. 

 In addition to what’s in the display cases, there are also a number of portable treats designed for people on the go. Try a chocolate chip cookie sandwich with Belgian chocolate or vanilla bean gelato. The egg-free cookie dough is made specifically for Papalani and is one of the shop’s most popular to-go delicacies. The staff can serve you the dough in bar form too, twice-dipped in dark Belgian chocolate. This isn’t the artificial stuff you’re used to getting (made with oil and chemicals), these are real flavors that satisfy. 

When you’re at Papalani Gelato, we recommend the following treats:

Papalani™ Breeze
The breeze is a gelato shake accented with chocolate, macadamia nuts, whipped cream, cheesecake, and caramel. It’s an Italian-style treat that’s truly a sight to see  They can be made with any of the available gelato options, including the sorbettos, and there are also fat-free versions available. 

Papalani Gelato® Cake
Whether you’re celebrating a birthday or just a night on the town, a gelato cake is frozen bliss. Made with your choice of crust and up to two flavors of gelato, there are almost a thousand combinations to make it your own. Feel free to spruce it up with a rich cream mousse if you’re feeling indulgent. 

Kona Coffee 
The Italians are known for their coffee and gelato, but so are the Hawaiians! No matter where you’re from though, it makes sense to combine the two flavors wherever possible. The bitterness of the beans and the sweetness of the cream pair perfectly together. Go ahead and order it instead of your daily brew. 

Lilikoi Cheesecake
Lillikoi is a type of yellow passionfruit grown in Hawaii, and it smells incredible. (When you’re on the island, take advantage of the local fruits wherever you can.) Plus, if you love fruit cheesecakes already, you might be shocked at just how delicious they can be in gelato form. 

Mint Chocolate Chip 
This popular flavor gets an upgrade according to patrons. The sweet chocolate and fresh mint are a force to be reckoned with and a bright burst of flavor in every bite. The ability to turn a long-time favorite into something even better is often the mark of any great establishment. 

Even if the flavors change on a regular basis, that doesn’t mean you won’t find something great when you stop at Papalani Gelato. Whether it’s a sweltering day or a little on the brisk side, you won’t regret trying a scoop or two. 

Insider Tips:
-The staff is happy to pack pints or quarts if you want to take some back to your room. 
-There are 12 dairy-free sorbettos on the menu at any given time. 
-Gelato bars and custom cakes can be ordered in advance with your desired flavor. Call at least two days before if you have a specific request.