Sweets for your sweets: 8 crazy Beijing ice creams to try with the kids

Crazy or craze-worthy? We give you the scoop on some of the city's unique and wacky ice cream options

Photo: Jackie Park
Though we don't always need a special reason to eat ice cream, we're giving you a good reason to indulge a bit more this week. As it turns out, July is Ice Cream month, and this weekend the US is celebrating the dessert's unofficial holiday, National Ice Cream Day.

And while the day calls for having a scoop or two of your favourite ice cream, we're introducing some crazier options around town you might not have known actually exist. See which ones you're willing to give a try and which ones are just too crazy for comfort.

Note: Verdicts are based on both parent's and kids' opinions. Location addresses within the text below.

If you want a meal-like taste

Meat floss on ice cream

Meat floss on ice cream

Unique or just plain crazy? You be the judge if you decide to check out any of Flower Ice Cream's unique offerings. Though we've already heard of dried meat floss on ice cream before (Heytea offered it a while back for a limited time), we had never come across crayfish ice cream (35RMB),  tuna ice cream (30RMB), whole wheat ice cream (25RMB) and most of the others offered on the menu. Our original plan was to feature the 'cray-zy' dessert but unfortunately but it wasn't available as their supply of crayfish hadn't arrived. So we tried dried meat floss on ice cream (25RMB) instead. 


It tasted exactly like it sounds: meat floss on ice cream, except we didn't think that the slightly sweet and salty floss went well with the ice cream; it just tasted strange. We're still hoping to go back for that crayfish ice cream though. 

If you want it with some carbs

Doughnut ice cream

Doughnut ice cream

As you wrap your hand around one of these pastry coned ice creams, you'll instantly feel the difference in weight between holding a normal cone and this European-style chimney roll or doughnut cones. Known as kürtoskalács in Hungarian and Trdelník in Slovakian, the cones are actually a traditional pastry that originated from Slovakia decades ago. Because of its shape, it can hold a variety of fillings, most notably, ice cream. There are several shops around Beijing offering this, but once you get your order we recommend finishing them quickly. Take too long and the pastry cone might unravel in your hand. Prep a cup for when that happens. 


Also try: Bunny/Pretzel Ice Creams at Freakshake

Are three cones better than one?

Are three cones better than one?

Why have one cone when you can have two, or even three? Kiss Cacao at Hello Mart offers gelato on not one, but two cones for your gelato. The vendor liked how the kids were so excited by the ice cream (and the sight of a giant plastic ice cream on the counter) that he instantly added an extra cone for them. The kids' verdict? Thanks for the extra cone, mister, the kids were confused by it but loved the ice cream anyway. Also, gelato melts faster than your usual ice cream, so the kids had to eat pretty fast. Flavours include chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, matcha, mango and durian and costs between 25-28RMB a cone. Or three in this case.


Get it at Kiss Cacao

If you want it extra sweet

Cotton Candy Ice Cream

Cotton Candy Ice Cream

We're not talking about cotton-candy flavoured ice cream. We're talking about the real deal: cotton candy on your ice cream, as if ice cream isn't enough of a sugar-high. And this isn't rare at all, with several establishments across Beijing serving this cloudy creation. Different establishments serve different variations; Sweeney serves organic cotton candy ice cream (32RMB in a cone, 34RMB in a cup), Remicone has several colourful ones (29RMB, add 9RMB for more colours) and Softree serves cotton candy on organic soft ice cream (39RMB). Yomi's version uses frozen yoghurt (25RMB for one colour; 33 RMB fore three colours).


Get it at: Sweeney, Remicone, SoftreeYomi.

Honeycomb on your ice cream

Honeycomb on your ice cream

If a bite into soft, melt-in-your-mouth cotton candy isn't your thing, here's another additional sugar high inducer: honeycomb on your ice cream. According to the saleslady at Sweeney, their honeycomb is pure. We had no complaints, naturally, though the kids were admittedly not sure at first how to mix the square-shaped sweetness (32RMB in a cone; 34RMB in a cup) into their ice cream. Sweeney's sole branch is at Solana, but if you're not heading there anytime soon then see if you can pass by a Softree branch; they're selling this (39RMB) as well.


Get it at Sweeney, Softree

Popcorn on Ice cream

Popcorn on Ice cream

How does sweet, crunchy popcorn taste while inserted into the sides of ice cream? We tried Japanese restaurant Gyu Kaku's version and the kids came away not too happy. On its own, the kids love popcorn and ice cream but combined into one dessert, the kids felt that the popcorn became too soft, far from the crunchy ones they are used to. The taste of popcorn also seeped into the ice cream, and the result was a slightly diluted ice cream flavour infused with hints of popcorn here and there. Popcorn lovers can still try Gyu Kaku's version (half ice cream at 26RMB and a regular one at 33RMB), or perhaps you'll have better luck at Sweeney (30RMB in a cone; 32RMB in a cup).


Get it at Gyu Kaku; Sweeney

Eggo with fruit and ice cream

Eggo with fruit and ice cream

It was like a dream come true for the kids: trying out Herbal Cafe's Original Flavoured Eggo with fruits and ice cream (36RMB), the kids first picked at the two chocolate sticks, then aimed for the Oreo, the fruits and then the ice cream. Naturally, the eggo was not prioritised and in the end was barely touched. By the time the kids were ready to dive into the eggo, it had become too soft and slightly soggy to bite into. The toppings, however, had found a new home in the kids' tummies. Also available at Yomi (28RMB) but with different fillings.


Get it at Herbal Cafe and Yomi.

Under the sea

Fish stuck in a gelato

Fish stuck in a gelato

Not real food this time, fortunately. Savage Mill prides in making gelato fresh for customers, as is written on its glass window. The mermaid or fish tail (we're not sure which, really) is just a way to get some attention, and hey it worked with the kids, who were more than happy gobbling up the whole thing. The gelato flavour options hang just above its storefront counter, but only the ones on the black signs are available. We ordered the durian flavour (38RMB for one scoop of durian gelato and 5RMB for the extra toppings). At 43RMB, this underwater-themed gelato concoction is probably the most expensive on this list, but definitely worth the splurge (and not necessarily for a special occasion).


Get it at Savage Mill, but for a limited time only

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