Mochi Ice Cream from Bubbies (Honolulu)

89 degrees and sunny in Hawaii. If it’s not a Waiola Shave Ice day, then it must be a Bubbies Ice Cream day!

Bubbies Mochi Ice Cream

Bubbies mochi ice cream 4

Bubbies Ice Cream is an institution in Hawaii. Started in 1985, it became widely known through out Honolulu and then the rest of the state for having the best ice cream around. I was turned on to it early in my college days, as their main store is just down the street from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Annie and I would go there a lot after movies when we were dating. Whenever we go back home to Hawaii, Bubbies is always at the top of the list of places to eat at.

Bubbies Storefront

bubbies storefront

The parking lot is cramped and the inside of the store is usually crowded with people in line or sitting at the tables, enjoying this super-premium ice cream. They usually have a dozen, freshly made flavors available each day, and the flavors rotate daily. My favorite ice cream flavor is the Espresso, which comes with coffee grounds mixed in for added texture and flavor.

Besides ice creams, Bubbies also does floats, shakes, and pies. The pies have humorous names like “Come Here Little Girl”, “Knock Me Up on the Blower” or everyone’s favorite, “Multiple Orgasm“.

Bubbies Menu

bubbies menu

But what Bubbies is really known around the world for is their mochi ice cream. Traditional mochi is a Japanese confection made from sweet glutinous rice paste and normally filled with sweet azuki bean paste. Ice cream replaces the red bean filling in a Mochi ice cream. The Mikawaya brand out of Los Angeles sells mochi ice cream in many stores around the US but they cannot compare to the quality of Bubbies.

“Why,” you ask? Besides the phenomenal ice cream flavors, the texture of Bubbies mochi remains soft and chewy whereas all others get hard and brittle.

Bubbies Mochi Ice Cream

Bubbies mochi ice cream

Bubbies has 20 different flavors of mochi ice cream, plus special “flavors-of-the-month”. Annie’s favorite is Passion Fruit (the two on the top left). We also got the canteloupe (bottom left), lichee (two white ones), green tea (top right), sakura, azuki bean, raspberry, guava and strawberry (all the pink ones – you figure it out!). The azuki bean and the green tea are classics, but the sakura is good and the quava is divine.

Bubbies Mochi Ice Cream

Bubbies mochi ice cream 2

If you want Bubbies mochi ice cream, you can order them online (for a pretty penny, of course). You could find them in specialty stores and gourmet restaurants (I’ve read you can find them at Whole Foods around here – can anyone confirm?). And of course, you can find them at their main store on University Avenue in Honolulu.
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This favorite dessert was entered in Sticky Gooey Creamy Chewy’s Blogiversary Bash roundup.

Aloha, Nate

32 Comments Post a Comment
  1. noobcook says:

    >Oh they are beautiful!~ lovely photography ;)

  2. Jerry says:

    >My favorite flavor? Hmmm, hands down, it’s Chocolate Chip Cookie dough.

  3. Natashya says:

    >I want to try them. I really want to try them. They are so cute and ice cream is my favourite confection.
    I would like the pink ones. Please.


    >wonderful colours – lovely to hear you live on an island, like myself

  5. Pam says:

    >The canteloupe flavor sounds really refreshing. Nothing like a cool treat on a hot day.

  6. Allen of EOL says:

    >I love ice-cream mochi … and am so tempted to order Bubbies right now! I love Pistachio ice-cream and see it’s one of their flavors. I’ll have to check Whole Foods the next time I go shopping – would be great to find them locally :-)

  7. Michelle says:

    >Oh yes, Bubbies – can’t get better than that! I remembered Bubbies from my very first trip to Hawaii, though I haven’t made it back there yet. I’m going to be soo disappointed if they are available at Whole Foods though! This is the sort of thing that just shouldn’t be widespread like that – the local quality of them is part of the charm!

  8. diva@thesugarbar says:

    >oh i love mochi! these are too cute to pass up.

  9. Robert says:

    >We can get mochi ice cream here in the SF bay area at the Japanese food stores. Go to the big Japanese supermarket down there. I do not know if it is Bubbies or not, they are tasty.

    And yes, I am gonna make a barleywine one of these days. On the list is a chocolate oatmeal stout, a IPA and a barleywine. I currently am working on hard cider.

  10. Chez US says:

    >Beautiful photo – love the colors! I go out to hawaii to visit friends – they have never taken me there, adding it to the must list & asking them WHY? I do have to say I prefer Matsumoto shaved ice, even if you have to drive a bit. I go almost every day when out there!

  11. Manger La Ville says:

    >I wish that
    1. I was in Hawaii
    2. That I was eating Bubbies
    Enough said…

  12. Jenster says:

    >The colors are beautiful! My friends and I used to hang out at the UH location a lot, too, but that was before Bubbies had mochi ice cream. I haven’t been back in years, but I remember getting the most awesome azuki bean ice cream there. Next time we visit family we’ll have to go.

  13. Nate-n-Annie says:

    >@NoobCook – I believe there is a Bubbies franchise in Singapore…or at least there used to be. See if you can find it, and report back!

    @Jerry – Sounds decadent!

    @Natashya – so would I!

    @Mediterranean Kiwi – well, I *used* to live on an island. But sadly no longer.

    @Pam – sure wish they had a honeydew flavored one.

  14. Nate-n-Annie says:

    >@Allen – lemme know if you find them. Do you usually go to the Campbell one or the Cupertino one?

    @Michelle – what? and deprive the rest of the world of these wonderful creations?! Well…I guess that would make them *extra* special now wouldn’t it.

    @Diva – as I was telling Wiffy, there is (or was) a Bubbies franchise in Singapore. If it’s still there, maybe y’all can meetup there!

    @Robert – no, the Japanese markets down here only sell the Mikawaya brand. Might as well not eat them.

    Lemme know when you do that barleywine.

    @Chez US – ack! that’s a far way to go for overhyped shave ice. If you’re in town, might as well hit Waiola’s.

  15. Nate-n-Annie says:

    >@Manger La Ville – so do I.

    @Jenster – Howzit! What school you went? ;-)

  16. Just Serving Ice Cream says:

    >These look absolutely incredible! I just had some canteloupe ice cream yesterday. It was great! I’d love to try this one though! I’m sure it’s wonderful!

  17. AppetiteforChina says:

    >Homemade mochi ice cream? ::Swoon:: I need to make my way to Honolulu soon…

  18. nonnasvoice says:

    >Oh, that looks so amazing; they look like semi-precious stones.

  19. Jenster says:

    >You asked:

    @Jenster – Howzit! What school you went? ;-)

    My answer:

    What a local question, yeah? Kaimuki High School (Go, Bulldogs) and U of H Manoa. I won’t mention what years….

  20. mayan. says:

    >^ ^ they look so adorable! i wish i could fly there now and taste them for myself! they come in so many colors! like little japanese macarons.

  21. Nate-n-Annie says:

    >@JustServingIceCream – welcome to the blog! I do hope you get to try some of these Bubbies mochi ice creams one day.

    @AppetiteforChina – have you been to Honolulu before?

    @nonnasvoice – edible gems, certainly!

    @Jenster – Iolani for me. We’re practically neighbors!

    @mayan – I’m guessing it’s the many colors that makes this so popular.

  22. Kristen says:

    >What a gorgeous and yummy looking dessert. I’ve never heard of Mochi ice cream.

  23. Nate-n-Annie says:

    >@Kristen – thanks! I hope you get to try them some day!

  24. erlin says:

    >Oh..Bubbies..and the sweet-old-Honolulu-school days…

  25. Carolyn Jung says:

    >Wow! These are a technicolor feast for the eyes. Are they sold in any stores in the Bay Area??? The canteloupe sounds especially irresistible.

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My Photo Annie is mistress of the kitchen while Nate is the master of the grill and smoker. We cook the homestyle Asian and Hawaiian foods of our younger days while also exploring the wider worlds of Western foods.

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