Back in the 90’s, ice cream cakes for classroom birthday parties were for kids of the well-to-do or Martha Stewart-style PTA moms who cooked after spending the morning at the YMCA. My mom was going to college and working full-time when it was cool to have a birthday party at school therefore money was tight.
So, I felt it was a privilege when I could bring in a Chinese-style birthday fruit cake for my kids at their kindergarten birthday parties in Beijing. Back in the last decade in Beijing, if you wanted one of these so-called cakes, you’d need to make a reservation for one at an overpriced, over-sugared bakery then pickup the cake a few days later.
Just a year ago after moving to Sanya, I had no idea where to send incoming tourist families looking for a birthday cake for their toddlers celebrating their first birthday.
“Try your hotel?” I would sheepishly type back since they’d usually respond they were staying in Haitang Bay or Yalong Bay. I was and still am a Sanya-city girl.
So to me it feels as though Dairy Queen has burst on to Sanya’s food market at just the right time, providing ready-made ice cream cakes, available via delivery apps. You can even select that the candle, birthday crown and birthday topper come with or without the cake. Score!
To be honest, if you want cheap and delicious ice cream, there are plenty of other options. I am not even a fan of their milkshakes, but I’m outnumbered in my home, three to one. My personal favorite for years has been the ‘gelato’ stand on Dadonghai boardwalk, where a big scoop is available for RMB10-20 depending on the flavor. (Find that place here.)
But Dairy Queen’s standard fare of cakes can be found all throughout Sanya, from Haitang Bay to Sanya Airport and most major areas in-between. Search for it on Baidu or your favorite waimai app by typing in ‘DQ’. If you want to go chill in person, here are the many locations in Sanya listed below:
Daily, 9am-10pm. 581 Fenghuang Jie. 8898-3500. See listing.
Sanya CBD Location
Daily, 9.30am-10.30pm. Y1-11-1 Shop, 1st Floor, Changda Landscape Plaza, Yingbin Lu. 8823-6812. See listing.
Sanya Inner City Location
Daily, 10am-10pm. 3 / F, Blue Ocean Shopping Plaza, 261 San Fung Jie. 8891-9008. See listing.
Daily, 10.30am-10.30pm. Yalong Bay Central Plaza B-13. 8856-0460. See listing.
Daily, 2.30-10pm. No.168, Coast Avenue, 113-2 Ocean Dream City. 8881-2689. See listing.
And hey, if for some reason you’re not into ice cream cakes due to lactose intolerance or insanity, you can just type in ‘蛋糕’ in a waimai app for another option.
READ MORE: 8 Shops for Coffee and Sweets in Sanya
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