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Paolo's vs. Gelateria Modica

Between Paolo's gelato and Gelateria Modica in Charleston...which one's your favorite?

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  1. I've not been to Paolo's, only Modica, so I know that doesn't really answer your question. But I love Modica so much I can't stand the possibility of disappointment since I only get to Charleston once or twice a year. If you choose Modica, get the pistachio. It has an incredible amount of pistachio flavor.

    1 Reply
    1. re: danna

      This is funny, I feel the exact same way about Paolo's that you feel about Modica. The only difference is I am a local so I really have no excuse for not giving Modica a try. Paolo's reminds me of a shop in Italy, especially when he is there, they always have a bowl of water set out for dogs, and I love the flower flavors. If you want to try Paolo's without risking disappointment, the last time we were there my bf got a tiny cone for $0.75, and I really have to go give Modica a try.

    2. I was just there and had the pistachio...best I've had outside of Italy. It's nice they don't add color either. When you go again try the Fior Di Latte and the Caramel was very good as well.

      1 Reply
      1. re: izzizzi

        Yes, I've had the Caramel as well. Delicious. Will remember Fior De Latte next time.

        It's so nice to be validated. I went to the famous Il Labratorio del Gelato in NY a couple of weeks ago, and while it was delicious and entertaining, I didn't think it was any better than Modica.

      2. Do you know if either place serves veleno gelato? Yes, "veleno" translates as "poison" or "poison gift" but I hear it is fantastic if you can find it. I've seen it described as a combination of eggnog, coffee, and Marsala wine, but I believe it is really a combination of Zabaione (which is a Marsala-flavored egg custard) flavor and coffee flavor.

        1. wow...veleno sounds great. Both their websites list all their flavors and i didn't see that one. Maybe is it similar to zuppa inglese? i forget what's exactly in zuppa...but i never see that flavor here either.

          1. oh...just so you know...i e-mailed paolo asking why he didn't offer fior di latte in his shops, and he offered to make me a quart whenever i wanted it. maybe if you e-mailed he he could help you out.

            1 Reply
            1. This post inspired me to do a little taste test during lunch. Going to have to vote for Modica - the Nutella was wonderful and creamy. I could be partial since Modica is closer to my office though...

              1 Reply
              1. re: EmBrooks

                Ha, you read my mind--I was contemplating a taste test, too!

                Does anyone else think it strange that these two establishments are on similarly named cross streets (John, George) with identical street numbers (41)? Gelato synchronicity, I suppose. I wonder if the owners get along?

              2. ...and they opened within a month of each other. I seem to remember there being drama between the two when they first opened, but that could all be water under the bridge now.

                Similar situation with the 2 Indian restaurants across the street from each other on 17.

                3 Replies
                1. re: EmBrooks

                  Yes, I've wondered about the Indian restaurants as well. I've often thought you could tell a lot about a person based on whether he/she prefers Taste of India or Nirlep; however, what that would be I'm not quite sure. For the record, I favor Nirlep, though my opinion is based mostly on their now-defunct Mt. Pleasant location.

                  1. re: Low Country Jon

                    I feel the same way about the Indian restaurants. I prefer the flavors at Nirlep but choose to frequent TOI because it is less greasy. Whenever I want a chili bomb fix I succumb to Nirlep though. TOI opened another downtown location a few months ago.

                    Have you ever been to the Indian grocery store in Goose Creek? They have so many interesting things. The spice mix packets really make for a good quick Indian dinner at home.

                    1. re: CharlestonChow

                      Where in Goose Creek is the Indian grocery store? I'm up that way fairly often.

                      Is the TOI location Downtown called Chinar or is that a different restaurant all together? I've heard some praise for Chinar but haven't tried it yet.

                2. i wish i could have tried the nutella...but i have given up chocolate for lent (sigh). Are the paninis good at Modica?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: izzizzi

                    My wife has given up all sweets for Lent, so my taste test will have to wait as well. Unless I went without her, but she probably wouldn't like that, since she's more into ice cream than I am.

                  2. I got a panini a long time ago from Modica and was not impressed at all. Haven't gotten one since...

                    1. The perfect lunch at Modica:
                      -Cup of Red Wine and Mushroom Soup
                      -Prosciutto and Fresh Mozzarella Panino on herb and olive oil focaccia bread with a side salad of mixed greens, roma tomatoes, red onions, and a balsamic vinaigrette
                      -Blood orange soda
                      -double espresso
                      -small pistacchio and chocolate hazelnut gelato

                      1. Just went to Paolo's the other day and my verdict is: really bad and nothing compared to Gelateria Modica. They list a gazillion flavors on the website but only had six that day. I got dolce de leche and tiramisu. They were both way too sweet and I couldn't tell them apart. My friend got limoncello and said it tasted like the cheap versions of the drink. Paolo was also very rude and I almost handed back the gelato saying I didn't want it if he was going to act like such a jerk. Has anyone else had such a bad experience?

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: izzizzi

                          Okay, I'm going to Modica next time for sure.

                          What did Paolo do? He wasn't in the store the two times I've visited.

                          1. re: izzizzi

                            Wow, the exact opposite of my experience.

                            I was in Paolo's last week and he was incredibly friendly, particularly to the young ladies who were just starting the fall semester at C of C.

                            I had the peach and it was wonderful.

                            1. re: izzizzi

                              I can't believe Paolo was rude, he has been nothing but friendly to us. In fact the last time he was there he gave us free candy when he found out we were locals. I'm sorry you had a bad experience, but I'm curious as to what he did.

                              IMO, I don't find Paolo's overly sweet, and honestly I don't see that much of difference between the two. What I do like at Paolo's are the floral flavors, they remind me of my grandmother's candied flower petals. Maybe I need to give Modica another try.

                            2. According to the Charleston Post and Courier, Modica is closing in June:


                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Low Country Jon

                                NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!

                                OH GOD! What will become of me? I have to have their pistachio gelato at least twice a year. If anyone gets any intel as to where the maker of said gelato might pop up, please let me know.

                                1. re: danna

                                  I'm now sorry I didn't go to Modica more often. I will be attending a Spoleto event nearby this weekend, so I will try to drop in and have a pistachio gelato in your honor, Danna! If I hear anything about the owners' future plans, I'll let you know.