Toronto’s best ice cream shops are sanctuaries that will put soft scoops of decadent relief right in your hands. This is your guide to the best ice cream in your neighbourhood.
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For fair trade, organic scoops, head over to resident chocolatier Delight for Jennifer Rashleigh and Jeff Brown’s inventive flavours (Quebec blue cheese or orange zest-infused cedar anyone?), or for a big scoop of nostalgia, visit Ice Cream Junction, which has over 60 flavours, so they are rotating them all the time!
Ice cream options abound on the short walk up Roncy. Ed’s Real Scoop has a location here that’s popular with the stroller crowd, but walk a little further up to The Ace for a cozier experience, and sit down for a scoop of their rotating small batch flavours (we’ve seen oatmeal, corn pops, olive oil options amongst the traditional selections). If those still don’t cut it, The Chocolateria also makes all natural ice creams and dips their cones in belgian chocolate.
Bakerbots spinoff Bang Bang Ice Cream and Bakery is a force to be reckoned with. Doling out generous servings of limitless seasonal flavours, they recently debuted a signature take on the Hong Kong egg waffle cone. Their baked goods are almost as famous as their ice cream BUT pairing them together makes one of the city’s best ice cream sammies.
ST. CLAIR WEST
When in St. Clair West, take your imagination on a ride with Dutch Dreams’ kosher flavours, which has been open since the 1980s and hasn’t lost any of the quality, or head to Booyah, which serves up a mind-blowing taco take on the traditional sugar cone and some amazing shakes.
For home made small batch salvation on Queen West, check out the ice cream shop that “serves anything but your traditional scooped ice cream”, iHalo Krunch. This shop was Toronto’s first place that had the charcoal ice cream and continues to have really cool Asian inspired flavours!
La Carnita and Home of the Brave sister walk-up Sweet Jesus gives all other Toronto soft serves a run for their money. Each of their cones is topped with an obscene, artistic treat coating that you’ll feel guilty for disturbing. But that’s okay – most have figured out that if you take a picture, it’ll last longer.
Like the 1983 ensemble reunion flick and its Motown soundtrack of the same name, The Big Chill edges out a nostalgic, soulful space that celebrates sweet indulgences like classic milkshakes and sundaes. Grab yourself a waffle with all the toppings on top and watch that ice cream melt on top of the made-to-order HOT waffle.
The Toronto outpost of chef-founder David Chang’s New York institution, Momofuku Milk Bar operates out of a small space within the parent brand’s larger space on University, and they trade in sweet, playful treats like “cereal milk” ice cream.
Charming, creative sweet shops are right at home in Toronto’s Distillery District, and The Sweet Escape Pâtisserie is no different, offering amongst its baked goods traditional and experimental ice creams built on all-natural flavours, and real cream and eggs.
In Danforth Village, Carter’s Ice Cream keeps cravings at bay serving Kawartha Dairy flavours, and when the season’s right, Maple Leaf Dairy will scratch that itch, too, offering about 40 flavours at any given time. The cool thing about Maple Leaf Dairy is that the shop is attached to their factory, which is open all year round!
Ed’s Real Scoop rotates through a repertoire of over 100 house flavours and is always a solid choice when knocking the craving. There is also Wong’s Ice Cream. This place is über famous for their White Rabbit flavoured ice cream that has become a huge hit in the city! Check them out for sure this summer!
Ed’s has long dominated the ice cream game in the east end, with another location in the Beaches, but they recently gained some competition there in Beaches n’ Cream. This shop has a great selection of gelato, ice cream and sorbets, which is exactly what is needed after a day at the beach.