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.
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 for your choice of 36 Kawartha Dairy flavours.
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.
Sweet Sammies Ice Cream Sandwich Co.’s Scoop Shop makes ice cream from scratch that you can order in sundaes, fresh waffle cones, shakes, and malts, but the brand’s titular ice cream sandwiches are its specialty.
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.
ST. CLAIR WEST
WEST QUEEN WEST
For home made small batch salvation on West Queen West check out Sweet Olenka’s between Ossington and Dovercourt, or trek a block further west to Barton Snacks, which’ll serve up a rotating selection of Greg’s ice cream on cones, in takeout containers, or between two bacon butterscotch cookies.
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 coatings 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.
Locals know Sweet Fantasies is the Annex’s original ice cream parlour, but they’ll also be pleased with Greg’s Ice Cream’s Spadina location, which rotates through a repertoire of over 100 all-natural flavours.
Sweet Olenka’s has a few locations across the city, but in Kensington Market, adventurous flavours like miso-jellyfish (yes, really) practically serve themselves.
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. The district also boasts another location from Greg’s.
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.