Madame Marie’s Guide to Toronto’s Best Ice Cream and Gelato – July 18, 2021
Ice cream is a rite of passage in the summer, whether it’s classic vanilla or something a little less traditional.
To celebrate National Ice Cream Day on July 18 and National Ice Cream Month in July, here’s my roundup of Toronto’s top spots for sweet and creamy scoops that’ll have you saying “I scream for ice cream” all summer long.
Summer’s Ice Cream
101 Yorkville Avenue
A summer in Toronto wouldn’t be complete without a visit (or ten) to Summer’s in Yorkville. Serving ice cream-loving city dwellers since 1984, Summer’s is a tradition and a summertime rite of passage. Filled with classic flavours of homemade ice cream yogurt and sorbets, everything is made without compromise, and you can taste the difference. Toronto Pothole, Credit River Turtle, and Campfire Marshmallow are among the shop’s original creations, but there are plenty of classic flavours too.
Honey’s Ice Cream
1448 Dundas Street West
Honey’s was born in the pandemic and has earned a strong reputation for its premium plant-based ice cream. Not only is Honey’s 100% vegan, but it also has plenty of gluten free options. Order a pint for takeout or grab a scoop or two at the Dundas West shop. Flavours that fly out of the freezer include: Atlantic Salted Caramel, Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup, Earl Grey, and Supernatural Chocolate.
Good Behaviour Ice Cream
146 Christie Street, 50 Bloor Street West, and 189 Augusta Avenue
One should always be rewarded for good behaviour with ice cream, mais oui? Treat yourself with some creamy confections from another budding business that was born in March 2021, Good Behaviour Ice Cream. With three locations across the city, this is the spot forquality, small-batch ice cream by Ascari King West’s chef de cuisine Michael Lam and front-of-house specialist Eric Chow. With rotating flavours at all locations, you have an excuse to try them all. HK Milk Tea is custard-y and sweet, Cinnamon Toast Cereal brings back childhood nostalgia, and Torta Della Nonna tastes just like your nonna’s savoury lemon ricotta tart.
Death In Venice produces sustainable gelato using local dairy and produce. If you love funky flavour combinations, this is the spot for you. Owner Kaya Ogruce conjures up the wildest flavours including Blueberry and Sanagan’s Mustard, Grilled Cheese and Sourdough, and Ricotta Lemon Rosemary (the flavour that made Ogruce a winner on Chopped Canada!). Between June and September, keep your eyes peeled for the pop-up stand that rotates between two locations biweekly.
Ed’s knows ice cream, and each of its four shops in Toronto creates premium frozen treats in small, in-house batches using premium ingredients. From the moment a spoonful hits your tongue, you’ll be able to taste the difference. What’s the key to good ice cream? Recipes are made with a blend of milk and cream and churned at a low speed for an irresistibly creamy texture. Fan favourites include sweet cream, triple chocolate and burnt marshmallow. If you can’t make it into the shop, order a pint to enjoy chez vous, but it won’t last long!
When you have an ice cream craving, Bang Bang is there for you. Don’t let the uber long lineup deter you from ordering a few of their 30+ daily flavours – either sandwiched between irresistible cookies – or enjoyed solo (vegan and regular options available). Burnt toffee ice cream on an everything cookie (chock full of chocolate, pretzel chunks, peanut butter, and oatmeal) is a foolproof combination. Your sugar high will thank you.
Dutch Dreams is practically heaven for any ice cream aficionado, and has been going strong since the 1980s! It’s a kitchsy spot, with plenty memorabilia on the walls and a life-size cow on the roof. With a generations-old ice cream recipe made with fresh cream, Dutch Dreams scoops generous portions ice cream and also offers frozen yogurt, sundaes and shakes. It’s open from noon to at least 11 p.m. seven days of the week so you can get your frozen dessert fix – just be prepared to wait in a long line!
Bar Ape Gelato
283 Rushton Road
Established in 2014, the gelato at Bar Ape is worth the trip alone. Flavours at this small traditional gelato outpost rotate almost daily, but have included pistachio praline, pink tea and white nectarine, and tayberry cream and vanilla bean. Get your gelato fix in cup, cone or bar form. Check out their Instagram to get the latest scoop on new flavour offerings. Limited hours in summer 2021.
Refined and seasonal soft serve is what you’ll find at this dessert shop owned by husband and wife team Stephanie Duong and Bruce Lee. The most popular flavour perhaps is the Earl Grey, but they rotate with seasonal flavours such as the strawberry parfait, layered with vanilla soft serve and topped with sponge cake pieces, sablé breton crumbs, macerated Ontario strawberries, jam & crème anglaise. Everything is made in house with recipes developed by the owners themselves. Treat yourself to summer in a cup!
Small batch custard ice cream is what you’ll find at Bloordale’s Ruru Baked. Pop by during the week for scoops of Blueberry Crumble, Deep + Delish, and Pandan or stop in on the weekends for some of their featured ice cream sandwiches, such as Neapolitan coconut cookie ice cream sandwich. Go early, because everything sells out in a flash.
2790 Lake Shore Boulevard West
If you prefer to skip the dairy in your crème glacée, Sweet Olenka’s is the spot for you. This adorable dessert shop on Lakeshore has an impressive lineup of dairy-free ice creams made with coconut milk but they also have an impressive roster of regular options too! Popular flavours include Fruit Loops and Milk, Nutella, and Birthday Cake.