Written by Emily De Sousa
You won’t be hard pressed to find a spot for a cool treat this summer, Toronto is home to some of the most unique and delicious ice cream creations I’ve ever tried. Ranging from traditional to more innovative flavours, Toronto’s ice cream parlours know how to serve delicious ice cream in a simple cone or dressed up in the most Insta-worthy ways.
Big Bang Ice Cream and Bakery
Nutella Profiterole with Rocky Roadkill. Courtesy of @oshimagun
Ice cream sandwiches were always a favourite of mine as a kid and at Big Bang Ice Cream and Bakery I can relive my childhood all over again with their delicious ice cream sandwiches, made fresh in house. This is no basic vanilla ice cream sandwiched between two cookies however. Here, you choose an ice cream flavour from a huge variety of options to be wedged between either or one two cookies, depending how hungry you are. What results is one of the best ice cream sandwiches I’ve ever had. A one cookie sandwich will set you back $4.50, while a two cookie sandwich will cost you $7.
Waffle Cone Ice Cream. Courtesy of ryugakuagent.com
The sweet smell of fresh waffle cones that fills the Dutch Dreams shop will have you feeling like you’ve just landed in the heart of Holland. The fresh pressed cones are hand-dipped in chocolate and rolled in different toppings like candy and nuts. Two scoops fit inside the cones and you have your pick at over 60 flavours including birthday cake, mint chocolate chip, and mocha almond fudge. One of these giant waffle cones will cost you about $6 and leaving you feeling sweetly satisfied.
Italian handcrafted gelato bars. Courtesy of streetfoodapp.com
The Gelato bars are by far their most popular item at Bar Ape. Their ever-changing flavours are served up instantly from the freezer behind the counter, making this the perfect place for a quick afternoon ice cream stop. Flavours range from fruity options like orange creamsicle to more decadent flavours like chocolate hazelnut. My favourite flavour is by far the coconut toasted almond! For those looking to take their gelato to go, you can grab a tub for only $10.
Put A Cone On It
Caramel Sundae. Courtesy of @putaconeonit
The delicious ice cream waffle bowls at Put A Cone On It come decorated with extra waffle chips that break off into chunks, making you feel like you’re eating a sweet replica of nachos and dip. This place uses seasonal ingredients so their flavour menu is always changing. They also feature a ton of vegan options – my personal favourite being the tropical pineapple coconut. Another neat thing I was really impressed with at this spot is that they use real spoons instead of plastic. This cuts back on their waste disposal a ton and goes a long way in keeping Toronto’s streets clean.
Sweet Jesus Ice Cream. Courtesy of @sweetjesus
Sweet Jesus is probably one of the most “Instagram famous” ice cream shops in the city. They have a handful of locations throughout the city that are part ice cream parlour, part espresso bar, but they’re famous for their Instagram worthy pimped out cones. The crew at Sweet Jesus is always coming up with new creations, so they’re constantly featuring new flavour and topping combinations. One of my favourite creations from Sweet Jesus is the Rocky Road Rage; a twist of chocolate and burnt marshmallow soft serve covered in chocolate sauce, marshmallows, and cashews. If you’re stopping by Sweet Jesus, bring a friend, these cones are huge and I can never finish one entirely on my own!
D.R.E.A.M (Donut’s rule everything around me) Milkshake. Courtesy of @peacetreatsco
The Peace Treats crew is better known for the “Peace Collective” clothing line they pair with, that boast clothing slogans like “Home is Canada” and “Toronto vs. Everybody”. This milkshake bar is located inside the Peace Collective store on Ossington, so you can enjoy a quick treat after you finish shopping. Their speciality milkshakes will set you back $8.50, or you can grab a more basic shake for $6. My favourite speciality milkshake is the D.R.E.A.M. aka “Donuts Rule Everything Around Me”. This is a thick vanilla milkshake mixed with chocolate chips, chocolate caramel syrup, and topped with whipped cream, caramel, chocolate sprinkles, a scoop of chocolate ice cream, and two mini sugar donuts. All of Peace Treats’ speciality shakes come with “rimmed” sprinkles, giving them a step up on the average milkshake.
Eva’s Original Chimney’s
Strawberry Shortcake soft serve. Image by Suresh Doss
The freshly made cones are the star of this ice cream shop. Each cone is fresh-baked daily by rolling thin tubes of hand rolled dough around a cylinder and baking them rotisserie style with cinnamon sugar and walnuts. One of these fresh, giant cones will cost you $11 and probably a week’s worth of cheat meals. My favourite is the peanut butter pretzel parfait cone that combines sweet with salty in a graham cracker crumble cone with peanut butter and chocolate soft serve. This cone also comes topped with crumbled pretzels, peanuts, and cocoa drizzle.