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The WHERE List: Best Ice Cream Shops

While the summer’s still here, take advantage of these delicious ice cream and gelato shops chosen by Where editors across the country.

If you and your sweet tooth are on the east side of town, stop by La Casa Gelato or Amato Gelato Café for an ice-cold treat. Be warned: you might be overwhelmed by the hundreds of flavour choices. If you’re downtown, on your way to English Bay or Stanley Park, wander down Denman Street to Mondo Gelato or Qoola Frozen Yogurt.

Forget a regular ice-cream cone when you can enjoy a decadent Italian treat just steps from the Halifax waterfront at Ristorante a Mano on Lower Water Street. The house specialty is the Nafta sundae—Amarena cherries layered with gelato alla panna, whipped cream and cookies. It’s just the thing to enjoy on the harbourfront patio as you watch the ships go past.

The aroma of freshly made waffle cones will entice you to enter Cows Whistler, where you’ll find ice cream, sundaes and milkshakes in more flavours than you can count.

At Piccolo Grande the stars of the show are the abundant flavours of delicious gelato, sherbet and sorbet. This ByWard Market shop also offers chocolates, coffee, and lunch items. 55 Murray Street, 613-241-2909, www.piccologrande.com

With more than 100 frosty recipes in Bueno Gelato’s delicious repertoire, on any given day you’ll have up to 30 different fresh flavours of gelato to adore. Specialty coffees and hot chocolate are also available. Be prepared for the treat wizards at Marble Slab Creamery to tempt you with fresh-made flavours from amaretto to cotton candy and sweet waffle cones. Their “mixins” range from sprinkles to gummy bears to pecan pralines. Shakes, malts, sodas, floats, fruit smoothies, sundaes, banana splits as well as ice cream pies and cakes make this parlour a dessert oasis.

Canadian Rockies
Hot days just aren’t complete without a ice creamy summer treat. In Banff, two very different ice creams vie for supremacy—smooth and refined dark or white chocolate soft serve by Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut battles it out with Cows’ high-density fresh cream delights with clever names such as ‘Gooey Mooey’, ‘Wowie Cowie’ and ‘Messy Bessie’.

Greg’s Ice Cream has been a summertime staple in Toronto for almost 30 years. Among its luxuriously silky varieties: coffee toffee and roasted marshmallow, guaranteed to inspire nostalgia for childhood camping trips. 750 Spadina Ave., entrance on Bloor Street, 416-962-4734.

Victoria offers a terrific selection of gelato and good old-fashioned ice cream parlours, many located right in its picturesque downtown. One of the most recent additions actually boasts a deep connection with the city: the Rogers’ Chocolates Soda Shoppe. Steps from the Inner Harbour, enjoy a rich, flavourful ice cream treat from within the historic setting, using Rogers’ own locally made ice cream. (Plus merely steps away, is the equally delightful Rogers’ Chocolates shop).

Just outside of Calgary in Cochrane is MacKay’s Ice Cream–a family business that has been making its own ice cream since 1948. This handmade treat comes in 15 flavours, frozen yogurt and a selection of special flavours like chai tea. To read more about Calgary’s ice cream shoppe’s check out our roundup.

11 responses to “The WHERE List: Best Ice Cream Shops”

  1. June MacFarlane says:

    Hey, don’t forget about My Favorite Ice Cream Shop right here in Calgary!

  2. Jennifer Culleton says:

    Alright…I’m officially tired of Winnipeg being left off the ‘ice cream shop’ map! Winnipeg has several ice cream or gelato shops that offer not only a great flav but a tradition for many families and friends! For example, BDI (The Bridge Drive Inn) where you can get half a pineapple loaded wth ice cream, cherries, and nuts! Or how about a traditional sunday from Sargent Ice Cream. The list goes on…

    Next time you want to talk about summer favs…don’t forget Winnipeg, after all we are the slurpee capital!

  3. Don Toronto says:

    Come one?! Stoney Creek Dairy outside Hamilton. Historic and an over all awesome place. http://www.stoneycreekdairy.com/

  4. Melanie says:

    Jennifer they leave Winnipeg off of almost every list.

  5. Lisa Partridge says:

    HOW can the Bridge Drive-In be missed?? I live in Calgary and I travel to The Peg for business… When I get there, I get the GOOG! It’s treat perfection!
    And, if you’re in cottage country in Ontario, visit the Kawartha Dairy in Minden, ON. Fresh made ice cream with REAL cream – flavours are fantastic, service is friendly and a well priced “small” cone gives you 2 heaping scoops of goodness!

  6. Linda says:

    How about Leavitt’s Ice Cream Shop (LICS) in Calgary? The last time I was there, people were laughing at the enormous sizes of the cones and taking long, drooling minutes trying to decide amongst the many flavours on offer.

  7. MStone says:

    Gonna have to disagree on Victoria – the hands down BEST is Sweet Dreams on Government. Been around since I was a kid, it’s a little hole in the wall, but it is indeed the very best ice cream.

  8. LOES says:

    Isn’t COWS a chain based out of the Maritimes? I’ve been to the one in Whistler and others and they’re all the same. I guess the mountain altitude affected the reviewer. .

  9. Calgarian says:

    I think MacKay’s is overrated. The scoops are way too small for the price and the last time was there the ice cream was icy…not creamy. I love LICS. Great amount of ice cream for the price!

  10. KG says:

    My pick is Slickers Ice Cream in Prince Edward County, Ontario — http://www.slickersicecream.com. YUM!!!

  11. opalgirl says:

    On the corner of 111st and Blackburn Drive W. SW 1 block north of the Ellerslie Rugby Park there is an independent Convenience Store that serve awesome hard and soft ice cream . The soft serve comes in 8 flavors or just vanilla and is very addictive, so good.

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