While there’s never a bad time to enjoy spoonfuls of silky ice cream, summertime in Toronto presents the best options whether you’re into classic vanilla or prefer a charcoal cone topped with every colour in the rainbow. A wave of new shops, each specializing in their own takes on the classic frozen sweet, have opened to sate our cravings.
Ice cream is meant to be a fun, lighthearted treat and Torontonians are wholeheartedly embracing it in all its colourful shapes and sizes. From a gelato stand on the St. Clair West strip to a Filipino stalwart in North York, here are our hand-picked standouts for iced desserts.
With ice cream, anything is popsicle.
Passion Fruit Coriander
Since this food-truck-cum-gelato-stand opened it has seen a steady line of frozen fanatics. While their soft serve is incredible, it’s Bar Ape’s hyper-seasonal list of gelato bars that keep us running back to their shop.
Mango, Coconut, Soursop
While Ali’s Roti Shop is the go-to for those seeking traditional West Indian stuffed rotis and doubles, they also make wickedly good tropical ice cream. Don’t expect any frills here – Ali’s ice creams are as simple as can be, but those punched up tropical notes can whisk you away to the Caribbean.
The popular Filipino dessert of shaved ice topped with sweet ingredients gets the ultimate treatment at Casa Manila. Fifteen traditional ingredients from soaked beans to flavoured jellies go into making the dessert Anthony Bourdain described as “oddly beautiful”.
Black Sesame with Salted Duck Egg
Ed Wong left a corporate career to open his dream ice cream shop, Wong's Ice Cream, one where he plays with nostalgia by pulling from Asian cultural influences. Our favourite flavour is the one that is most emblematic of dim sum: a black sesame ice cream stuffed with chunks of salted duck egg yolk.
Lemon Sour Cream
For years, Soma has garnered global praise for its lineup of chocolates. So it’s no surprise that when the company decided to feature a range of small-batch gelatos, the quality would be just as high. Soma makes some of the best seasonal, creamy Italian-style ice cream you’ll find in Toronto.