We are definitely entering the dog days of summer so being able to track down a good scoop or two (or three) of ice cream should be top of everyone’s priority list. If you’re looking for an ice-cold treat, here are 10 places that won’t let you down.
Bang Bang Ice Cream & Bakery (Toronto, ON)
With a name like Bang Bang, people should be walking into this funky little joint expecting some interesting flavours, which of course, this ice cream shop has. For starters, try a scoop of the stout ice cream, made with beer from a neighbouring microbrewery, Bellwoods, and move onto other cool creations like the candy apple cheesecake or peanut butter and jelly. There’s plenty to explore in the Ossington area, so make sure to do some strolling around, cone in-hand!
Beacon Drive-In Restaurant (Victoria, BC)
If you’ve been handing out ice cream cones to kids and adults alike for almost 60 years, then you know you must be doing something right. This Victoria joint has grown to offer more than just sweet treats with breakfast dishes and burgers, but leaving here without a caramel hot fudge sundae sort of feels like a sin.
DeeDee’s Ice Cream (Halifax, NS)
With several locations in Halifax, DeeDee’s prides itself on using top quality ingredients to make their different types of ice cream that include flavours like mint chocolate chip or mango. Their seasonal shop by Peggy’s Cove is worth the drive out because the only thing better than a breathtaking ocean view is taking it all in with an ice cream cone in-hand.
Dutch Dreams (Toronto, ON)
There are about 50 different flavours of ice cream to opt for here, but for something a little more spectacular, try one of the over-the-top garnished sundaes like the “Cantaloupe Delight” that’s served in the hollowed fruit and topped with more fresh fruit and a waffle cone. They also make giant baked Alaska to take home as a fun alternative to ice cream cakes.
Earnest Ice Cream (Vancouver, BC)
Like any Vancouver hipster will tell you (i.e. roll their eyes, not answer your question and walk away slowly), Earnest makes some of the best scoopable sweet treats in the city. Anything London Fog-inspired is right up there in my books, so make sure to try a scoop of that flavour when you stop in. Interestingly enough, the London Fog drink was actually invented in this city in the late 1990s.
Homestead Ice Cream (Saskatoon, SK)
A long time go-to for frozen treats in the prairie city, Homestead does oh, so many things right. More specifically, their maple walnut ice cream. They’re also set to launch a truck this summer, so you’ll likely be able to find their tasty flavours at Saskatoon’s summer festivals.
LICS (Calgary, AB)
When it’s warm outside, LICS (which stands for “Leavitt’s Ice Cream Shop”) almost always has a line-up out the door. The offerings are pretty standard from strawberry to chocolate mint to bubblegum, but the best thing about Leavitt’s is the fact that you can just walk across the road (no jaywalking!) and sit right beside the beautiful Bow River.
Sargent Sundae (Winnipeg, MB)
With big parfaits layered with chocolate and caramel, banana splits perfect for sharing, vanilla and chocolate soft serve, and plenty of hard ice cream varieties to choose from, this little shop in Winnipeg can make all your icy, creamy dreams come true.
Soft Peaks (Vancouver, BC)
If you never thought soft serve could be a truly special experience, head to this spot in the Gastown area of Vancouver and prove yourself wrong. The soft serve vanilla ice cream is made fresh every morning onsite, and with toppings like a huge chunk of local B.C. honeycomb, it’s hard not to enjoy what you’re eating here.
Village Ice Cream (Calgary, AB)
This popular spot doesn’t aim to appeal to everyone, but instead offers a small selection of handmade ice creams like maple, cardamom and their most well-known batch, the salted caramel. I bet you can’t have just one spoonful.
Dan Clapson is a food writer and culinary instructor based out of Calgary. He is constantly creating new recipes and striving to expand his culinary horizons. He thinks yam fries are overrated.