When it comes to ice cream, Toronto is rich with options, and they go well beyond the big boys like Greg's or Ed's Real Scoop. House-made ice creams are being whipped up city wide - and I'm not talking plain old vanilla, but cross-cultural delicacies and weird and wonderful flavour combinations.
Here are 10 ice cream shops in Toronto you might not know about.
House-made ice creams in tropical flavours like coconut, mango and soursop are favourites on the menu at this West Indian eatery in Parkdale. Sold from a freezer in pre-packaged cups, a small costs $1.65 and scales up to a medium for $4 or a large for $7.
The salted caramel ice cream at this artisanal chocolate shop on Roncesvalles comes highly praised, but other noteworthy flavours include mint avocado and the "kitchen sink," a chocolate base that's loaded with chopped treats from around the shop. Also of note is an ever-changing vegan feature flavour that's done with coconut milk in place of dairy. Kiddie sizes up to double scoops sell between $3.20 to $4.90, while a pint will set you back $7, and a 32oz tub goes for $13.
Near High Park, this chocolate shop has earned a reputation for all natural, organic ice creams in a seasonal assortment of flavours. When available try a scoop of apricot in a house-made waffle cone ($4.80), or get adventurous with flavours like white chocolate with Brazilian pink peppercorn and lime, Quebec blue cheese, oatmeal stout or duck confit. Pints are available for $10.95.
Off the beaten path, north of Bloor near Ossington Station, this not-so-secret bakery has proved so popular it's spawned a dedicated ice cream-centric offshoot. House flavours change up pretty regularly, but look forward to six to 10 unique flavours like London fog or orange cardamom sold for $2.25 to $6.20 a scoop. Better yet, have it sandwiched between a fresh cookie.
Part movie rental shop, part ice cream parlour, there are two locations on opposite sides of town (one on Queen East, the other on Roncesvalles) that offer heaping single scoops of ice cream for $3.50. Choose from 16 or so flavours like birthday cake, New York cherry cheesecake and pomegranate sorbet.
Sweet Escape Patisserie
Tucked into the Distillery District, this sweets shop house-makes ice creams and sorbets in a rotating selection of classic and whimsical flavours. Recently the freezer has been stocked with flavours like birthday cake, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and a vegan soy latte. A small order is two scoops ($3.81), while a large is three scoops ($4.80) - or grab a pint to take home for $10.
Lingan Cream House
Extra-creamy house-made ice creams and sherbets come in flavours like mango, pineapple and vanilla at this Sri Lankan snack shop in Scarborough. Try a mango milkshake for $3.50 or a cream sherbert sundae for $2.50, or take home a two-litre tub for $15.
Dairy-free ice creams from this Kensington Market cafe are made in house with a base of almond milk, mung bean paste or coconut milk. Popular flavours include black sesame, pistachio, earl grey and chai tea, which are available a single scoop at a time for $3, or doubled up for $5.
Iqbal Ice Cream Parlour
Operating during irregular hours outside Iqbal Halal Foods on Thorncliffe, this tiny hut scoops up ice cream in flavours like mango and pistachio while also offering cold treats like rose faluda and kulfi, a denser, creamier frozen treat made with condensed milk.
Momofuku Milk Bar
It's hardly under the radar, but Momofuku makes this list for sheer novelty's sake - and because frozen treats are still new to the second floor Milk Bar. Here you'll find spirals of soft serve in flavours like cereal milk or double double (a.k.a. coffee) for $5.25.
Did we miss any? Leave your favourite under-the-radar spots for ice cream in the comments.
Photo via Momofuku Milk Bar
by Liora Ipsum via blogTO