Ice cream floats are one of those iconic summer treats that are due for a revival. My introduction to the ice cream float came in a frosty mug from A&W, and while the nostalgic treat has always seemed like a mainstay, it's only recently that it's getting the artisanal, handcrafted and sometimes booze-spiked treatment.
Here are my picks for the top ice cream floats in Toronto.
Bean & Baker
The retro malt shop on Harbord crafts its classic ice cream floats with all-natural, house-made soda pop. Try the hibiscus float ($5.25) featuring a steeped hibiscus flower soda over any scoop of Kawartha Dairy, Ed's Real Scoop, or Coconut Bliss ice cream for fizzy and frothy results.
Find this vegan cafe and art space scooping out dairy-free ice creams brought in by Pleasantville Creamery, then topping them with a choice of soda flavours including black cherry, root beer, red birch beer , orange cream, cola, banana, and grape.
The 24-hour diner on Dundas West is home to 19+ versions of this nostalgic treat. Sure you can have a scoop of chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry ice cream topped with standard sodas ($3.75), but more unique is the beer lovers' edition made with Mill St. Cobblestone Stout ($7.75)
Home of The Brave
The all-American restaurant on King West keeps cold Nickel Brook Brewery Babbling Brooke's Root Beer on draught which they'll pour over supremely beautiful swirls of Sweet Jesus soft serve for $6. Booze it up with a shot of optional bourbon if you like.
Unlike the fancy, artisanal options on this list, this Queen West burger joint knows that the classic ice cream float pairs perfectly with good ol' burgers and fries. Find four flavours ($4.5) to choose from including classic root beer and coke floats, plus orange creamsicle and cream soda on offer.
What ice cream float did I miss? Let us know in the comments.
Photo from Bean & Baker by Jesse Milns.
by Liora Ipsum via blogTO