I scream, you scream…
Ice cream is the quintessential summer treat. There’s nothing better than a scoop or two of your favourite flavour on a hot day, or the chime of the ice cream truck telling you that a twist cone is within your reach. For a city that only has four months of warm weather, Toronto has a pretty wide selection of ice cream shops to satisfy your craving. The GTA has ice cream shops that range from classic soft serve to artisanal flavours fixed with every topping you could want, so you’re sure to find one you love. Keep reading to see some of Toronto’s best ice cream spots, from the classic to the creative!
Ed’s Real Scoop
Ed’s Real Scoop has four locations across Toronto, but lucky for Lakeshore students, there’s one just down the street! Ed’s is known for their fun flavours like burnt marshmallow, and mini egg, made in small batches with natural ingredients and Ontario dairy. They also serve up some delicious gelato and sorbet in fresh flavours like green apple, and blood orange, so no matter your preference you’ve got options here!
Tom’s Dairy Freeze
If you’ve ever driven past Tom’s Dairy Freeze in the summer, you’ve definitely seen the line that goes along with it. Only open in the warmer months, Tom’s is an old school Etobicoke favourite for soft-serve and a must-visit if you have yet to go. You can jazz up your cone with one of their dip flavours, flavour bursts, or sundae toppings, but you can also grab a milkshake, slushy, or scoop of traditional ice cream or sherbet.
Sweet Olenka’s is another spot with a few locations, including two in Etobicoke. Here you can find truffles made in-house, decadent cakes, and of course, ice cream! Not only do they have the classic flavours and some more unique ones like wasabi ginger, but they also have a TON of vegan flavours, ice cream sandwiches, and ice cream bars, like the red velvet bar pictured above. They also have a few gluten-free options, so the only issue you’ll have here is deciding what to get!
Sweet Jesus is one of those places you’ve probably seen all over Instagram. From their Krusty cone covered with cotton candy, to the birthday cake cone complete with a lit candle, it’s hard not to want to snap a pic of these. You can find Sweet Jesus all over the GTA, but if you’re close to campus they have locations at Sherway Gardens and Woodbine Mall, so you don’t need to go far to get one of their infamous cones!
Scoops N’ More
If you’re looking for a scoop of Kawartha Dairy ice cream, or your favourite candy from your childhood, Scoops N More is the place for you. Just west of Lakeshore campus, this cute ice cream parlour has all your favourite flavours from the Canadian favourite (Moosetracks, anyone?), and a selection of old school candy that is worthy of a #TBT. Not to mention the ice cream themed mural featuring Drake and The Weeknd for you to take the perfect pic!
Another soft serve crowd favourite, Dairy Cream is the place to go in Port Credit. Along with their 25 different kinds of sundaes (!!), you can get your ice cream on top of a fresh, warm funnel cake or waffle to really go all out. If you want take a bit of Dairy Cream home with you, you can find their take-home sundaes, dairy bars and ice cream sandwiches in their freezer to satisfy the inevitable craving you’ll have after visiting the first time.
Across the city:
Bang Bang Ice Cream
Bang Bang Ice Cream is another spot where you’ll always find a line – but for good reason! Here you can find unique flavours like earl grey, beer and brown bread, and pink lemonade, along with baked goods from Baker Bot. Get your ice cream as a sandwich in a pair of freshly baked cookies, a Hong Kong waffle, cinnamon bun, or even a puff pastry! The key is to get here in the afternoon to skip the after dinner crowd, but either way it will be worth the wait!
Dutch Dreams is another long-time favourite in the St. Clair area, known for it’s wide selection of flavours and imported candy from Holland. The Dutch waffle cones come in all kinds of flavours, but their specialties like the Dutch pancakes, and sundaes are cheat-day worthy. The long list of flavours and toppings just means you’ll have to keep coming back to try them all… right?
If you’re looking for something a little more unique to try after the soft-serve and scooped cones, Arctic Bites serves up Thai inspired ice cream rolls that is handcrafted right in front of you! Their flavour combinations range from mint chocolate Oreo to Thai milk tea, but for the adventurous one in the crowd they have a Cheetos ice cream roll, topped with, well, Cheetos.
Not Your Mother
Finding vegan friendly options is definitely not as difficult as it used to be, but nothing comes close to Not Your Mother Creamery for a dairy-free treat. Following in the footsteps of some of the previously mentioned shops, NYMC has 8 different variations of loaded-up soft serve combos available in a cone, cup or milkshake, along with a bunch of traditional ice cream from Oat & Mill in flavours like passion fruit birthday cake, and coffee biscotti. They even have a brussel sprout kale ice cream if you want to get your greens in (but we’ll stick to salad for now). If you have allergies you’re in luck, since the whole menu is nut-free, dairy-free, and egg-free, and provides soy free and gluten free options as well!
Hungry for more? Check out some of Toronto’s most exciting food festivals this summer here!