Where to Get The Best Ice Cream in the GTA
From spots serving dipped cones to shops with traditional scoops and gelato bars, here’s where to get your fill
There’s no question that ice cream is the tastiest way to beat the heat. We’ve selected our favourite spots in the GTA to satisfy your summer sweet tooth.
For the buzz without the (long) lineup: Bakerbots
Instagrammable ice cream joints are aplenty in Toronto, but Bakerbots’ ice cream sandwiches prove there’s substance behind the style. While they don’t offer scoops in a Hong Kong waffle cone like their sister location, Bang Bang on Ossington Avenue, lineups are shorter here and the same excellent ice cream is served at both. The everything cookie with nocciola (hazelnut) is a winning combination.
Where: 205 Delaware Ave., Toronto
For a taste of cottage country: Kawartha Dairy
This classic ice cream joint has captured the childhood hearts of anyone who’s made the summertime pilgrimage up north to cottage country in the last five decades. While you can find tubs of its ice cream in most Toronto grocers, nothing beats the satisfaction (and selection) of a fresh scoop from one of Kawartha Dairy’s 10 stores. Go for the speculoos cookie butter flavour.
Where: 5 Alexander Rd., Newmarket
For Asian flavours: Kekou Gelato
Asian ingredients like almond tofu, oolong tea and black sesame inspire the frosty lineup at Kekou Gelato. Much like Asian desserts themselves, Kekou’s offerings are flavour-forward without being overly sweet. Summer brings Kekou’s popular seasonal popsicles in refreshing fruit varieties such as strawberry mango and pineapple coconut.
Where: 394 Queen St. W., Toronto
For a hit of nostalgia: Dairy Cream
This Mississauga ice cream stand is a local institution. While traditional scoops are available, Dairy Cream is most revered for its carnival-style funnel cakes and dipped soft-serve cones in flavours like banana and blue raspberry. Sundaes and milkshakes round out its classic parlour offerings. Expect generous portions and don’t be deterred by the long line—it moves quickly.
Where: 715 Lakeshore Rd. E., Mississauga
For modern gelato: Bar Ape
While it started as a popsicle stand operating from a vintage Italian scooter (a Piaggio Ape, which inspired the company’s name), Bar Ape is now a full-fledged storefront in the St. Clair West neighbourhood. They sell gelato bars and soft serve in fresh, modern flavours like strawberry balsamic and ricotta lemon. Flavours rotate weekly—all the more reason to visit often.
Where: 283 Rushton Rd., Toronto
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Image Credit: istock.com/Aleksandar Pirgic