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The top 10 under the radar ice cream shops in Toronto

Posted by Liora Ipsum / June 25, 2014

ice cream torontoWhen 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.

Ali's Roti
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 Chocolateria
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.

Delight Chocolate
This chocolate shop in the Junction 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.

North of Bloor near Ossington Station, this not-so-secret bakery has proved so popular it has spawned a dedicated ice cream sandwich 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.

Film Buff
Part movie rental shop, part ice cream parlour, there are two locations on opposite sides of town (one in Leslieville, 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.

Hibiscus Cafe
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



turkeyboy / June 25, 2014 at 01:32 am
sweet olenkas ,you turkeys!!
Pants Go Brown / June 25, 2014 at 10:03 am
Ed's = over rated. Super grumpy staff at the Beach location (family?) and prices that are crazy.
aq / June 25, 2014 at 10:11 am
porchetta & co.
Martin / June 25, 2014 at 10:12 am
The Film Buff gets thier ice cream from, the peanutbutter chocolate is awesome! Not as expensive as Ed's up the street, plus they sell pints too.
Stephen / June 25, 2014 at 10:38 am
Carter's, at Woodmount and Danforth, serves old reliable Kawartha Dairy. It seems BlogTO (and other sites and the papers) tend to give the east end the short shrift when compiling these lists.
Eric / June 25, 2014 at 11:09 am
Tom's Dairy Freeze, Queensway & Park Lawn
missIceCream / June 25, 2014 at 11:42 am
I know it's not Toronto, but the best ice cream hands down is Dairy Cream in Mississauga, close to Port Credit.
Suz / June 25, 2014 at 11:49 am
You guys left out Kekou at 13 Baldwin Street!
I highly recommend avocado chocolate or jackfruit flavours. They also offer vegan and dairy-free options too.
Buck / June 25, 2014 at 01:04 pm
So happy to see Chocolateria on this list. Their blueberry ice cream is incredible!
Amealia replying to a comment from Stephen / June 25, 2014 at 01:13 pm
Adding Lickadee Split and St. Clair to the east-end snub list.
Clacko / June 25, 2014 at 02:02 pm
Cool, another list without any research to back it. What makes these places under the radar? Does St. Clair Ice Cream ( count as under the radar? If not, why? If it does, why isn't it on the list? What do these other shops do that make them better than St Clair Ice Cream? Do they have better ice cream? Do they have better prices?

I'm betting the comments section is going to be full of people complaining that at least one of the places on the list is disgusting/has horrible service/is overpriced, just like every other list you guys submit to this blog.
Jim / June 25, 2014 at 02:22 pm
One more thing:

>Momofuku Milk Bar
>It's hardly under the radar, but Momofuku ...

What's the point in this list then?
rubyroses / June 25, 2014 at 02:42 pm
Not sure if it counts but st. Clair ice cream near main and Danforth is a fantastic ice cream spot. Mostly basic flavors (roughly 20 that rotate around) but huge soft ball sized scoops for three bucks.
Stephen T replying to a comment from Jim / June 25, 2014 at 03:37 pm
I think the author means that while Momofuku is on the radar, the fact that they now sell ice cream is. I work a block away and didn't know this.
Adrienne / June 25, 2014 at 06:18 pm
Delight is unreal. Best ice cream I've ever had.
Vicki / June 25, 2014 at 09:20 pm
Another vote for Dairy Cream in Port Credit here!
archive / June 25, 2014 at 11:08 pm
Sweet Olenkas!
TJ / June 25, 2014 at 11:10 pm
1 more for Dairy Cream. The line ups are really long in the summer for a reason. They make their own soft ice cream and prices are not expensive at all. Been going for over 20+ years and it's hands down the best. Staff is friendly as well.
Taliba / June 26, 2014 at 03:25 am
I second Maple Leaf Dairy for amazing value & Carters for quality in the East End.

Had Ed's last weekend, Carter's the following -- no comparison. Carter's is FAR better.
Gourmet Chaplain replying to a comment from turkeyboy / June 26, 2014 at 11:14 am
Sweet Olenka's used to be great. They are just mediocre now - there is always a weird almost freezer-burnt taste to much of their product. Stick to smooth ice cream (the chunky ones often have that weird flavour) and waffles, brownies, etc. Anything with the chocolatey coating is to be avoided.
Gourmet Chaplain replying to a comment from archive / June 26, 2014 at 11:15 am
Don't you find their coatings and chunks taste weirdly freezer-burnt more often than not?
Gourmet Chaplain replying to a comment from archive / June 26, 2014 at 11:17 am
Delight is amazing.
Thank God Ed's Real Scoop opened on Roncy to help us west-enders.
Caroline / June 26, 2014 at 12:22 pm
Lickadee Split on Coxwell just south of O'connor!
dee kay / June 27, 2014 at 07:10 am
Bang bang at the bottom of Ossington! They're related to Bakerbots so could be mentioned together too.
Elio / June 28, 2014 at 08:39 am
Toms Dairy Freeze in Etobicoke!! (630 The Queensway)
Omer / July 6, 2014 at 07:40 am
Bang Bank on Ossington in the centre of ossi-hood. Amazing good spirited place. My first time they gave me 3 flavors on my sandwich so I can sample them. Eds is highly over rated, I think the MacDonalds generation gravitate more to Eds.
Juicy / July 16, 2014 at 01:21 pm
Dutch Dreams, anyone?
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Far / February 20, 2015 at 12:55 pm
Milky Lane in Richmond Hill. Milkshake flavors are unique and amazing!!! All made from their own soft serve ice cream. Like Lime, Bubblegum, NUTELLA, peanut butter!! They even blend actual chocolate into a milkshake. Ferrero Rocher is to die for!
Owner / June 7, 2015 at 08:12 pm
The Milkshake Factory 1348 St.Clair Av W. Toronto
ML / February 27, 2016 at 11:38 pm
Ironrose tea gallery sells Belly Ice Cream, hands down my favourite
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