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Eat & Drink

The top 10 under the radar gelato in Toronto

Posted by Liora Ipsum / July 2, 2014

gelato torontoGelato in Toronto ain't exactly tough to find, so you hardly have to travel to Italy to have an Eat, Pray, Love-like experience. There are numerous hidden gems around Toronto that might not specialize exclusively in the frozen Italian treat, but make the good stuff in the authentic way: by hand, in small batches, with top notch ingredients. Expect to find some unusual flavours too, not just the Italian standards but bold and unique variations that'll have you licking the bowl.

Here are the top 10 under the radar sources for gelato in Toronto.

Manic Coffee
The College Street cafe does more than just espresso. A selection of house made gelati and vegan sorbets come in unique flavours like roasted banana, Japanese matcha, kalamansi mint, and coconut lime. Order a single ($2.62), double ($3.90) or triple ($5.20) scoop, or by the half or full litre for takeaway ($13-$23).

SanRemo Bakery
The Italian bakery cafe on Royal York makes this cool treat exclusively in the summer months. Made fresh daily, choose from flavours like chocolate, bacio (a chocolate hazelnut kiss), nocciola (hazelnut), torrone (roasted almonds), wild berry yogurt and stracciatella, plus lemon, raspberry and mango sorbetto.

Sud Forno
Located on West Queen West, this Terroni offshoot offers house-made gelato in flavours like cioccolato, nocciola, pistachio, crema, limone and frutti di bosco. While a single scoop (in a cup, sugar cone or regular cone) sells for $4.25, everyone knows that gelato is best when matched with a complimentary flavour, so opt for two scoops for $6.

Cheese Boutique
Peruse this Etobicoke cheese shop with a scoop (or two) of gelato in hand. Among the range of 28 flavours, the most popular are peanut butter, salted caramel or pistachio available to stay ($3.75/small, $4.86/medium, $5.75/large) or in to-go packs ($16/litre, $10/half litre or $7/quarter litre).

Millie Creperie
Order a signature crepe ($6-$6.75) a la mode with a scoop of house-made gelato at this Kensington Market creperie that melds French and Japanese influences. By the cup ($3.50/single, $5/double) flavours like mango, hazelnut, vanilla, green tea, blood orange or chocolate are available, or opt instead for a gelato parfait ($6) topped with fresh fruit, cornflakes and whipped cream.

Nino D'Aversa
With four locations across the GTA, this Italian bakery carries 16 flavours at a time from its roster of 35 house-made gelati. Tiramisu, pistachio, lemon and chocolate are among the top picks available by the cup or cone ($3/small, $5/medium, $7/large)

Pizzeria via Mercanti
Best known for awesomely tasty wood-fired pies, two locations of this pizzeria also excel when it it comes to living La Dolce Vita. Finish off a pizza dinner with scoops of artisanal house-made gelato ($7) in flavours like creme brulee or nutella crostada.

Capitano Burgers & Gelato
Made fresh daily in small batches, this burger shop and gelateria makes all-natural gelato along with dairy-free and vegan versions. Inventive flavours like Nutella pound cake, German rice pudding, cereal milk, and PB&J can be had in a cup ($4-$6), to-go pack ($14-$25) or sandwiched between a sweet bun ($5).

Famoso
Love or hate the pizza from this fast-casual chain, it's the exclusive source for gelato from Calgary-based Fiasco Premium Artisan Gelato, which is undeniably good. The authentic Italian ice cream is handcrafted in small batches with fine ingredients to produce unusual and seasonal flavours like burnt sugar banana chocolate, blueberry basil and blood orange creamsicle. Order a single scoop for $3.75, a double for $5, or a whole pint for $9.

ZaZa Espresso Bar
Four locations of this Italian espresso bar are now prospering since the first Yorkville location opened over 10 years ago. While the coffees are the major draw, the 18 flavours of gelato are exceptionally good too. Sample classic flavours like cioccolato (chocolate) and bacio (chocolate hazelnut). Ranging in size from small to medium, cups sell for $4.65 to $9.65.

BONUS

Be Good Gelato
Toronto's only mobile gelateria sells gelato sandwiches ($5) and half pint ($5) cups from its cargo bike at markets and pop-ups, at catering events or by special order from its production kitchen, located at the Paintbox Bistro. Small batches of all-natural from-scratch gelati come in refreshing creative flavours like tart tatin, maple buttertart, and pineapple basil.

Soma Chocolate
Two boutique locations (in the Distillery District and on King West) stock a dozen or so house-spun gelati and sorbetti in rotating flavours like lemon sour cream, blood orange and mascarpone. Of course, chocolate, being the shop's raison d'etre, is the specialty - don't ignore the dark or milk chocolate flavours. A single scoop sells for $4.55, while a pint goes for $12.

Did we miss any low profile gelato spots? Leave your favourite restaurants or cafes that serve great gelato in the comments.

Discussion

32 Comments

Giovanni / July 2, 2014 at 01:58 pm
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Food Palace Gelato would definitely be a worthy mention! On Bathurst just N of Queen.
Dellsun / July 2, 2014 at 02:17 pm
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I spent a week in the birthplace of Gelato; Florence, a few months ago.

I ate Gelato every single day, sometimes multiple times a day, and was sure to get it from places that did it al artisanal-style.

I haven't tried every place on the list, but for my money the best Gelato in the city is from Gelato Simply Italian in Yorkville on Cumberland beside the parking garage.

The classic flavours (chocolate, hazelnut / nocciola, pistachio) are as good as the stuff from the best places in Florence.

They're smooth, naturally flavourful, and most importantly, not too sweet (I've noticed a lot of people seem to think ice cream / gelato is amazing just because of the sugar content when they don't really have any flavour profile).

My only knock is that the place doesn't serve Panna (Italian whipped cream) and thus doesn't hit for the cycle on authentic Italian Gelato.
Laurie / July 2, 2014 at 02:27 pm
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A new one opened up in Etobicoke, Lola's Gelato. It's right by my condo and went there twice this weekend. Amazing Gelato that is made FRESH daily. They just opened so only about 15-16 flavours but AMAZING!! http://lolasgelato.ca/index.html
Mike / July 2, 2014 at 02:37 pm
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+1 for Millie Creperie.
Matt / July 2, 2014 at 02:38 pm
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I'm shocked 'Lick It Gelato' isn't listed - it's a great place on Queens Quay West near Rees Street. Great people and great flavours!
Melissa Williams / July 2, 2014 at 02:46 pm
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G for Gelato & Espresso Bar on Jarvis Street!! Absolutely amazing, so many flavours and great customer service
Sheila / July 2, 2014 at 02:47 pm
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Arte Gelato corner of Bloor and Delaware - authentic, delicious
MrsP / July 2, 2014 at 02:50 pm
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G for Gelato gets my vote.
Bill / July 2, 2014 at 02:53 pm
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I'd add Ice & Cake at the Shops At Don Mills to the mix as well.
Meaghan / July 2, 2014 at 02:53 pm
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FOOD PALACE on Bathurst, north of queen. Tell everyone because I'm in constant fear it will close. SO GOOD!
Kari / July 2, 2014 at 02:56 pm
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Isn't the place in Yorkville you're talking about called Zaza? If so, the fact-checking department could use an Internet-equipped computer.
BillyO / July 2, 2014 at 03:06 pm
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Surprised to see Soma on the list - they are hardly under the radar; they are widely considered one of the best (if not the best, especially for nut and chocolate varieties).
Abe / July 2, 2014 at 03:39 pm
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La Viziatta just opened in The Junction. Bomb, son.
mmmaro / July 2, 2014 at 03:53 pm
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SOMA SOMA SOMA! Finally. Absolutely the BEST!
Fra / July 2, 2014 at 05:36 pm
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I agree with Abe - La Viziatta should be on this list!
Amy / July 2, 2014 at 07:29 pm
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Pizza Gelato! Moved into our area on Queen in Parkdale Love it! Mainly a Pizza Shop but the gelato is amazing. They also opened downtown on Queen West around McCaul. Haven't been to the downtown location only seen it on the street car, but go to the Parkdale location at least once a week.

http://gelatopizza.com/
Emily / July 2, 2014 at 09:22 pm
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Kekou Gelato is the best!
Clive / July 2, 2014 at 10:32 pm
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Dear Liora: That's Zaza Espresso Bar, not Zsa Zsa. Don't believe me? Check your own hyperlink.
Emm / July 2, 2014 at 10:57 pm
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I agree with the new Junction spot, La Viziatta. Not sure if it is "under the radar" but it's really good!
Tino / July 3, 2014 at 08:39 am
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There is La Paloma on St. Clair and Lansdowne. Hollywood Gelato on Bayview at Manor Rd.
Sandman / July 3, 2014 at 12:18 pm
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Red Bean Espresso (Bloor St. West/High Park Area)
bobo / July 3, 2014 at 01:01 pm
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No Kekou?
Leane / July 3, 2014 at 01:20 pm
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Seranos Bakery on Pape has recently added some really interesting Gelato flavours. Most of them are Greek desert based, however they are pretty tasty. They also have the classic flavours and those are done really well too. Worth checking out if your in the area.
Jeff / July 3, 2014 at 02:42 pm
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Liora, the Cheese Boutique isn't in Etobicoke. It is East of the Humber River, and therefore in proper Toronto.
Sophie / July 3, 2014 at 04:17 pm
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Kekou has some neat flavours!
Grace Campagna / July 4, 2014 at 05:25 am
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As mentioned La Paloma on St Clair West and Tre Marie Bakery also on St Clair West is the true Italian Ice Cream they are staples I feel in the City
Jessica / July 5, 2014 at 01:51 am
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How is Kekou gelato not on here??
Shant / July 6, 2014 at 02:21 pm
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Hey guys, I think this review was based more on places that don't really specialize on Gelato.
As the owner of G for Gelato however, I would LOVE to invite blogTO to do a FAIR comparison, down to each and every ingredient used....I'm sure they'd be very surprised as to what actually goes into most other gelato places.... All of our fruits come fresh from St. Lawrence market and are pureed and processed in house. Don't believe me? come try it for yourself ;)
Sabrina S. / July 8, 2014 at 10:29 pm
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Arte Gelato at the corner of Bloor Street and Delaware Avenue (just west of Ossington) is aMAZing, not to mention having an absolutely lovely staff. And they recently got licensed and have really yummy flavors like Guinness (my favorite), Mill Street Organic Coffee Porter and soon to be (I've been promised) Sangria gelato, along with all their other off-the-chain flavors, like Blueberry Basil. This place should definitely be on this list.
PC / July 10, 2014 at 09:13 am
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The most amazing Gelato I've had outside of Italy is a new store that opened recently called La Vizziata Gelateria and Dessert Bar. All I can say is...OMG!!!!!!
Sasha / July 11, 2014 at 12:10 pm
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I definitely agree that SanRemo's gelato is a hidden treasure! Bacio is a favourite of mine! Great quality gelato without downtown pricing!
Asher / August 28, 2014 at 08:12 pm
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What?! No Boreal Gelato in Parkdale? My girlfriend and I practically live there.

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