The Best Ice Cream in Toronto
The best ice cream in Toronto seems to seduce a lineup no matter what the weather. While parlours across the city are likely gearing up for the summer rush, the very best of Toronto's iced dairy crafters have kept their scoops in motion throughout the year. The best ice cream in Toronto isn't necessarily of a single creed; this list proves that soft serve can be as good as hard, custard as good as conventional, and plain old vanilla as tempting to the palette as a scoop of blue cheese ice cream or peanut butter chocolate chip. Winter or summer (but especially summer), Toronto loves its ice cream.
Here are the shops that offer the best ice cream in Toronto.
Note: This list was previously published in June 2011. Comments below made up until June 28, 2012 are in reference to the old list. We've purposely kept the archived comments here because we believe they (mostly) add value to this topic. If you don't want to have to wade through all of them, simply hit the "sort by newest first" link at the top of the thread.
Toronto’s love affair with Ed’s continues as we’re consistently seduced by the power of that waffle cone aroma. But the real treat, of course, is what goes inside the cone, with Ed’s Burnt Marshmallow, Coffee Toffee, and seasonal Pumpkin flavours leading the pack. Ed’s ice cream has some of the richest, creamiest ice cream varieties around, and with two Toronto locations, resistance is pretty much futile. More »
Greg’s Ice Cream has recently expanded into the Distillery District, granting a whole new community easy access to its incredible Roasted Marshmallow ice cream. Greg’s is known to do wonderful things with unusual flavours such as Grape Nut and Stout, while still mastering the classics with its chocolate and vanilla varieties. Expect lines, especially in the summertime. More »
Dutch Dreams is like a wonderland of sugary, nutty, and fruity goodness. Once you finally tear your eyes away from the kitsch and hone in on the ice cream offerings, you’ll get your pick of Rum Raisin, Birthday Cake, Chocolate Fudge and more, plus fresh fruit and whipped cream on top, of course. If you order a double-scoop, be prepared for an immense haul that’s big enough for two. More »
In an area where gelato reigns as the frozen dessert of choice, The Big Chill does its cream roots proud. Set against a backdrop of lime green and painted murals, and an alarming assortment of cow paraphernalia, The Big Chill delights visitors with its chunky Chocolate Peanut Butter, Bordeaux Cherry, and Brownie Toffee Crunch. The scoops are utterly huge, and the homemade waffle cones alone are a delicious treat. More »
Summer’s Ice Cream is a Yorkville favourite, and not just because it’s one of the only places to get homemade ice cream in the area. You’ll find dapper diners and plain Janes and Joes jonesing for some Chocolate Decadence and Toronto Pothole ice creams, best enjoyed in a homemade waffle cone. The lower-level spot can sport long lines in the summertime, though the great flavours (and people-watching opportunities) make it worth the wait. More »
Talk about an old faithful. Tom’s Dairy Freeze has been around for more than 40 years, serving the same classic soft serve that’s won over lifelong customers. While the retro spot does serve frozen yogurt and outsourced hard ice creams, the chocolate and vanilla soft serves are Tom’s main claims to fame. Real cream and natural ingredients, according to Tom’s, makes all the difference. More »
Goat Cheese ice cream? Sweet Olenka’s somehow makes it work (and makes it sweet!) prepared fresh on location on Lakeshore Boulevard in Etobicoke. The quaint candy and ice cream shop is known for its other extraordinary frozen flavours, which include Roasted Rum Banana, Black Forest Cake, and Chocolate Ginger. Olenka’s prices are also pretty good compared to some of the other spots on this list. More »
The adventurous ice cream-enthusiast might find satisfaction in Delight’s Blue Cheese ice cream, though most stick with its classic flavours such as Maple Walnut, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, and traditional Vanilla. All of the ice creams offered at Delight’s two shops are made with organic ingredients, including the flour for its waffle cones and its signature fair trade chocolate. More »
Maple Leaf Dairy is one of those unchanged ice cream parlours that will load your cone up to capacity, and then some. Out on the east end of Danforth, Maple Leaf Dairy serves up classic flavours under its house label, St. Clair, with the odd green tea ice cream thrown into the mix. Definitely a bang-for-your-buck ice cream spot. More »
Semantics aside, Jedd’s Frozen Custard serves up some of the creamiest frozen “dessert” around. The custard is made with fresh eggs, cream, and sugar, prepared fresh daily and topped with fruits, nuts, and syrups. Don’t expect to find bubblegum or cotton candy flavours here. Jedd’s is all about the chocolate and vanilla, and maybe strawberry, too. More »
A newbie on the ice cream scene and already making its sprinkles-speckled mark on the Lansdowne community. The Lansdowne Cone opened to much, much community anticipation, and did not disappoint with its Maple Walnut, Dutch Chocolate, Cotton Candy, and Cookie Dough varieties. The ice cream comes from Maypole out in Etobicoke, and brings with it the owners’ memories of childhood jobs at the ice cream parlour. More »