Lola's Gelato is located on the ground floor of a condo building in south Etobicoke, a location ideal for those in need of an espresso pick-me-up or breakfast cookie baked daily by owner Daniela Zomparelli. Then of course, there's the freshly made gelato available in an array of flavours.
After years of working in production accounting in the film industry, Zomparelli decided to leave that career behind to open Lola's, named after her late pet puli . When customers walk into her store for ice cream they're happy, she says. It's an emotion she rarely saw when colleagues visited the accounting department.
Zomparelli's sleek space offers a myriad of frozen treats and baked goods along with cold drinks, teas from Tea Squared and espresso-baked beverages made from Birds and Beans coffee.
A must try is Lola's signature Elvis gelato ($2.55 for a single scoop). Zomparelli introduced it mid-winter in honour of the King of Rock and Roll's 80th birthday. Originally, she intended on selling it only for a limited time but the combination of banana gelato, peanut butter crunch and grape jelly proved enormously popular, and it's now menu staple.
Along with traditional flavours such as pistachio, lemon and hazelnut, Zomparelli serves red velvet gelato (with cream cheese frosting flavoured gelato on top), salted-caramel and as well as dairy-free options. Gelato bars are also available and come dipped in chocolate ($4.95).
Zomparelli bakes four types of cookies daily (all $2.30). Her breakfast cookie comes filled with oats, peanuts, banana, honey, cranberries, raisins and pumpkin seeds -- it's a meal in one a deliciously filling disk. Maritime-style oatcakes are dense and sweet -- they'd go perfectly with a cup of tea.
She stuffs her Everything and a Bag of Chips cookies with an assortment of mix-ins including coffee grinds, Skor bits and potato chips. But, her marshmallow chocolate chip cookie is my favourite of the lot; it's decadent, soft and also crunchy thanks to a sprinkling of cornflakes.
Along with her handmade sweets, Zomparelli also offers muffins and tarts from Circles and Squares as well as freshly baked croissants from Ma Maison.
Customers regularly buy out her stock of cookies, and visitors can also take home cartons of gelato ($9.95/0.5 L, $18.95/1 L). You can also takeaway gelato cakes ($45), but you'll need to order them in advance. If you're buying dessert for a special someone, Zomparelli sells greeting cards by local stationery company Dreams on Paper .
Given its proximity to Lake Ontario and Humber Bay Park, Lola's Gelato lets you treat has proven a hit for those looking to indulge in something sweet while taking in one of the city's best views .
Photos by Hector Vasquez.