Twenty of Toronto's best ice cream flavours

Inside Scoop

Toronto creameries are elevating ice cream to an art form. Here, our picks for the city’s best pints

By Liza Agrba| Photography by Vicky Lam | Food Styling by Carol Dudar
| July 25, 2023
Death in Venice and Mary’s Brigadeiro’s Brigadeiro Gelato ice cream
Death in Venice and Mary’s Brigadeiro’s Brigadeiro Gelato

12 The traditional Brazilian brigadeiro is somewhere between a truffle, a cake pop and a caramel. In this collaboration, the chocolatey confection is layered with vanilla bean and honey gelato and topped with chocolate sprinkles for a pint that tastes like cookies and cream—but better. $11.75. 418 Dundas St. W.,

Creamery X’s Portuguese Custard Tart ice cream
Creamery X’s Portuguese Custard Tart

11 As anyone who has spent time in Little Portugal knows, Toronto is teeming with excellent Portuguese custard tarts. Here, you get the warmth and comfort of vanilla custard, along with hints of cinnamon and lemon zest, plus puff pastry flakes strewn throughout. It’s a delicious ode to one of the city’s favourite treats. $12. 114 Queen St. E.,

Related: Twenty of Toronto’s best summer street food destinations

Good Behaviour’s S’mores ice cream
Good Behaviour’s S’mores

10 Inspired by their childhood camping trips, co-owners Michael Lam and Eric Chow blend hand-torched marshmallows with frozen custard, then finish it with house-made fudge and double-baked graham crackers. It’s everything we love about s’mores minus the considerable logistics involved in camping. $13. 1324 Gerrard St. E., unit A, and 342 Westmoreland Ave N.;

Alberobello’s Rhubarb Strawberry Sorbet
Alberobello’s Rhubarb Strawberry Sorbet

9 Sold out of George, Lorenzo Loseto’s Queen East restaurant, this pint marries rhubarb and strawberry for an uncompromising vegan treat. Loseto manipulates the sorbet’s sugars for a higher-than-normal fruit to sugar ratio. Tangy rhubarb balances the strawberry’s sweetness—it’s a classic combo for a reason. $12. 111 Queen St. E.,

Rex’s Somali Chai ice cream
Rex’s Somali Chai

8 A heady mix of cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger, Abdul “Rex” Ali’s enchanting take on chai emphasizes the beverage’s sweeter notes. Rex is at Stackt Market until October, at which point, if we’re lucky, he’ll be opening a stand-alone storefront. $12.

Sim and Lil’s Lady Al’Capone ice cream
Sim and Lil’s Lady Al’Capone

7 The first hint that this flavour is the lovechild of ice cream and tiramisu is the fine dusting of cocoa powder. Then come the espresso, mascarpone, layers of ladyfingers, and a boozy mix of marsala and coffee liqueur. It’s velvety, creamy perfection. $9.50. 1036 Queen St. W.,

Wong’s Black Sesame Salted Egg Swirl ice cream
Wong’s Black Sesame Salted Egg Swirl

6 The flavour base here is high-quality Japanese black sesame paste, swirled with a ripple of salted egg yolk enhanced with milk powder and cream for a rich consistency. Pints are available at Basil Box, Good Cheese, JunePlum, Scarborough’s City Cottage Market and Whitby’s Osaka Food Market. $10 to $12.

Related: Toronto’s best new patios

Nani’s Gelato’s Pistachio ice cream
Nani’s Gelato’s Pistachio

5 At a recent gelato conference in Italy, Nani’s Gelato owner Parry Sohi busied himself sampling more than 40 varieties of pistachio paste. His favourite ended up in this flavour, yielding a deeply nutty pint. $11. 6 Charles St. E., 120 Lynn Williams St. and 6039 Erin Mills Parkway;

Moonmilk’s Kaya Jam and Toast ice cream
Moonmilk’s Kaya Jam and Toast

4 Co-owner Elysia Leung’s family hails from Hainan, where toast with kaya jam is a popular street food. As a homage, she blends house-made milk bread, buttered and toasted, into a creamy base before swirling in the coconut-pandan jam. It’s a tropical paradise in a pint. $13. 1695 Dundas St. W.,

Ice Creamonology’s Black Sea Tea ice cream
Ice Creamonology’s Black Sea Tea

3 Think Earl Grey cranked up to 11. Owner Onur Yilmaz infuses cream with tea harvested from Turkish gardens on the coast of the Black Sea. Aromatic, light on the bergamot and almost smoky, this flavour brings new dimensions to a cooling scoop. $15. 250 Queens Quay W.,

Ruru Baked’s Everything Bagel ice cream
Ruru Baked’s Everything Bagel

2 Leave it to Luanne Ronquillo to figure out how to make onion, garlic, poppy seeds and sesame seeds work in an ice cream. It may sound zany, but it’s borderline addictive. Inspired by the Oscar-crushing Everything Everywhere All at Once, this is an edible meditation on the virtues of the unexpected. $13. 659 Lansdowne Ave. and 4300 Steeles Ave. E, unit E69;

Bang Bang’s Sour Cherry and Milk Jam ice cream
Bang Bang’s Sour Cherry and Milk Jam

1 Bracingly tart Ontario cherry and roasted milk (think dulce de leche) combine to strike a balance between sweet and sour. It’s the brainchild of owner Rosanne Pezzelli—the pastry mastermind behind Bakerbots—and it’s well worth braving the line that snakes outside this popular Ossington scoop shop. $14. 93 Ossington Ave., unit A;


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