With sticky sweet heat come clouds of hormones that hang over the city, but libidos aren’t the only things thawing out this summer. Ice cream parlors ‘round the city are dusting off, and memories of frozen fingers are being replaced by frozen yogurts and creamy-cool gelatos faster than you can shed the layers of the past eight frigid months. The only cold for the next few months is going to be of the popsicle in my mouth – and my shoulder if you try to cut me in line for it.
Want a lick, but don’t know where to go? Well, you can thank my thighs (and those of the friends I dragged along) for indulging you. We biked, we licked, we bit into creamy goodness until our teeth ached and our brains froze, then we biked some more. Our stomachs roared with warfare stirred between assorted flavors competing for dominance, but we did it, we did it for you. Life’s hard, but your ice cream shouldn’t be. Here are our faves, completely and unnapologetically biased and often influenced by their employment of/proximity to handsomeness. Happy lickin’.
Dolce Gelato Café – 697 College Street
Sit down and let me show you how to make a fucking gelato. Not me, obviously, but that’s what the dudes behind this Little Italy joint must be saying to every other gelato place in the city. Sometimes I worry I’m using up all my tasty taste-buds at once when I eat here and I’ll leave depleted forever. Plus, the staff are super nice, even when you ask for your eleventh taster. They get it; everyone wants to know what a Quatro Formaggi gelato tastes like (spoiler alert – it is freakin’ yummy). Also of note: Italian Honey, Amaretto, French Vanilla Cappuccino and…fig (hello memories of salty Croatian summers at the sea).
Ed’s Real Scoop – 920 Queen Street East; 2224 Queen Street East
Ed’s is the one-stop shop of ice cream: there are approximately one billion ice cream flavors to choose from (if I were you, I’d try the Crème Brulee, Apple Pie and Roasted Marshmallow – two desserts in one!), an assortment of sorbets (Mojito and Sangria, to ensure we all stay alcoholics this summer, even during dessert), and of course gelatos galore (Green Apple, Red Hot Chile Chocolate). The place to be on the east side, if you can claw your way through the swarms of kids that want it just as bad as you do.
The Big Chill – 367 Manning Avenue
Sitting on the miniature multi-colored patio outside The Big Chill makes you feel like you are both a little kid and giant, in the best way possible. Plus the location could no be more perfect, right in the heart of Little Italy, where you can sit on a tiny pink plastic armchair surrounded by the hovering aroma of fresh waffle cones and watch every walk of life strut down the College strip to dinner. Plus, one of the city’s best puppy stalking patios, guaranteed.
Dutch Dreams – 78 Vaughan Road
Remember that wacky place Dave Chapelle takes Mary Jane to in Half Baked that you thought could never possibly exist in real life? (If you’ve never seen it, you need to get to the video store ASAP, hit your dealer on your way home, and thank me later.) It’s real and it’s still a stoner’s paradise. Find your way here one pasty morning, order a regular cone, and you will get something the size of a toddler steeped in whipped cream and topped with a fruit salad. It’s like they’re trying to make you throw up outside the church across the street (true story).
Delight Chocolate – 805 Queen Street West
It’s shame that the only ice cream place right by Trinity Bellwoods is as stuffy as if it were in Yorkville. Its pristine interior and minimalist vibe give off a holier-than-thou faux eco vibe reminds of rich ladies carrying their Whole Foods bags to their Mercedes SUVs. No personality, especially given the location and how many interesting shops and cafes surround it, and way overpriced for those of us who just want a little something sweet before drinking cheap tall cans in the park.