Do you like ice cream as much as I do? I’m usually up for a cone on a hot summer’s day and hardly shy away when winter comes. So I’ve decided to share an ever-growing list of my favourite ice cream in Canada. Whether you’re close to home or travelling across the country, ice cream makes the journey all the better!
Ice Cream Road Trip Across Canada
I scream, you scream, we all screen for ice cream! Who else spouts that rhyme from time to time? Icelanders have a single word for ice cream road trip. It’s ísbíltúr [ease-beel-tour]. I could be happy in Iceland….
Plenty of Canadians enjoy ice cream all year round, too. So I decided to put together an ULTIMATE ice cream road trip across Canada—for locals and visitors alike! This isn’t really about ranking. It’s a list full of delicious places to try something new.
DISCLAIMER: Ice cream may cause brain freeze and will most certainly result in excessive amounts of happiness. However, if brain freeze results, press your tongue or thumb against the roof of your mouth or drink something warm.
Alright, since I’m living back on the East Coast, let’s head east to west on this ice cream road trip across Canada. Here are 30 delicious and PERSONALLY TASTE-TESTED ice cream spots to try!
Of course, COWS Ice Cream has to be on this list. In 1983, COWS started in Cavendish, PEI and can now be found across the country—and a location in Beijing, China! COWS’ unique homemade flavours have enlightened countless taste buds with flavours like Wowie Cowie and Moo York Cheesecake. If you think their ice cream is good, you should see their t-shirts!
Do you want out-of-the-box flavours in Halifax? DeeDee’s Ice Cream is a fan favourite! Over the Christmas season, I tasted their candy cane flavour and can’t wait to try more. With Nova Scotian suppliers and a socially-conscious attitude, this ice cream shop is worth the visit.
The Real Scoop hasn’t been around very long, but they’ve gained major points for their tasty homemade ice cream. Take classic flavours like vanilla and chocolate and add in whatever “mix-in’s” you want. They’ve got vegan-friendly and non-dairy, too. You can’t beat their homemade waffle cone…. unless you order a waffle bowl instead!
Want to hike nearby? Cape Split Trail: One of the Best Hikes in Nova Scotia
You’ll have a hard time topping this soft-serve ice cream! Johnny’s chocolate, vanilla, or twist is the creamiest, most satisfying soft-serve I’ve ever tasted. They have plenty of other options, too. Not in the mood for ice cream? Johnny’s is also one of the hottest fast food joints in town.
Kredl’s Corner Market (Hampton, NB)
You’ll find lots of stuff at Kredl’s Corner Market, including locally-made Sussex Ice Cream. I have to say, their honeycomb flavour is a favourite! After stopping by the market, take a drive along the beautiful Kingston Peninsula or hop on a ferry to see where you’ll end up!
Uptown Saint John only has one artisan ice cream spot. Bella’s makes small batch ice cream with dairy from Maritime farmers. Not a dairy fan? They’ve got several dairy-free alternatives, with oat, almond, and coconut bases. Kudos to Bella’s for striving to be environmentally friendly, using only compostable or reusable materials (no plastic!). In fact, bring the glass pint back to be reused.
Want to hike nearby? Split Rock Trail: One of the Best New Brunswick Hikes
Pete’s is something of an institution in the town of St. George. Starting in 1984, Pete’s has grown to offer dozens of ice cream flavours, including Atlantic Canadian classics like Moon Mist. While Pete’s ice cream isn’t made in-house, it’s still a worthy stop by the Bay of Fundy.
Want to hike nearby? Barnaby Head Trail in New River Beach Provincial Park
I first met Mark and Victoria McGuire at a Spanish class in Calgary. Since then, they’ve moved east to open a chocolate shop and make some of the best artisanal ice cream around! Really enjoyed their Star Anise flavour. Their waffle cones are spectacular, too. An absolute must for any ice cream road trip across Canada. They’ll also get you sorted with locally-made chocolate or ethically-sourced coffee. Oh… and ask them about Hank.
Want to hike nearby? Sam Orr Pond Trail in the Caughey-Taylor Nature Preserve
Driving from New Brunswick to Quebec? Le Scoop Royal is worth the stop. As the largest dairy bar in Edmunston, Le Scoop is located in the heart of the city. Enjoy your tasty treat at the nearby park or while exploring the area.
“You have to try Le Bilboquet!,” said my friend from Montreal. With flavours like Chocolate Orange and Vanilla Raspberry, how could you go wrong? The cleverly-named Bilboquet (meaning “cup and ball game” in English) has been putting smiles on faces since 1983.
I know, I know… Gelato isn’t technically ice cream. But I just had to add Stella Luna to this list! When I lived in Old Ottawa South, I discovered this place and have yet to find better gelato anywhere. While I don’t usually choose chocolate flavours, there’s something about the Rich Chocolate at Stella Luna’s.
If you’re looking for something new, try the one-of-a-kind flavours at Moo Shu. Hong Kong Milk Tea is delish! Moo Shu’s small batch ice cream has become an Ottawa classic, made with Ontario dairy and locally-sourced ingredients. They not only care about quality ice cream, but they provide a living wage for their staff, too.
With an insect for a mascot, La Cigale is an unmissable artisanal ice cream parlour in Quebec. Only half an hour from Ottawa, and minutes from Gatineau Park, La Cigale’s smooth and refreshing flavours are always worth the stop. Key Lime Pie, anyone? It’s hard to find better homemade ice cream anywhere in Canada!
Want to hike nearby? Wolf Trail: One of the Best Gatineau Park Trails
As one of two ice cream spots in Tobermory, Peninsula Ice Cream has earned a place on the list. While the ice cream isn’t homemade, you’ll find plenty of flavours and other treats to choose from. Grab a cone and enjoy strolling around Little Tub Harbour in Lake Huron, one of the beautiful areas on the Bruce Peninsula.
Want to hike nearby? The Grotto Hike in Bruce Peninsula National Park
Craving ice cream in northern Ontario? Holy Cow’s has to be on your list! Located in Sault St. Marie, you’ll find tasty homemade ice cream made with dairy from local Ontario farmers. Holy Cow’s mango and strawberry scoops really hit the spot! I’ve heard their dairy-free is pretty good, too.
Since the early 1950s, Merla Mae’s has been serving ice cream in Thunder Bay. Their shop has that old vintage feel, with homemade ice cream that will delight your taste buds. I had Blueberry Cheesecake and Chai Latte—both delicious! They’ve got dairy-free and gluten-free options, too.
Zainab and Joseph, a couple from Syria, started Chaeban Ice Cream to give back to their Winnipeg community. They wanted to help their family during the Syria War in 2015. Today, this ice cream shop offers delicious homemade and locally-sourced treats. Inspired by traditional Syrian flavours, I’d recommend scoops of Abir Al Sham. Don’t leave Winnipeg without an ice cream road trip to Chaeban!
Big Olaf Sundaes (Waskesiu, SK)
They may not make their own ice cream, but Big Olaf is worth the stop on a hot summer’s day. Located in Prince Albert National Park, grab a cone and head out on your adventure. I quite enjoyed their mango flavour—yum! This place brings out the kid in everyone.
Address: 900 Waskesiu Drive, Waskesiu Lake
Want to canoe nearby? Your Complete Guide to the Bagwa Canoe Route in Saskatchewan
If you’re in Saskatoon, don’t leave without tasting Homestead Ice Cream. Another long-standing ice cream parlour, Homestead has been making the good stuff since 1978. They have the best chai ice cream I’ve ever had!
I can’t help but love a company with a cause. When you buy Camp Ice Cream, you help kids to go summer camp in southern Alberta. How cool is that? Plus their homemade flavours are quite unique, like Cinnamon Toast Crunch or Fruit Loops. They’ve got vegan options as well.
Looking for homemade ice cream in Edmonton? Look no further than Kind! They’re making high-quality goodness and making the world better and brighter. With a sustainable mindset and a positive message, this community-driven ice cream parlour is worth every penny. They’ve got both dairy and vegan options.
Want to bike nearby? Biking in Edmonton: The Beautiful River Valley Trails
For the classics made well, look no further than Village Ice Cream. I really enjoyed their vanilla and strawberry flavours. Part of Calgary’s social fabric, Villages offers homemade ice cream in a welcoming space. Don’t miss it!
After living in Calgary for six years, I can’t help but say that Made by Marcus makes some of the best ice cream in Canada! With incredibly unique flavours, you’ll find tastes unlike any other. My favourites include Lemon Curd Blueberry and Malted Chocolate Honeycomb. They’ve got good dairy-free options, too.
Want to hike nearby? Douglas Fir Trail in Calgary’s Edworthy Park
About an hour south of Calgary, Nanton’s Candy Store is one of those places that you just have to visit. If you don’t like ice cream, you might enjoy the almost limitless amount of candy or their interesting antique collection.
I like highlighting places off the beaten path. On your way to Waterton, stop at The Grumpy Goat nestled in southern Alberta’s countryside. You’ll find ice cream, slushies, and (you guessed it…) goats! Their ice cream is sourced from Central Smith in Ontario.
Want to hike nearby? Bear’s Hump Trail in Waterton Lakes National Park
Honestly, sometimes novelty wins the day. How cool is ice cream from a school bus? For about 17 years, Old School Bus (clever name, eh?) has been putting smiles on faces in the town of Canmore. While this ice cream isn’t homemade, Chapman’s is still a tasty Canadian treat. You’ll find over 28 flavours of hard ice cream, milkshakes, and their famous Hawaiian shaved ice. That’s a solid option for a day in the Rockies!
Address: 10 St, Canmore
Want to hike nearby? The Mount Yamnuska Hike Near Canmore, Alberta
Who doesn’t love a trip to Grandma’s? More than 30 flavours are homemade. I still can’t get over that smooth chai flavour, and the apple crumble was oh-so-good. Are you a fan of waffle cones? This one was particularly tasty. Every once in a while I find a cone that wow’s me. Grandma’s Place was one of those times!
Address: 616 Connaught Dr, Jasper
Want to hike nearby? Valley of the Five Lakes Hike in Jasper, Alberta
Happy Cow’s handcrafted ice cream is worth the taste. After tubing down the Elk River, head over to Happy Cow for a refreshing cone. I’d say you’ve found the best homemade ice cream in Fernie! I loved their mango flavour; very smooth and creamy.
Few things are better than sustainable, ethically-sourced deliciousness. Fernie’s Beanpod makes everything from scratch—including their fantastic gelato! I really enjoyed their honeycomb flavour. You can also buy melt-in-your-mouth chocolate, and rich-tasting coffee brewed with beans from small-scale farmers in Ecuador. Don’t stroll the streets of downtown Fernie without a little indulgence.
Want to hike nearby? Spineback Trail: Hiking in Fernie, British Columbia
For over 40 years, the Dewitt family has been making delicious dairy products in beautiful British Columbia. Make this one of your stops if you’re passing through Salmon Arm. You’ll find over 60 flavours of homemade ice cream. Plus other dairy products like cheese and milk. Don’t forget to say thank-moo to the dairy cows in the barn!
Address: 1321 Maier Rd, Sicamous
Now it’s your turn! Where’s the best ice cream in Canada? Let me know in the comments below. Who knows, your suggestions may eventually make the list (after I’ve taste-tested, of course!).
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