Cover Story: Game of Cones
Forget old school parlours — we’ve got the scoop on 21 of T.O.’s most Instagram-friendly, lineup-worthy, international ice cream sensations
THIS SUMMER’S SIX HOTTEST CONES
1) At Markham’s WOOFFLES & CREAM patrons come for the Hong Kong–style egg waffles in flavours like lap cheong and seaweed with green tea soft serve.
8360 Kennedy Rd., #81, $8
2) RED BEAN WAFFLE HOUSE has just the cutest cone. A fish-shaped red bean waffle (bungeoppang) fresh from the griddle acts as the vessel for your choice of two scoops of ice cream. Choices include strawberry, matcha (both pictured) and black sesame. The hot-cold medley makes for a mighty mess.
100 Steeles Ave. W., from $4.44
3) L.A. foodies are losing it over goth ice cream, and now we can too at IHALO KRUNCH. You can thank the addition of activated charcoal for that rich black colour. Coconut-charcoal swirls of soft serve sit atop a fresh black cone, made daily on a commercial waffle press. Stay tuned for the arrival of other fancy cones — beet, ube and matcha — in the future.
915 Queen St. W., $6.50
4) This taco–ice cream mash up looks like it belongs at the Ex, not at a sleek ice cream joint. BOOYAH’s waffle cone is shaped like a taco shell, dipped in choc and loaded with three scoops of ice cream (try toasted ’mallow!) and toppers like fudge brownie and cookie dough.
16 Vaughan Rd., A, $7.50
5) At EVA’S ORIGINAL CHIMNEYS a trad cone gets swapped out for a cinnamon-sugar Hungarian kürtöskalács (or chimney), a conical Hungarian pastry made on a rotisserie grill, and is filled with apple- and toffee- layered vanilla soft serve. Salted pretzel crumble and caramel syrup seal the deal.
454 Bloor St. W., $11
6) Done up in lavender and white, this sweet destination MOROCO CHOCOLAT recently moved and now serves over-the-top milkshakes and ice cream sundaes. Their Macaron Madness sundae includes scoops of vanilla ice cream, pieces of confetti cake and macaron shells, and is flagged by two upside down cones.
215 Madison Ave., $7.95
STICKS WITH SHTICK
1) FROSTY FRUIT
On a hot day, nothing is more refreshing than a paleta, a Mexican ice pop made with fresh fruit. At SEVEN LIVES PALETERIA beat the heat into submission with flavours like watermelon-kiwi or cheerful but tart hibiscus. These easy-eating paletas are the perfect accessory for strolling through Kensington.
72 Kensington Ave., $4
2) RAISING THE BAR
BAR APE started as a three-wheeled Piaggio Ape that drove around town selling gelato bars. Now head to Humewood for flavours that range from familiar (pistachio) to unique daily specials (think chocolate black olive or strawberry balsamic).
283 Rushton Rd., $5
3) CRAZY FOR KULFI
India’s icy kulfi treat is super simple to make but luxurious to eat: denser and creamier than typical ice cream. At JI they stick to classic prep: milk, sugar and pistachios are boiled down into a condensed, syrupy mess and frozen.
760 St. Clair Ave. W., $5
4) SEEING SPOTS
At Queen West’s SWEET OLENKA’S ice cream bars get properly gussied up. Rotating flavours include red velvet (decorated with kisses) or the surprisingly vegan salted caramel bar (coconut milk provides the base) which looks like a Yayoi Kusama work of art.
1056 Queen St. W., $5
5) GOING GREEN
Baldwin village’s KEKOU GELATO is known for its Asian gelato flavours (like black sesame or pungent, eau-de-gym-sock durian), but they’ve branched out into making ice pops, too. This matcha–red bean option is tops.
13 Baldwin St., $3.50
1) KEEPIN’ IT AIRY
BANG BANG — the takeout-only Ossington shop — specializes in ice cream sammies. Chewy cookies are the go-to vessels for most sammies, but why not branch out? Pair kid-friendly flavours like Frooty Loops with two slabs of airy chiffon cake.
93A Ossington Ave., $5.60
2) PERSIAN PERSUASION
The family-run TATI CAFE dishes out Persian sweets like the saffron-pistachio ice cream sandwich bookended by wafers. Yum.
10087 Yonge St., $5.99
3) BIG BUN THEORY
Food writer Amy Rosen’s Little Italy bakeshop ROSEN’S CINNAMON BUNS pairs gooey cinnamon buns made from brioche dough. She’s bringing her buns to their ultimate conclusion and using them as, well, a bun! A slab of Chapman’s vanilla is the perfect centre, rich without distracting from the real focus: the buns.
825 College St., $5
4) A PEANUTTY PICK
THE DIRTY BIRD is where Ed’s Real Scoop sweet cream ice cream meets two fluffy waffles and a slathering of grape jelly and peanut butter. This is the marriage we never knew we needed.
79 Kensington Ave., $6
5) INDULGE THYSELF
THE BURGER’S PRIEST’s Vatican on Ice marries grilled cheese sandwich buns with a vanilla ice cream centre. Some might say it’s sacrilegious, we say bon appétit.
3397 Yonge St., $5
CUPS RUNNETH OVER
6) “Halo halo” is Filipino for “mix mix,” an appropriate name for a hodgepodge of delicious indigents. CASA MANILA’s version mixes up pandan-infused shaved ice with a bevy of ingredients. The list goes from coconut jelly to hunks of jackfruit, includes leche flan and saba banana, some ube pudding as well as ube-taro ice cream and lots more. Phew!
879 York Mills Rd., $12
7) SUGAR MARMALADE offers a taste of Taiwan’s dessert culture: the green tea parfait layers green tea ice cream with strawberries, cornflakes and plenty of whipped cream. A crowd pleaser.
5322 Yonge St., $5.99
8) At ARCTIC BITES watch with hypnotic glee as taro-coconut cream freezes when poured atop a sub-zero metal plate and is turned into rolls. The frozen cream is then manipulated until it becomes a smooth, creamy dream. Our favourite cup is Taro with a Twist, which tops rolls of taro-coconut ice cream with lychee jelly and condensed milk.
21 Baldwin St., $7
9) SHORT & SWEET’s monster shakes may not be short (they’re 20 whopping ounces), but they’re certainly sweet — and sometimes a little salty! The cheekily named Netflix & Chill combines buttered popcorn with decadent vanilla ice cream, while the Coachella Chill incorporates Froot Loops, buttercream and Nerds.
2025 Yonge St., $10.85