Be it in a cup or a sweet, buttery waffle cone, swirled or scooped, piled high with multicoloured toppings or left bare, ice cream is one of the surest ways to beat the summer heat. Thankfully, Montreal has some great spots to overload on the cold stuff. Here are 18 ice cream destinations worth checking out.Read More
Where to Get Some of the Finest Ice Cream Montreal Has to Offer
Cool off with butterscotch-topped frozen custard, a rose water and raspberry scoop, or a sour beer ice cream float
Homemade ice cream in the Pointe-Claire Village, steps away from Lakeshore. If you live in the West Island, you know Wild Willy’s.
Chewy, stretchy booza is the specialty at this spot, worth the trip to Laval. It serves the Middle Eastern frozen sweet in alluring flavours like rose water, achta (a rich clotted cream) and pistachio, banana chocolate chip, and — its signature — atop a bed of shredded cotton candy.
This quick-hit, family-run ice cream shop in Park-Ex scoops flavours based on traditional Indian desserts. They’ve got one option dotted with chunks of gulab jamun (small deep-fried and syrup-soaked balls of milk solids), another with roasted pistachios and pieces of Jalebi (a funnel cake-like confection), and a mango-flavoured riff on rasmalai. Pints and ice cream cakes are also available.
Ca Lem (multiple locations)
NDG’s ice cream and sorbet of choice comes from the lovely Ca Lem, which over the years, has expanded to include five locations sprawled across the city. There’s a clear eye to Asia in its flavours, with options like taro, lychee, black sesame, and more.
Saison des pluies
Last summer, oh-so-cool Villeray café Saison des pluies transformed an adjoining garage space around the corner, on Henri-Julien, into a mini ice cream shop. Its soft serve twists are vegan and coconut-based — sure to make for a mighty fine affogato.
Also featured in:
Pizza aside, Gema is also a fantastic place to indulge in frozen custard. The treat comes in vanilla bean or a flavour of the moment, with toppings including butterscotch sauce, Baci crumble, roasted nuts, and macerated cherries — all worth the extra splurge.
This Petite-Patrie frozen treat destination opened its doors mid-pandemic but quickly secured an exceptionally loyal following. The menu here runs the gamut, from soft serve to hard ice creams, slushes, sundaes, and even ice cream floats made with kombucha, iced tea, and sour beer from nearby Mellön Brasserie.
For many Montrealers, Roberto is the place for authentic Italian-style frozen desserts. The gelateria-meets-restaurant has been around since 1982. And while there, you can peruse their variety of pasta for sale.
L'Armoire à Glaces
L’Armoire à Glaces serves up some spectacular artisanal gelato, sorbet, and soft serve on Plaza St-Hubert, with rotating fresh flavour combinations like raspberry rose water, Medjool date and hazelnut butter, and a vegan dark chocolate and mint tea twist.
The line outside this seasonal Mile End gem practically snakes across the street to Wilensky’s. Featured soft serve twists are far from ordinary: Try the caramel-pear, pandan, or coconut-strawberry — or get a scoop of the iconic salted butter flavour.
This Saint-Henri hotspot, from a duo who met working at hit Italian restaurant Nora Gray, is one of the brightest lights on the Montreal ice cream scene. They have a knack for developing new flavours, working with local ingredients, and regularly switching up the menu. Expect everything from peanut butter and jelly to apple crumble. Pint delivery is available across the island.
Also featured in:
Bo-Bec makes soft serve, sorbet, frozen yogurt, and traditional ice cream, with a wide range of flavours on hand — although the maple is perhaps the most beloved. The shop’s proximity to Laurier Park means it’s extra popular throughout the summer.
This Plateau crémerie makes frozen custard from a crème anglaise base with flavours including Madagascar vanilla, Chinese ginger, and cardamom, as well as soy milk-based ice cream and fruit sorbets. The little bench out front is the perfect spot to enjoy a cone or cup and people-watch on St-Denis.
Dairy is typically a key ingredient in most soft-serve ice cream, but Plateau shop Swirl is challenging the norms. Instead, it makes its ice cream from an organic coconut milk base and features seasonal, Asian-inspired flavours.
Ripples owner Richard Bernett started making ice cream at home and fell in love with the craft, expanding his repertoire to more than 30 flavours. He’s been temporarily displaced across the street from his original location on the Main and, since 2019, also runs a second outpost on Jeanne-Mance Street.
Soft serve is the focus at this Plateau parlour. Beyond the vanilla and chocolate staples, flavours are inspired by desserts from around the globe. In the past, they’ve included everything from New York cheesecake to prekmurska gibanica (a layered Slovenian pastry).
This Village pastry shop regularly wows with seasonal tarts and layered cakes. Come summer, it dispenses some consistently delicious vegan soft-serve twists. Flavours change weekly but have included the likes of hibiscus flower and oat milk with vanilla bean; and mandarin, passion fruit, and matcha with candied kumquat.
Nestled behind the Maisonneuve Market, this sought-after Hochelaga spot excels at vegan ice cream — soft serve, scoops, or sundaes. Dairy-based options are also available, and they even make ice cream sandwiches for dogs, ensuring there really is something for everyone.