Ice cream season is upon us (though, let’s be clear: ice cream is appropriate in any and every season), and Torontonians are primed for an exciting summer of scoops. From over–the–top flavours to plant–based pints, we’ve rounded up seven of the city’s best new ice cream operations so you can get your frozen fix.
For the creamiest custard–based ice cream scoop: Ruru Baked
Pastry chef Luanne Ronquillo started Ruru Baked a few years ago, selling pints of her creamy egg yolk–rich ice cream online (where they sold out in minutes). But this spring, Ruru Baked opened a bricks–and–mortar shop, slinging scoops and pints in the city’s west end. The decadent flavours loaded with mix–ins include staples Condensed Milk + Red Bean, Matcha + Shortbread and Banoffee Pie, as well as seasonal varieties like Passion Fruit (filled with chunks of banana bread and swirls of cream cheese icing). Another reason to love Ruru Baked? The shop regularly donates to charitable organizations, including The Black Solidarity Fund and FoodShare.
How to order: In store (659 Lansdowne Ave.).
For the customizable gelato scoop: House Scoops
Let your imagination run wild and create the gelato flavour of your dreams with House Scoops. Former sous chef at Toronto’s Buca, Matthew Cribari started sharing photos of his homemade gelato on Instagram in January – and then his friends and family started to make requests. So, Cribari perfected his base recipe, which uses fresh milk and cream from Sheldon Creek Dairy in Loretto, Ontario, and launched his small–batch gelato company. If you’re stumped, you can order a popular flavour like Caramelized Banana or Mint Chip, but the custom option allows you to create fantastic flavours like Nutella Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Dark Chocolate Candied Pistachio and “Summer Nights at the Dome,” with a Left Field Brewery beer base, peanuts, Cracker Jacks and beer syrup.
How to order: On the website, for contactless delivery. (For the custom option, simply type what you have in mind in the form before ordering.)
For the classic ice cream scoop: Ice Creamonology
At Ice Creamonology, owner and chef Onur Yilmaz uses simple, high quality ingredients to produce small–batch ice cream in flavours such as pistachio, classic vanilla and Turkish coffee. The shop, currently a pop–up location, opened in March 2021 along the Toronto waterfront and has recently relocated to Queen Street West, serving cones alongside Chen Chen's Nashville Hot Chicken.
How to order: In store (1184 Queen St. W.).
For the special topping ice cream scoop: Good Behaviour
“Life’s hard. You’ve been good. Treat yourself!” We couldn’t agree more with Good Behaviour’s motto, especially after this year. Created by Michael Lam and Eric Chow, who worked as chef de cuisine and general manager, respectively, at Italian restaurant Ascari King Street, this small–batch operation churns out creamy custard ice creams and pairs each pint and scoop with crunchy complementary toppings. Signatures include Honey Nut Cereal with an almond–cereal topper and Hong Kong Milk Tea with a roasted milk powder crumb – and new flavours are released regularly.
How to order: In store (two locations: 146 Christie St. and 130 Eglinton Ave. E.) and on the website
For the fully–loaded ice cream scoop: The Screamery
Unhappy with the meagre amounts of cookie dough in her usual pints, Varsha Sreekumar went on a mission to make ice cream worth screaming about – and, along with her best friend, founded The Screamery. The available flavours of their dense and creamy ice cream (the churning method allows as little air into the final product as possible) change weekly, making room for continuously outrageous creations: Some past flavours include Spiced Caramel Carrot Cake, Cookie Butter Pie (with plenty of Biscoff) and Churro Con Dulce de Leche. If you’re looking to load your freezer, subscribe to The Screamery Pint Club, which will deliver four pints to you every month.
How to order: On the website, for curbside pickup at Queen and Gladstone.
For the plant–based ice cream scoop: Honey’s
Ashley Wittig, former owner of the beloved vegan and gluten–free Bunner’s Bakeshop, is the mastermind behind Honey’s Ice Cream. Perennially on the hunt for extraordinary dairy–free ice cream, Wittig eventually accepted the challenge herself, setting out to master the art of plant–based ice–cream making. Judging from the comments on Honey’s Instagram feed, she’s done it. Favourite flavours include Peanut Butter & Saltine Crackers, Earl Grey and Cookies & Cream, but arguably most exciting are the ice cream pies: a layer of hot fudge crunch is sandwiched between vanilla and chocolate ice creams inside an Oreo crust, all covered in rich ganache. Bonus: The brand is committed to monthly donations to Indigenous organization 4Rs Youth Movement, among other charities.
How to order: In store (1448 Dundas St. W.) and on the website.
For the ice cream scoop that’s a square: Creamery X
The founders of Creamery X, Bonnie Gallant and Melissa Baird, use bold ingredients to make both dairy and vegan flavours like Fig & Lemon Goat Cheese, Brown Butter Coffee and The Elvis – a coconut milk–based banana ice cream with a peanut butter swirl and a chocolate sourdough crunch made with bread from artisanal bakery Bonnie’s Bread Co. But why get a pint when you could get your chosen flavour sandwiched between homemade cookies? The Ice Cream Squares pair popular flavours like Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough with cookies (in this case, fudge–chocolate) and package them in boxes of four – perfect for sharing.
How to order: Pints and Squares restock on the website every Monday at 9:30 a.m., for delivery or pickup.