One of my favourite summer memories is my twin daughters’ first taste of ice cream. Just 9-months-old at the time, their eyes got impossibly wide at the discovery of something so sweet, cold and delicious. They went nuts, waving their plump little arms and legs and squealing with delight as they took turns with a spoon. And, of course, the end result was two sticky, chocolate-covered cherubs with enormous smiles. Absolutely precious.
Ice cream conjures up all sorts of childhood memories, from the rare indulgence of a triple scoop cone to the one you shared with the dog. It’s a good bet most family albums have at least one picture of an ice-cream covered toddler, and most kids, at some point, have howled with frustration as the scoop fell off the cone.
A trip to the ice cream shop is about celebrations of pleasures both mundane (we had a nice afternoon at the park) and momentous (our soccer team won a game!). Few experiences are as simple and satisfying as taking your pick from the colourful pots behind the glass case, or licking the melting drips off a cone.
Whatever your preferred pleasure, Montreal and the surrounding area offers plenty of choices for locally-made frozen treats. This summer, why not try a place you’ve never visited before? Here’s a list to get you started:
Twist et Crème
11897 Gouin Blvd. W., Pierrefonds, H8Z 1V7 (see map)
Popular West Island roadside ice cream stand with nice outdoor space.
20 Cartier Ave., Pointe-Claire Village, H9S 5L5 (see map)
Choose from a wide variety of classic and more adventurous flavours of this homemade ice cream. Outdoor picnic tables available and a short walk to various local parks as well as Lac St. Louis.
Safari Ice Cream
539 Lakeshore Rd., Dorval, H9S 2B1 (see map)
Large variety of homemade hard ice cream flavours, soft ice cream and many dairy bar creations. Outdoor seating available.
835 Decarie Blvd., St. Laurent, H4L 3M3 (see map)
Homemade hard ice cream with rotating daily flavours. Homemade soft vanilla & chocolate ice cream with the option to have it dipped in eight different Belgian chocolate coatings.
La Dolce Vita
3776 St. Charles Blvd., Kirkland, H9H 3C3 (see map)
Delicious gelatos (sugar free available), fruit sorbets with creative and classic flavours, frozen yogurt, and soft ice cream.
6926 Sherbrooke St. W., Montreal, H4B 1P9 (see map)
Soft and hard ice cream with unique flavours such as Pina Colada, green tea, strawberry lychee, and more.
1266 Mont-Royal Ave. E., Montreal, H2J 1Y4 (see map)
Known for its macaroons, Point G also offers high-quality, gourmet ice cream.
Ripples Crème Glacée
3880 St. Laurent Blvd., Montreal, H2W 1Y2 (see map)
Award-winning ice cream, sorbet and frozen yogurt in over 30 classic and unique flavours.
1645 de Maisonneuve Blvd. W., Montreal, H3H 2N3 (see map)
Homemade gelato and sorbets with fresh, tropical flavours. Outdoor seating available.
Yeh! Frozen yogurt (various locations)
Quartier des Spectacles, 5 Ste. Catherine St. E., Montreal
Eaton Centre, 705 Ste. Catherine St. W., Montreal
Place Viau, 7600 Viau Blvd., Montreal
Alexis Nihon Plaza, 1500 Atwater Ave., Montreal
Sherbooke West, 5037 Sherbrooke St. W., Montreal
Monkland Village, 5554 Monkland Ave., N.D.G. (See map of all locations)
Serve yourself frozen yogurt with tons of topping choices; pay by the weight.
Les Givrés (2 locations)
2730 Masson St., Montreal, H1Y 1W5 (see map)
334 rue de Castelnau E., Montreal, H2R 1P8 (see map)
Homemade soft & hard ice creams and sorbets using fresh ingredients and no artificial colours or flavours (even the cones are made on-site). Outdoor seating available.
Pile Ou Glace
7084 St. Laurent Blvd., (Little Italy), Montreal, H2S 3E2 (see map)
Delicious gelato in a prime Little Italy location. Limited indoor and outdoor seating.
60 Fairmont Ave. W., Montreal, H2T 2M2 (see map)
Small show serving hard & soft ice cream as well as sorbet. Many unique flavours.
4458 St. Denis St., corner Mont-Royal, Montreal, H2J 2L1 (see map)
Charming and popular location, offers classic and creative flavours of homemade ice cream and sorbet.
La Diperie (20+ locations)
301 Lakeshore Rd., Pointe Claire, H9S 4L4
5647, Cote des Neiges Rd., Cote des Neiges, H3T 1Y8
1986 Notre-Dame St. W., Griffintown, H3J 1M8
68 Pine Ave., Montreal, H2W 1N5
5582 Monkland Ave., Montreal H4A 1C9
47 Brunswick Blvd., D.D.O., H9B 1P7
959 Decarie Blvd., St. Laurent
7775 Newman Blvd., Lasalle, H8N 1X7
4600 Notre-Dame St. W., St. Henri, H4C 1S4
2230 Guy St., Montreal, H3H 2L9
1481 Ste. Catherine St. W., Montreal, H2L 2H9
275 Samson Blvd., Laval, H7X 2Z7
2200 Cure Labelle, Laval, H7T 1R1
2271 des Laurentides Blvd., Laval, H7K 2J3
Make your own custom, dipped, soft serve ice cream cone using a variety of unique dip flavours and toppings.
Creme Glace Bo-Bec
1300 Laurier Ave., E. Montreal, H2J 1H3 (see map)
Delicious, high-quality ice cream.
Glacier Bilboquet (various locations)
9190 Leduc Blvd. #110, Quartier DIX30, Brossard
1600 Laurier Ave. E., Montreal
1311 Bernard Ave., Outremont
4864 Sherbrooke St. W. Westmount
309-C Lakeshore Rd., Pointe Claire (see map of all locations)
High end, handmade frozen treats such as ice cream and sorbets using fresh, homemade ingredients.
What’s in those frozen treats?
Not sure about the difference between the many kinds of frozen treats? Ice cream typically has the highest butterfat content (around 14 per cent for most North American varieties), while dairy-based gelato has less fat (between 4 and 8 per cent), but more sugar. Water and fruit based sorbet typically has no fat at all. When it comes to sugar content, gelato has a precise balance of sugar to water to prevent it from freezing solid. Gelato also tends to have less air churned into it than ice cream, giving it a denser texture. Frozen yogurt tends to have lower concentrations of fat compared to ice cream, and is often viewed as a healthier alternative, but it is still not as nutritious as regular yogurt, since it typically contains a lot more sugar. Frozen yogurt and sorbet may be good choices for people who are lactose intolerant.