Location: 106 John Street, Toronto
After essentially accusing Sweet Jesus of being empty Instagram-bait, I recently came to the realization that it’s probably a bit better than I’ve been giving it credit for. Yes, a heavy emphasis is placed on making their creations as visually pleasing as possible, but the soft serve is nice and creamy, and the flavours are usually satisfying.
That being said? Their new limited edition TIFF-inspired creation, the Marie Antoinette, is empty Instagram-bait.
It’s a collaboration with Nadege, and it features vanilla soft serve, maple sauce, macaron crumbs, mini macarons, and a full-sized macaron on top.
The full macaron is actually the best thing about it. It has a nice, lightly crispy texture, a very subtle chewiness, and a pleasant vanilla bean flavour that isn’t too sweet. It’s a quality macaron.
Otherwise, the rest basically just tastes like plain vanilla ice cream. The mini macarons are one-note crunchy and don’t really taste like anything, the maple sauce features shockingly little maple syrup flavour (I never would have guessed it was supposed to be maple if I hadn’t known), and the macaron crumbs just add a grainy texture.
The vanilla ice cream is tasty enough, so I certainly didn’t dislike eating it, but there isn’t a whole lot there.
Location: 100 City Centre Drive, Mississauga (inside Square One)
I’ve tried Eva’s once before, back when it was just a food truck. I waited in line for about 90 minutes; I think we can all agree that this is an absurd amount of time to wait in line for ice cream.
I thought it was fine, but nothing particularly special, and certainly not worth the intense line (but then, what is?).
I actually enjoyed it much, much more this time (not having to wait in line for the length of a romantic comedy probably helped).
But even aside from that, it was clearly improved. The baked, bready cone had an irresistible texture — perfectly crispy on the outside, and fluffy as a cloud on the inside. Aside from the fact that it was impossible to eat without making a mess, it was an absolutely perfect vehicle for ice cream.
And the ice cream was great. I got the current flavour of the month, peach cobbler: “Peach compote, granola, whipped cream, peach coulis, peach slice.” And indeed, it basically tastes like peach cobbler a la mode, with the crispy/fluffy cone complimenting it perfectly.
My only real complaint is the price: I got the smaller size, which came up to about ten bucks with tax. I wish it had been a couple of bucks cheaper — but then it was pretty damn good, so it’s hard to complain too much.
Location: 160 Baldwin Street, Toronto
Koishi is a collaboration between Little Pebbles (which is great) and Arthur Pezzelli, the co-founder of Bang Bang (which is beyond great).
Bang Bang serves, bar none, the best ice cream in Toronto. It’s not even close; they blow everyone else out of the water. This makes Koishi a must-visit. A new place started by one of Bang Bang’s founders? Uh, yeah, I’m all over that.
Asian-style ice cream has very much become a thing in Toronto, and as you might infer from the name, that’s what Koishi is all about. They have a variety of Japanese-influenced flavours that you can get in a cone, a cup, or a sweet bun.
I’m all about the ice cream at places like this (as much as I love Bang Bang, the cookies are a complete waste of time), so I just went with a plain scoop in a cup.
I tried the honey soba: “toasted buckwheat & caramelized honey.”
It was pretty great — the crunchy bits of soba gave it a nice toasty flavour, and the honey was pleasantly floral, with a subtle sweetness that was just right.
The quality of the ice cream itself wasn’t as perfect as Bang Bang’s — it didn’t quite have the same level of rich creaminess, and it was very subtly icy — but it’s still top-shelf stuff.
Location: 16 Brookers Lane, Etobicoke
Fluffernutters are delicious. That’s a fact.
In case you’ve been living an empty sham of a life and are unaware of the magic of the fluffernutter, it’s basically like a PB and J, but with gooey marshmallow sauce subbed in for the jam. It’s the best.
They have a fluffernutter-inspired flavour of gelato at Lola’s. Obviously I had to try it.
This was my first time having the gelato Lola’s. The quality is quite good — it’s not the richest or the creamiest gelato I’ve ever had, but it’s solid. It’s above average.
The flavour (called WTF – What the Fluffernutter) consists of peanut butter gelato swirled with marshmallow sauce, with Oreo bits interspersed throughout. It was really tasty. I wish the peanut butter flavour were a bit more pronounced — it doesn’t quite recapture the gooey, peanut-buttery joys of a fluffernutter sandwich — but it’s quite good regardless.
Location: 617 Gerrard Street East, Toronto
Ice cream is the best (obviously), but if you ever find yourself getting bored with the same old flavours, there’s an easy solution: head to Wong’s, an Asian-inspired ice cream shop with some seriously interesting scoops.
I don’t think you’re going to find taste combinations like pineapple cilantro, wasabi honey, or toasted ramen miso anywhere else in the city (though Wong’s is far from the only Asian ice cream joint in town; Kekou Gelato is another stand-out).
I got the rosewater white chocolate jasmine, and it was seriously delicious. The texture was ever-so-slightly grainy (from the white chocolate, perhaps?), but it was otherwise excellent, with a very rich, creamy consistency.
White chocolate tends to be intensely sweet, so I was worried this would be a bit much, but the sweetness was admirably restrained. Rosewater has a very distinct, very strong flavour (it’s a bit of an acquired taste), but again, the flavours here are really subtle and well-balanced. There’s a mild floral sweetness, but it isn’t in-your-face. If you’re on the fence about rosewater, this might just be the dessert to get you on board.