Location: 160 Baldwin Street, Toronto
Kensington Market seems like the kind of area that should have a whole bunch of ice cream shops, but it’s surprisingly slim pickings. There’s a location of Dolce Gelato, a temporary outpost of Good Behaviour, and now this place — but that’s about it.
(There have been other shops over the years, of course, but the turnover in this area is bad even when there isn’t a pandemic to deal with.)
Boho Gelato has a pretty standard assortment of flavours, though there are a couple of unique ones. Rosewater particularly caught my eye; I don’t think I’ve ever seen that in gelato before. It’s a common ingredient in Middle Eastern desserts, with a very unique flavour that’s somewhat of an acquired taste (I hated it with a passion as a kid, but it eventually won me over).
The gelato itself is definitely above average, though it didn’t knock my socks off. But that rosewater flavour is clearly a winner. I got it with a scoop of pistachio, and not surprisingly, the two flavours go perfectly together.
Cherry Sundae at Tom’s Dairy Freeze
I mean, come on: if you go the whole summer without going to Tom’s Dairy Freeze at least once, was it really the summer? I submit that it was not. It’s certainly not the most exciting ice cream joint in the city, but they’ve been pumping out consistently great no-frills soft serve for decades, and it’s a million times better than the stuff you’ll find at chains like Dairy Queen or McDonald’s. On this particular visit I got a sundae with chocolate ice cream and cherry sauce, and yeah, that’s a great combo. The sauce is excessively sweet (it tastes like maraschino cherries in a thick syrup), but then that’s kind of the charm of a place like this.
Roasted Almond and Sicilian Pistachio at Soma Chocolatemaker
I’ve mentioned before that Soma serves some of the best gelato in the city, and yeah, it’s still top notch. I recently tried roasted almond and Sicilian pistachio, and both flavours were rich, creamy, and deeply flavourful.
Malai Kulfi and Mango Chocolate Chip at Nani’s
I don’t think I need to spend more time on this blog on the greatness of Nani’s Gelato. I’ve thoroughly covered that. So I’ll just say that on a recent visit I tried malai kulfi and mango chocolate chip, and both flavours were unsurprisingly fantastic. Malai kulfi, in particular, had that perfect Nani’s balance of a unique flavour and amazingly creamy gelato. As for mango chocolate chip, I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical about the combo of mango and chocolate, and… to be honest, I’m still skeptical. But the mango ice cream was so delicious that I thoroughly enjoyed it, despite the flavours not working particularly well together.
Location: 55 Bloor Street West (in the Manulife Centre), Toronto
Eataly is currently doing a promotion they’re calling the Summer Scoop Series; every month, they’re collaborating with a different local gelato-maker on a special flavour. This month, they’re working with Nani’s Gelato, and the flavour is pistachio ricotta kulfi.
The Eataly website describes it as “an Indian-inspired flavour with an Italian twist, featuring Italian pistachio paste, chopped pistachios, steeped saffron, cardamom, and whipped ricotta.”
As you’d expect from Nani’s (and the gelato at Eataly is no slouch, either), it’s superb. The pistachio flavour is pronounced, and it’s perfectly complemented by the saffron and cardamom. The bits of sweet ricotta interspersed throughout are a nice touch. It’s top-notch gelato.
Location: 1357 St Clair Avenue West, Toronto
La Paloma has been around since 1967, so it’s pretty much the OG gelateria in the GTA. You can’t argue with that type of history; they’re obviously doing something right (though I recently panned Johnny’s Hamburgers, which has also been around since 1967, so I guess you can argue with that type of history).
Anyway, it’s good. It might not be the best gelato in the city, but it’s definitely not the Johnny’s of ice cream.
On my most recent visit I had the Sicilian pistachio. It tasted like they were using pistachio flavouring or even other nuts in there (something about the flavour was a bit off), and it was a bit too sweet, but it’s still quite satisfying.
It helps that the texture is great, with a nice creamy richness. It’s definitely above average.
Location: It’s a truck; check Instagram to see where they’re parked
Did I go right back to Nani’s Gelato after trying it for the first time the other day? Why yes, yes I did. What can I say; it’s really good.
This time I was able to try two flavours — pistachio, and tahini and black sesame. Both were absolutely outstanding.
Pistachio is a classic gelato flavour, and Nani’s knocks it out of the park. It has a vibrant pistachio flavour that, unlike so many other places, actually tastes like real pistachio — not pistachio flavouring.
The tahini and black sesame is just as good, with a toasty, intense tahini flavour, and a restrained amount of sweetness that lets the nutty sesame flavour shine through.
I really hope this place opens a permanent location soon, because I think it’s easily a contender for the best gelato in the city.