The best ice cream in Montreal that will keep you cool
Summer has officially begun, which usually brings warmth and good weather. What better way to cool down on a hot Montreal summer day than to eat frozen treats?
Top in Canada has put together a little gourmet list of the best places to enjoy ice cream, sorbets, gelati and other frozen treats. Take advantage of the mild summer weather to try some for the pleasure of your taste buds!
Whether you prefer dry desserts or you’re a true sweet tooth, let us guide you to the hottest spots in Montreal. From Mile End champions to Little Italy favorites, here’s your guide to these hot spots.
1. Kem Coba… The best ice cream Montreal
When Vincent Beck and Ngoc Phan, the husband and wife team behind this Mile End institution, roll out their sorbet-pink awning and open their lime-green doors in April, summer in Montréal officially starts. A nickname for Phan’s soft-serve creations from her niece attest to the shop’s unique name, “third auntie’s ice cream” in Vietnamese.
A line forms outside the store every single day, but the restaurant’s unofficial Twitter account provides a running tally of how many people are in it. But the line doesn’t last long.
2. Crèmerie Meu Meu
The neon-lit Plateau crèmerie also offers unique flavour combinations like ginger cardamom and balsamic vinegar. Owner Guy Morad has been serving up his speciality ice cream for 30 years, and also has a chocolate hollandaise parlour.
Although these all-natural frozen custards are the principal attraction, the small shop also serves banana splits, sorbet, soft serve and juices. The shop is closed in the winter, but the 12-hour hours are constant throughout the summer.
3. Gastronomia Roberto
Roberto has earned its reputation for delicious gelato and excellent coffee since its opening in Petite-Patrie nearly 30 years ago.
For an icy treat, splurge on the famous three-layer gelato cake: thick round slabs of hazelnut, Gianduja chocolate, and vanilla crafted from family recipes that have been handed down from the family’s gelateria in Italy.
4. Péché Glacé
It never fails to deliver amazing treats at this off-the-beaten-path Plateau parlor, where make-your-own gelato, frozen macarons, smoothies,, and crêpes abound all year round.
Seasonal specialties include special pumpkin recipes for Halloween, gingerbread and candy canes for holiday celebrations,, and Champagne for the New Year. In the spring, the maple-taffy Tire d’Érable won’t hold back. And in the summer, just relax on the patio with an aperol spritz sorbet. or order a green tea matcha, mojito, or avocado gelato to get your greens.
5. Les Givrés
Despite only breaking the ice in 2010, Les Givrés has rapidily become a freezer staple with locations in Hochelaga, Villeray, and Rosemont, plus tubs in supermarkets in the city.
In a Montréal atelier, the artisanal brand offers a variety of locally made savours, from baked goods made from scratch to roasted corn pie—all craftily made, as evidenced by the logo etched on the sides. The six-scoop La tournée sampler may be a better choice for newbies than the cone.
6. Ca Lem
Located at Sherbrooke and Notre-Dame, Ca Lem’s Instagram-friendly interiors and a rainbow of 18 flavors scream summer to those in the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce neighborhood.
Think Pia Colada, Coconut Key Lime Pie,, and Cotton Candy Carnival Queen, a confection coated with sprinkles and strawberry and blue candy floss. For an old school breakfast treat, be sure to try Apple Sorbet Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
In addition to its proprietor’s roots, Ca Lem pays homage to the Vietnamese culture with purple taro, black sesame, coconut ash,, and other inspired concoctions. Open every day from late spring through fall, Ca Lem also offers a new soft serve every Wednesday.
Although extremely small, this 300 square foot establishment on the Main has been making waves since 1984 with different varieties of desserts. Favorites include Halvah, a sesame butter-based cream marbled with chocolate and nougat; and Kulfi, an Indian mint and nuts. There are two favorites that make double scooping a must. They are the French Vanilla and the Chocolate 6X.
The creamery offers two sorbets spiked with real rum. In June, a second location in Mile End opened near St-Viateur Bagel Shop.
Ripple effect is the term for it.
Only open since May 2019, this Plateau spot is across from its former steamed-bun shop, Hào, and already has lines snaking around its takeout window.
Coconut milk flavours, which are minimal in their approach, change seasonally from seabuckthorn and vanilla bean to hazelnut and dark chocolate. The soft stuff’s only served when it’s sunny outside. Stay away from the shady parts if you’re raining; the chill stuff’s made with Asian-inspired ingredients, fresh fruit, and herbs.
9. Havre aux Glaces
Their Montreal outpost is continually located at the Jean-Talon Market and they have three other locations across the city. Blood oranges, lulo, strawberries and other fruits are sourced directly from the market for tastes that are as rich in texture as they are in flavor.
In 2009, the company’s founders became so passionate about flavor that they purchased their own maple grove. Up to 24 sorbets and ice creams are available, but the maple crème brûlée is the ultimate.
10. Cremerie Pandan
One of Montreal’s favorite places to grab ice cream. This Thai creamery calls for local ingredients and traditional methods. It offers hand-rolled bowls first by flattening slabs on an anti-griddle and then rolling them into frosty bundles.
A tart strawberry shortcake or a syrup-drizzled pouding chômeur cake are transformed into a parfait sundae with berries, syrup, and crumbles.
11. Confetti Café & Glaces
There are affogatos filled with crème fraîche, toasted sourdough ice cream, and plenty of other tasty treats at Confetti, whose owners also have similarly named establishments nearby on Main.
It’s unnecessary to order an ice cream by the scoop when the pastry chef uses her expertise at The Sugar Mill to make his special recipes, such as a chocolate ice cream sandwich filled with cocoa cookies and dark chocolate ice cream.
12. Pizzeria Gema
Although this Little Italy favorite is better known for serving pies, its homemade frozen custard has also become a household name. Rich, they make these creamy treats in-house with dairy from Laiterie Chagnon in Waterloo, Quebec. and are available in traditional flavors such as pistachio, vanilla, and chocolate, which changes regularly.
The cherry on top? Toppings like macerated cherries, roasted nuts, and butterscotch or chocolate sauce can add at little extra cost.
13. Crèmerie Bo-Bec
Plateau has been staying cool since 1989 at this sweet spot near Parc Laurier.
Gilles Prudhomme’s speciality is the hard stuff, and over 24 flavors are stocked at the curved display counter, including old-fashioned soft serve, milkshakes, and slushies.
Since it’s hard to choose between classics like bubblegum, it may be advisable to order two sundaes, cookies, espresso, and creations such as rosewater and hibiscus cranberry.
14. Wild Willy’s
Take your friends to Pointe-Claire for a tasty, filling treat at Wild Willy’s. To take on the King Kong, buy yourself 15 scoops of homemade hard ice cream. There are 48 flavors to choose from, including vanilla and donut.
No need to worry about hard and soft cones here with the Zigamazoo cone. Canine users can choose from the pup and regular-sized treat options.
15. Monsieur Crémeux
The little yellow truck with silky white rims began selling frozen treats in 2012, and in 2015 it moved into a new location in Little Italy. Focusing on sandwiches and slushies, the restaurant Pastaga’s side project prioritizes fruits in high diversity and organic flavors.
Try creating a gourmet garnish such as ginger-spiked marmalade, caramelized pecans, or nutty caramel pretzel crumble instead of funky flavours.
16. L’Armoire à Glaces
All ice cream makers know how to work in cold temperatures, but few holds an actual degree like Valérie Campeau, the owner of L’Armoire à Glaces in Bologna, Italy.
A view of Plaza Saint-Hubert from this establishment is a cabinet of curiosities from cream-filled figs and cream cheese gelato to the peppery carrots or mango-coriander sorbet.
With multiple locations and widespread distribution, Bilboquet’s original outpost in Outremont is now only the tip of the iceberg for this franchise that dominates the cup and ball scene in Montreal.
A signature handmade flavor is the Moka Fouili, a coffee- and chocolate-infused cookie topped with crunchy caramel toffee and a rowdy homemade cookie dusted with shredded praline and brownie chunks. There is nothing better than an order of Maple Taffy, which is loaded with liquid gold and available in limited quantities.