As satisfying as the classic grocery store ice cream sandwich can be, there’s something to be said about the decadent takes on this childhood favourite that can currently be found in Toronto. Bakers and frozen-treat makers are offering handcrafted, unexpected spins such as coffee ice cream with homemade pop tarts, and wasabi honey ice cream sandwiched between oatmeal cookies. The only drawback? Most prepare these delicious concoctions onsite, so you won’t be able to keep a stash in the freezer for your next craving.
Because its owners, who also run the Wedding Cake Shoppe, get busy with wedding season, this bakery is only open from Friday to Sunday during the summer. On those dates, you can stop by for ice cream sammies made with the Bake Shoppe’s chewy cookies or homemade Pop-Tarts and Ed’s Real Scoop ice cream. There are even gluten-free Pop-Tarts, but get there early—they tend to sell out fast. 859 College Street.
Wong’s Ice Cream
This East End shop has only just celebrated its first anniversary, but is already making waves for one-of-a-kind ice cream flavours like wasabi honey and black sesame with salted duck egg. “Our most popular flavour currently is the White Rabbit Candy, based on the classic Chinese milk toffee candy. It’s completely authentic and rich-tasting since we temper the candy right into the dairy,” says owner Ed Wong. “We started doing it because parents were asking us to do a couple of ‘kid friendly’ flavours and while kids do love it, it’s often the adults who get most excited for it.” Try a scoop of the White Rabbit Candy with a classic oatmeal cookie; Wong sources his baked goods from local purveyors based on what tastes best with his ice-cream flavours. 617 Gerrard Street East.
Bang Bang Ice Cream
To find this popular storefront, just look for the patient line snaking down Ossington Avenue almost daily, even on cold and rainy days. The visitors are probably in line for small batch, not-too-sweet ice cream flavours like Totaro (a portmanteau of the anime character Totoro and taro) and London Fog sandwiched between choux pastry puffs or oversized cookies. And, for fans of Hong Kong-style waffles, there’s even a soft waffle cone option. 93 ½ Ossington Avenue.
Baker Rosanne Pezzelli, who opened Bang Bang Ice Cream with her brother, Arthur Pezzelli, offers more baked sweets, many of the same ice-cream flavours as Bang Bang, and much shorter lines at Bakerbots Baking. There’s a gluten-free and vegan cookie option, and addictive ice cream flavours such as Avocado and Frooty Loops. You can even pick up a roasted pineapple flan or pecan butter tart for a second dessert, if necessary. 205 Delaware Avenue.
Booyah Inc has been getting lots of social media love for their ice cream “tacos” this year, but it’s the ice cream sandwiches that have made this Midtown shop and catering company so popular. “We make our own cookies, we still carry a few standard flavours of Kawartha Dairy ice-cream, and now we also make about 25 ice cream flavours in-house,” says Blair Mincer, owner of Booyah Inc. “We come out with a new flavour every week or two; for example, this week’s creation is Corn on the Cob.” 16 Vaughan Road.
Find more of Canada’s best ice cream sandwiches, here.
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