Toronto’s Best Soft Serve
147 Dundas St W.; 4909 Yonge St.; tsujiri.ca
All things matcha-infused are on offer at this chain, which began in Japan and now operates multiple locations across the GTA. Prized for its purported health-giving qualities and antioxidants, matcha green tea doesn’t just appear in blended lattes, cheesecakes and hot drinks at Tsujiri, it’s also the star of the ice cream menu. With a perfect balance of sweetness and creaminess, plus the satisfying tang of real matcha powder, the soft serve here can more than hold its own against the city’s top cones.
3264 Yonge St.; 925 Queen Street W.; 372 Danforth Ave.; ladiperie.com
With more than 20 flavours of dips, (including ginger, lavender and multiple kinds of chocolate), and 30 kinds of toppings (everything from smarties to corn chips), there are literally thousands of ways to dress up your cone at this Montréal-based ice cream shop. If you’re feeling indecisive, you can’t go wrong with their helpful menu of greatest hits, including “L’Après Match,” with dark chocolate dip, pretzel chunks and caramel ganache drizzle, or “Cocofolie,” with dark chocolate dip and shaved sweet coconut.
Tom’s Dairy Freeze
630 The Queensway, tomsdairyfreeze.ca
Drive past on a warm summer day and the line stretching across the parking lot will tell you everything you need to know about this Etobicoke institution. Operating since 1969, Tom’s Dairy Freeze draws the crowds with a delightfully old-school selection of ice cream cones, sundaes, shakes and floats, plus cheeseburgers, fries and other drive-in classics. Made with real cream (not ice milk, like many lesser places) Tom’s soft serve is exactly what it should be: thick, rich and creamy, and only slightly improved by a chocolate dip or a rainbow swirl of flavoured syrup.
283 Rushton Rd.; bar-ape.com
This Corso Italia gelateria dishes out frozen treats with a side of neighbourhood charm. Walk up to the street-facing window and find an ever-changing variety of specialty soft-serve gelato flavours like mango, Ontario rhubarb and walnut, available straight-up or swirled with classic fior de latte (sweet milk). If the flavour of the week doesn’t appeal, opt for a gelato sundae featuring house-made fruit syrups drizzled over a cup of fior de latte soft serve. Cash only.
831 Queen St W,; 1 Bass Pro Mills Dr., Vaughan Mills Mall; ihalo-krunch.business.site
“Ice Cream Solves Everything,” is the motto of this popular Queen St. West soft serve shop, which achieved social media celebrity status with eye-catching black and purple swirl cones. For all of their Insta-appeal, however, iHalo’s innovative flavours like Ube Nut and Matcha Bean back up the hype. Cups are available, but the jet black waffle cones, made fresh in-house with activated charcoal, are too tasty to miss.