One of the first things I noticed about Winnipeg was how many little independent, neighbourhood ice cream shops there are here! I’ve been excited since we started this blog to do a roundup of all of them. Well, maybe not all of them (there are 43 listed in the yellow pages), but at least a few of the ones I’ve been to.
Sure, lots of cities have ice cream shops, but what sets Winnipeg’s apart is the fact that they’re only open seasonally. Never in my life had I seen a DQ “closed for the season”… but it happens here. Just another weird and wonderful thing about Winnipeg, and another excuse for me to write about food 😉
Not all of my ice cream experiences in Winnipeg have been out of this world, but it’s ice cream, right… even bad ice cream is good!
Sub-Zero Ice Cream – 298 Jamison
Maybe the first Winnipeg ice-cream shop I visited, this one’s a short walk from our house, and therefore a frequent stop. Sub Zero is a sweet little neighbourhood shop with an even sweeter story behind it – you’ll have to visit to find out (and to see the awesome jelly-bean print countertops). You can get hard and soft ice cream (try the soft pistachio!) and choose from an impressive list of parfaits, flurries, etc. Shel at 411 on the 204 gave it a rave review the other day, and now I’m jonesing to try the Cherry Blossom parfait.
Kool Deelites – 430 Harbison
This one is also within walking distance for me, but I’ve only been once. I had delicious mango frozen yogurt and my co-ice-cream-consumer had a “baby monkey tail” that didn’t go over too well – maybe it needed to be fresher? Still, it’s close and I’d give it another try.
Sweet Tops – 949 Henderson
Sweet Tops is located next to the memorably-named Public Meats and has an impressive array of ice cream. I had a dip cone, which fell apart before the girl even handed it over the counter to me – a cup and spoon were necessary! But I’ll probably go back to try some different flavours of hard ice cream.
BDI – 766 Jubilee
There’s been more than enough written about this institution, but truthfully, I don’t quite get the hype. It’s set in a lovely neighbourhood, and it’s been around for 50-odd years, but it seems that the city’s fondness with it has more to do with nostalgia and childhood memories than particularly above-average quality. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying BDI’s overrated, just that I think you need to have years of experiences going there to really appreciate it. And I’m doubtful it really is the BEST ice cream in the city. That being said, I tried something delicious with vanilla soft serve, Spanish peanuts, and chocolate sauce there – like a DQ Buster Bar, only classier – and will definitely go back next time I’m in that neck of the woods.
Leo’s Gelato – 130 Provencher
If I am going to walk over a bridge to get a dairy dessert, it’ll probably be to go to Leo’s on Provencher, right over the Riel Esplanade. During my years in BC, I developed quite a fondness for gelato and I getting a cup of it on a hot, sunny day. Nothing beats Dolce Amore on Commercial Drive in Vancouver, but Leo’s is a great place and has a good selection of flavours – way more than the average hard ice cream bar. The citrus flavours are spectacular, and the chocolate hazelnut’s a great choice, too.
Another place I haven’t tried but am excited to: Banana Boat (390 Osborne), that cute shop on Osborne that displays wedding proposals, birthday wishes, and the like. What’s not to love about that?
Anyway, there you have it – a small roundup of ice-cream shops in the ‘Peg.
Where’s your favourite ice cream shop? Any recommendations?