It’s a sweet trip to the ice cream shop…

July 24th, 2009 by Emma Durand-Wood

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?

21 Responses to “It’s a sweet trip to the ice cream shop…”

  1. Anny says:

    My nostalgic childhood choice has always been Sargent Sundae, now only located on Portage Avenue across from the Assiniboine Park.

  2. Dave Shorr says:

    Sargent Sundae is the best hands down. Honorable mention also goes to Licks on Bertannica and St. Mary’s Rd in South St. Vital.

  3. Sweet Tops on Henderson still makes Reese’s Pieces Blizzards, so they always get my vote for favourite Ice Cream shop.

    Sargent Sundays on Portage is a great way to cap off a trip to the zoo and then Assiniboine Park.

  4. Travis Blair says:

    My first pick is always Sub Zero, partly because its childhood nostalgia and partly because the ice cream is just really good!

    in second place i would have to say Licks on st. marys road, the ice cream is good, but mainly because i live no more then a block away from it.

  5. Sargent Sundae is great, especially because you can take your ice cream on a walk through Assiniboine park 🙂

  6. There is a Lick’s chain in Toronto. I don’t know if the Lick’s here is affiliated. But the Toronto Lick’s made the best hamburgers in Toronto.

    Now back to our regularly scheduled blog… I had a nice ice creme cone from an outfit at the Forks. Can’t think of the name just now. But the cone was good, the service impossibly slow. They had only one young girl serving a long line…

  7. Emma says:

    So many props for Sargent Sundae! Can’t wait to check it out. I’ll be sure to visit Licks next time I’m in the neighbourhood, too 🙂

    Thanks, everyone, for your suggestions!

  8. Travis Blair says:

    the ice cream shop in the Forks Market? i think its called Neon Cone

  9. cherenkov says:

    Since you mentioned gelato, there are a few places on Corydon that are good. The one I go to most often is Eva’s — a little further down, just past Stafford.

  10. pensato says:

    The Banana Boat is to BDI what Patricia Beach is to Grand.

    A little more quiet. A little less touristy. But it’s fantastic, when you’re just looking for a great ice-cream and a little walk by the river without all the crowd and the noise.

  11. D says:

    Eva’s Gelati is my new favourite. But I’m a Half Moon-er (Lockport)

  12. Definitely Sargent Sundae across from Assiniboine Park- soft chocolate ice cream with peanut butter sauce…mmmm…

  13. Michael says:

    You should definitely go for gelato at Eva’s, Harrow at Corydon in the WRHA building. The dulce de leche is amazing.

  14. Pat J says:

    I understand there’s a Forbidden Flavours somewhere in Winnipeg. The ones in Brandon are all fantastic, offering tasty ice cream and coffee treats.

  15. Aaron says:

    check out marble slab creamery on kenaston (inside a mini mall)
    exellent ice cream. the best.

  16. charly says:

    Definitely, as others have said, Eva’s on Corydon the best gelato in Winnipeg, far far far from the others. Dulce de leche and Vainilla (the yellow one, not the french) the best in town. Recommended 100 umbrellas 🙂

  17. Aaron says:

    earlier I mentioned a MARBLE SLAB CREAMERY on kenaston theres one in st.vital too.

  18. Margaret says:

    I know this blog is about ice cream but does anybody know of a place that serves soft yogurt cones that doesn’t have sugar in it? When Eaton’s was still downtown there was a little deli on the 2nd floor by the escalator called Cafe Euphoria that served it. Yum!!!!

  19. Brittany says:

    @PAT J I’m regret to say that Forbidden Flavours has closed, to many peoples dismay, and probably even more to mother’s, who worked there and is friends with the owner. It was one of the best small, not well known ice cream place I’ve ever known. (Along with Sargent Sundae of course!)

  20. Dale Gledhill says:

    The Banana Boat is a great little place only 5 minutes from BDI, just south of the Osborne Street Rapid Transit.It has a huge selection including amazing soft serve ice and 24 flavours of hard ice cream too! Lineups are much shorter and service is fantastically quick!!

  21. Ti says:

    Gigi’s Gelati is one of my favorites. BDI is nice but not the best; now, Sargent Sundae might be on the far end of the city but it’s the best ice cream I’ve had in the Peg so far. They’re also the only place I’ve found here that does my favorite treat–slushie with soft ice cream. Nam. Dari Wip isn’t bad either, if you just want a cone.

    The best ice cream I’ve ever had was a tiny place in Regina. But my heart is still owned by an even tinier place in rural Alberta. I have not yet found anything that compares.

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