Ottawa’s capital ice cream venues

Whether you're craving traditional vanilla or aiming to expand your horizons of taste sensations, the city offers many downtown ice cream shops through to picturesque village destinations nearby. Aficionados know to celebrate summer throughout the year: most of these destinations offer tasty treats even in wintertime, so you can reminisce about heat waves as snowflakes fall.

Stella Luna Gelato Café

1
1103 Bank St, Ottawa, ON K1S 3X4

Tammy and Alessandro Giuliani fell in love in Italy, married, and transformed their dream of creating fine food from premium fresh produce into a reality, right here in the trendy neighbourhood of Old Ottawa South. Taste sensations include pistachio gelato made from Sicilian nuts and chocolate flavours originating with world-famous Callebaut Belgian chocolate. Craving more? Return, again and again to this cozy hangout, to try granita Siciliana (akin to a sorbet), fruit sorbetto, frappés and more.

Menchie's Frozen Yogurt

2
80 George St, Ottawa, ON K1N 5W1

With a motto of “We make you smile” and signs announcing “From moo...to you,” how can we not visit Menchie’s in the ByWard Market? Yes, it’s a franchise chain but make no mistake, deliciousness awaits. Using purely Canadian milk, Menchie’s also caters to special diets: gluten-free, vegan and no high-fructose corn syrup selections are available here, and all milk is certified kosher. Tastes to try? A mesmerizing array from zen green tea to blueberry to salted caramel pretzel. Enjoy.

Piccolo Grande

3
55 Murray St, Ottawa, ON K1N 5M3

The heritage stone building that’s home to Piccolo Grande makes a perfect cool destination for a hot summer’s day in the ByWard Market. Sample a fresh gelato or sorbet made in Piccolo’s on-site gelato factory and you’ve found a fab place to chill. Want to have your cake and eat it too? All cakes are homemade and can be ordered with a healthy scoop of gelato on the side. The spot’s most popular flavour? I’m told the hands-down fave is Bacio, a divine blend of chocolate and hazelnut. A little insider’s secret: Piccolo dishes up the largest portions in town.

Gelatini

4
344 Preston St, Ottawa, ON K1S 4M6

Appropriately enough, this treasure of a shop is located in Ottawa’s Little Italy so it’s easy to enjoy a meal at a bistro close by, then slide in here for an unforgettable dessert. Gelato is made on-site; in fact, my favourite flavour (pistachio) begins with the nuts peeled in-house. What’s particularly cool? If you want, you can custom-order gelato to the tune of one to 10 litres, specify your flavour, and pick it up to enjoy at home or at a function.

Baskin Robbins

5
1500 Bank St, Ottawa, ON K1H 7Z2

This beloved international chain boasts three locations across Ottawa. With a broad variety of flavours of hard ice cream, sorbets, sherbet, ices, yogurt, and ice cream cakes, it’s a one-stop-shop if you’re craving a cool treat. Check their nutrition section for flavours that will suit those with food allergies. With monthly flavours-of-the-month plus a revolving selection of seasonal choices, making a decision is the about the only stressful thing you’ll encounter in the bright, friendly shop. If you’re approaching Baskin-Robbins-regular status, check out the free Club 31, which offers discounts and deals.

Cococo Chocolatries Inc

6
314 Richmond Rd, Ottawa, ON K1Z 6X6

The perfect finish to shopping or dining in trendy Westboro Village is a gelato from Ottawa’s premier Belgian chocolate makers, Truffle Treasures. All 24 flavours of gelato are made on-site - plus all are made daily, ensuring that the freshest seasonal ingredients inspire them all. Beware: chocoholics among us are in danger of devouring the divine selection of chocolate bark, truffles and more. Come snowy winter, brace yourself for the elements by sipping a hot chocolate drink.

JoJo CoCo Chocolate Inc

7
471 Hazeldean Rd, Kanata, ON K2L 4B8

Chocolate lovers can sample specialty chocolates from around the world in this Kanata boutique. International treats include organic Amma bars from Brazil, stone-ground Taza chocolate and additive-free Dick Taylor chocolate. You’ll also find goodies from a wide range of Canadian producers, including Dufflet chocolates from Toronto, rum chocolates from Newfoundland and salted caramels from Vancouver’s Wild Sweets. Satisfy your sweet tooth with goodies from local suppliers (including Rochef and Hummingbird Chocolate) or gorge without the guilt on vegan, organic, sugar-free and gluten-free alternatives.

Holland's Cake and Shake

8
229 Armstrong St, Ottawa, ON K1Y 2W5

Ottaweans love to purchase their produce at Parkdale Market, and it's a locals new favourite tradition to head to Holland’s Cake and Shake après. Drop by to see what the fuss is about: homemade soft-serve ice cream. What’s more, malt is available – and, sadly, that’s all too rare an ingredient these days. Holland’s is also for cakes and pastries and the menu of these delights changes weekly. So drop in, have your cake (with soft ice cream) and eat it too.

Scoop's Ice Cream

9
111 Waba, Pakenham, ON K0A 2X0

Pakenham is a picturesque village about 50 minutes west of downtown Ottawa, renowned for having “the best hard ice cream around.” It’s not a store - it’s a shop-front where you line up outside, trying to puzzle out which ice cream flavour, milkshake, banana split or other treat you want. And yes, you will want several, so head over with a group of pals you can share your taste for ice cream. An Ottawa Valley insider’s choice, Scoops is open daily March through October, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Pakenham General Store Inc

10
2924 County Rd 29, Pakenham, ON K0A 2X0

Pakenham village is home to this famed antique general store, still operating in a heritage cut-stone building dating back to 1840. Take a step back in time and into a fun country shop, and top it off with an ice cream cone featuring Tracey’s ice cream, made at nearby Renfrew. Look for faves like Tiger Tail, mint chip and vanilla, but also seek out Tracey’s Super Premium ice cream – the Denali Alaskan flavours include Bearfoot Brownie, Caramel Caribou, and Raspberry Buggaboo. Sound divine? Go and get it.

Westboro is a “happening hood” roughly 10 minutes west of Parliament Hill that’s become particularly renowned for its restaurants, pubs and cafés showcasing locally inspired cuisine. Where to go? Whether you want comfort food or an upscale restaurant, Westboro offers a cross-section of moods and tastes, although venues tend to be more casual here, in keeping with this community’s village scene.
As we know, requirements for business lunches vary. Sometimes a quiet place to chat is just the ticket. Or might you prefer a vibrant, happening spot? What about a quiet Thai or Indian restaurant? Happily, Lowertown’s colourful ByWard Market neighbourhood serves up a menu of varied taste opportunities, and the farmers market welcomes chefs who shop for the freshest ingredients.
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