In the dog days of summer, when the sun is relentless and the humidity won’t cut you a break, there’s nothing more refreshing than an ice cream. Not only are our favourite frozen treats delicious, but they have the added bonus of helping regulate our temperature on a hot, sticky day. Scientifically proven or not, that’s a win-win if you ask us.
To get the scoop on the best ice cream, gelato, and other delectable frozen goodies, we wanted to go straight to the source: our locals. We asked our Instagram followers to dish on where they go when they’re craving something cold and sweet, and here are the top ice cream spots, as chosen by you!
Farmstead Cheesehouse & Gelateria
“It is local and a little taste of Italy in the Valley. Their gelato is true to Italian fashion as well, as they learned the art of gelato-making from time spent in Italy. It's an easy turn off from the Trans-Canada highway on your way into Pembroke (or out of) and makes for the perfect treat as the summer season thrives on.”
Favourited by: Peter from Pembroke
Insider Scoop: You can’t beat hyperlocal seasonal flavours like their Pembroke pear that uses pears from their own orchard. Peter falls back on old favourites kiwi or Irish cream gelato.
The Flavour Container
“They serve good quality ice cream, the servings are generous, and the price is right. Service is always polite. Just a joyful ice cream experience, every time.”
Favourited by: Ashley from Arnprior
Insider Scoop: Ashley reports that she has yet to meet a flavour she doesn’t like, and gravitates towards anything with chocolate and peanut butter.
Almonte Ice Cream Shop
“The staff is amazing and there is a variety of flavours and treats to be had. Plus, it’s in a great location in downtown Almonte. Lots to see and experience.”
Favourited by: Kristi from Almonte
Insider Scoop: Cookie lovers like Kristi can’t go wrong with a scoop of the bright blue monster cookie, or another crowd-pleaser like cotton candy.
“Kawartha Dairy is the perfect place to stretch your legs and get rewarded with the creamiest, most delicious locally-made ice cream that ever was.”
Locations: Dedicated shops in Bancroft and Minden but also commonly found in corner stores and ice cream parlours all over the region
Favourited by: Tash from Bancroft
Insider Scoop: Tash reports her favourite flavour is technically every last one of them, but if she had to choose one to reign supreme, it would be Raspberry Thunder.
Balderson Cheese Shop
“Balderson has an incredible selection of products from cheese and food baskets, preserves, maple products, hot sauces (I could go on and on) to their incredible section of Amish furniture and local art. Their ice cream has been a favourite of mine since I was six years old.”
Favourited by: Kelly from Ferguson’s Falls
Insider Scoop: Kelly’s top flavour is mocha, closely followed by cherry. She highly recommends that you also pick up a bag of fresh, squeaky cheese curds for the drive!
“They are a local company that just all-around embodies the Valley spirit. Every time we go, it’s a fantastic experience.”
Favourited by: Sara from North Algona Wilberforce
Insider Scoop: Sara says get the bubble gum!
“It’s a great place to have a pit stop on a drive or on the way to or from the lake. Also, another great spot to stop after getting sticky buns from the general store.”
Favourited by: Megan from Almonte
Insider Scoop: Megan’s go-to is chocolate and vanilla soft serve swirl, in a waffle cone.
Rideau Candy Shoppe
“They have the best customer service and selection of treats.”
Favourited by: Kassy from Perth
Insider Scoop: Kassy’s a fan of their cotton candy ice cream burritos (!!) or a classic flavour like tiger tail.
North Folk Café
“I recommend them because they’re so friendly and happy! Just recently they started to sell Mio gelato.”
Favourited by: Mikayla from Franktown
Insider Scoop: Their flavours rotate (which is part of their awesomeness) but Mikayla’s favourite so far is Baci.