This story is written by uberly-talented Kait Kucy
From uniquely flavoured chef-made soft serve to unicorn sundaes topped with cotton candy, Calgary’s ice cream scene has blown up and has ice cream lovers waiting in line-ups for hours just for a scoop of the good stuff. In anticipation of National Ice Cream Day on July 16th, we are sharing the best spots in town to pick up a cool treat on a hot day.
Soft Serve at Lukes Drug Mart
A collaborative effort between Gareth Lukes, owner of Lukes Drug Mart and Chef Eric Hendry (Bar Von Der Fels), soft serve ice cream has made a triumphant return to the popular Bridgeland corner shop for the first time in 60 years. Aiming to create something that was as close to real ice cream as possible (soft serve is typically a mix) their house-made soft serve is made using real ingredients like D Dutchmen Dairy milk and Mann’s Organics eggs. Inspired by the simplicity of Japanese soft serve, Hendry decided to create two tasty flavours to kick off the summer season: coconut charcoal and vanilla. Get each flavour on its own or swirl them together for the perfect dessert.
Lukes Drug Mart – 112 4 Street NE
If you are active on Instagram in Calgary, chances are you’ve seen one of Made by Marcus’ magical ice cream creations. Scooping up handcrafted flavours like Lemon Curd Blueberry, Tahitian Vanilla bean and Valrhona Chocolate, Marcus is known for line-ups spanning past the block with some people waiting for longer than an hour just for a scoop of their housemade ice cream. Sundaes like The Unicorn which features vanilla soft serve, cotton candy and strawberry white chocolate are a huge draw for the crowds and is easily the most Instagrammed sundae in the city. Pro-tip: If you are buying pints or ice cream bars you can skip the line!
Made by Marcus Microcreamery – 1013 17 Ave SW
The local company that definitely started it all, Village Ice Cream is the OG of small batch ice cream ice cream in Calgary. Line-ups at all locations, especially the original Victoria Park shop often wrap around the corner but everyone knows that it is well worth the wait. They’ve been known to have a lineup even when it is raining! The appeal is easy to see: classic flavours such as Guide’s Mint, Melted Chocolate and Salted Caramel keep people returning time and time again – you can always expect to get a tasty scoop of ice cream on each visit to Village. You can’t leave without trying one of their housemade waffle cones – made fresh daily!
Village Ice Cream – Three locations:
Victoria Park: 431 10 Avenue SE
Britannia Plaza 820 49th Ave SW
Garrison Corner 2406 34th Ave SW.
Like a bit of science served up with your ice cream? You should definitely check out Nice Cream, an amazing little ice cream shop that uses liquid nitrogen and a small batch ice cream mix to create instant ice cream. Their flavours are fun and inventive like pekoe Early Grey, Pineapple Sorbet and Mt. Robson. Top your icy treat with delicious things like mini cookies, dried fruits and gummy bears. If you’re looking for more than just a scoop of ice cream you’ll also want to take a peek at their Belgian waffle menu for sweet and savoury treats.
Nice Cream 4604 37 St SW
Artisan gelato has never looked as good as local company Fiasco Gelato’s tasty and cold scoops. Using only the best ingredients, Fiasco handcrafts gelato and sorbetto in small batches, creating memorable and delicious flavours that keep people coming back for more. While their adorable gelato parlour HQ is a bit out of the way, it is definitely worth getting on the bike (or in the car) for. Pop in for a scoop or pick up some supplies for the week (aka ten pints of gelato in every flavour). They even just launched a butter tart flavour specifically for Canada 150!