Tour de Ice Cream
#4, 4604 37th St., S.W.
One Calgary location, first of its kind
The first ice cream made with liquid nitrogen in Western Canada, Nice Cream offers more than just great ice cream — it’s an experience. Unlike the usual creamy frozen goodness one expects of an ice cream shop, Nice Cream’s product is more like eating ice cream with a silky texture. Although the shop is hidden from plain sight (tucked into a courtyard in a strip mall bordered by 37th St. and 45th Ave., S.W.), it’s a gem worth finding. The store makes waffle cones fresh in store, and offers unusually perfect toppings. The Salted Caramel paired with pretzels is a must-have, but you wouldn’t go wrong trying their Love Coconut, Maple Roasted Pecan, or non-dairy Pineapple Sorbet either.
Village Ice Cream
431 10th Ave., S.E.
Three Calgary locations
There’s been a lot of talk about Village since it opened, but don’t be mistaken, the hype is well deserved. The locally made, fresh ice cream is so good you’ll be tempted to bathe in it. Their Earl Grey Tea flavour is refreshingly sweet and creamy, and coffee lovers won’t be disappointed by the Phil & Sebastian flavour, which is soaked into the ice cream creating an unmatched richness in taste. Get one of 10 available flavours in a regular cone, fresh-made waffle cone, cup, or ice cream sandwich.
My Favorite Ice Cream Shoppe
2048 – 42nd Ave., S.W.
Two Calgary locations
A bright orange, yellow and blue mural lines the outside wall of this ice cream shop, which has been in the Marda Loop neighborhood for over 35 years. Church pews line the walls, and it’s rumoured that those who play the old piano in the store for more than 10 minutes receive a free ice cream cone (according to the Shoppe’s website). With a large park across the street and 72 flavours to choose from like Birthday Cake, Candy Floss and Wet Paint, My Favorite Ice Cream Shoppe is the perfect location for a family outing or walk through the loveable neighborhood of Marda Loop.
Amato Gelato Café
2104 Kensington Rd., N.W.
One Calgary location
This bright West Hillhurst gelato store boasts over 70 flavours, ranging from green apple to chocolate peanut butter. Get your scoop in a traditional cone, waffle cone, or a cup. Novelties, cakes and take-home tubs of gelato are also available. The Bow River and the popular Kensington neighbourhood are only a short walking distance away, a perfect pairing with this to-die-for gelato on a sunny summer day.
Photos by Michaela Ritchie, Jodi Brak, and Deanna Tucker
Published on July 13, 2016.
Nice Cream is the first location of its kind in Calgary, specializing in crafting ice cream by freezing ingredients with liquid nitrogen. Picture above, the store's salted caramel ice cream served up in a waffle bowl, topped with cookies, pretzels, and caramel drizzle. Photo by Michaela Ritchie
Visitors are in for a truly visual treat when they watch their ice cream being made. Pouring liquid nitrogen directly over the ice cream ingredients in a mixer creates a dense fog that overtakes the entire front counter. Photo by Jodi Brak
Tucked away behind the main courtyard of a city strip mall, the storefront of Nice Cream recalls warmer outdoor climates, making visitors feel as though they’re on an indoor picnic as they sit and enjoy their treat in the shade. Photo by Jodi Brak
Rather than offering simply the cool crystalline creaminess of a classic cone, preparing ice cream with nitrogen instead creates a silken texture. According to David Young, co-owner of the store, that is because freezing the ice cream instantly with the nitrogen, as opposed to allowing it to reach freezing temperatures at a gradual rate, doesn’t allow the cream to form the crystal structures it ordinarily does with natural freezing, so the cream maintains its original texture while staying ice-cold. Photo by Michaela Ritchie
Village Ice Cream likes to keep things simple by only offering 10 flavours of ice cream at a time. This simplicity doesn’t seem to be interfering with their popularity, however. Because they offer limited flavours, these shops make sure they serve up only the most inventive, available in a regular cone, fresh-made waffle cone, cup, or ice cream sandwich. Seen above, Earl Grey Tea (left) and Phil & Sebastian coffee flavours (right). Photos by Deanna Tucker (left) and Jodi Brak (center/right)
It’s hard to miss My Favourite Ice Cream Shoppe, flashing a brilliant summer themed mural at the corner of 42nd Ave S.W. and 20 St. S.W. The store has called the Marda Loop neighborhood of Calgary home for over 35 years, and has thus become a favourite of the locals, as per its name. Photo by Michaela Ritchie
The Cotton Candy and Birthday Cake flavours offered at this location were perhaps some of the sweetest that our team tried along our taste-test tour — the perfect fit for the family sweet tooth. Photo by Jodi Brak
The interior walls of the shop are lined with plenty of old church pews for patrons to rest on and enjoy their ice cream. Lampposts with chipping paint only add to the nostalgia of the space. Customers that feel brave enough to sit and play a tune at the old piano taking up center stage in the shop are rewarded with a free cone. Photo by Michaela Ritchie
Employees are always hard at work at My Favourite Ice Cream Shoppe — the store is open from 10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. in the summer months, with a steady stream of visitors coming in around the clock. Photo by Jodi Brak
From left to right, a waffle cone with Tropical Tornado and Spumoni flavours, a dipped cone with sprinkles with Cotton Candy and Birthday Cake flavours, and a waffle cone with Wet Paint flavour. No matter the wacky combination, the seems as though every flavour offered by My Favourite Ice Cream Shop can coexist in delicious harmony. Photo by Deanna Tucker
Amato Gelato locations offer over 70 flavours of the creamy treat, spanning from the mundane to magnificent, and everything in between. Photo by Jodi Brak
Have your gelato served up in a cone or cup, stacking as many differently flavoured scoops as you can! Novelties, cakes and take-home tubs of gelato are also available in-store. Photos by Jodi Brak