Usually West Edmonton Mall near the Ice Palace is a cool enough place to be on a hot day, but if you need to chill out even more, try Popbar, on the mall’s second level.
This shop will take any flavour of its gelato, sorbetto or frozen yogurt on a stick, dip it in chocolate and add your choice of “poppings” – like almonds, pistachios, or even caramel popcorn – for a custom creation. If you can’t choose, though, there are plenty of preset options ranging from classics like vanilla gelato dipped in milk chocolate to more adventurous options, like green tea gelato topped with crushed waffle cone bits and white chocolate.
#2170, 8882 170 St., 780-341-0999, pop-bar.com
Da Capo Caffe
A long day of exploring Whyte Avenue on a hot summer day can leave you in need of both something to cool you down and something to pick you up. Thankfully, if you’re near 102nd Street, Da Capo Caff has the solution in the form of a caff affogato.
For the uninitiated, an affogato is a shot of espresso poured over a scoop of gelato. The gelato acts as the cream and sugar in the coffee, mellowing it out and giving it a rich taste. It’s great on hot days, too, because the gelato also cools down the coffee, meaning you’re not burning your tongue while also at risk of burning your skin.
Served in a coffee cup, the affogato at Da Capo isn’t really a to-go treat. But given the sleek decor in the shop and the ample opportunities for people-watching, it’s worth sitting down.
8135 102 St., 587-521-2276, dacapocaffe.com
Bill’s Confectionary at Fort Edmonton Park
The ice cream at Bill’s Confectionery, located along 1920s Street in Fort Edmonton Park, is basically the same ice cream you could find at any number of shops around the city. But what really sets this shop apart is the setting. Stepping through the gates of Fort Edmonton Park, you’re transported back in time, and Bill’s is right at the heart of it all, just steps away from the historic Capitol Theatre and the Hotel Selkirk. Many folks make a tradition of visiting Fort Edmonton Park every summer, and getting an ice cream cone at Bill’s is something without which no visit is ever complete.
7000 143 St., 780-496-7381, fortedmontonpark.ca
Da Vinco Gelato Originale
Yvonne Irnich wants to make sure vegans can still have a sweet treat this summer.
Irnich is the owner and CEO of Da Vinci Gelato Originale, which earned a lot of fans last summer selling many varieties of gelato out of its trailer at farmers’ markets and festivals across the Capital Region. But maybe the biggest hits of all were its four flavours of 100 per cent vegan gelato: Chocolate, vanilla, cappuccino and white chocolate matcha. She uses blends of soy and almond milk in the vegan gelatos,
Da Vinci will be back at the St. Albert farmers’ market every Saturday this summer, as well as other local festivals and events. Meanwhile, she’ll keep working on new vegan flavours to bring to the trailer and, hopefully, soon to retail outlets.
Various locations, 780-819-8283, davinci-gelato.com
An ice cream cone can do more than just cool you down. It can transport you back to a simpler place and time – like a time when you would take your best girl down to the drugstore to get a float. That’s exactly the kind of swell feeling the folks at Midtown Apothecary in St. Albert are trying to recapture.
Located in the heart of downtown St. Albert, Midtown Apothecary is a fully functioning pharmacy, taking care of clients’ health needs. But inside those pharmacy walls is also an ice cream parlour, offering more than 15 flavours of hard ice cream at one time, as well as soft ice cream, slushes, coffee, tea and cappuccino. It’s a unique one-stop shop that have you feeling better – perhaps even satiated – when you leave. Channel the retro spot’s vibe by indulging in a scoop of root beer float ice cream.
#100, 41 St. Thomas St., St. Albert, 780-470-5672, midtownapothecary.com
Sometimes, the name of a business tells you everything you need to know. Such is the case with 80 Flavours. The brightly coloured ice cream trailers – the original location along Gateway Boulevard and the new location that opened in Meadowlark last year – draw visitors in with the promise of an astounding selection of cool treats, and they certainly deliver.
Some of the unique varieties you can find at 80 Flavours include: Moon Mist, a mixture of grape, banana and blue raspberry; Super Hero, a mix of banana, strawberry and blueberry; and Hokey Pokey, which, with toffee ice cream and chocolate-covered sponge toffee pieces, may actually be what it’s all about.
The extensive menu also has classic flavours like vanilla bean, mint chocolate chip and cherry cheesecake, along with no-sugar-added varieties, frozen yogurt, sherbet and dairy-free sorbets.
4025 Gateway Blvd./159th Street and 86th Avenue, phone n/a, facebook.com/80FlavoursIceCream
One Minute Foods
Soft-serve ice cream and slushes are great ways to beat the heat on their own. But, whether you call it a “screamer” or a “glacier,” like the folks at One Minute Foods do, when you combine them into one, you’ve got pretty much the ultimate summer treat.
Between five slush flavours – lime, orange, grape, cream soda and Pepsi – and nine flavours of soft-serve ice cream, you’ve got more than 40 combinations to tickle your tastebuds. However, it might be best to stick with a classic, like orange and vanilla, rather than getting too adventurous. A tip: Let the whole thing melt a little bit before you start drinking it; that will make it easier to mix the flavours together and sip it through the straw.
13402 66 St., 780-476-2087, facebook.com/OneMinuteFoods