HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >



Has anybody tried the new gelato place on Mt. Pleasant. It is THE BEST!!!
I tasted it a party a few weekends ago and loved it then this past weekend I served it a party for 12...everyone was raving about it. We had the lemon which was fab, pistachio and then a mixed wild berry. DIVINE. The owner is direct from Italy and has 3 shops in Rome. Very nice guy and really helpful. Because it was for 12, I wasn't sure how much to get. I was going to purchase 3 large tubs but he was certain 3 medium tubs would be more than enough and he was right. Much better than Hollywood's.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I agree, Il gelatiere is awesome. His fruit flavours are heavenly. I've tried lemon, pineapple, watermelon, and cantaloupe. All are delicious. The watermelon is very subtle and had a few chunks in it. Really good.

    1. Agree. This is the very best gelato I have ever had outside of Italy! Saturday the line up went out the door and down Hillsdale. But it moved fast and was so worth it!

      1. Il Gelatiere has no competition right now, clearly superior to hollywood/la paloma/solferino/soma, etc.

        Their pistachio is out of this world, a depth of flavour that can't be found anywhere else in Toronto. High marks for their banana, kiwi, and pineapple also. The only so so flavour I've had so far has been papaya, although it might have more to do w/ the quality of the raw ingredient than anything. Great papayas aren't exactly abundant here.

        I've been 3 times in the last month and plan on squeezing more trips in before the summer is over.

          1. re: callitasicit

            On Mt. Pleasant, just south of Eglinton, east corner of Hillsdale I think. I don't think they are open Mondays.

            1. re: millygirl

              Does anyone know their other hours of operations?

              1. re: alleycat81

                on the slower days, I think mon-thurs, they open till 10:30.

                on the weekends I think it's a bit later, maybe 12 or 1. Don't quote me on that though.

          2. Agree, transports you right back to Italy. Hands down the best in town.

            1. they're absolutely awesome. and they do a mean shot of espresso too. my favourite of their gelato is the zabaglione, but haven't had anything bad.

              1. My favorite so far is the pomelo (grapefruit), but the 4 times that I've been there, only twice have I seen it. My wife asked them why that is, and apparently they have 60+ recipes for flavours but only a limited number of slots per day. Makes you want to know their rotation schedule. :)

                1. I live in the area and have been there about a dozen times since it opened. I am not a fan of Hollywood Gelato, but have frequently made the long trek to La Paloma at St. Clair and Landsdowne. The gelato at Il Gelatiere is excellent especially the ciociolato al pepperoncino (chocolate w chili) and the pompelmo (grapefruit). The Maria with cinnamon and pine nuts is also great as is the limone. The anguria (watermelom) was a little too subtle for my taste.

                  1. Man, we must go. And we get excited about La Paloma -can't wait.

                    1. Ok, I just got back from this place and I have to say I have to agree with millygirl!!! I've tried Hollywood and La Paloma, and neither comes close.

                      I had Maria (cinnamon and pine nuts), chocolate with chili, and pistachio. The pistachio is simply the most wonderful pistachio flavored anything that I have ever had. None of that fake, cloying pistachio flavoring so rampant in pistachio ice creams and cakes everywhere.

                      DH had banana (excellent) and Nocciola (hazelnut) which was wonderful too. We also had tiramisu and stracciatella (both very good).

                      I'm excited to try the other flavors. But I will definitely go back for the pistachio.

                      1. Yesterday was a terrible day, and I found myself in front of Il Gelatiere in a foul, bitter, bitter mood. I walked in, and ordered the chocolate w/ chillis, and zabaliogne. They didn't have zabaliogne (which just added to my bitter, bitter mood), so I got the crema instead. Before I got my order I asked if they ever make Anisette, after some conversation with the...gelatier (is that what you would call a gelato maker?) he said that he sometimes makes it, but not right now....then he told me "aspette"...not sure why I was waiting...then he came out with one of those itty-bitty spoons, and upon it was a HUGE heaping sample ( 4 of them could have filled their small size cup) of the gelato he was preparing at that moment. It was Tartufo with rum...unbelievable...it was amazing. As I walked back to my car, I finally was able to eat the gelato I ordered ....again... unbelievable. The heat of the chili with chocolate, and the cooling, coating taste of the crema...my bad mood just melted away with the gelato.

                        I never really had a gelato place before...but now I will be a regular.

                        1. How about the new gelateria on Roncesvalles - Bravo Gelato. Comments/reviews? We went last night and tried a few sample spoons - very friendly service. I felt the pistachio was overwhelmed by an almond essence flavour. The ginger was very nice - good "mouthfeel". But I can't really write a review having only sampled a few. anyone else?

                          1. I had a totally different experience. I loved the lemon and pomello great and refreshing but I found the pistacio almost plastic tasting. I also found the service quite unfriedndly and the portions quite small, It was if the tool the guy was using didn't fit the bowl properly. Much better experience always at Hollywood!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: robb

                              To me, the pistachio tastes exactly like...pistachios. That's quite different from most other places, whose pistachio usually tastes like phony pistachio flavouring. The pompellmo is fabulous, as is every other flavour I've had at Il Gelatiere.

                            2. Wow. Just wow. After reading this thread, my wife and I went to try it out. Simply amazing. She had the pomelo and marscapone, I had the pistachio and hazelnut. Much better than Hollywood's indeed.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: chiujason

                                I think I may need help, I may have become an addict....

                                I found myself driving by last night around 10:40 (they close at 10:30 on weekdays) and they were cleaning up. The door was still unlocked, and I asked if they were open. They remembered me (they called me Sambuca boy) and I almost begged for some gelato. Even though half the bins were empty, and they were cleaning the rest, they went in the back, and got me a Zabaliogne & Tartufo (they even remembered what I liked). Once again...unbe-f***ing-lievable.

                                I may have to mover closer....and if anyone is planning an intervention, forget it, it won't work...

                              2. Better than Dolce?
                                Does Il Gelatiere serve gelato con panna (the italian less sweet whip cream)?
                                Does anyone serve gelato con panna in the GTA?

                                Dolce Gelato
                                679A College St, Toronto, ON M6G1B9, CA

                                Il Gelatiere
                                647 Mt Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON M4S, CA

                                6 Replies
                                1. re: JonasBrand

                                  Actually, every time I have ordered at Il Gelatiere, they ask if I would like whipped cream...never tried it....I will make a point of it next time I go....which will probably be after work...someone please help me....

                                  1. re: Lazar

                                    Okay it's confirmed.....Lazar needs an intervention. In what may be a first in
                                    Chowhound history we happened to be at I'll Gelatierre at the same time today. As I was telling the owners about all the buzz they are getting on the site and that one guy actually said he was addicted to the stuff, 'Sambuca boy' I think she called him....guess who walks in....Sambuca boy in person. It was sooooooo funny, she starts yelling and pointing at him....that's him, that's sambuca boy!!!! It was hysterical I gotta say. He was with Sambuca Girl and Sambuca Mom. I was with Mr. Millygirl. And this just in.....we all got to try from the R & D back room the newest flavour - BAILEY'S IRISH CREAM. What can I say - heaven!!!!!
                                    Thanks I'll Gelatierre!!!

                                    1. re: millygirl

                                      ...I don't know what you are talking about Millygirl...I don't have a problem...I can stop whenever I want to....don't judge me....but in all seriousness, that Bailey's flavour was REALLY good....

                                      1. re: Lazar

                                        I am sooooooooo addicted to this stuff. I think about it every day and have to talk myself out of stopping by on my way to work, home from work, running up there during my lunch break....AAAAHHH! Yesterday I enjoyed the pistachio, but was ENRAPTURED with the cioccolata pepperoncino. OMG...a cold and hot explosion. The only flavour I haven't loved was the coconut which tasted soapy to me.

                                  2. re: JonasBrand

                                    Forgot to tell you JonasBrand, yes the whipped cream the have is the non-sweet, REAL whipped cream....Just a small dollop goes a long way for me....

                                    1. re: Lazar

                                      Thanks for remembering Lazar! Heading over later today!

                                  3. Just came back from Il Gelatiere today. This stuff is heavenly! I had the chocolate with pepperoncino (spicy) and the maria (cinnamon and nuts). What a great combination. Nothing like walking down Mt. Pleasant eating this stuff! (I recommend it in a cone -- that way the flavours mix). The maria flavour was really intense -- lovely. I haven't tried their fruit flavours yet. This place is not cheap though, so I can't do this all the time.
                                    I feel bad -- I love Solferino gelato, which is also bit less expensive, but this stuff is heaven in a cone.

                                    ETA: the first time I went, I was a bit turned off by the service (stand-offish), but, really, who cares after tasting their gelato

                                    1. I'm going tonight again. Looking forward to trying the pepperoncino and getting my own scoop of the marscapone!

                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: chiujason

                                        I had the marscarpone last night....in a word....delicious....in two words....friggin awesome!! Also tried the chocolate coffee, very good and very intense....

                                        1. re: Lazar

                                          I talked my wife into getting it last time while I got the pistachio and the hazelnut, and all I got was 3 measly licks! Needless to say, I fell in love.

                                          1. re: Lazar

                                            Lazar, I read through your posts, then suddenly realized you started posting about this place a few days ago. Um, exactly how many times have you been to Il Gelatiere?

                                            1. re: merlot143

                                              I am not ashamed to say that over the last 2 weeks, I have been there at least 9 times....I went again today (after a spicy bulgogi dinner at Sushi & Tea, which is just a few doors down and I thoroughly enjoyed it) and I got the pompelmo & chocolate....finished off the chocolate first and then onto the pompelmo...and I have to say that the Il Gelatiere's grapefruit (pompelmo) is the BEST pompelmo gelato in the city...refreshing tart and not too sweet. And of course the chocolate is outstanding...intensely rich.

                                              And in case anyone is wondering, I do not live in the area...right now, I am living in North York, and soon I am moving to St. Clair West, where there is a La Paloma just down the street...but I don't care...I will make the pilgrimmage to Mount Pleasant....call me crazy...but that's just the way I roll....

                                          2. re: chiujason

                                            I too am planning to go tonight... People are going to be melting off the sidewalk... maybe I'll just drive there now... and avoid the 8:00 rush... hmmm

                                          3. Just curious -- I wonder if the owner makes the portions bigger in his North American shop than his Italian stores.

                                            1. After driving 20 mins to get there from home, we decided to buy a big tub to bring home. For $18, it's pricey, but at least now we can have the delicious pomelo gelato every night...

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: Royaljelly

                                                But they didn't have Pomelo yesterday! When did you get it?
                                                And they quoted me $15 for 500gms (which is the smallest size normally available in grocery stores - actually 500ml is but 500 gm is roughly the same amount). Hardly a 'big tub'! And I don't believe that 'bulk' food is taxable.
                                                And on the size issue - yes, they have the smallest portions I've found - not that that matters if the quality is there - but for comparison, the $3.90 serving at Il Gelatiere is 100ml and the smallest serving at Hollywood (essentially just down the street) is $4.25 for 200ml, so you're paying almost double (per 100ml) at Il Gelatiere (and to complete the comparison, 500ml at Hollywood is $7.00).
                                                But, of course, you can still get a "fix" at either place for under $5 - compare that with most other pleasures of life!

                                                1. re: estufarian

                                                  Awesome. If you haven't been yet... go! Authentic Gelato better than many spots in Italy. FYI... saw Pomelo today. And yes it was real panna (Italian whipped cream).

                                              2. We may have an HG convert in our midst! After several summers home from university spent within walking distance of Bayview, I thought Hollywood was all there was - nice nutty flvours, rich chocolates with chunks of various candy bars, light, fun fruity flavours. But now that I'm done school, and back in my own place, now walking distance of Il gelatiere, I don't know if I'll ever go back (well, for carrot cake flavour, maybe...). I had the maria (pine nuts and cinnamon) and OH MY GOD. Amazing. The stratiacella was good, but didn't hold its own next to the maria. I can't wait to try them all....the walking distance, I'm sure, burns the calories.
                                                Oh, and hands down more efficient service than Hollywood Gelato. No nicer, but a lot less confusing!

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: LemonLauren

                                                  Welcome to the fold!!

                                                  Rejoice my brothers and sisters (or I should say fratelli e sorelle...given the place we are talking about) we have a new member!

                                                  If you see me there, I will gladly share in a zabaliogne and tartufo with you.

                                                2. We will be there on Saturday and my hubby is trying to figure out how many ice creams he can eat in a day. In general, where is Mt Pleasant? We are going to map out our day for multiple stops.
                                                  Chilis - sounds amazing!

                                                  Lazar- my lactose intolerant husband loves gelato (which does not bother him - a bouns).
                                                  He may have you beat on the addiction front.
                                                  We are going to go out and purchase a mini styro container to bring home some (2 hr ride) and are planning to get a small cooler packed with ice just for it. But I must put it in the truck, since my hubby has become quite adept at eating gelato in a cup while driving.
                                                  Sidestory: On our honeymoon several yrs ago, on the border of Switz and Italy in Locarno, for dinner, I ordered a grilled sandwich. Gelato boy ordered a $10 gelato plate (that was over 10 yrs ago, think of inflation). He was in heaven. He is thinking about going back and eating gelato in every city; he said he will have at least 2 a day. He really is addicted, and he never gets the brain freeze from eating it either.

                                                  14 Replies
                                                  1. re: itryalot

                                                    Mt Pleasant runs north-south from Lawrence to Bloor (ish), parralel to Yonge and Bayview, east of Yonge, west of Bayview. Il Gelatiere is at the corner of hillside which is the 2nd set of lights on Mt Pleasant south of Eglinton. DO IT!!

                                                    1. re: LemonLauren

                                                      It's at the corner of Hillsdale and Mt. Pleasant, not hillside. From my recollection, I think that it's between the 1st and 2nd set of lights (ie between Soudan and Manor). Wouldn't want you to get lost....

                                                    2. re: itryalot

                                                      ...are you challenging me itryalot? Oh...it's on now!! Bring it! I show you who the alphadog is in this junkyard!....ok, I am getting a head rush from too many cliché catchphrase....

                                                      ...shall we say gelato spoons at 20 paces at dawn?

                                                      1. re: itryalot

                                                        FYI, the cooler and ice will be good, but they already pack the gelato in styro containers when you buy in bulk. I bought their big container last night, half with the Macedonia (fruit salad) and half with Marscapone, $18, and drove the 20 minutes home sans air conditioning with no visible effect on the gelato.

                                                        1. re: chiujason

                                                          How was the Macedonia? I saw it and it looked tempting. I still haven't had the fruit flavours yet -- I'm a chocolate kind of gal. Chocolate pepperoncino = yum!

                                                          1. re: merlot143

                                                            To be honest, I wasn't that impressed, but that's because I'm not a fruit gelato kind of guy. I like the nutty chocolatey creamy ones. Still, the flavours in it are all of real fruit, and it's a nice light one. My wife loves it.

                                                          2. re: chiujason

                                                            OK. I have a sneakin' suspicion the gelato won't make it to Mississauga!
                                                            He makes Lazar look like an amateur! (lol)

                                                            1. re: itryalot

                                                              ....oh unkind itryalot....unkind....

                                                          3. re: itryalot

                                                            FYI, There's lots of other foodie destinations in the area, too....Wanda's in the Kitchen with Dinah, Dinah Koo's amazing prepared food store combined with Wanda's Pie in the Sky is further north on Mt. Pleasant, just above Sherwoord, north of Eglinton. Over on Yonge, north of Sherwoord, you'll find Dufflet Pastries and Alex Farms Cheese's Yonge St location (thought the St.Lawrence and Bayview Ave location are superior). Then there's the Cupcake Shoppe south on Yonge, and if you head over to Bayview, south of Eglinton, there's Rahier Patisseries (earth-shatteringly good croissants), Cumbrae Butcher, Cobbs Breads (love the capeseed loaf myself), Epi Bakery, and hey, even another Gelato place, Hollywood Gelato, though we seem to agree it doesn't compare. That should keep you busy, anyway :)

                                                            1. re: LemonLauren

                                                              Thank you LemonLauren; one day just won't do. We must come back for a foodie weekend.

                                                              1. re: itryalot

                                                                ironically, i'm going to montreal for a foodie weekend myself of a different sort!

                                                              2. re: LemonLauren

                                                                oh Rahier...so good, once I was assisting a high-end catering at a residence for about 25 people, we had boxes of individual cakes and tarts, I think I had about 15 or so after the event...their tiny lemon tart's are unbeatable!

                                                                1. re: Recyclor

                                                                  we always get those tarts for special family events! how do they make the mousse and sponge cake so damned colourful and flavourful! sigh. it's a comfort to know that though i have no fiancee or wedding date, i at least know who's catering my desserts :)

                                                            2. OK, OK, you all have me intrigued. I'm a die hard Hollywood Gelato fan, but you've all named two of my favourite flavours that HG never has: grapefruit and cinnamon.

                                                              Heading over there in the next hour or so. If you see a couple drive up in a little blue convertible, that's me! :)

                                                              5 Replies
                                                                1. re: TorontoJo

                                                                  So we did make it last night. Had the pistachio, the maria and the grapefruit. The maria was the one I was looking forward to the most, because I love cinnamon ice cream. The cinnamon flavour was beautiful, but many of the walnuts had gone a touch stale, which detracted from the experience. I really enjoyed the pistachio -- full of pistachio flavour without being too sweet. And I completely fell in love with the grapefruit -- it was so refreshing on a hot night, with just the perfect hint of that grapefruit bite.

                                                                  I agree with thenurse, though -- the consistency was way too soft. I attribute it to the hot weather, but they'll need to crank up the freezer case to counteract the heat. My gelato was already melting before they handed it to me, which was unfortunate.

                                                                  Don't know if I'm a convert yet, but I'm certainly willing to do some more research!

                                                                  1. re: TorontoJo

                                                                    I am a convert - used to frequent La Paloma - found Hollywood was way too sweet for my liking. But Il Gelatierie has anything I have ever tasted in this city beat, hands down.

                                                                    I just wanted to mention that I am pretty sure that the nuts in the Maria, which is amazing IMHO, are pine nuts, and not walnuts, which might explain why TorontoJo thought they were stale.

                                                                    As for the consistency, I have never found it too soft - no more so than any other gelato, so I would probably attribute it to the heat. Of course, having operated 2 gelaterias in Rome, one would think they would know how to deal with this problem.

                                                                    Re: flavours - i really like the ciociolato al pepperoncino with the mint (with bittersweet chocolate chunks - yum) - it's quite a refreshing combination!

                                                                    1. re: fortheloveoffood

                                                                      yup - they are definitely pine nuts and not walnuts for sure. I live around the corner and try to limit my visits to once a week, I'm hooked on the Maria and Ciociolato al Pepperoncino. I'm planning to visit in the next couple of days, is there a sambuca/anisette one on the menu or is it still in the development stages?

                                                                      1. re: fortheloveoffood

                                                                        It was softer than usual. With the sweltering heat, the a/c is clearly tempered by the constant opening and closing of the door by the 40-50 people circulating consistently throughout the night.

                                                                  2. Visited tonight and was impressed by the flavour. I had the Maria and MAScarpone flavours, on a cone. But, I was not impressed by the texture - it was too soft for my liking - maybe because of the heat. It was softer than a soft serve (obviously much better on all levels). I might have to visit on a cooler night to re-test the texture. Over and over again....

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: thenurse

                                                                      Might as well have been a Chowhound reunion last night. I too was there with my girlfriend sampling the Maria and the last of the Chocolate con Peperoncino. We were the ones with the black dog. This place is way too close to my home. A 5 minute walk can't possibly counteract a double-scoop cone. Oh well, I'll die fat and happy.

                                                                    2. Ok, I tried Il gelatiere and was very disappointed. I found the texture very very disappointing. There was a lot of air beat into this gelato. It made it very smooth, almost creamy and fluffy. I was not happy! I like a firmer gelato that has to melt and spread across your tongue slowly. Texture wise this gelato was reminiscent of Baskin and Robbins!!

                                                                      Flavour-wise I wasn't too impressed either. The pistachio was very good (better than Hollywood), and the Hazelnut was on par with Hollywood. But, my favoruite flavour -- lemon -- was no where near as good as Hollywood's. It was neither as sweet nor anywhere near as sour. I like the utter intensity of Hollywood's lemon -- this was lackluster. The three fruit gelatos my father had were not so great either (according to him).

                                                                      Quite frankly, I don't think I'll bother ever going back.

                                                                      10 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Atahualpa

                                                                        To be honest, the first time I went, I wasn't bowled over. I had the tiramisu and the chocolate. It was good, but I still preferred Solferino. The second time I went, I had the maria and the chocolate pepperoncino, which was fantastic. The flavours were so intense, it was heavenly. I agree, the texture was soft, but it worked out because the flavours combined well.

                                                                        1. re: merlot143

                                                                          I might be tempted to give the chocolate-pepperoncino a go sometime.

                                                                          1. re: merlot143

                                                                            This month's Lou Lou magazine has a coupon for a free extra scoop or a free biscotti when you order a large espresso (to stay).

                                                                          2. re: Atahualpa

                                                                            thata a pretty harsh judgement to make after one visit, but yours to make. I have found the limone to be a great combination of sweet and tartness, the perfect combination.

                                                                            1. re: diesta

                                                                              If there was a dearth of alternatives, sure I'd go back. If I was in the area I'd give it another try (but, I'm almost never on Mt. Pleasant for any other reason).

                                                                              It's not that it was bad -- just not to my liking.

                                                                              Maybe I'll give them another shot when the weather breaks to see if the problems that existed in my eyes were intentional or due to an inability to handle the effects of the recent heat.

                                                                            2. re: Atahualpa

                                                                              As far as the lemon is concerned, they do have 2 versions. One (limone) is supposed to be a bit more subtle, and the other (cedra) may have that intensity that you are looking for....can anyone back me up on this? I am ashamed to say that I have not tried either, because I love the pomplemo so much more....

                                                                              1. re: Atahualpa

                                                                                I'm sorry you didn't like Il Gelatiere, Atahualpa, but hey...someone has to keep Hollywood in business.

                                                                                1. re: Atahualpa

                                                                                  I'm sorry as well that you didn't like the gelato, but I am a bit confused about your comment on texture. As I am in the equipment business and am extremely familiar with the equipment that Il Gelatiere uses, I can assure you that it is very difficult to beat that much air into the gelato. Gelato's ideal serving temperature is -13C, and should melt, not too fast, but certainly not too slow either. Perhaps the recent weather that we've been having is wreaking a bit of havoc on the gelato.
                                                                                  As for the taste, to each their own, I respect your opinion, and I do agree that some of their fruit flavours are subtle (but for me, thats not a bad thing). Watermelon gelato is one of the most difficult gelatos to produce due to the water content of the fruit, and the fact that your sugars must be perfectly balanced to compensate. The fact that I believe he has gotten the texture right on the watermelon is a testament to how great a gelatiere he really is. (However, I think that comparing Il Gelatiere to B&R in any context is a complete and utter insult and completely untrue.)
                                                                                  If you like lots of intensity though, Gelatopolis near Weston and Rutherford, makes some of the best gelato in GTA.

                                                                                  1. re: icey

                                                                                    I have to say I think they have the texture bang on. I did not find it soft, to me it is just perfect, even after enduring a 20 minute drive home, although we placed it in a cooler for added protection. My personal favorite is the limone. I've also had the cedra, which I believe is a combination of lemon and orange and it is very refreshing and subtle but my fav is still the limone. I find HG tastes artificial. I'll Gelatiere flavours are well defined, crisp and natural tasting.

                                                                                    1. re: icey

                                                                                      It really was that aerated -- as aerated as some quasi-mass-market ice-creams (such as B&R). That isn't meant as an insult, only a description -- some people clearly like a softer, fluffier, looser texture. It was NOT only soft from heat -- it was (IMO) excessively aerated.

                                                                                      I don't have your experience with the equipment. I only have my first-hand experience with the product. If they can't compensate for the weather, that isn't my problem -- I've had gelato from HG and ice cream from Soma on eually hot days that did not suffer in this regard. Sure, they melted fast -- but, they weren't foamy with air.

                                                                                  2. After reading about this place for a solid week, I'm gonna finally go and try Il Gelatiere this weekend after coming back to Toronto from Waterloo ^___^ Can't wait.... I want to try Chocolate con Peperoncino.
                                                                                    But wow, is it really 3.90 for one scoop?
                                                                                    I remember buying gelato in Italy for 75 euro.... ahhh... of course, it's unfair to make the comparison... I just wish it was cheaper :P

                                                                                    17 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: sumashi

                                                                                      I went there last Friday and tried: pistachio (reallyy good) and maria... and then went for a second cup of pear and chocolate O_O hehe...
                                                                                      I thought the chocolate was soooooo rich compared to the other ones, I was glad I had the pear with it to balance it out... and I absolutely love DARK chocolate...

                                                                                      Just went again Wednesday night and tried: amaretto, zuppa inglese, mascarpone, and tiramisu....

                                                                                      Both times there was no chocolate con pepperoncino..Even though I didn't see it in the display, I asked about it and the lady said it's not available at the time.... when can I get this elusive flavour?? :( I'm dying to try it! I came around 10pm both days so maybe I'm late.. hehe...

                                                                                      1. re: sumashi

                                                                                        They seem VERY reluctant to tell you what flavours will be released 'soon'. I still haven't found the Grapefruit - yet others report it was there later the same day I went.
                                                                                        Although I'm not as enamoured of the chocolate con pepperoncino as some (actually not a great chocolate fan - not sure it works as well as a gelato as in an ice-cream) the same flavour (I defer to others on quality) was available earlier this week at Ed's Real Scoop on Queen St East - and Ed's prices are about half those at Il Gelatiere.

                                                                                        1. re: estufarian

                                                                                          I could see that the spicy chocolate doesn't work well on its own. In fact, when I had it with the maria, I thought it tasted more of spice than chocolate. But it really enhanced the flavour of the maria.
                                                                                          BTW, if you want more about flavour enhancement, go see Ratatouille, the best foodie movie in years.

                                                                                          1. re: merlot143

                                                                                            Not really on topic - but I was disappointed with Ratatouille - but still enjoyed it. Found the story only advanced through "talking" rather than unfolding as animation. First half hour was also quite boring. But the segment in the kitchen preparing for the food reviewer was superb. And have already seen some of the toy spinoffs discounted - so probably wasn't the commercial success that was hoped for. [Note my care in not revealing the plot].

                                                                                          2. re: estufarian

                                                                                            Really? Great, I'll have to try Ed's one day after a vball day at The Beaches :)
                                                                                            I think I understand what you mean about the chocolate...as I found it too rich on its own.
                                                                                            I was also looking for the grapefruit one on Friday night, but it wasn't there!

                                                                                          3. re: sumashi

                                                                                            Separate query....... PEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
                                                                                            Was it separate from chocolate - or did you mix it with chocolate?
                                                                                            (a preview from my impending submission on the 'best' ice-cream (IMO) in Toronto - pear was the most successful flavour I found - but didn't find it at Il Gelatiere)

                                                                                            1. re: estufarian

                                                                                              Ohh, I meant that when you can get two flavours in one cup, I chose to have pear and chocolate. So, yes, it was separate... however, when I was eating it, I ended up scooping a bit of each to eat together anyway :)

                                                                                              Their pear was pretty good... It tasted refreshing next to the chocolate. I could taste a little grittiness (?) of pear while eating it. I haven't tried any of their other fruit gelatos yet btw.

                                                                                              1. re: sumashi

                                                                                                Aha! Exactly what I suspected and hoped. IMO the greatest flavour (around the world) for gelato is PEAR. And it's that texture point that you brought out without prompting. Your comment on 'grittiness' may not be the exact word but you've identified that extra dimension of texture that seems to occur in Pear gelato. Absolutely my #1 flavour, regardless of producer (and I haven't even tasted Il gelatieres yet).

                                                                                                1. re: estufarian

                                                                                                  If you like that, then you MUST try fico (fig).

                                                                                          4. re: sumashi

                                                                                            The portions at Il Gelatiere are bigger than what you'd get in Italy fo 0.75 euro. The small (2 flavours for $3.90 Cdn) cup is about 3 times larger than the smallest size that was costing about 1 Euro the last time I was in Italy.

                                                                                            1. re: phoenikia

                                                                                              haha.. yeah, I didn't realize the size at Il Gelatiere until after I visited, which was after I posted that first comment about having gelato in Italy.... their servings are definitely QUITE big...

                                                                                              1. re: phoenikia

                                                                                                I find that hard to accept.
                                                                                                Il Gelatiere serves the second smallest portion (after Dolce on College ~ 90ml) I have found anywhere in Toronto (approx 100ml). The next smallest is La Paloma (115ml).
                                                                                                And, to compare, both Hollywood Gelato and Ed's Real Scoop are 200ml (for the smallest size) i.e. DOUBLE the size of Il Gelatiere's!
                                                                                                NOTE: That doesn't relate in any way to quality - only size - and we all know that size isn't everything.
                                                                                                If that's 3 times larger than Italy I'd be very surprised.
                                                                                                (I know - it seems I'm obsessive but I was so disappointed with the serving size at La Paloma that I took the cup home to measure - and I just continued, so can't speak for many of the offerings - the cup at Il Gelatiere has a very large hollow in the base - the base is raised about 25-30% up the side.)

                                                                                                1. re: estufarian

                                                                                                  It's never been my experience to get a leveled-off cup of gelato anywhere. Yes, the cup itself may gain a certain volume of ounces, but don't most spots give you a scoop — or two — that's bigger than the cup?

                                                                                                  1. re: cowhound

                                                                                                    If you're right, then as everybody does the same thing, my comparisons are still valid (e.g. if everybody serves an extra 10% the relative costs/sizes are identical).

                                                                                                  2. re: estufarian

                                                                                                    That's how much it was costing in Rimini, Ferrara & Bologna in August 2004. I'm just speaking from my own experience- sorry that you find that hard to accept.

                                                                                                    I'm sure the portion sizes and prices vary depending on the region and the neighbourhood.

                                                                                                    1. re: phoenikia

                                                                                                      Out of curiosity, how much gelato would an Italian person eat? In France (when I was there ages ago) the ice cream scoops were the size of golfballs. I almost laughed when I saw them. But people generally have two scoops or even three.

                                                                                                      1. re: merlot143

                                                                                                        The scoops in Northern Italy were also golfball sized, and it seemed most people were usually ordering 2 scoops.

                                                                                              2. I can hardly believe that no-one in this huge group has mentioned the melone or the raspberry. I crossed town after a cone at Kensington O once to get these gelati. The melone is like one of those wonderful Cavaillon melons on ice.

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: rat under paper

                                                                                                  I almost ordered the melone tonight, but went with the maracuja (passion fruit) and Maria. Both excellent, the maracuja was bursting with flavour, while Maria was more of a tease.

                                                                                                2. Went there yesterday; will post my report on "Power Foodie Shopping in TO - trip report"

                                                                                                  1. okay, i need to find something to have with the maria - the white choc and the stratiacella don't stand up.

                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: LemonLauren

                                                                                                      I had the mascarpone and liked it.

                                                                                                      1. re: LemonLauren

                                                                                                        I found the spicy chocolate really enhanced the flavour of the maria. I tried it with chocolate/hazelnut -- not as good. I think it works best with intense, aggressive flavour. I'd like to try it with the licorice. Imagine the sparks!

                                                                                                      2. Thank you all for the reference, we went to check out the "hype" expecting ho-hum, only to discover this is some of the finest gelato anywhere, let alone Toronto (I will qualify by saying we've tried 8 flavours to date). In fact, this is better than IL Laboratorio del Gelato in NYC and better than many, many gelaterias in Italy (ok, perhaps not quite San Crispino in Rome, but right up there with Davids in Sorrento). The flavours are intense and pure. I never understood the popularity of La Paloma. IL Gelatiere really know their business. A bit expensive/light on portions, but really, does it matter?

                                                                                                        1. Last night, after another crappy day, I popped over to raise my spirits with the usual Zabaliogne & Tartufo...when the gelatiere spied me, he called me over to try something new. He gave me a sample spoon of Zuppa Inlgese (I hope I spelled that right)....it was so good, I almost cried.

                                                                                                          And as I was walking back to my car, the group that was ahead of me in line was also outside, and I overheard them say "It's good, but la Paloma is still the best".

                                                                                                          Was it wrong of me to want to slap them?

                                                                                                          9 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: Lazar

                                                                                                            No, it wasn't. But think of it this way...the LP and HG lovers might keep "our" lines shorter!

                                                                                                            1. re: Lazar

                                                                                                              It wasn't wrong, but perhaps, not entirely, um, balanced.

                                                                                                              1. re: merlot143

                                                                                                                ...why do you have to be like that merlot143?...you cut me real deep....

                                                                                                                1. re: Lazar

                                                                                                                  I apologize if my comments will forever stop you from going to il gelatiere for more gelato.
                                                                                                                  Like the maria/chocolat hazelnut I had today. Fabulous but stil not as fabulous as the maria/chocolate pepperonicino combination.

                                                                                                                  1. re: merlot143

                                                                                                                    It is I who should apologize merlot143, I don't know why I am so sensitive about my frozen dairy desserts.

                                                                                                                    BTW, last night I treated a bunch of friends to gelato (we just came from the Longest Yard) and I had the Zuppa Inglese (trifle) and Tiramisu...sweet mother of pearl was it good!

                                                                                                                    As a side note, a couple of people in the group had considered their neighbourhood places the best gelato (I think they were talking about Solferino or La Paloma) but with one spoonful, they were converted.

                                                                                                                    Another friend of mine tried my Zuppa Inglese, and she a moment there that rushed her back in memory...kind of like Faust and the madelaine. Thus proving that this gelato has supernatural powers.....

                                                                                                                    1. re: Lazar

                                                                                                                      It could have been the beer from the Longest Yard, but that wouldn't be nearly as poetic, would it?

                                                                                                              2. re: Lazar

                                                                                                                well, i'm not exactly crazy about the zuppa inglese, the rum (?) was a bit overpowering.

                                                                                                                the zabaglione, on the other hand, was divine.

                                                                                                                i like holywood gelato and dolce, and love solferino, but i think i have to agree with you that il gelatiere might be the best of them all. i've yet to try la paloma, though.

                                                                                                                1. re: hautecocoa

                                                                                                                  Now I want to open a boutique named Haute Cocoa!!!

                                                                                                              3. I went on Friday night - it was PACKED!!!!! I asked for sambuca or anise flavoured one, the girl behind the counter suggested black licorice and headed to the back to get it, the owner stopped her claiming it was all gone. Does it exist????? Do they have a sambuca/anisette/black licorice type flavoured gelato????
                                                                                                                p.s. had the Maria to soothe my wose.

                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: dautcalm

                                                                                                                  The liquoriza does exist, and it is pretty good intense black licorice flavour, but I am also waiting for the day he brings out the sambuca/anisette gelato

                                                                                                                  1. re: Lazar

                                                                                                                    They had some liquoriza there today.

                                                                                                                    So far, I've tried 6 flavours. Riso & menta are my faves.

                                                                                                                    1. re: phoenikia

                                                                                                                      Has anybody seen them do a Peant Butter flavour? It just occured to me that this might be a winner but I don't recall ever seeing it available.

                                                                                                                      1. re: phoenikia

                                                                                                                        Riso! They have riso! I understand that the flavors change often and they don't have everything every day, but is that a fairly regular one in the lineup? Riso is my absolute favorite flavor of gelato since my first experience at Vivoli in Florence, and it's nearly impossible to find at gelateria in the US.

                                                                                                                        I will be visiting TO from Boston in September for the film festival - is this far from a TTC stop? Worth a trip up from Bloor/Yorkville for?

                                                                                                                        1. re: Allstonian

                                                                                                                          The riso was there on my first visit, but not my second. You could try caling them to see if they have it before you make the trip north from Bloor.

                                                                                                                          It's about a 15 minute walk from Eglinton Station. I think it's worth the trip from Bloor.

                                                                                                                  2. Peanut butter gelato sounds- I'm sorry -offensive. Had the zabaglione yesterday, along with melone. Very fine!

                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: rat under paper

                                                                                                                      That's okay RUP, at least we can agree on the petit fours at Patachou!

                                                                                                                      1. re: rat under paper

                                                                                                                        Oh la la. I could really go for one of those lovely boozy wonders tonight. And after Hell's Kitchen I wanted to go to IG to try out new flavours, only to realise it is Monday and they are shut.

                                                                                                                      2. No more updates on Gelato eating until someone brings me some to Leslieville! This is torture! I have nothing, NOTHING within walking distance, unless you consider Ed's which is a good 1/2 hour walk.

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. re: thenurse

                                                                                                                          We were just talking about this obvious gap in the Leslieville food explosion. If anyone out there is in a position to provide financing, I'd love to run such a place. (My wife once owned a restaurant and there is NO way she'd let me do it myself.)

                                                                                                                          We not only have no gelato, we don't even have a conventional scoop shop. But there isn't much pedestrian traffic yet. It would need to become an immediate destination.

                                                                                                                          I like a lot of things about Ed's, but it isn't really GREAT ice cream OR gelato and it's way to far to walk. I think the other gelato shop in the beach is awful.

                                                                                                                        2. I don't find Hollywood and Il Gelatiere directly comparable. Ah to live where one can walk to both. We have no gelato in Leslieville.

                                                                                                                          When Hollywood first opened, they were experimenting a lot. I really deserve to have my name associated with a couple of flavours, but that's another issue :-)

                                                                                                                          They've now hit on a successful formula and things don't change that often, which is too bad. Many of their flavours are candy-bar based and more to a kid's taste than mine. I also find some of their flavours too sweet for my taste. However, their product is of extremely high quality. The overrun is noticeably lower than at Il Gelatiere, they serve it colder, and the servings are MUCH larger for a lower price. I like their limone much more than I liked the Il Gelatiere version. Their chocolate gelatos are mainly great, as is the pistachio and the very untraditional coconut cream pie.

                                                                                                                          Il Gelatiere is a much more adult-oriented place. Many of the flavours are exotic and the combinations would probably be interesting to some but overtly weird to others. It is noticeably less sweet than Hollywood's gelato. Much of their product is served semi-frozen, which is a traditional style. I found the texture extremely aerated for gelato. The lemon did not thrill, but the grapefruit did. I loved the Maria; my wife hated it. The chocolate with rum (can't remember the name) had too big a hit of imitation rum (thank you LLBO). I liked Hollywood's pistachio better.

                                                                                                                          All things considered, I think both Il Gelatiere and Hollywood are great, though different. Neither is as good as Vancouver's Mondo (circa 2001 - don't know if they are still around).

                                                                                                                          Il Gelatiere's prices are something else. Hollywood is hardly cheap, but it was more than twice the gelato for significantly less money. Il Gelatiere's air conditioning was not working when we tried them earlier this week.

                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: embee

                                                                                                                            I agree with many of your observations - especially value/portion size and the candy bar section.
                                                                                                                            But I do disagree with the aeration observation - I don't find Il Gelatieres any more (or less) aerated than other gelatos - and more dense than most ice-creams.
                                                                                                                            I haven't gone as far as to weigh each option but I certainly haven't found any product line more dense in mouth-feel than that at Il Gelatiere's (would be happy to consider any if you can recommend). The only 'denser' ones I've found have been the cheaper, higher-water content which are almost frozen (e.g. the one sold at Dominion stores) - but that's just because it's almost ice rather than a full-flavoured gelato.
                                                                                                                            Now ice-cream - that's a whole different matter. Some (most?) of the bulk brands seem to be a mixture of chemicals, glue and air.

                                                                                                                            1. re: estufarian

                                                                                                                              I haven't weighed portions. Hollywood sells by volume in bulk and Il Gelatiere sells by weight, so one would need to take home containers of a similar flavour to weigh the stuff one's self. But Hollywood's candy and pie-inclusive flavours would weigh substantially more per unit volume. So summing it up, it comes down to mouthfeel. Il Gelatiere's servings seem aerated in my mouth while Hollywood's have very little discernible air. But Hollywood's is colder, and it might come down to that. But overrun and gelato are, in my opinion, incompatible.

                                                                                                                              Isn't obsession fun? They are both great and are within walking distance of each other. Lucky people...

                                                                                                                              So Hollywood, Il Gelatiere, and Solferino are now my faves, probably in that order. My SO would rate Solferino ahead of Il Gelatiere. I have nowhere else to recommend as better in Toronto. I have given up on La Paloma.

                                                                                                                              I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the display at Dominion and horribly disappointed when it didn't taste as good as it looked.

                                                                                                                              As to ice cream, Haagen Dazs, B&J, and Double Rainbow (my favourite, but a hard to find, brand) have very low overrun and very high butterfat. Double Rainbow won't amalgamate with milk in a shake unless partially melted. Both Ed Francis and Greg Mahon have told me that most of their customers don't want this much butterfat in their ice cream (silly people). Breyer's, a few of whose flavours I'll admit to liking in a pinch, is about 50% air.

                                                                                                                          2. While I have been reading, I ate an espresso sized cup of choc with peper followed by a cup of fico - tastes just like fresh figs. God bless take out! We have been having some each night. 20 mins out of the freezer and it is perfect.

                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: itryalot

                                                                                                                              I went to Il Gelatiere last night, filled with anticipation and excitement from having read the comments on this board.

                                                                                                                              IG serves some very good gelato. I had coffee, pistachio, nocciola, and chocolate. However, I remain a Hollywood man for the time being.

                                                                                                                              My criticisms of IG: The flavours seem less intense than Hollywood's; that's my major problem. Second, IG's melts too quickly. The server at IG was also not particularly good, but that's no big deal to me, so I won't go into detail. For me, it's about the flavour intensity.

                                                                                                                              That said, I will return to IG a resample, perhaps some fruit flavours, which, I understand, they do very well. I wan to reiterate that IG's stuff is very, very good. It beats La Paloma by a mile. But, I still prefer Hollywood.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Fwagra

                                                                                                                                Interesting about service. I have to say that I will take the quick, if not abrupt, professionalism of the gentlemen at IG over the pimple-laden insecurity of the HG servers. I have almost never had my coffees or lattes made properly there, except by the experienced staff who I know and love. (I used to work in the neighbourhood, and had about a latte/tea/coffee a day at one stage).

                                                                                                                                1. re: LemonLauren

                                                                                                                                  It's a weird vibe there. The female server if the sister-in-law of the man who creates the gelato. She alternates between abrupt and smiley. The man who makes the gelato is extremely intense about gelato.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: merlot143

                                                                                                                                    i'm beginning to be pretty intense about gelato, after trying the spicy chocolate at IG tonight

                                                                                                                                2. re: Fwagra

                                                                                                                                  Fwagra, if you prefer Hollywood (as I also do... especially from a texture/mouthfeel standpoint), then check out the new gelato at Dessert Trends Bistro. I just wrote it up here:


                                                                                                                              2. http://www.nowtoronto.com/issues/2007...

                                                                                                                                dutch dreams gets 5 (ha!) vs 3 for Il Gelatiere, it is Now so take it w/ a pinch of salt.

                                                                                                                                Meanwhile i was at Solferino today and Lawrence (proprietor) was bubbling w/ joy over the positive review. They had fig available as a new flavour, intensely sweet. I still think their passion fruit is the best in town, although Il Gelatiere gets the overall crown.

                                                                                                                                9 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: aser

                                                                                                                                  The Now review takes a churlish shot at Il Gelatiere because of the "hype" created by posts like this which likely got them the lower rating. Having said that, his ratings are (relatively) ridiculous. Example giving Sicilian Ice Cream 3 N's? This person's taste is as evolved as a 3 year-old's. Solferino gets 5? I must have gone on (2) very off days. The article should rate ice cream and gelato seperately for obvious reasons. FYI I've convinced a friend of mine to write an in-depth article for a Canadian magazine this fall which will go into some technical detail as to how local gelato gets made (powder vs paste/concentrates --- some imported from Italy --- vs in-store produced mixture). You (may) be surprised how most opt for the former (the equipment suppliers are a wealth of such information). I will post a link.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: alfaromeo

                                                                                                                                      Actually, Scilian placed 14th out of 15 whereas IG was fifth overall. And gelato and ice cream were also rated in separate charts.

                                                                                                                                      ice cream:


                                                                                                                                      1. re: Herb

                                                                                                                                        Thanks Herb. Perhaps I've misunderstood the review/rating system. The original link places IG at 5th overall with 3 N's ahead of those with 4 N's? How is this so....or is it a typo? Your links are great but they are only for 1 flavour of each genre --- but happily they're my 2 favourites. BTW, if in reading my posts I sound like some kind of gelato snob let me say we were up north this week at stopped at the Kawartha Dairy who make my favourite type of vanilla. (Some of their other flavours are a bit cloying). Lastly, I share embee's experience re: Kensington. When it first appeared it was "yippee" but after 5 or 6 attempts on our part we've given up on it. It is way over rated and fails to live-up to its potential.

                                                                                                                                    2. re: aser

                                                                                                                                      Both places win out in this article: they get city-wide attention on a hot summer day. Great for business. And lots of people don't know about IG since it's so new.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: aser

                                                                                                                                        I didn't know Dutch Dreams made their own ice cream. I was under the impression that they bought their ice cream from someplace like Maypole. It's a fun place, but "NNNN" ice cream ???

                                                                                                                                        I've always wanted to love Kensington ice cream. But it has been badly made, badly stored, and usually under flavoured, whenever I've tried it (however interesting the flavours sounded).

                                                                                                                                        Sicilian Ice Cream made crappy gelato in the seventies and they make crappy gelato today.

                                                                                                                                        La Paloma made great gelato at one time; they make crappy gelato today.

                                                                                                                                        I found Milano's gelato awful.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: embee

                                                                                                                                          I thought Sicilian only made ice cream these days.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Herb

                                                                                                                                            I have always assumed Sicilian's "ice cream" was intended to be gelato. When they first started out, the word "gelato" would have been sufficiently "ethnic" to scare off the non-Italian burghers of Toronto the olde. They have also always made Italian frozen treats such as tartufo. Since I can't provide an authoritative answer to your question, perhaps I should rephrase my comment to "Sicilian Ice Cream made crappy ice cream and/or gelato in the seventies and they make crappy ice cream and/or gelato today".

                                                                                                                                            1. re: embee

                                                                                                                                              Last summer they were calling it Gelato. I'll say this, it was a really, really hot day and 2 of their lemon cones tasted perfect.

                                                                                                                                      2. Has anyone checked out Wild Thing, on Harbord just east of Bathurst? It's a new, small cafe with homemade gelato. Incredible. Flavors like Mayan chocolate, halvah, pineapple basil, and real coconut are made daily. Their espresso is to die for. Serious!