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So, you're looking for that special carton of ice cream....

Gelato Fresco (IMO the finest mass-market ice cream/sorbet producer locally) currently is offering some of their 'limited edition' flavours at their Tycos Drive outlet.
Only open in normal office hours, Mon-Fri. Around $5-7 per 500ml.
Examples (all first come, first served )
Pink Grapefruit, Chestnut, Gianduia, Apple & Calvados, Mojito, Lemon Basil, Ginger, Blood Orange, etc.

Usually these are only supplied to restaurants/special events. Some are extremely limited - only 1 or 2 cartons (I finished the Caramel).
Go through the door to the right and ask inside.

Gelato Fresco
60 Tycos Dr, Toronto, ON M6B, CA

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  1. Mmmm, Devil's Chocolate. The only way to survive a diet.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Mila

      That's my favourite too! I often can't find it at my neighbourhood IGA though. I think I may have to make a trip to Tycos Drive to try some of the other rare flavours - blood orange, apple & calvados..mmmm...

      1. re: ms. clicquot

        Also had their 'low-fat chocolate' (IIRC made with milk not cream; also a richer chocolate than found in the Devil's). Considering it's 'low fat' it has amazing mouth feel - I mentioned this before on one of the summer/fall ice cream threads - but basically the response was "What's the point of low-fat chocolate ice-cream?". Try it and you'll see! IMO it even outshines the Devil's chocolate - certainly in texture and has a longer finish.

        1. re: estufarian

          I will definitely try it -especially after all the holiday feasting this month. Thanks for the recommendation!

          1. re: estufarian

            There's something tastier than Devil's Chocolate?!?! I'll have to investigate that personally. ;-) I find the richness of the DC fluctuates a little depending on how much they're cranking out. The winter supplies always seem better than the mid-july buckets.

      2. Ooh, thanks for the heads up estufarian! Have you tried the grapefruit? If so, does it have that lovely bitter bite that the best grapefruit gelatos do?

        4 Replies
        1. re: TorontoJo

          Because Gelato Fresco products are made to be stored in commercial supermarket/restaurant freezers (hich typically aren't 'deep-freeze' they are 'harder' than "true" gelatos where the temperature can be controlled in a storefront. So the texture tends to be firmer (or in the case of sorbets, icier).
          HOWEVER, from experience, I know that Gelato Fresco only uses the finest ingredients (once talked to their guy who makes the espresso - he spent a day and a half making each small cup of espresso in a 'real' machine in order to put the product into their espresso ice cream - the machine is in the outlet. That's the effort they go to.)
          So, yes, it does have the bite (or touch of peel) - but the texture is firmer. I've had the pink grapefruit several times - as the season advances the colour becomes darker and tastes sweeter, but didn't buy that one, so not sure if it's last of this years or first of next. And that reminds me - also saw the Sicilian lemon there (normally a Pusateri exclusive), although I find it sweeter than their regular lemon.
          Also saw pomegranate.

          1. re: estufarian

            I used to be able to get the blood orange at loblaws but haven't seen it there in some time - it truly is wonderful, a really nice palate cleanser

            1. re: shana

              Thanks for the great tip estufarian. We just got home after our trek there. Got some Blood Orange, Amaretto, Pink Grapefruit and couldn't resist the Apples and Calvados. I wanted to snag some pear vodka but my husband thought I was going crazy and reeled me in - as usual. We're doing a NYE party and I think the blood orange will make a lovely palate cleanser in between our seafood starter and the mains. Thanks again for this wonderful tip. I had no idea they opened to the public. P.s. They had a good variety left.

              1. re: millygirl

                Just a slight caution. The alcohol ones will not be as stable as the others. If you have a deep-freeze, keep the Amaretto and Calvados ones in that. Occasionally they separate (syrup at bottom, ice at top). Feel the package and if the botom seems softer, stir everything back together to avoid the formation of ice crystals.
                I usually check their 'store' (more correctly back office) at least monthly, and many of these have surfaced as 'overruns' in the past. But usually only a few selections - occasionally completely empty. I think they're clearing out their main freezer, hence the large current selection.

        2. Did you ever do a report of your ice cream investigations? I think it was you who mentionned an upcoming report in a thread about Kensington Organic Ice Cream, but I never saw it...

          12 Replies
          1. re: julesrules

            No - went out-of-town and when I got back it had turned fairly cool, so figured I'd wait until next year.
            Summary would have been:
            Best scoop: (tie) Il Gelatiere (but horrible service) and Solferino (which pretty much agrees with the opinions generally on this Board) - but both ridiculously expensive (on a volume basis). Still for $5 who really cares?
            Best store bought: Gelato Fresco (hence this thread) followed by Haagen Dazs - both excellent quality all-round.
            Specific favourites but not in the same league generally:
            Gregs Toasted Marshmallow (but no other flavours recommended)
            Dessert Trends Bistro/Patisserie on Harbord: - Best flavours - but their gelato is not smooth - contains ice chunks, so low marks for texture but very high marks for pure flavour.
            Sadly, most others in Toronto were pretty bad. Too sweet, too gummy (artificial stabilizers) and too often illegally charging sales tax. Even worse, advertising cups of a stated size and serving smaller portions (I think Dolce on College transgressed on every one of these items)!

            1. re: estufarian

              Forgot to add the Links:

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

              Gelato Fresco
              60 Tycos Dr, Toronto, ON M6B, CA

              38 Wellington St E, Toronto, ON M5E1C7, CA

              Dessert Trends
              154 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S, CA

              1. re: estufarian

                ah, so no love for hollywood gelato. i guess IG really blew it out of the water this summer. "real" italian gelato vs. candy-laden sweet stuff. interestingly, i thought the service at IG was way way superior to Hollywood, but i guess i prefer gruff italian men to awkward lost-looking kids.

                  1. re: LemonLauren

                    I agree. In fact, they were always very friendly and nice to us at IG. I think he's just a little shy and it comes across as gruff.

                    1. re: LemonLauren

                      I guess I should expand on service issues at Il Gelatiere - maybe I should have posted the whole thing!
                      Ignored more than once by supposed servers talking to friends on cellphone.
                      Paid one server, then another scooped and then accused me of not paying.
                      Specifically asked about grapefruit flavour and told not available. Then confirmed it was served to another person later the same day (could at least have told me it would be there later).
                      Shouting between employees across the room.
                      No receipts.
                      'nuff said!

                      1. re: estufarian

                        Holy Cow!
                        I never did get there this past summer/fall and 'estufarian's post' makes me think more than twice about going there next year! The only place (new for me) that I tried was DOLCE and quite liked it...but will still frequent Hollywood given the choice....couldn't believe it was/is actually
                        easier to park on College Street.
                        I love Gelato Fresco particularly the 'alphonso mango'...but find it difficult to purchase from my local Loblaw's...they rarely have any GF in stock..my second favourite is Hagen Daz Strawberry...

                        1. re: pearlD

                          OK Here goes again:
                          Hollywood: Thought it was fine for kids (of all ages) - generally too sweet (for me - I like acidity) and too many flavours had 'stuff' in them. However, it was actually one of the cheapest (on a per 100ml basis) of all the places I tried. But their prices were 'impossible' $4.25 per 200ml serving, including tax! A $3.99 'base' translates to $4.23 with tax. $4.00 base gives us $4.56. There's no legal way to charge between $4.23 and $4.56!!!!! (they were not the only people to hit this weird pricing spot). They hit my 'OK' category.
                          Dolce actually came bottom - behind Baskin-Robbins and Dominion! First they were the most expensive ($4.75 - even more than Il Gelatiere). Next, their prices showed this was a 200ml serving - it was actually 130ml. Then I got chunks of ice in it (it had melted and been refrozen) and lastly, as you lifted the gelato, it formed peaks (like a meringue) showing the use of a gum (or stabilizer) - not just pure ingredients. Really nasty stuff (for me).

                          1. re: estufarian

                            Actually I don't normally care about the cost, not like I am eating it every day...that being said, I almost fell on the floor at Dutch Dreams after paying $12.00 for two cones! I enjoyed the 'banana' gelato at Dolce...wasn't too sweet or grainy/icy..that's the flavour I normally judge 'gelato' by and as I said previously, I quite liked it!
                            p.s. I also like Yogen Fruz with double the portion bananas in it!....
                            Chacon son gout eh??

                          2. re: pearlD

                            i hope you won't give up on them just for one story...i think the stuff is worth tasting, service aside. sometimes i think we make too much fuss over service anyway - or rather, my SO/friends/Family members do, and make me feel like i'm crazy for wanting someone to kindly and efficiently scoop my ice cream. service counts, yes, but the product is what really matters.

                            1. re: LemonLauren

                              I've been to IG many times. At first the abrupt service really ticked me off, but I don't take it personally anymore. They're a family-run operation. The man is the owner who makes the gelatos = gelato master. Woman at counter is his sister-in-law. They can be cold or friendly, depending on their mood. It's an artisan's place...we are tasting the products of their labour and expertise. There ain't no Wal-Mart greeter here.
                              Solferino is cozier and friendlier. It's the place I go to when I want to chill out, but IG is more innovative with its flavours.

                    2. Can these flavours (or other Gelato Fresco ones) be found anywhere other than the outlet? My local Shoppers (Danforth / Coxwell) used to carry Gelato Fresco, but sadly they have stopped.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: thought_for_food

                        Quite honestly the service is something you shouldn't take personally over there. The guys there have a very dry sense of humour and won't be overally hospitable. However, I have been there when their doors are locked and they have let me in and served me. The guy at the counter wasn't overly pleased but made light of it and let us get our gelato. I think the gelato is the best in the city bar none, shame it closes so early in the winter!

                        1. re: callitasicit

                          I agree. I found him gruff at first but then made a point of talking to him and he has been very nice to us ever since. Whenever we go, and if it's not too busy, he makes a point of going to the back to bring us a sample of his latest creation.

                          1. re: millygirl

                            Every artist wants to be appreciated!

                      2. Best ice cream in cartons may be Double Rainbow. It's imported from the US, but usually costs less than Haagen Dazs. It appears and disappears from stores randomly. I've found it during the last year at Meat on the Beach, Sun Valley, and even a Shoppers, though none of them has it now. Their soy flavours are uncannily good also.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: embee

                          Had that from Summerhill market. Didn't record any notes at the time though, so can't have stuck out in my mind either way.

                        2. I agree with the general praise for Gelato Fresco - but they make one real dud to which I fell prey yesterday when it was in the freezer at Sobey's - Pink Marshmallow. Bought it as I expected it might rival Greg's Burnt Marshmallow wth some sort of a "pink" twist. Instead I found a creamy concoction devoid of any flavour or texture or - anything, really - except overwhelming sweetness, no discernable marshmallow or "pinkness" flavours...just caloric mush. Others tried this ? If not, don't !

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Bigtigger

                            Agreed - it's one of their 'clunkers'!
                            But then, who does rival Greg's version?

                            1. re: Bigtigger

                              That pink marshmallow stuff is thoroughly disgusting. I tried it very long ago and am surprised to learn that they are still selling it. People must be buying. I can't imagine why!

                              Nobody, whatever their research budget, has been able to duplicate Greg's version. I don't think it could be all that hard. I found an ice cream recipe that used coconut cream and, on a whim, used it to make "roasted marshmallow". I'll post it if I can find it again, but I can't at the moment. It worked pretty well. I cooked the marshmallows until they started to colour and substituted this for the coconut cream. Greg's was better, but a series of test batches could produce a successful result.

                            2. Dropped by to restock.
                              They are having an "Unadvertised" Sale on all the 'special flavours' (cleaning out the freezer). $4 per 500ml carton (cash only). Many 'tropical flavours' (couple of different mango, passion fruit, lychee, pomegranate, papaya) as well as more conventional (but special order) items. Seem to be more sorbets in general, although some yoghurt items. Short on vanilla (I took the last Indian Vanilla) but a couple of chocolate (Lindt, and Low-Fat; plus Gianduia - chocolate hazelnut).

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: estufarian

                                Are the Gelato Fresco's 'special flavours' available year-round(with different variety of 'special flavours') at their Tycos Drive outlet(I'm going to Toronto the second week of August)? Is Gelato Fresco Alphonso mango flavour easy to find around town, if I can't make it to their Tycos outlet? I haven't seen Gelato Fresco ice cream available in Montreal in over 10+ years.

                                1. re: BLM

                                  They have a 'standard' selection available at most grocery stores. I think that includes the Alphonso Mango.
                                  At the Tycos Drive location they typically have overruns. So you can't guarantee anything specific is available. Regular flavours are $5 while. surprisingly, the 'special' flavours are only $3 (currently). For example, this week I picked up Sour Cream Lemon Zest (the last carton) for $3 (and IMO one of their best products). Also note that this outlet is only open Mon-Fri during office hours.
                                  And for those who haven't tried their Toscano Black (which is $14 wholesale per 500ml carton and usually only available by special order) there were 2 cartons there (at $14, not $3).

                                  1. re: estufarian

                                    So they would be using Alphonso mangoes from India, to make their Alphonso flavour?

                                    1. re: BLM

                                      I believe the 'mass market' brands use a puree base. Not sure where that originates.

                              2. Anyone ever had Metropolitan gelato? They are my favourite.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Machiavelli

                                  Mine too (esp. the chocolate) but I like GF's ices.

                                2. So most Toronto restaurants if they do offer upscale gourmet ice cream, would use Gelato Fresco ice cream? And Gelato Fresco, can customize flavours to the restaurants they supply? Are Gelato Fresco products ice cream or gelato? I know they also make sorbet.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: BLM

                                    They make all the varieties. Depends on the flavour which style you get.
                                    For example, in Chocolate, their 'Toscano Black' is a gelato, their 'Lindt Chocolate' is an ice-cream, and they also do a chocolate sorbet. The issue with gelato is often temperature and storage - can't typically be shipped to stores that don't have 'deep' freezers.
                                    But I'm pretty sure they have the top Italian gelato machines as part of their production (it's rumoured that Xococava bought one of their older machines to make their in-house gelatos/ice creams).

                                    And I don't know which restaurants serve the Gelato Fresco product - I suspect most as I rarely see other flavours. And I've had a few (3 I think) orders made specially for me by Gelato Fresco - but minimum 4.5 litre pail. All were for 'special' functions where they made something that I asked for (most recently a "Port" ice-cream). Ironically, there was a slight overrun on that as I know someone who bought a carton at the factory outlet!

                                    1. re: estufarian

                                      I'm curious about your "deep freezer" comment. One problem I've found with gelato in Toronto is that it is often served much too cold. Indeed some gelatos, such as the Sicilian" style, are supposed to be served more-or-less semifreddo.

                                      I can't imagine that some of the generally available GF foodservice flavours would not be successful at retail. Other than custom made stuff and flavours containing alcohol, there's no logical reason not to sell them in stores. Sure some might be more expensive to produce, but Sobey's was selling B&J for $7.50 the other day. My favourite GF flavours have long been the oddball Devil's Chocolate and 0% BF Chocolate (and I really lean toward decadent super premium ice creams). I just can't believe that pink marshmallow sells, but I suspect most of us don't have a mainstream sense of taste.

                                      1. re: embee

                                        I guess I oversimplified. The issue is 'storage' so any 'mass market' producers have to consider the shelf life "at the temperature of most retail refrigerator units". Temperature is possibly the most significant of these, but also of great importance is the 'preservative' issue. And, of course, freezing does affect 'preservation'.
                                        I'm not one for dictionary definitions - what 'communicates' the meaning is far more important, so I'll avoid the easy response that gelato means 'frozen (or freeze)" in Italian (I guess I haven't avoided it - but won't use it as a debating point). In the mouth, gelato 'feels' colder than an ice-cream - the creaminess gives a warmer sensation. And a sorbet is certainly 'icier' - so I guess, for me, a gelato falls anywhere between these 'technically'. But I certainly don't want a sort of slushie from my gelato - and even worse, a re-frozen slushie containing ice-crystals is definitely not a desired characteristic (are you listening Kensington Organic?). Hence the original comment regarding a deeper freezer - to prevent this. The other way of preventing this is by adding some kind of gum to bind the ingredients (preventing the thawing-freezing cycle) - certainly an option - but for me that destroys the mouthfeel - certainly a personal preference but leads to my particular rejection of the product at Dolce on College (which does indeed have its fans) which seems totally gummed up to me.
                                        As to temperature of serving - if it's served too cold it can usually be warmed up (by waiting). Tough to generate the reverse solution. So I'll take the too cold serving by preference.
                                        On Gelato Fresco their Devil's Chocolate and 0%BF are technically not gelatos (as they are too low in butterfat). The quality (IMO) comes from the high-quality machine used to make them - the mouth-feel is astounding for both considering the lack of butter-fat. Some of the texture comes from using egg (yolks?) but most (I suspect) comes from the superb technology, meaning no necessity to use additives.
                                        While we may write (fairly) knowledgably the consumer marketing whizzes will, I'm sure, come from the side of what actually sells. the number of facings at retail is limited, so it's unlikely that Gelato Fresco will get facings for each of Chocolate, Devil's Chocolate and 0% BF chocolate (let alone Toscano Black at triple the price). Hence the disappearance of GF Tahitian Vanilla (for example). And the same occurs with Haagen-Dazs (whatever happened to Chocolate Chocolate Chip? - only the vanilla chocolate chip survives). And consistency is potentially an issue with small-batch production. The Gelato Fresco Blood Orange (a personal favourite) changes colour over the season (starts deep red and gets more pinky/orange later in the season) and also becomes sweeter and less acidic. Certainly a marketing challenge at retail. That may also explain why the recent Il Gelatiere pear was so disappointing (for me) - just not freshly in season. That's fine for artisinal producers but not for the mass-market.