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Best chocolate gelato - what's your opinion?

I was addicted to Solferino's Belgian chocolate gelato; now Solferino's closed for good.... It was very smooth with a deep chocolate flavour, not overly sweet... Tonight I tried Ed's chocolate gelato (don't remember the actual name of the flavour), and although it has a nice flavour (not as intense as Solferino's in my opinion), it has a grainy texture, not from ice, but maybe from cocoa powder??? Not sure, but to me it just doesn't measure up... Sad to say.

Weigh in, Chowhounds, to find the best chocolate gelato before summer's here.

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  1. Have you gone to Il Gelaterie on Mt.Pleasant? It the best gelato in the city (IMO). I have tried Hollywood Gelato on Bayview, Dolce on College, La Paloma at their various locations, and they pale in comparison to Il Gelatiere.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Lazar

      make sure you specifically get the chocolate w/ chili at Il Gelatiere.

      1. re: aser

        I agree-I am convinced it has aphrodesiac properties!
        It's a very natural chili flavour and there is a wonderful depth of flavour to the chocolate

        SWS

      2. re: Lazar

        So, I tried to go to Il Gelatiere tonight. Did not know their hours, so called. Voice mail does not give any information, just says they aren't available.... It was closed. So, off to Hollywood. Tried the darkest non-chili version (will try the chili version another time), and Ed's definitely beats it in flavour, but not texture. The mouthfeel of the Hollywood version is better. Not sure which I prefer, overall...

        1. re: Full tummy

          Once Il Gelatierie goes to summer hours, they are usually open until 11:00...currently I think they close at 7?

          1. re: Lazar

            Thanks, Lazar. Made it there today. They close at 6 these days. Tried the chocolate, nocciola, and coccone (I think that's what they call the coconut). Well, I'm really only concerned about the chocolate, as that is what I crave most....

            It was quite good on all fronts; the flavour was significantly deeper and richer than Hollywood, and the texture was somewhat better than Hollywood (in my opinion), and much better than Ed's.

            Oh ya, and there was no huge lineup (as there was last night at Hollywood Gelato), which makes it even more attractive.

            Oh, plus it's just down the street from Culinarium and Flaky Tart (who can resist an excellent raisin-filled, gooey butter tart as a "chaser" to gelato???)

            1. re: Full tummy

              If you become a regular (and it is hard not to become one) you will find the owner Alessandro a really sweet guy...the added bonus to this is that if you happen to be there when he is trying out new flavours, he will sometimes give you a taste spoonful...

              I am ashamed to admit that I have not been there is some time as it is on the opposite end of the city from where I moved. I will definitely be going back once the later summer hours start.

              Can't wait to taste the Pomelo, Zuppa Inglese, Zabaglione, and Cioccolatto Peperoncino once again...mmmm-MMM!

              1. re: Lazar

                don't forget maria! cinnamon in gelato! who knew?

      3. Here's my top four. Soma, XocoCava, and Il Gelatiere Artigianale. The last one alternates between the cioccolato, cioccolato non latte, and the cioccolatto peperoncino.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Snarf

          I agree (except you only mention the top 3)- if you're buying by the scoop. But if you want a carton then the best VALUE is from Xococava or drop by the Gelato Fresco outlet (only Mon-Fri office hours) which has a variable selection. Their Toscano Black (around the same price as Il Gelatiere) is the absolute FINEST (IMO) chocolate in the city. The other choices are the cheapest 'quality' product you'll find.

          1. re: Snarf

            I love Il Gelatiere's cioccolato peperoncino & their fondente (non latte). Yesterday, they also offered chocolate orange.

            Tried Hollywood's Valrhona last week, when I found Il Gelatiere wasn't open (it was late on a weeknight, and summer hours weren't in effect). So sweet, and not nearly as intense as any of the chocolates I've tried at Il Gelatiere.

            Il Gelatiere is my hands down favourite place for chocolate gelato in the city, followed by Soma.

          2. Gelato Fresco's Devil's Chocolate.

            And you can get it in supermarkets and corner stores.

            1 Reply
            1. re: aveivy

              Gelato Fresco's Devil's Chocolate is richest in the off season. When they're pumping it out in the summer it seems the flavours weaken.

            2. Thanks for the tips, so far!!! I've got a lot to try now. Poor me..... hahaha.

              1. at Ed's, I would get the spicy/chipotle chocolate (I forget the name).

                as an aside, their pear-Parmesan was ridiculously good

                1 Reply
                1. re: atomeyes

                  I believe it's the hot chili chocolate gelato, or something very close to that. It's very rich though, and even a kiddie cup is too much for me. Fortunately, even in that small size they're willing to give me two flavors. I like the coconut gelato to cut the intensity, and the sweetness goes very well with the spice.

                  The balsamic strawberry is amazing as well. I was a bit scared when I first saw it, but the sample won me over. I've never seen parmesan pear, but I haven't been in since last fall.

                2. La Paloma.

                  St Clair and Lansdown.

                  1. La Paloma is stil the undisputed best

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: Finnegan

                      I dispute that.
                      Too sweet overall and too expensive! But good selection (possibly the best).

                      1. re: estufarian

                        is it just me or do they have an oiliness to their product as well? the mouthfeel was just so artificial for me.

                      2. re: Finnegan

                        La Paloma has fantastic gelato with such a vast selection. Some of the best gelato around!

                        1. re: Finnegan

                          No, it's disputed.

                          It's a distant third to Il Gelatiere and Hollywood, in my opinion.

                          1. re: Fwagra

                            Have we moved on from chocolate to a generality? Where would you folks put both in the ladder from the chocolate perspective.

                            1. re: Snarf

                              I was speaking generally: not only chocolate, but everything.

                              I recently visited La Paloma and tried their vanilla. Yes, that's right, vanilla; a straightforward test of a gelateria. It was ridiculous; tasted like some weird yellow ice cream with a dash of artificial lemon. At Hollywood, their vanilla is speckled with black bits of real vanilla bean on a pristine whitish background. That's how is oughta be, darnit. This is just an example of La Paloma's inferiority, though.

                              Hollywood's nut flavours are especially good: the hazelnut and pistachio make a wonderful combo, I think.

                              1. re: Fwagra

                                La Paloma had its time and place 5-10 years ago, when gelato was a novelty and not a norm.

                                had it a few times and had no clue why people love it.

                                meanwhile, other than its horrible name and staff "costumes", Hollywood Gelato does a very good job on a lot of gelato.

                                best choco, though? Ed's. i think. esp their spicy chocolate.

                          2. re: Finnegan

                            I love La Paloma, but we went yesterday and the chocolate was not good.
                            I would say La Paloma has the best Pistachio (the darker green one, not the florescent green one) and Lemon... but their chocolate is not the best in the city.

                            Sorry.
                            (and I'm a big fan of La Paloma)

                          3. Soma, in my opinion, has the best chocolate gelato. It is full of intense chocolate flavour and very creamy. The closest taste to Florentine gelato in Toronto.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: eribgood

                              Soma is good - but have you tried the Xococava chocolate or the Gelato Fresco Toscano Black - I rate both better than Soma.

                              1. re: estufarian

                                No. I will have to try them both...... and soon!

                                1. re: eribgood

                                  Me too. Next on my list...

                                  estufarian, where can you buy that Gelato Fresco flavour? I didn't even see any GF containers in the Redway Loblaws when I was there last night...

                                  1. re: Full tummy

                                    I asked last week - the Toscano Black is a 'special' order item only. However, they occasionally have it as an 'overrun' at their 'factory outlet'. I usually drop by a couple of times a month - I'll report back if I see it.
                                    last week they had 3 different chocolate versions - low-fat; Lindt dark; and 'rich' (as well as some retail flavours).

                              2. re: eribgood

                                But isn't Florentine generally too creamy?

                              3. Not the best but i was really surprised at Nestle's chocolate hazelnut gelato. At $7 for a 1L tub it's a true bargain for a mass market product. I think it's even on sale right now at sobey's for $5.

                                1. My DH and I went to La Casa del Gelato Divino in Oakville on Saturday night (they are located on Kerr St. I know it is out of the way for many people but my DH said that the dark chocolate gelato was absolutely delicious. He also tasted a flavour called "Croccangelo", which he said kinda tasted like butter toffee, and he said it was really tasty and the texture was good. I had some peach sorbet and pomegranate sorbet, and they were nice as well.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: icey

                                    I agree that this place on Kerr Street in Oakville has some really good Gelato! I don't live very far and I had a friend who has been living here in Canada for 6+ months and she was missing italian food so I brought her and she thought it was very authentic tasting. I enjoyed the chocolate one when I was there but haven't tried the "Croccangelo".. Sounds interesting!

                                    I don't like how Soma doesn't let you try two flavours with their small. Is that the norm for Toronto places?

                                    1. re: ylsf

                                      i usually get samples before an order goes in.... so i've had two samples before and then decided on a medium (2 flavours).

                                      perhaps the samples are starting to irk some... i had an experience at another place that seemed to suggest some are cutting back.