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Gelato / Ice Cream Challenge - Toronto

Visited Boreal for gelato again today and it was truly amazing! The banana chocolate chip was a 10/10. It was overflowing with a real fresh great flavour of banana, awesome tasting chocolate and it was so creamy and not sugary. I just can't imagine a better gelato/ice cream experience.

Check it out and then please let me know where one could actually expect to get anything better!

: )

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  1. Had the dark chocolate and then also the lemon sour creme gelato at Soma at King/Bathurst - both were amazing!

    4 Replies
    1. re: thebutcher

      Yes Soma dark chocolate is at the top. Have to try the lemon sour cream tomorrow - sounds amazing! Thanks!

      1. re: thebutcher

        Thanks for the heads up on the lemon sour cream at SOMA. Had that for lunch today!! While the gelato itself was quite good, not spectacular, and the lemon flavour was awesome, it didn't deliver on the sour cream IMO. I would never think to go back for that flavour, expecially not compared to their dark chocolate.

        I tasted their new flavour - Blueberry Basil. From the one spoon I had, I thought it was amazing. I will have to go back and try a full scoop : P

        Any other AMAZING ice cream / gelato out there? One single flavour that really fulfills the promise of its name!!

        1. re: justsayn

          I've only tried a few Toronto gelato places (Hollywood, Ed's, Leonidas) but if I had to choose one flavour, it would be the pistachio from Il Gelatiere on Mount Pleasant. Incredible flavour and creaminess!

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

          1. re: ruminant

            Thanks! Pistachio is next. I used to love that place. Boy this is a tough mission I am on! : P

      2. I wasn't expecting to like it but I tried a bit of my friend's Gelato at Simply Gelato on Yorkville and I thought it was pretty good. The guy who owns/runs it had an Italian accent so I asked where he was from and he said Roma. Sounded like he used to own another Gelato shop in Toronto (Il Gelateria). Worth a try... But, prices are high (I guess standard for Yorkville where everything is expensive). One of my top gelato's in the city has been Soma though. I will try to get out to Boreal soon though.

        9 Replies
        1. re: ylsf

          Soma is very good.

          The new spot on the Danforth - Dolce Gelato is pretty good too! Love their passionfruit. Not entirely sure about the seeds, but it's good stuff all the same.

          1. re: millygirl

            Ed's passionfruit yogurt. OMG good!!! And no seeds. Better than Dolce's just for that alone.

            1. re: millygirl

              Ed's Mojito has spot on and even managed to capture the astringency and i don't know how they kept the grainy texture for their pear gelato. Personally I would walk that extra distance for Il Gelatere(?) instead of the convenience of Hollywood. Dolce Gelato is again convenient if you have a craving while on the danforth but the flavors are just ok. The other places I have to admit I won't be visiting as much. Even the Eaton Center has Froshberg Gelato now.

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

            2. re: millygirl

              Dolce on the Danforth has a great flavour right now (and I think it's a rotating flavour, never seen it before) - mon cheri, chocolate with amarene cherries.
              I also tried but did not love their Sicilian pistachio (it's meant to be their upscale/authentic pistachio, naturally coloured, they sometimes also have a bright green version). Not too sweet which was nice, but one of the nuts on top was actually rancid. Ugh.

            3. re: ylsf

              The person you were talking to is Alessandro Buccianti. He was one of the original partners of Il Gelatiere on Mt. Pleasant. After leaving there, he opened up Simply Gelato on Yonge (b/w Davisville and Eglinton) and the Falasca pizzeria across the street. His Yorkville location is the newest gem in his frozen dairy treat empire.

              He is the nicest, most genuine guy, and has a real passion to bring authentic Roma Italian to the city

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

              2057 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4S 2A2, CA

              1. re: Lazar

                Yeah, the staff there seems pleasant. I went there for a 2nd time to use my own Fabfind freebie voucher and I got the "spicy chocolate" and pine nut gelatos (Roughly translating from actual Italian names) and they were both really good. However, one thing I found weird was the guy behind the counter on my 2nd trip kept asking people if they wanted whip cream on their gelato. Ever single person (at least 10) said no and he would adjust his sales pitch and be like "you want whip cream on that right?". I have never seen whip cream offered with gelato either in Canada or in Italy so I am not sure if this is that particular worker's own "twist" on it or what. He did say the whip cream was freshly made and no added sugar though..

                1. re: ylsf

                  I've had whipped cream offered in both Florence and Rome, in different gelaterias..

                  1. re: Truffles

                    Ah, okay....I guess I stand corrected .... Regardless, no one was taking it so it seemed odd to me that he was so adamant to keep offering it.

                    1. re: ylsf

                      Yes it is an obvious up sell, and I can agree with you that it can get annoying. But, I think you should try it at least once....because dammit...it is delicious. I find that it is good with the non-fruit gelato (ie. chocolate, zabaliogne, zuppa englese, etc) but it is definitely something that should be tried at least once. The gelato itself can stand on its own.

            4. I'm definitely not a gelato conosseur but I had really good pistachio gelato at a new place called Ice N Cake at Shops at Don Mills (Don Mills and Lawrence). I don't know if it's worth driving for, but if you're in the area, it's worth a look.

              They also have baked desserts, crepes and waffles. Seems like a lively spot in the evenings (lively for that area anyway).

              6 Replies
              1. re: greenduck

                I will second your recommendation for Ice n Cake. It is really good; I had the mango sorbetto and the strawberry sorbet and bought tasted super fresh and smooth. I really love the little touches at Ice n Cake such as when they bring you a glass of ice water (always without asking) to your table.

                I don't know if anyone else has noticed but I find that this year, Soma's gelato and sorbet is soooo much better than last year. It has a much better texture and always seems fresher. My experience is only with the Distillery location as I haven't been to the King St. store yet. I love the Chocolate Sorbetto and the blueberry one.

                1. re: icey

                  +1 for the dark chocolate sorbetto & blueberry basil from the King St SOMA.

                  1. re: fickle

                    I havent tried their sorbetto (I don't think) - how does it compare to their dark chocolate gelato? Also, I was pretty sure I had a taster spoon of the blueberry basil gelato - is it also available in sorbetto?

                    1. re: justsayn

                      I'm pretty sure you can only get the blueberry basil as sorbetto. I don't do gelato (lactose intolerant) so I can't give you a personal comparison but the folks I've gone with that have tasted my sorbetto version didn't realize it was dairy free so I'm thinking that's a good sign?

                      1. re: fickle

                        Well if it was sorbetto I sampled, it sure fooled me! Either way - delicious! Could be tomorrow's lunch! Thanks.

                        1. re: justsayn

                          The blueberry basil IS sorbetto as you mentioned and it is really great!

                          Another amazing flavour at Boreal is the pistachio!!! It was truly like eating lightly salted, freshly roasted, pistachios - amazing. While the pistachio is very good at SOMA, for me, Boreal is even better.

                          Any other amazing flavours out there to try? : P

              2. You are well advised so far! If you want to add to the list, consider Xococava on Yonge at Delisle. Usually it is fairly well staffed, and they are very encouraging about letting you try whatever you want. Very interesting Bananas Foster,

                1. I'm not sure what it's called, but there's a new-ish gelato place just south of Yonge and Eglinton that I found to be surprisingly good. The last time I went they had a chestnut gelato that pretty much made me want to live there and eat it directly out of the freezer.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Michael N

                    If that place is South of Eglinton on Yonge, then you are thinking of .Gelato Simply Italian. They have been around for just over a year now (I think).

                    My mother loves the marron glacé (candied chestnut) gelato as well.

                  2. I haven't been to Boreal, but have tried Leonidas and Dolce on Danforth and they are nothing special. I really like the gelato at San Remo Bakery but don't get there often enough, I'd say it's better than the two I just mentioned.

                    1. Well, it looks like there will be another serious gelato contender. Postcity has an article about how Manic Coffee has been preparing to offer gelato. Sounds they will be as hardcore about it as their espresso:

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: num nums

                        Wow,l sounds good. I hope someone posts up here in September when the opening date becomes apparent :)

                      2. Tonight I was in the Lansdowne/St. Clair area for Dusk Dances (awesome BTW) and since I was going for a walk along St. Clair I decided that I would get a small gelato on my way back if I was still feeling like one. I hadn't been to this spot in probably about 2 years and I haven't been missing much. I guess it is okay if you don't compare it to great gelato like Simply, etc but even just walking in and seeing some of the really bright coloured sorbettos/gelatos that looked very unnatural to me should have made me want to leave. It seemed to be it was a gelato place trying to be baskin robins with the candy marsmallow flavours/etc. I had the chocolate cherry and the ammareto. Anyway, one nice thing I will say is that the staff we really friendly and when I asked for a glass of water they gave me actually cold water in a real glass that was nice :)

                        I figured I would report back in this recent "gelato" thread even though it wasn't a "must try" spot for me.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: ylsf

                          Do you remember the name of the place you went to on St Clair?

                          1. re: justsayn

                            ha... I don't know why I didn't say it in the post. La Paloma

                            Maybe it was just the flavours I picked.... I know the place does have a following....

                        2. I went to Boreal tonight. I also found it to be excellent. We had the chocolate and Pistachio each. I found it creamy and not overly sweet, and the chocolate was rich and delicious. The pistachio was also great, and my so favored the pistachio while I favored the chocolate. I sampled the salted caramel as well, but didn't think it was that good. I thought it needed more 'caramel' and less sugar.

                          Over all, it was comparable to the gelato we've had in Italy - and my SO, who is normally reserved about new places, was very enthusiastic about BG. I suspect we'll be paying regular visits. It's unpretentious, very clean, and well decorated inside. It was much more impressive than I thought it would be.

                          Lastly, other than being offered whip cream on my 'ice' in Germany regularly (as per the above discussion) I've never been offered whip cream on my gelato or ice cream on any other occasion.

                          1. I'll preface this by stating that I've had gelato in probably close to a dozen cities in Italy, my favourite being the honey at San Crispino in Rome (must be the closed steel vats, as the texture is insane). It is better than my previous fav in Siena, to which I was pointed by a local when I was asking about the place in all the guidebooks...

                            In the GTA at the moment my two favourites have to be Dolce (the Danforth location) and, surprisingly, Il Casa...on Kerr St. in Oakville.

                            Dolce is well known, and I've never been disappointed there. I love the dark chocolate with raspberry combo.

                            My first experience at Il Casa was actually a bad one as I tried two unknowns, the blood orange and watermelon, both of which didn't work. My SO however had the french polynesian vanilla which is unlike any other vanilla anything I've ever tried. It's become her go-to there. Recently I've had banana, dark chocolate, a phenomenal blueberry sorbetto, amazing fresh mint chip (no bright green here, just a beautiful soft, barely green colour without overpowering mint), pistachio, coconut, a couple other of the berry flavours and lemon. I believe they supply a place in the Bayview/Eglinton area as well.

                            I went to Il Gelatiere about two weeks ago and was thoroughly unimpressed by the gelato, although the lemon granita was as good as any I've had in Italy, but be warned it's very tart. I had the tartufo and I think a coffee-type flavour, but the mouth feel was poor.

                            Saw a place (La Paloma?) in Vaughan Mills and the 1990s neon colouring of some of the flavours was all I needed to know.

                            SOMA is awesome, Hollywood OK. I miss Solferino. Haven't tried that place in Parkdale all of you are discussing, but I have to get there based on what I'm reading. I also recall Novecento being quite good, but that was a couple summers ago so I don't know what's going on there atm.

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

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: wbwb77

                              Hi wbwb77, I have tried Dolce on Danforth about 5 tinmes and while it is OK, I am surprised that this would be one of the top places in Toronto. Have you had a chance to try the gelato at San Remo Bakery? i'd be interested to know who you like it.

                              1. re: foodyDudey

                                Red Bean Espresso (Bloor Street West/High Park) carries Gelato now.

                                Tried the Raspberry & Hazelnut.

                                1. re: 5andman

                                  Just been to a new Gelateria called Vintisette on Yonge, at Fairlawn. I've only tried a flew flavours, but IMHO, this place blows all Toronto competition out of the water, and that includes Il Gelatiere Artigianale, Ed's Scoop & Simply Gelato, just to name a few (overrated) contenders.

                                  1. re: ghostdogg

                                    My Italian barber (a.k.a. hair stylist) told me that, where he comes from in Italy, people think nothing about driving two hours to a favourite gelato joint, then driving two hours back - which is what his family did when he visited them recently. Well, that's not for me, given Toronto's accursed traffic. Which is why I'm delighted that the above-mentioned Ventesette (I won't swear to its correct spelling), is just a 10-minute drive from me - almost around the corner. I've only tried the lemon gelato ($3.50, tax included, for a single scoop), which is my test flavour for any new gelato joint, and it was damn good - just the right amount of tartness in a silky-smooth texture. The owner knows his stuff. If the other flavours are as good, I'll be working my way through his entire repertoire. Assorted coffees and Italian-style pastries as well, with everything made - he insists -on the premises.

                                2. re: foodyDudey

                                  Agree re: Dolce Gelato. I recently tried their Chocolate and Vanilla flavours and had to toss it out after a few licks. The chocolate flavour may look like chocolate - albeit on the light side - but it tastes anything like it. I have no idea what they use for chocolate and if they even use cream or milk. All I know is that it tasted bland and watery. Had I tried it in a blind test, I wouldn't have guessed in a million years it was chocolate ice cream. As for Vanilla, again bland taste, cheap artificial vanilla flavour and mediocre texture. Real gelato is supposed to be dense and creamy. This was more like American ice cream. Won't be going back, this place is a scam.

                                  1. re: ghostdogg

                                    If you can get your hands on some ice cream by Belly you will not be disappointed. I discovered this little taste of heaven this past weekend and loved it. Can't wait to get more. At the risk of sounding like a commercial, it's rich and creamy, all natural ingredients and no preservatives.

                                    The flavours are unique too. The one I tried was apple crumble and it was divine. I could taste the crumble, and bits of caramalized apple. Honestly the best ice cream I have ever tasted. I understand that it's available at Summerhill Market and Pusateri's. Just leave some for me.