The warm weather is here and with that comes a need for walks by the breezy waterfront, a wish that the air conditioning would pump out just a little bit harder, and those cravings for loads of ice cream. We rounded up some of the best ice cream in the city so that you’re prepared to map out a scoop here and a dollop there.
A favourite ice cream stand among the locals is always Henry Brown’s, located in the Hamilton Farmer’s Market. Henry Brown’s has moved from the bottom floor to the top, and undergone a couple of changes, but the fact remains that the ice cream is absolutely divine. Ask any Hamiltonian.
When you find out that the folks from the delicious Italian restaurant, Romano’s Ristorante, are behind Amo Gelato… you know you’re in for something amazing. Amo delivers up inspired gelato options like Jos Louis, Coconut Charcoal and Strawberry Marshmallow. Order up one of their grilled gelato sandwiches; a brioche bun filled with gelato of your choice (and other toppings like peanut butter or jam, if you prefer) and panini-pressed to perfection. The outside is crisp and warm and the inside ice cream stays at exactly the right temperature. Once in a while they’ve also been known to do Gelato Stuffed Donuts!
As the name suggests, Panini & Ice Cream is just that, though not together as you’ll find them at the previously mentioned shop. You’ve probably seen them on social media… how could you miss their monster half-and-halves? Enjoy a thick milkshake, topped with your choice of ice cream and toppings. This place is made for indulging.
Can’t decide on one ice cream flavour? Sprinkles on Top has you covered – with their new ice cream flights. Choose four flavours and enjoy them all together, mini-sized. Is pastry and ice cream pairing more your thing? They also offer freshly made waffles – including an illusive rainbow waffle. Unicorn waffle, anyone?
For something a little bit different, Hazel Tea and Dessert House is sure to scratch that itch with their decadent crispy Buttermilk Waffles topped with Ice Cream and fun toppings. If you’re feeling very adventurous, try their ‘Very Matcha’ with Matcha ice cream, cheesecake bits, and red bean paste.
For those late night sweets cravings, there’s always A&J Sugar Bowl. The options are plentiful, ranging from waffles with ice cream, parfaits and mango ice cream desserts. You can even enjoy a bubble tea alongside your chilly treat.
For just as delicious vegan options, locally made Willard’s Ice Cream is ideal. It may be a little hard to come by (try Green Smoothie Bar, Candi Werx and Democracy), but the flavours such as Watermelon Lavender or Fruit Loops make it so worth the trek.
We understand that sometimes you’re just on the lookout for that classic cone. If the traditional style is more up your alley, try Ancaster Ice Cream Parlour, Big Scoops or Steel City Ice Cream. You’ll have a large variety of options and even larger scoops, plus some friendly service.
At the Purple Pony in Ancaster, classic scooped hard ice cream is the specialty here. Sisters, Taren and Kirby sell only the best, sourced from a locally owned dairy farm.
Want to spend a day enjoying the culture around ice cream? In August you’ll find a traditional ice cream carnival at Westfield Heritage Village. Sample some hand-churned ice cream at this fun family event, while you stroll the grounds and play pioneer games.
Needless to say – that with all the ice cream options available in the city – we have a feeling that the next few months will be filled with indulgence!
8 Best Local Ice Cream Scoops
(in no particular order)
You could spend the whole summer scooping up delicious frosty treats. Here are just a few!
A&J Sugar bowl
Ice cream, of course, as well as bubble tea and coffee. Customers highly recommend the grilled pineapple with rum caramel sauce!
Amo Gelato Caffe
Customers can’t get enough of the trendy coconut charcoal ice cream. So much to choose from – and pie too! We wonder which gelato actor Ethan Hawke had when he visited recently…
Small batches of house-made goodness, with available flavours changing frequently – visit often to make sure you try them all! Made using high quality natural, organic ingredients found locally.
Panini & ice cream
Serving local Hewitt’s Ice Cream in a variety of flavours. Also known for deadly, delicious milkshakes and Panini’s too. You can even eat them in that order if you want to.
Sprinkles on top
Purveyors of classically Canadian ice cream, Kawartha Dairy, plus ice cream cakes and a wide selection of candy and fine chocolate. Bring your pet? Ask for the doggy cone.
Ancaster Ice Cream Parlour
A huge selection of flavours, though the Salty Dog, Coconut Caramel and Spicy Chocolate are a must try! Sugar free and dairy free options available.
Be prepared to do some heavy lifting. As the name implies – they dish out big scoops! Serving local Hewitt’s Dairy in more than 20 flavours.
Colourfully inviting inside and out, with more than 30 deliciously hued flavours of Hewitt’s Dairy Ice Cream. Frozen yogurt, sugar free ice cream, sherbets, and goat’s milk ice cream also available. Open seasonally, June to August.
by Heather Peter
Henry Brown’s, Hamilton
Amo Gelato, Hamilton
Panini & Ice Cream, Hamilton
Sprinkles on Top, Stoney Creek
Hazel Tea and Dessert House, Hamilton
A&J Sugar Bowl,Hamilton
Willard’s Ice Cream, Hamilton
Ancaster Ice Cream Parlour, Ancaster
Big Scoops, Hamilton
Purple Pony, Ancaster