Le Glacier Bilboquet’s ice cream is sold all over the city but it’s worth making a pilgrimage to its flagship store in the leafy, francophone Outremont neighbourhood.
In Outremont, Head to Bilboquet
In the summer, line-ups stretch down the block but Bilboquet’s ice cream is worth the wait. The store has roughly 50 flavours including such delicacies as maple taffy. With just a few tables inside and a few others on the front patio, you’ll probably be taking yours to go.
On the Plateau, Try Le Patio
Le Patio, located in the artsy Plateau district, tells it like it is: the ice cream store has a large patio out front that is virtually always crammed full of adults, kids and pets. Patrons can also enjoy their frozen treats on the characteristic Plateau-style outdoor staircases of neighbouring apartment buildings.
Le Patio’s good-natured owner serves up regular ice cream (chocolate lovers will not want to miss “6x”, the most chocolatey ice cream you will ever taste), fruit sorbet, frozen yogurt, and “tofu ice cream”, which is to say, ice cream made with soy milk instead of cream. There’s also soft-serve ice cream, sundaes and shakes.
At the Atwater Market, Seek Out Havre aux Glaces
The gelato makers Havre aux Glaces are best known for their store at the Jean-Talon market, but bikers along the Lachine Canal can also stop for a cup of gelato at their quaint stand near the Atwater Market.
There are just a dozen or so flavours (if you’re lucky, their fantastic mango gelato will be in stock), which makes selection easy. Once you’ve chosen, wander over to the pedestrian bridge over the canal and enjoy your treat as you watch the kayakers paddle below.
In NDG, Look for Ben & Jerry’s
With its witty names (“half baked,” “Cherry Garcia”) and fabulous flavour combinations, it’s easy to love Ben & Jerry’s. Their store on bustling Monkland Avenue in NDG neighbourhood (which stands for Notre-Dame-de-Grace but no one calls it that) is a family favourite.
If you’re visiting in the spring, find out the date of their annual free cone day (in 2010 it was March 23rd) and treat yourself to a tasty cone on the house.