As temperatures rise, it is inevitable that we seek out those sweet cooling treats. Calgarians are in luck, as over the last few years, many shops catering to those who live for the sweet side of life have provided an ever increasing quality and quantity of choices.
Put on your shorts, grab your summer date and enjoy the summer heat with a cold treat. It’s a great excuse to get out and get a little extra vitamin D as well as a smile on your face.
Here’s a sample of this summer’s coolest places:
Just off 17th Avenue S.W. is Tutti Frutti (858 16 Ave. S.W.), the newest frozen yogurt haven catering to those with a sweet tooth. Only a few blocks from some of Calgary’s top coffee shops and restaurants, it is perfect for a weekend afternoon stop-over or a post-dinner date dessert. The add-your-own toppings bar includes everything you could want — from fresh fruit, to blue whale gummies, mochi (a Japanese pounded rice candy), and even cookie batter.
Crepes and Cravings
Tucked away further down 17th Avenue S.W., Crepes and Cravings (#101, 1013 17 Ave. S.W.) makes all 40 flavours of ice cream on the premises, minimizing the delay between the kitchen and your taste buds. For those who desperately need their sugar fix, try the waffle cone crepe: a crepe with banana, strawberries, chocolate, caramel and a scoop of gelato in a waffle cone.
Village Ice Cream
When Village Ice Cream (431 10 Ave. S.E.) arrived in Victoria Park, it was an instant favourite with Calgarians. Gaining fame for its salted caramel flavour, Village draws a consistent crowd for its staple favourites and constantly changing seasonal flavours, all of which are made locally. If you see its bicycle ice cream cart at city events, be sure to flag it down and treat yourself to a cool scoop.
Tracking down Fiasco Gelato may be a little more involved than some of the other places on this list. Although they are served in many restaurants around town, the most effective way get your fix is to follow Fiasco’s Twitter account, @fiascogelato, and track down the gelato truck in a neighbourhood near you. Carefully creating small batches and combining just the right ratio of milk fat to fresh ingredients produces an enjoyable delight.
Update: Fiasco Gelato is now available at a storefront location in Renfrew next to Diner Deluxe, at 802 Edmonton Trail N.E., as well as at Bridgeland Market, 1104 1 Ave. N.E.
Located west of Kensington’s busy retail area, Amato Gelato (2104 Kensington Rd. N.W.) has been around for years. Families congregate at this location on the weekends to sample the more than two dozen flavours of gelato and sorbet in the display cooler. (Amato also sells cakes, pies and other specialized desserts if you have had just a little too much gelato and ice cream lately.)
Gallivanting between stores, I was asked by various people, “Have you been to Menchie’s?” A suburban favourite with locations in the northwest (4820 Northland Dr. N.W.), Airdrie and Okotoks, this self-serve frozen yogurt bar consistently draws urbanites from the downtown core. The unique topping selection ranges from fresh fruit, to pretzels, to flavour-filled tapioca balls, and you pay by weight.
Sunnyside Natural Market
If you want to enjoy artisanal ice cream in the comfort of your own backyard, you can pick up a tub of Ice Cream Anarchy from Sunnyside Natural Market (#10, 338 10 St. N.W.). Susan Bernstein is the artist behind this completely local product, hand creating a limited number of pints with unique flavour combinations. (The Guinness and caramel swirl for St. Patrick’s Day sticks out in my mind as one of the most innovative.)