It’s that part of the summer in Montreal–hot, hot days, where almost nothing seems to alleviate the heat, except maybe permanent AC, access to a pool or very cold desserts. Luckily, the Plateau has an excellent ice cream scene in the summer, with some absolutely iconic ice cream shops that are worth a visit, especially in this weather! Here are our top five favorite spots for the season:
Recently opened in the neighborhood, La Diperie specializes in whimsical soft-serve dipped ice cream. Easily recognizable thanks to its bright blue facade (incidentally, an excellent background for that inevitable Instagram photo of your spectacular ice cream cone), this ice cream shop gives you the chance to fully customize your ice cream with a vast choice of dips, toppings and cones, or allows you to pick from a list of their tried and true flavor combinations like ‘Le Tex-Mex’ (spicy dark chocolate and crushed tortilla chips), ‘Le Rocher’ (roasted hazelnuts and praline dip) or ‘Aqua’s Cheesecake’ (raspberry cheesecake, maple and pecans). You can even pick the size of your cone, including a mini one if you want to just taste a few flavors without committing.
Where: 68 Ave des Pins Est (cash only).
When: Open Sun-Wed from 12 to 10 pm, Thu-Sat from 12 to 11pm.
If you go a bit further north up into the Mile End and take a stroll on Fairmount, you are sure to stumble upon Kem Coba, a bright, colorful ice cream shop which can be spotted from a mile away by the incredibly long line that always circles the block on sunny days, full of people waiting for one of Montreal’s most delicious treats. Opened just a few years ago by entrepreneurial couple Diem Ngoc Phan and Vincent Beck, it was an instant success and now ranks among the city’s top ice cream joints. The flavors change every two weeks, and constantly break the traditional mold. Though you’ll see the classic chocolate, vanilla, and raspberry, you will also find more unusual, eastern -inspired flavors like soursop (a tropical fruit), pandanus leaf, hibiscus and many more. They also make their own soft-serve ice cream in equally creative flavors. Definitely a great place to visit on a hot day if you’re feeling adventurous.
Where: 60 Avenue Fairmount Ouest (cash only).
When: Open Tue-Sun from 12 to 9 pm, closed Mondays.
A Plateau mainstay that’s been around for over 20 years, this tiny ice cream shop offers some of the lowest prices in town for amazing quality. Their flavors are a bit more conservative, though they do have a few standouts like sesame, chai tea and kulfi, as well as a range of sorbets and frozen yogurts. Some of their most popular flavors are the classic chocolate ice cream (‘Chocolat 6x’) and their ‘Moka Almond Fudge’. Keep an eye out for it next time you’re walking down Saint-Laurent Boulevard–it’s open til midnight and will satisfy any late night craving.
Where: 3880 Boul St-Laurent (cash only).
When: 12 am to 12 pm, 7 days a week.
Crémerie Meu Meu
Crémerie Meu Meu is know for its dairy-free tofu-based ice cream, great for anyone with dietary restrictions, whether lactose intolerant or vegan. Much like Ripples, this is a little hole in the wall that attracts swarms of people in the summer. Their most popular flavor by far is ‘Frozen Custard’, which is apparently out of this world, and they have a great selection of other interesting flavors like cardamom, ginger, balsamic vinegar, salted chocolate, as well as sorbets, frozen yogurt and soy and milk shakes. If you’re in the area, go take a peek inside and you’ll most certainly be temped to grab a few scoops!
Where: 4458 Rue Saint-Denis (debit and cash).
When: 12 pm to 12 am, 7 days a week.
BlueBoy Frozen Yogurt
If it’s froyo you crave, look no further than BlueBoy, a cute, retro frozen yogurt shop right on Mont-Royal avenue, where the owners pride themselves on serving 100% homemade products. Just fill your cup with your flavors of choice from the self-serve machines and then garnish them with one or more of the many toppings offered, from sprinkles to fruits, cookies, nuts and sauces. In keeping with the retro style, BlueBoy also sells floats, waffles and more. Don’t miss it if you happen to be nearby, or make it an excursion on a really hot day when all you want to do is customize your own mountain of frozen goodness and devour it amid a friendly, 1950s decor.
Where: 150 Avenue du Mont-Royal Est
When: Open Sun-Thu from 12 pm to 11:30 pm and Fri-Sat from 12 pm to 12:30 am.