Taste Test: Beat the heat with the best ice cream sandwiches in Toronto

It’s not enough to just serve ice cream in this town anymore. T.O.’s frozen treat purveyors are dishing out wild and wacky creations for everything from soft serve to frozen sandwiches. We invited chef Cory Vitiello of the Harbord Room, Flock and the TV series Chef In Your Ear to taste these over-the-top sammies and find out who has the cream of the crop.

Winner: Berry delicious 
Summer’s Ice Cream, 101 Yorkville Ave., $5.95
“The ice cream itself might be my favourite, but I’m very biased toward strawberry and rhubarb flavours. It’s made fresh with seasonal fruit, not prepackaged or processed, and the chocolate chip cookie works surprisingly well with it,” says Vitiello.

Doughnuts and cream
Uncle Betty’s Diner, 2590 Yonge St., $6 
“In individual pieces, everything is really good — the doughnut, the marshmallow ice cream, the Skor pieces — but together it’s just a bit heavy for me. It would be nice if there was one item to balance it,” he says.

Pop goes the ice cream
Bake Shoppe Pop-up, 157 Bloor St. W., $6
“The Pop-Tart is delicious, big points right away for making your own Pop-Tarts,” says Vitiello of the strawberry, raspberry and cream tart filled with Ed’s Real Scoop’s Tahitian vanilla ice cream. “It’s the right amount of ice cream and you can taste the quality.”

Mango macarons 
The Milkaron, contact by email, Richmond Hill, $15 for 5
“The macaron is nice, and the mango ice cream is refreshing and not too sweet. The macaron still had a nice crunch to it with softness in the middle. It’s easy to miss the mark when you’re making something so small, but those were pretty tasty,” says Vitiello.

Cinnamon bun fun 
Bang Bang, 93A Ossington Ave., $7.50
“The London fog ice cream is really tasty. You get that bergamot flavour right away. This is more of a cinnamon roll with ice cream as a garnish, and I would usually go ice cream first. It is very, very heavy, but it’s fun and clever, and the flavours go well,” he says.

Top-of-the-line toffee
Booyah, 16 vaughan rd., $4.65
“I like everything going on here. The homemade butterscotch toffee cookies and toasted marshmallow ice cream. The salted caramel ice cream is perfect: not too sweet, and the salt is good. The only criticism is the sprinkles, because everything else is homemade.” he says.

Ice cream dream team
Junked Food Co., 1256 Dundas St. W., $6.95 
“This is something you’d expect to find at the Ex. I feel guilty just looking at it, but that’s the point. Who doesn’t like all the stuff piled on top?” he says of the Cocoa Puffs, Oreos, brownies and cookie crumble. “It’s not my style of ice cream dessert, but it’s fun.”

A berry and basil bash 
Red Bench, 611 Yonge St., $6
“By looks, this is my favourite. The quality of the ice cream is amazing and there’s a lot of cookie,” says Vitiello of the shortbread with basil, cranberry and white chocolate. “The blueberry cream is really fresh. You get a nice rich cream taste like a soft serve.”

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