Calgary’s got so many great places to eat and things to see, and I think they deserve some love. In this series, I’m going to talk about the places that I think make Calgary such a great place to be.
When people ask me where my favourite place is for brunch, lunch or dinner, I’m hard pressed to find a definitive answer. When it comes to my favourite ice cream shop, though, I don’t hesitate. Village Ice Cream has been wowing me with their creamy, dreamy creations since they opened in 2012, and I’m a certified addict. I’ve eaten my fair share of ice cream in Calgary and beyond, and in my heart there’s nothing that comes close to this little establishment.
Dreamed up by Billy Friley while eating ice cream on his grandmother’s porch, Village Ice Cream has become a Calgary favourite, despite opening in a location that most would deem unfortunate. Their original Victoria Park locale is tucked into a building on Tenth Avenue SE that gets very little foot traffic, so the fact that you can often find a lineup out the door shows that I’m not the only one urging all of my friends to check it out. Not only have they managed to keep their head above water, they’ve had enough success to warrant opening another location, this one in Britannia Plaza. While the Victoria Park store has just enough space for the ice cream scooping station and a fridge full of pints and sandwiches, the Britannia spot has some indoor seating for those thirty below zero days when your ice cream craving won’t quit.
An ice cream shop has to be serving some pretty extraordinary stuff to entice me to make a special trip instead of reaching in to the freezer at my local grocery store, and Village delivers in a big way. Their scoops are the creamiest I’ve tasted by a long shot, with no loathsome ice crystals to be found. The ice cream beyond decadent, which is just how an indulgent treat should be. They’ve got ten consistent flavours, ranging from the standard Vanilla Bean, Chocolate, and Strawberry, to the exotic Cardamom, the subtle Earl Grey Tea, and the salty sweet favourite Salted Caramel. My standby is Toasted Coconut – its not-too-sweet tropical-tinged flavour and chewy coconut chunks have me hard pressed to stray away. Some of my most beloved choices have come from Village’s rotating slate of seasonal flavours, including the sweet and tart Meyer Lemon, the bright Key Lime Coconut Milk, and my unexpected all time favourite, Spiced Banana. I know that might sound like a strange flavour – it certainly did to me at first – but one taste of the sweet banana mellowed out by warming spices like cinnamon and nutmeg will make you a believer.They constantly surprise me with their interesting concoctions, and the fact that they let their customers try as many samples as they want means that I never have to wonder what I might be missing out on.
If you’re not in the mood for a scoop or two on one of Village’s perfectly chewy homemade waffle cones, try one of their out-of-this-world ice cream sandwiches. The cookies are sinfully chocolaty, almost veering in to brownie territory, and make the ice cream inside even more delectable. These things put my old favourite Oreo ice cream sandwiches to shame.
I’ve always been an ice cream lover, but Village Ice Cream has brought my infatuation to a new level. Even on the coldest days of Calgary’s winter, you’ll find me venturing out for a split single on a waffle cone. No matter what the weather, it’s worth checking out one of their shops for a sweet treat that will have your tastebuds begging for more.
431 10 Avenue SE and 820 49 Avenue SW