Ice cream shops in Ottawa are aplenty. But which are the best ones? Take a ride to these excellent artisan ice cream, gelato and custard shops just outside downtown Ottawa. You won’t regret it. If you need to rent a bike, we offer a variety of bicycles.
One of the greatest joys of biking is to stop for a nice scoop of ice cream or gelato on a hot summer day! We already provide an Ottawa food tour by bike, but what about the summer days when you just want a cold treat? You may ask yourself this summer: where do I find the best artisan ice cream shops in Ottawa? On those hazy lazy days of summer, especially after a nice bike ride or as a break during your bike ride, nothing beats a locally made, artisan ice cream. Or try custard for example. Or how about a vegan ice cream? Here are our faves:
Ottawa is known for its ice. In the Rideau Canal and on its rivers that is. But few people know that Ottawa has dozens of unique ice cream shops, run by entrepreneurial families. Many of those ice cream stores are in the downtown area, where business is brisk in the summer.
But as we are a bicycle tour & rental company taking you away from the core, we thought we’d share with you several of our favourite ice cream shops outside the centre, all within reasonable biking distance. Here are a few great places to stop while on a bike ride.
Now on 477 Bank Street, Moo Shu Ice Cream & Kitchen started in the Farmers Market at Landsdowne Park. Moo Shu makes all products from scratch and uses pure Ontario dairy, premium dark chocolate, and as-local-as-possible ingredients to craft small-batch ice cream and ice cream truffles from scratch. Moo Shu is a little gem in Centretown and is definitely worth a visit.
Be prepared to wait in line on the sidewalk on the busiest of days. Moo Shu is less than 2 km from Parliament Hill. You can take a detour during your bike ride at Rideau Canal: take the O‘Connor or Lyon bike lanes to get to Moo Shu.
The ice cream shop that probably started the home made gelato and ice cream trend in Ottawa is Stella Luna. Well known in Ottawa with locations in Old Ottawa South on Bank St and on Wellington in Hintonburg, Stella Luna won a prize for the best gelato in Canada. In 2016 Stella Luna walked away with a bronze medal at the Americas competition of the Gelato World Tour in Chicago for a gelato, rich in chocolate, Koval single-barrel organic bourbon, ganache swirl and maple-candied pecans. Ooo, that sounds so delish already.
Both Stella Luna’s cafes are under five km from Parliament Hill. A short detour during your bike ride from the Rideau Canal or Rideau River pathway will bring you to Stella Luna in no time.
Based in a corner store, the former Fairmont Confectionery, and originally operating from a food truck, the Merry Dairy on the corner of Gladstone and Fairmont is a local favourite. Owned by Marlene Haley, the store opened in 2017 at 102 Fairmont. Marlene specialises in frozen custard and iced cream. There is an outdoor patio to enjoy your dessert and to watch the world go by.
A bit out of the downtown core, but very easy to reach by bicycle just a few blocks off the Trillium pathway and a great place to mingle with the locals. The food truck is still around too, so you might bump into it somewhere in our expansive city. It is under five kilometres by bike, mostly on multi-use pathways. The Merry Dairy has vegan options too. If you’ve never tried vegan options, you really, really, really should. Take a detour from your bike ride at the Ottawa River Pathway or the Experimental Pathway to get to the Merry Dairy.
Located close to a beach on the Ottawa River and the Britannia Conservation area, this lovely place in Britannia is right on the multi-use pathways along the Ottawa River, west of the centre. It is a 12 km ride from Parliament Hill entirely along the majestic Ottawa River. Beachconers (a play on words from Beach combers and cone) makes its desserts in-house and changes flavours regularly. Under the same roof is a coffee shop in a very casual living room type setting. Being close to Britannia Beach, this is a great place to buy tons of the good stuff and eat it either on the patio or in the park across the street. Don’t forget to try their vegan ice cream. You wouldn’t know it doesn’t contain milk!
Drop in or reserve a bicycle at Escape Bicycle Tours & Rentals at 65 Sparks St. We have bikes in every size if you want to explore on your own. If you feel like indulging in a tour, we offer foodie tours too. If you crave a visit to all four of them, let us know and we’ll design a custom ice cream/gelato/custard tour. Don’t forget your camera for those Instagram pics. For sure, you won’t need dinner! And we’d be glad to help you taste!