During this particular trip up to Calgary, I was determined to finally get a taste of Village Ice Cream. With so much hype and fanfare surrounding this tiny little ice cream parlour, I felt like the last person in the world to try it. With over 1000 votes and an impressive 4.7 out of 5 rating on Zomato, the anticipation was intense as this momentous occasion drew closer.
After our late dinner, we took the C-train all the way to City Hall and walked the rest of the way over. You have to get some cardio in before dessert to make it somewhat guilt-free...
The joint is open 7 days a week, from 11am to 11pm. Late night ice cream runs anyone? Calgary, I am soooo unbelievably jealous. I have to say though, you probably wouldn't come across Village Ice Cream by accident. It's a little off the beaten path, located right at the end of a dead-end road, tucked into the parking lot/alleyway of a commercial building. You definitely have to come here with purpose. And judging by the consistent lineups out the door, ice cream is definitely the right kind of motivation.
What makes Village Ice Cream so special is that they make everything from scratch using local and seasonal ingredients, organic when possible. They have a daily lineup of 10 permanent flavours: cardamom, melted chocolate, Phil & Sebastian coffee, earl grey, guide's mint, maple pecan, salted caramel, strawberry, toasted coconut, and village vanilla bean. They also have a rotating selection of seasonal flavours, both dairy and non-dairy for those lactose intolerant (I feel for you guys). When we were there a couple weeks ago, the non-dairy flavours were mango with coconut milk, and pink lemonade sorbet. The other special flavours on hand were chocolate chip cookie dough and cereal milk crunch (which totally reminds me of cereal milk at the ever famous Momofuku Milk Bar -- shout-out to Christina Tosi, definitely one of my baking idols).
A single scoop costs $5.00, and a $1.00 extra for one of their handmade waffle cones. You can also get pints for $9.00, which is a much better value considering that you also get to bypass the line. At both prices, it may seem a little pricey for just ice cream, but you have to treat yourself sometimes. You deserve it ;)
For our ice cream, we got a single scoop of the cereal milk crunch (left) and maple pecan (right). I prefer to eat my ice cream in a cup, but I couldn't pass on trying one of their waffle cones, so I asked for a waffle cone hat on top and they obliged.
Thick and creamy, one scoop of their ice cream is basically a whole meal in itself. The waffle cone was also thick, crisp, and lovely. I thought their maple pecan flavour was a bit too subtle for my liking, but it was still unbelievably delicious. Guide's mint, salted caramel and Phil & Sebastian coffee are all calling my name next time.
There isn't much seating, except for a bench inside and a couple of benches outside their iconic sign, but seeing as though they were occupied, we were content with taking our ice cream on our stroll back to the C-train. Overall, a great little hidden gem (but not a well-kept secret) for artisanal, high-quality ice cream. My only criticism? It's 3 hours away from Edmonton.