Summer lovin, ice cream eatin’. Here’s a list of 10 long-standing, delicious and super popular dairy bars in Southern Ontario that will keep you cool, all while supporting the little guy.
Avondale Dairy Bar – Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
When in Niagara-on-the-Lake, a trip to Avondale Dairy Bar is a must. Handmade, made fresh daily onsite, these guys have been producing some of the best ice cream since 1955! Smooth and creamy, a huge emphasis is placed on quality. Get in line and find out what the fuss is about.
Shaw’s Ice Cream – St. Thomas, Ontario
Delicious and old-fashioned, yet modern and fresh, Shaw’s Ice Cream has been satisfying ice cream palettes for over 70 years. There are 45 different flavours here, including seasonal favourites. The selection always makes your ‘what-to-get’ decision very difficult, especially when you consider that milk shakes, sundaes, and floats are also available.
Hewitt’s Dairy Bar – Hagersville, Ontario
Since 1962, Hewitt’s Dairy Bar has been welcoming young and old with flavours that keep everyone coming back. Hewitt’s is committed to supporting rural Ontario and local farmers. Pop by and taste freshness with every spoonful from any of the 60 flavours, including blueberry cheesecake, eggnog and Christmas pudding.
Bartley’s Dairy Bar – Woodstock, Ontario
Located in Woodstock, Bartley’s Dairy Bar is in the heart of Oxford County, the Dairy Capital of Canada. A stop here has been a no-brainer since 1971. Not only do these guys use 100% real ice cream, they also take advantage of local fruits, including Ontario peaches, strawberries and even maple syrup.
Twin’s Ice Cream Parlour – Port Rowan, Ontario
If the throngs of people sitting outside, worshipping their ice cream doesn’t tip you off, your nose will. Step inside Twin’s and you’ll get hit with the aroma of freshly made waffle cones and bowls, and over 40 flavours all under a cute, family-friendly throwback setting.
Dairee Delite – Brantford, Ontario
Dairee Delite has putting smiles on faces for over 60 years. A must-visit, this place has pretty much everything you could possibly want to satisfy your sweet tooth. From Yogurt Pies, Fruit Freezes and Flurries to Sundaes and Delitewiches, order up, savour and enjoy every cool bite.
Reid’s Dairy – Belleville, Ontario
When you’ve been family-owned and operated since 1910, you’ve got a seriously amazing reputation! The good people at Reid’s Dairy are scientists when it comes to ice cream making, and on top of that are adamant supporters of local farmers. Responsible, with a passion for excellence, Reid’s is 50,000 sq. feet of cool, delicious heaven.
Kawartha Dairy – Bobcaygeon, Ontario
With several locations throughout Southern Ontario, Kawartha Dairy is a fan favourite everywhere. The reason I picked the Bobcaygeon location is not only because this is home base for the growing company but Bobcaygeon itself is a super cute town and a beautiful place to visit for the day. This place has been around for more than 80 years and it remains 100% Canadian and family owned with a focus on supporting the local farmer.
Tom’s Dairy Freeze – Toronto, Ontario
Old school, it’s been around since 1969. Classic, it’s owned and operated by the same family for almost as long. Original, one step inside and you step back in time. Tom’s Dairy Freeze offers basic soft serve flavours but for the more ambitious, can choose from the secret menu. ‘The Cookie Monster’ consists of vanilla soft serve rolled in crushed Oreos and the ‘Rainbow Flavour Burst’ is a towering vanilla soft serve cone with eight flavour burts ribbons, making it both delicious and Instagrammable.
St. Clair Ice Cream Factory – Toronto, Ontario
I lived minutes away from this place growing up. That said, I was eating here constantly. Founded in 1932, it’s considered to be one of, if not the first place in Toronto to introduce the double dipped cone. With plenty of flavours to choose from, St. Clair is still family-owned biz, manufacturing, wholesaling and retailing ice cream, sherbet and kosher products.
Where will YOU go first?
Thanks for making it all the way to the end of the article. Hope you enjoyed it and are planning your next trip. I’ve been grateful to get the chance to work with dozens of travel brands and tourism boards worldwide. Spent 16 years in TV and for the past 12 years, I’ve been developing content for organizations like Lonely Planet, Tourism Toronto, Copenhagen Tourism and the Athens Authentic Marathon. Thank you and keep coming back for more travel inspiration.