Ice cream In the winter? Fish for dessert? Just another day in Toronto’s topsy-turvy Ice cream scene.
This city shows up for ice cream. And ice cream shows up for us: in case you haven’t noticed, there’s an ice cream arms race happening in Toronto. With new, wild trends constantly competing for our attention, you can always find an ice cream to fit your mood, whether you’re feeling charcoal-black soft-serve or a hole-in-the-wall hot spot where the lineup is its own social activity.
Not even the frosty weather can dampen Torontonians’ appetite for frozen treats. If anything, enduring the hum-drum days of winter only gives us another reason to seek out a treat that breaks out of the ordinary into the fantastical. So if you’re someone who will eat ice cream in the winter just to pretend that it’s summer, you’re probably ready for Toronto’s most whimsical ice cream trend yet. If the cabin fever is starting to get to you and your cravings have you acting a little fishy, try the ice cream shop that combines a fish with a unicorn in the same cone.
Straight Outta Japan
This top seller has a combination of matcha and hojicha ice cream, served on a taiyaki with red bean paste filling and topped with a mochi stick and a wafer stick.
Taiyaki NYC gives new meaning to the ice cream “float,” serving its signature slush in a treat-sized unicorn floaty! Pool party anyone?
If you’re here for the taiyaki even more than the ice cream, try this twist made with croissant pastry for an extra-flaky, buttery, decadent treat.
Welcome to Taiyaki NYC, which just opened its first location outside of the US at Bay and Dundas. Taiyaki is a traditional Japanese cake that’s shaped like a tai, or sea bream. The fish shape is a bit of a red herring: there’s nothing fishy about the taste, which is akin to a fluffy Belgian waffle—golden and crunchy on the outside, moist and fluffy on the inside, and usually filled with red bean paste or custard. At Taiyaki NYC, these fish have their mouths wide open to hold your ice cream for you, Alice In Wonderland-style.
The brand began in New York City’s China-town after the founders discovered taiyaki on a trip to Japan. “When we saw it in Japan we were like, ‘wow, this is amazing,’” recalls co-founder Jimmy Chen. “We wanted to do our own twist on it but bring back the Japanese culture and pair it with traditional American soft-serve, as well as Asian-inspired soft-serve flavours like matcha, black sesame and hojicha.” The combination of crispy crust, fluffy centre, gooey filling and melting soft-serve is out of this world.
This sweet treat has a look that’s out of this world too. With multicoloured swirls of soft-serve and bright sprinkles—you can even get your soft-serve topped with a fondant unicorn horn and ears—you’re going to want to snap a picture of your cone. And Taiyaki NYC knows how photogenic its treats are. The shop’s traditional ice cream parlour vibe is brightened up with some selfie-friendly splashes of neon colour and a silk rose wall that makes the perfect background for your photos. This parlour has really pulled out all the stops to let you live your ice cream fantasy, so the next time the weather is making you scream for ice cream, try this delicious fish!