If there is a single food that people think of as a summertime food, on vacation or not, it’s got to be ice cream. Maybe you like a classic flavour like vanilla, chocolate or strawberry> Others may prefer a gourmet flavour like Caramel Moochiato. Either way, it’s hard to beat eating an ice-cream cone on a hot summer day. Or, if you’re like my husband, it’s just hard to beat ice cream.
A number of years ago, when our girls were young (and my husband was a lot younger too), we were in PEI for a week’s vacation. A little competitive, he set himself a goal of eating 14 double cones in the week. I know what you’re thinking. “What kind of adult sets them self a goal of eating two double ice-cream cones a day for a week?” The answer is…someone who really, really likes ice cream and has no problem with his weight.
As it turned out, there were a few days where scheduling or weather didn’t allow it, and he “only” managed to eat 10 double cones. So, you know we’ve been to many places in PEI for ice-cream cones, sundaes, milkshakes (the real ones…. made with ice cream). And, there will be many more in the years to come. So….let’s start our talk about the best ice cream parlors in PEI with the world famous Cow’s.
Cow’s Ice Cream
Cow’s is the Island’s most famous ice cream brand for over 35 years. In total Cow’s now numbers a dozen parlours, with 11 in Canada and one in Beijing. In PEI, you’ll find seven locations across the island.
Cow’s is not only famous for their ice cream but also their t-shirts. These show witty graphic bovine-related themes and pop culture plays on words.
You can check out all of the great ice cream, apparel, award winning cheese and giftware here. We are lucky that there has been a Halifax location for decades now. Even when we weren’t on the island we could enjoy a Cow’s ice cream. And, our girls could get their picture taken on the giant cow there. That’s Olivia below. She’s 24 now!
Holman’s Ice Cream Parlour
I have wonderful memories of Cow’s ice cream. But the story of PEI and ice cream has more chapters to be read. So let’s carry on to another manufacturer and parlour that’s literally been around for generations. Holman’s Ice Cream Parlour is located in Summerside, the province’s second largest town. Here, the name Holman has been around Summerside since the mid 1800s. It boasts an 80 year-old soda fountain where you can enjoy a classic milk shake, or an Italian Cream Soda.
All of the ice cream, sauces and stir-in treats are made on location at Holman’s. Check out their menu. I guarantee you won’t find a Spaghetti Sundae anywhere else on the island. That’s dessert by way, not a dinner option. Made with spaghetti-shaped vanilla ice cream, it’s topped with strawberry sauce, shaved white chocolate and an a Ferrero Rocher “meatball”. This is Instagram worthy by anyone’s definition!
What’s the Scoop?
On the eastern end of the island in Brudenell can be found a little gem of an ice cream parlour called “What’s the Scoop?”. It’s a relative newbie compared to some of the other ice cream parlours at less than 5 years old. But this lime-green stand with purple accents and lovely deck is just asking to appear in your vacation photos.
With a large menu serving ADL ice-cream, What’s the Scoop? also carries gluten-free cones and dairy free frozen treats. And from the ratings on TripAdvisor, the ice-cream cakes are a major hit too! Given our two daughters are vegan, What’s the Scoop? will be a great option for us this summer.
Truckin’ Roll Ice Cream
And to wrap up this part 1 of this ice-cream post, is another throwback to the past. Truckin’ Roll Ice Cream is located in a real ice cream truck. In summer of 2018 you’d find them in Charlottetown parked at the corner of Church and Grafton St. Once open for the 2019 season, this post will be updated if the location has changed. Not only is the location unique, customers can choose their ice cream with either a dairy base or a coconut milk base. All ice cream is made by hand and no processed sugar is added as maple syrup is used as the sweetener.
With a menu that breaks flavours into categories called “Berry Fresh”, “Sweet Teeth”, “Tipsy Cream”, etc, you won’t find ice cream quite like this anywhere else. Try Black Betty (blackberries and basil with a honey drizzle), or what about the Nutty Canadian (Maple Cream and Maple Syrup with Maple flakes and a pecan walnut crunch on top)? That’s not the only things to love about this place. Truckin’ Roll’s vendors are all local businesses and they aim to keep a small environmental footprint. You’ll find plant fiber bowls and birchwood spoons – all 100% compostible. And I love their menu sass “Guilty pleasures that are colder than your ex”!
That should give you some great options no matter what part of the island you’re on. Stay tuned for Part 2 of the Ice Cream review, coming soon.