www.iamcalgary.ca I Am Calgary Village Ice Cream

Derek’s Hot Five Calgary Ice Cream Escapes

Age does not diminish the extreme disappointment of having a scoop of ice cream fall from the cone.

Jim Fiebig

What’s the difference between ice cream and gelato? 

Here is a short lesson from Christine Gallary.

Ice Cream: Fat and Fluffy

Ice cream is a frozen dairy dessert made of milk, cream, sugar, and (typically) egg yolks. Traditionally, French-style ice cream contained egg yolks and was richer than American-style ice cream, which didn’t initially contain eggs. However, American ice cream has now evolved to also include the yolks.

The ingredients in ice cream are first cooked together into a rich custard. After the custard base is cooled, it’s churned at a fairly high speed to incorporate air and increase its volume (cheaper ice creams tends to have more air whipped into them).

Ice cream is served at a fairly cold temperature that makes scoops hold together, and the finished product is smooth, light-textured, and creamy.

Gelato: Dense and Intense

Gelato is the Italian word for ice cream. It starts out with a similar custard base as ice cream, but has a higher proportion of milk and a lower proportion of cream and eggs (or no eggs at all). It is churned at a much slower rate, incorporating less air and leaving the gelato denser than ice cream.Gelato is served at a slightly warmer temperature than ice cream, so its texture stays silkier and softer. Because it has a lower percentage of fat than ice cream, the main flavor ingredient really shines through.

From my perspective, either way they’re both decadently delicious!

In the spring of 2018 Christa and I were visiting garage sales in our neighbourhood when we happened upon a good-as-new-still-in-the-box Cuisinart ice cream maker.  We couldn’t resist scooping it up for $20 and hastily returning home to try to batch up our first attempt at homemade ice cream.  Read more about our efforts and find our favourite recipe.

Here are our hot five Calgary Ice Cream Escapes.

1. Made By Marcus

We love this place.  The sincerity and easiness of engaging with the Staff who are genuinely interested in their product is captivating.  If the lineups of crazed ice cream enthusiasts doesn’t dictate their serving urgency then you’re likely to be able to steal a few moments with the staff behind the counter.  They are clearly passionate about their product, their flavours and their manufacturing philosophy.  Being one of the few – if not only – local ice cream purveyors who source all their own ingredients locally, formulating their unique offerings from scratch, you will want to visit here to taste their innovative combinations that are condensed into generous scoops of extravagance!  Serving up at two locations, the 17th Ave venue – the location of their manufacturing hub – may have a smaller selection but they do have soft serve offerings.  There is a wider choice of dessert at the Hillhurst location but no soft serve offering.

www.iamcalgary.ca I Am Calgary Made By Marcus Ice Cream
Gary Visits Made By Marcus Ice Cream at West Hillhurst
www.iamcalgary.ca I Am Calgary Made By Marcus Ice Cream
Made By Marcus Ice Cream Selection
www.iamcalgary.ca I Am Calgary Made By Marcus Ice Cream
What to choose? Sea salt & goat milk caramel (top right) was my pick!

Pop into one of their locations to find out more about Marcus, his story and their philosophy that keeps us coming back!

  • My most recent flavour favourite: Sea salt & goat milk caramel
  • Location: 17th Ave SW & West Hillhurst NW
  • Hours: Sun-Thu 12pm-10pm; Fri & Sat 12pm-11pm
  • Parking: limited paid street parking at 17th Ave; free neighbourhood parking at West Hillhurst
  • Accessibility: wheelchair-friendly
  • Atmos-feel: clean, light, galley-like with some table seating
  • Additional offerings: patio (seasonal); washrooms
  • Website: https://www.madebymarcus.ca/
  • IG: @madebymarcus
  • Note / special features: seasonal menu with some very unique combinations that scream out “try me”!  A variety of menu options for those with dietary restrictions.

2. Village Ice Cream

Fast becoming a Calgary Ice Cream Institution, the ever-growing population of “Villagers” adore their Village ice cream.  There is likely always going to be something for you to choose from on any day and at any time of the week!  From their ever-reliable “always” flavours that hallmark the Villagers’ go-to scoops-of-choice, to their small but sensational seasonal and dairy-free selection.  With three bustling locations to choose from it’s safe to say that the cult-like culture of Village generates a hive of busyness at all of their locations.  Check out their newly renovated (January 2019) Victoria Park location!

www.iamcalgary.ca I Am Calgary Village Ice Cream
A Village hot fudge sundae splurge
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A selection of Village pints
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Village Ice Cream at Victoria Park SE
  • My most recent flavour favourite: Two Hills Earl Grey
  • Location: Victoria Park SE; Britannia Plaza SW; Garrison Corner SW
  • Hours: Summer (May-Sep) Daily 11am-11pm; Winter (Oct-Apr) Sun-Thu 11am-10pm, Fri & Sat 11am-11pm
  • Parking: Free; parking lot
  • Accessibility: wheelchair-friendly
  • Atmos-feel: clean, light, always a-buzz with activity; limited basic indoor seating
  • Additional offerings: patio (seasonal); washrooms
  • Website: https://villageicecream.com/
  • IG: @villageicecream
  • Note / special features: a seasonal menu and daily favourites that may vary from location to location.  Menu options do provide variety for those with dietary restrictions.

Check out I Am Calgary’s mascot, Gary’s, video teaser for Village Ice Cream at the Victoria Park location.

3. delloR Ice Cream

Every now and again one gets to discover something unique in what is sometimes a seemingly predictable environment.  We love the delloR experience for that very reason.  Enjoy watching your menu selection being created in front of you, serving up your very own rolled (yes, that’s where the business’s name comes from … “rolled” in reverse!) creation right before your very eyes.  You do need to SEE it to ENJOY it.  And it’s quite possible that you won’t want to eat the finished creation because it looks so pretty.  But after taking a few photos of your creation in a cup (or cone) you’ll be happy to succumb and will, no doubt, savor every spoonful!  Visit here for the uniqueness-factor!

www.iamcalgary.ca I Am Calgary delloR Ice Cream
Gary pays a summer visit to delloR Ice Cream
www.iamcalgary.ca I Am Calgary delloR Ice Cream
Enjoying the art of rolled dessert
www.iamcalgary.ca I Am Calgary delloR Ice Cream
Rolled decadence at delloR

Check out some ice cream rolling on our YouTube channel right here!

  • My most recent flavour favourite: Mango Monsoon
  • Location: Edmonton Trail NE
  • Hours: times vary, consult their website
  • Parking: Free street parking and parking at the rear of their building
  • Accessibility: wheelchair-friendly
  • Atmos-feel: clean, light, indoor and outdoor seating
  • Additional offerings: washrooms
  • Website: http://www.delloricecream.ca/#home
  • IG: @delloricecream
  • Note / special features: the menu is simple but refreshing with a small selection of seasonal options. 

4. Fiasco Gelato

Scoop a mouthwatering spoonful of what epitomizes Calgarians and what makes Calgary great at Fiasco Gelato!  View the story of where Fiasco has come from and be reminded of how resilience can foster determination and instil exceptional quality.  Their off-the-beaten-track but cool factory location and coffee bar serves up some of the best scoops of gelato in Canada.  From here their product is shipped to umpteen wholesale and retail destinations in Calgary and beyond.  Get to try it fresh here, on site, and even enjoy it with some top-quality Rosso coffee served direct from their coffee bar.  Indulge in some of their delectable gelatos or their dairy-free, gluten-free and vegan-friendly mouthwatering sorbets.  Swing by for a single scoop, snack size or pint.  Discover the daily flavours or subscribe to the Gelato Club for one, three or six months and have their newest creations delivered straight to your doorstep!

  • My most recent flavour favourite: Sticky toffee pudding
  • Location: 221-19th St NE
  • Hours: Tue-Sat, 11am-7pm
  • Parking: Free parking lot
  • Accessibility: wheelchair-friendly
  • Atmos-feel: clean, light, industrial and fun, limited seating
  • Additional offerings: washrooms
  • Website: https://www.fiascogelato.ca/work/
  • IG: @fiascogelato
  • Note / special features: Factory tours and tastings available, starting at $15pp. 

And last, but by no means least, our City outlier …

5. McKay’s Ice Cream in Cochrane

Visit this legend year-round.  Starting as a general store in 1946, and focusing its attention on ice cream from the 1970’s, McKay’s prides itself on its people, their customers, the community, and the environment.  With flavours ranging from maple bacon to purple yam, avocado to white chocolate raspberry truffle, you are likely to find some flavour that will either tickle your fancy or pique your interest. So, if you’re on an adventure that takes you west of Calgary you would do well to take a detour into Cochrane to pay homage to this authentic Albertan institution that is McKay’s!

  • My most recent flavour favourite: Strawberry rhubarb pie
  • Location: 220-1st St West, Cochrane
  • Hours: Consult their website for seasonal hours
  • Parking: Street parking
  • Accessibility: wheelchair-friendly
  • Atmos-feel: clean, light, always busy
  • Additional offerings: washrooms
  • Website: https://www.mackaysicecream.com/
  • IG: @mackaysicecream

Share with us what you love about these locations or let us know where your favourite Calgary ice cream destination is so we can explore more!

I think the serving size of ice cream is when you hear the spoon hit the bottom of the container.

Brian Regan


  • Aunty Ruth

    26 January, 2019

    Hi Derek and Christa, what a great idea. We have had an old fashioned hand cranked ice cream maker for years. Our grands love the novelty of it and the yummy results. We had such great fun in your area with you last summer and I think we need to come again for an ice cream tour. Christa talked about Dellor but we had to save that for our next trip.


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