By Claudine Gagné
After supper, parents take their kids in PJs for a mouth-watering cone; workers still in suits make a detour after a long day of work; and teens gather in small packs to order their favourite “slush float.” These neighbourhood ice cream shacks typically open up at the start of summer, serving up deliciously sweet treats and filling crisp waffle cones. From the classic chocolate-vanilla twist to fruit sorbets and cones dipped in rich, molten chocolate, Abitibi-Témiscamingue is brimming with these havens of delight.
Gläss bar laitier: an original through and through
Not an ice cream shack per se, Gläss bar laitier is more of a small shipping container-turned-frozen treat factory—an unorthodox building for non-traditional ice creams! Gläss bar laitier is the prime destination for fans of dipped cones, chocolate or any other kind. There’s even a new flavour every week to keep them coming back for more. Pineapple-coconut sorbet, dark chocolate or orange dip, vanilla ice cream with chocolate and pretzel—a ton of tempting options that won’t leave you cold (insert drooling emoji here).
Rest’eau du quai
Against the stunning backdrop of Lac Macamic, your soft-serve ice cream cone has never looked so good. (Warning: highly Instagram worthy content!) At Rest’eau du quai, you’ll find all the sure bets: vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. Prices are reasonable and portions are generous. Definitely a classic. You’ll go for the ice cream but stay for the patio. There’s even a boat ramp, games and a playground ... perfect for burning off the sugar rush.
Choco-Mango: for the ice cream lover in everyone!
The legend is true: You’ll find a chocolate-mango ice cream at the popular Val-d’Or chocolate shop with the same name. But don’t expect milk chocolate; the delicious tropical fruit is actually paired with white chocolate. Choco-Mango also carries several vegan treats, including these three mouth-watering suggestions: hazelnut ice cream, coconut-lemon ice cream, and passion fruit sorbet. But don’t worry—you’ll still find all your favourite classics, like pistachio, rocky road (chocolate, marshmallow, nuts) and vanilla. But why not try something new?
From cheese ... to gelato!
Did you know La Fromagerie le Fromage au Village, in Lorrainville, not only produces top-notch cheeses (obviously!) but also sorbet for the past two years now? Not to be outdone by their neighbour, Le Bournival, which was already selling soft-serve, Fromage au village decided to start making sorbet—to the great delight of villagers. Sold in single servings, the sorbet can be enjoyed on the spot or saved for later, as long as it’s kept frozen (obviously). A rainbow of delicious flavours awaits you: mocha, raspberry, chocolate, vanilla ... even bubble gum! Hazelnut is still the favourite flavour of owner Anne Barrette and her mother, Hélène Lessard, the company’s founder.
Boréalait: made with love!
This family business in Saint-Félix-de-Dalquier produces milk, cheese, pies and yogurt. But with their range of delightful flavours, the yogurt is more like a decadent dessert than a healthy snack. Choose from honey, maple, strawberry, raspberry, blueberry and ... plain (topped with berries and a drizzle of maple syrup—yum!). Boréalait’s products are sold throughout Abitibi-Témiscamingue, but for the ultimate experience, drop by their shop to check out their gourmet products and sample their homemade soft-serve ice cream. You won’t find fresher anywhere else! Fans of classic flavours can expect chocolate, chocolate-vanilla twist and strawberry shortcake. To top it all off, you’ll also find Gläss dips!
Did you know some people will never get to experience the joys of a soft serve dished up in a summer ice cream shack? Not us, though, now that we know all the hidden gems! Since summer is short, we highly recommended you jump on every opportunity to eat ice cream. What’s more, with all its food destinations, Abitibi-Témiscamingue is a gourmet hotspot! There’s something for everyone.