We’ve been having the perfect summer for ice cream in the Annapolis Valley. It’s been hot and sunny which makes the perfect excuse to get ice cream, and I’ve been doing just that!
A month or two ago I asked my social media followers to tell me their favourite ice cream joints here in the Annapolis Valley. Based on your responses, I came up with an ice cream tour which would take me to all the highest recommended here in the valley.
The Best Places to get Ice Cream in the Annapolis Valley
The most suggested places were:
- Avery’s Farm Market – locations across the valley
- Jonny’s Cookhouse & Ice Cream Shop – #1 Highway, Berwick
- The Real Scoop – Gaspereau Ave, Wolfville
- Sea Cones Ice Cream Boat – Highway 359, Centreville (2km from Halls Harbour)
- Pearle’s in Paradise – #1 Highway Paradise
Not one to shrink away from a food-related challenge, I pulled up my socks and prepared for the battle to come. Ice cream is serious business folks. Serious business.
The following ice cream places are in no particular order, not necessarily in order of preference, though there is a clear winner in my opinion – I’ll let you know which one that is as I go.
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Avery’s Farm Market
Avery’s farm markets have been our go-to place for ice cream for years. They always have a good selection (and waffle cones) and since we live near Berwick we often wind up here when looking for ice cream.
What’s nice about Avery’s is now the sell both hard ice cream and soft serve so you can get whatever you are in the mood for. Sometimes a girl wants soft serve (it always reminds me of the frozen yogurt machine we had at CK back in the day),
sometimes she wants hard ice cream!
And sometimes she wants to go to the store under the pretence of buying vegetables and get some ice cream while she’s there!
Jonny’s Cookhouse & Ice Cream Shop
As I mentioned above, we live near Berwick so when the desire for a fancier ice cream comes up we will head to Jonny’s.
Do you want soft-serve with sprinkles? You can get that. Chocolate-dipped? Yup. New this year they have a peanut butter dip (say what!? that I haven’t had a chance to try yet), they also have milkshakes and sundaes and hard ice cream.
But in my opinion as an ice cream expert (that’s a self-appointed title by the way), you are doing yourself a disservice if you don’t try their handmade drumsticks at least once.
Forget about the pre-made from-the-box drumsticks, they have nothing on these. First of all, they are huge. Secondly, they are delicious.
And possibly most important on a hot summers day is the fact that these are pre-made, so while they are made with soft serve, they are then frozen so they don’t melt all over you the second you get it in your hand. This is key, trust me on that.
Otherwise, they are made up of all the components you know and love from a traditional drumstick. Waffle cone, ice cream, chocolate inside the cone along with a cherry, dipped in chocolate and topped with nuts. It’s the sort of ice cream treat you won’t find everywhere and definitely deserves a spot on your ice cream adventures this summer.
The Real Scoop
I’ll tell you right now if you want the best ice cream in the valley, you need to go to The Real Scoop in Wolfville. Fresh handmade ice cream made with the mix-ins of your choice at your request? Come on. It’s almost unfair to even put it in the same category as the others because freshly made ice cream is always going to win over the factory made stuff. There is just no comparison.
If after one taste you don’t feel as though your life has changed (for the better), I’m not sure we can be friends anymore, it’s just that good.
It’s more expensive than the other entries in this list but rightfully so, when you peek into their kitchen and she a fridge full of cartons of cream you know you are getting the real deal and are paying for that freshness. Still, it’s not overly expensive and is well worth the visit to Wolfville if you find yourself in the valley this summer.
I believe my large ice cream in a bowl with added fudge sauce was still under $8, making it still cheaper than DQ and about 5 million times better.
Sea Cones Ice Cream Boat
A bit further off the beaten path is Sea Cones Ice Cream Boat on the way to Halls Harbour. It’s the perfect stop on your way to the shore to cool off on a hot and humid valley day or to treat yourself to dessert after lobster at the Halls Harbour Lobster Pound. Located in an old boat it’s hard to beat the fun atmosphere of this ice cream shop!
With speciality sundaes like the “Lobster Bait”. “Captain-N-Crew” and my favourite “High-N-Low Tide” you certainly know you are visiting a fishing village! I can’t vouch for any of the other sundaes of ice cream flavours because I always get the High-N-Low tide sundae.
I mean, it has peanut butter sauce so why try anything else? Technically this one is on the north mountain not in the valley, but I hope you’ll excuse me for including it, it’s just to fun to leave out!
Pearle’s in Paradise
While I’ve visited every other ice cream place on this list at least twice, Pearle’s is the only one I’ve only visited once. I’ve heard about it for years, both for their ice cream but also their regular menu, but since we rarely travel that way I have had no reason to go.
That is until now. Friends, my visit to Pearle’s in Paradise put me in the most serious ice cream situation I’ve ever been in, in my life.
So much so that strangers were commenting on it and asking to take photos.
It was so bad that my husband was throwing things out of the glove compartment trying to find napkins, kleenex, anything, to help me. So much so that all I could think is, I wish I had this on video, but there is no way I can deal with this ice cream and also get out my phone.
I know you’re thinking two things, 1) just spit it out already, and 2) really, how bad could it have been? Let me set the stage for you. It’s humid as heck outside. Without the humidex it was 30, with the humidex it was around 40. My husband ordered Death by Chocolate hard ice cream in a bowl, he is a wise man.
Trying to order interesting things I don’t always see other places, I chose to get a blueberry and vanilla soft serve in a cone. I asked her how large a large was, she indicated a tower of ice cream that was nearly a foot tall. I said, “I better have a medium then.” And then she handed me this.
If it looks like the cone is a baby cone it’s not. The ice cream was just that big. My husband said, “You better take that photo fast, it’s already starting to drip.” I took this photo, then went to work licking. But I couldn’t keep up.
I didn’t know what to do. It was dripping everywhere.
I felt like a 2-year-old with ice cream all over their hands not paying attention to their melting cone. But sister, I was paying attention.
After rummaging through the glove compartment I sent my husband back to beg for a bowl. There was no way I could keep it under control. The people next to us kept going on about my ice cream. The man asked to take a picture because his son would never believe it. I’m not sure what he meant, the size of the cone, or the mess I was making.
His wife also had a blueberry twist cone, but she had got a small and seemed to be doing just fine. Personally, I think I saved her by getting mine first so that her ice cream was coming from further in the machine and therefore was less melty. At least that’s what I told myself.
Finally, my husband came back with a bowl and I could topple my cone into it. Instant relief. Aside from the ice cream still dripping all over my hands.
It looks much less impressive once dumped into a bowl, haha.
To make a long story longer, if it’s a hot day, do yourself a favour and get a bowl. And a medium is most certainly more than enough. But the blueberry swirl is an absolute delight so I highly recommend it.
And it should be noted, I miraculously made it through my cone without getting any ice cream on my clothes. To those who know me, you know that is a miracle.
Plan your own ice cream tour!
I’ve had so much fun going on ice cream road trips this past month to hit up all the spot on my own personal ice cream tour. SO much so that I think you should go on one too! Over on Valley Family Fun, there is an interactive map showing you all the places to get ice cream here in the Annapolis Valley. With lots of summer left, why not make a list and plan your own ice cream tour!?
Where is YOUR #1 stop for ice cream?
Now that I’ve shared my favourite place for ice cream here in the valley (The Real Scoop), tell me what your favourite place is in the comments, and what you like to get when you go!