A sure sign of summer on Prince Edward Island is seeing a line-up of cars at every dairy bar and ice cream shop. There’s nothing like a frozen treat to help beat the heat! We’re so lucky to have so many top-notch spots all across the island. Just like how you’re never too far from one of our famous beaches, you’re never too far from your next sweet treat. From world-renowned ice cream spots to small roadside shacks, and from comforting classic flavours to unique gourmet creations, we’ve got the scoop on PEI’s best ice cream joints to help you keep cool this summer.
COWS Ice Cream
Not named Canada’s Best for nothing, COWS Ice Cream is handmade using only the finest ingredients and time-honoured techniques. And although COWS has grown into a brand that’s as quintessentially PEI as Anne of Green Gables, with over 30 innovative flavours and eleven locations across Canada, they continue to use the same secret recipe loved by many through the decades.
Let the irresistible scent of their homemade waffle cones draw you in as you pick from whimsically named ice cream flavours such as Wowie Cowie and Messie Bessie. Don’t forget to take a picture with Bessie, the official COWS mascot, and peruse their selection of clothing featuring delightful pop culture Cow puns!
Decker’s Dairy Bar
With their two locations conveniently situated right on Main St. in Cornwall and along Brackley Point Road, Decker’s Dairy Bars make for the perfect pit stops for locals and visitors! Not only are they equipped with all your dairy bar favourites, Decker’s holds the key to our hearts with their Island-famous Ice Cream Nachos and Churros! Want to know how some of their best sellers are made? Check them out on TikTok for a seriously fun peek behind the counter.
Holman’s Ice Cream Parlour
Step into days gone by at family-owned Holman’s Ice Cream Parlour in Summerside, operating within one of PEI’s most beautiful heritage homes. Everything is made from scratch using local seasonal ingredients, from their mix-ins to their cones. Choose from 16 rotating flavours out of the more than 100 Holman flavours they’ve created, such as Honey Comb Crunch and Lemon Curd Blueberry. On your next visit, suggest a flavour they haven’t made yet. They might just make it the next week!
Jewell’s Country Market
The only thing that could make walking amongst the most beautiful flowers and plants even better is doing so with ice cream in hand. Jewell’s Country Market is a thriving garden centre and local market in Marshfield, PEI. Grab a couple of scoops from a mile-long list of ice cream flavours, both hard and soft serve, as well as melt-in-your-mouth fudge made in-house from local seasonal ingredients. And did we mention they have goats?
Cherry on Top Creamery
Fun, innovative, and handmade right to the sprinkles — Cherry on Top‘s chef-driven approach results in the most delightful gastronomical experience, with flavours like Peach Bellini and Drunk Apple Crisp. Don’t sleep on their outrageous FREAKshakes made with their gourmet ice cream and topped with even more decadence, such as cookie sandwiches, cake slices, and sprinkles galore! Cherry on Top Creamery now has two locations: Cherry on Main on Main St., Souris open all year and Cherry on Point at the East Point Lighthouse in Elmira, set to open this June.
Truckin’ Roll brings a fresh retro flair to the Island with their luxurious hand rolled ice cream served right out of a remodeled 1958 Citroën H Van! Employing a Thai technique, the freshest locally sourced ingredients possible and your choice of ADL dairy or a coconut cream base are smashed together, frozen, and rolled out right in front of you. And if you can’t get enough of their sweet creations, you can now keep your freezer stocked with their house-made cookie ice cream sandwiches, ice cream cakes, pops, and mini jars! See them rollin’ in their iconic teal truck at the corner of Church and Grafton St. in downtown Charlottetown.
On your tour around the Points East Coastal Drive this is one stop you cannot miss! A true PEI treasure, Gillis’ Drive-In is a 1960’s style drive-in diner located in Montague, and is said to be one of the last carhops in the country. Simply park your car and turn on your 4-ways, and a server will be right with you to take your order of hot fudge sundaes or strawberry milkshakes. If you’d rather dine in, Gillis’ is just as cute on the inside as it is on the outside, complete with vintage prints, neon lights, and cozy booths. So, stretch out your legs and stay a while or relax in your car with the windows down, you can taste a little bit of the vibrant 60s however it fits in your itinerary!
Known for their hugely popular Deep Fried Mars Bars topped with ADL soft serve and smothered in caramel and chocolate, and their far out Burger Love creations, Frosty Treat in Kensington isn’t afraid to think outside the ice box. Over the years, Frosty Treat has grown into a dairy bar loved by many with 24 soft serve flavours, an innovative menu, and a convenient location. Their much-needed expansion in 2017 came in the form of a second location only a minute up the road, endearingly named Frosty Treat #2.
Maybe you’re feeling like a double scoop of Moon Mist or something decadently deep fried and smothered in soft serve and sprinkles. Or maybe you’re in the mood for some gourmet flavours you’ve never come across before. No matter what you’re in the mood for, there’s no shortage of frozen treats to choose from. And if you really can’t decide, why not try them all with ADL’s second annual PEI Dairy Bar Crawl? Grab your checklist and start making your way through PEI’s dairy bars from tip to tip! Get ready for a sweet sweet Island summer.