After a day of playing in the Rocky Mountains on a hot summer day, there’s no better treat than ice cream. Whether you enjoyed an easy walk to Grassi Lakes, a day at Quarry Lake or tackled the challenging Ha Ling Peak trail, there’s a wide variety of excellent ice cream shops in Canmore waiting for you.
We live in Canmore and we love ice cream, so it seemed natural to share our list of the best places to get ice cream in Canmore with you. Everyone’s taste is different, but we’re confident you’ll find some amazing Canmore ice cream in our list of our favorite ice cream places.
Best Ice Cream in Canmore
We support local business and do not accept free food in exchange for reviews. Our recommendations for the best ice cream shops in Canmore are places where we love to go and are based on ice cream we paid for.
Top 6 Places to Get Ice Cream in Canmore
1. The Old School Bus
The most popular place for ice cream in Canmore is the Old School Bus, a favorite of locals and visitors for many years.
Now at a new location on the edge of downtown Canmore on 10th Street, the Old School Bus offers over 25 flavors of ice cream & sorbet and several flavors of shaved ice. For a fun treat, ice cream floats are also on offer.
Our favourite flavors of ice cream at the Old School Bus in Canmore are Caramel Praline and Butter Pecan. Our kids favorite ice cream flavors at the Old School bus are Tiger and Rainbow Sherbet. In year’s past, the Old School Bus had an exceptionally good salted caramel ice cream, but we haven’t seen it on offer yet this year.
The Old School Bus has a large patio, but it would be nice if they added few more tables for guests. We like how they leave out a water dish for dogs to cool down while their owners enjoy some of the best ice cream in Canmore.
2. Scratch Rare Ice Cream
When we first tried Scratch Rare Ice Cream in the summer of 2021, we thought it was easily the best ice cream in Canmore and in fact, some of the best ice cream we’ve ever had. So, we were very excited to take our kids to Scratch ice cream in spring 2022 after enjoying one of our favorite easy Canmore hikes.
Sadly, we could not have been more disappointed. The ice cream scoops were noticeably smaller, the amount of fillings were significantly less, and the ice cream was runny. We’ve only demoted Scratch Rare Ice Cream to our #2 ice cream shop in Canmore in 2022, as it may have just been a bad day for them. Hopefully the next time we visit, they earn their way back to the top spot.
For reference, our original review is below…
2021 Review of Scratch Rare Ice Cream
You know that sound you make when you first taste something and it’s so good that you need to say something, but your mouth is too full? Well, both us of made that wonderful noise upon our first taste of Scratch Rare Ice Cream.
If you are looking for the best place to buy ice cream in Canmore, look no further than Scratch Rare Ice Cream. House-made by the talented chefs at the Blake Canmore, the quality of the ice cream at Scratch Ice Cream was well ahead of the rest of the Canmore ice creams shop we tried.
The daily selection of ice cream at the Scratch Ice Cream trailer is limited, with roughly 3 full-dairy ice creams and 3 plant-based ice creams to choose from.
Our favorite flavor of ice cream from the Scratch ice cream trailer was Farmers Crumble, which is vanilla ice cream with loads of oatmeal crumble swirled in with a strawberry/rhubarb compote. They do not skimp on the ice cream fillings at Scratch Rare Ice Cream – Farmers Crumble ice cream was overflowing with fillings!
Although we felt that Farmers Crumble was the best ice cream flavor in Canmore, Bunny Luv (vanilla ice cream with graham crackers and chocolate mini-eggs) and Birds Nest (chocolate ice cream with chocolate covered pretzels and dulche de Leche) were also amazing.
Although the ice cream at Scratch Rare Ice Cream was among the most expensive ice cream in Canmore, the serving sizes were also the biggest. With generous scoops of high quality ice cream, served in an equally high quality waffle cone, we felt the price was worth it for the best ice cream in Canmore.
You can find the Scratch Rare Ice Cream trailer on Canmore’s main street in front of the PD3 by Blake food truck.
3. Scoopin’ Moose
To be upfront, we have not personally tried the Scoopin’ Moose ice cream shop in Canmore (yet). We’re working our way through the best ice cream shops in Canmore slowly, but surely. The Scoopin’ Moose is the next Canmore ice cream shop on our list to review. We rank the Scoopin’ Moose the #3 best place to get ice cream in Canmore based on its reputation and solid online reviews.
Also conveniently located in a central location on Canmore’s main street (8th Street), customers can choose from 12 flavors of ice cream, served in a waffle cone or bowl. There’s some fun flavor options at this Canmore ice cream shop including Shark Bite (shark grey vanilla ice cream with blue raspberry and a red raspberry ribbon) and Birthday Cake ice cream – both of which would be popular ice cream flavors for kids!
At the Scoopin’ Moose you can jazz up your waffle cone by making it chocolate dipped or even make it an epic cone (with sprinkles, Skor or peanuts).
In addition to standard ice cream, you can also enjoy soft serve ice cream, milkshakes or even ice cream floats!
4. Cacao 70
Regular visitors to Canmore know that traffic and parking can get pretty bad on weekends during the summer. If you’d like to avoid going into downtown Canmore, trying swinging into the Shops of Canmore for ice cream at Cacao 70.
We knew we’d enjoy this Canmore ice cream shop when we learned the motto at Cacao 70 is “A State of Chocolate“! We visited Cacao 70 for the sole purpose of this review of the best ice cream shops in Canmore, but we are dying to go back and try their amazing breakfast menu!
The selection of ice cream at Cacao 70 is somewhat limited with roughly 5 flavors to choose from, but you’ll enjoy a generous portion of ice cream at a good price. A double-scoop of ice cream on a waffle cone at Cacao 70 is cheaper than a single scoop on a waffle cone at Scratch Rare Ice Cream.
Although we are ranking Cacao 70 number 4 on our list of the best ice cream shops in Canmore, don’t take this as being substandard ice cream – the quality and flavor of our ice cream at Cacao 70 was very good.
5. Beaver Tails
Next on our list of the best ice cream shops in Canmore is Beaver Tails. We all know that people visit Beaver Tails for their famous Canadian pastries, but they also offer a decent selection of ice cream as well.
We enjoyed our ice cream from Beaver Tails, but to be honest, there was nothing special about it.
6. Dairy Queen
We’d normally exclude a chain restaurant like Dairy Queen from a “best of” list, but let’s be honest with each other… Peanut Buster Parfaits are delicious.
Dairy Queen is also a great option if you are looking for ice cream in Canmore, but don’t want to battle traffic downtown. Dairy Queen is conveniently located on Bow Valley Trail, not far from gasoline alley just off the TransCanada Highway. If you are heading back to Calgary from Banff and want a quick & easy ice cream, Dairy Queen is a good option for you.
Ice cream always tastes better after a good walk. Why not try one of the best walking trails in Canmore, then reward yourself with a waffle cone from one of the best Canmore ice cream shops!
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