By Ella Jane Myers
When summer hits and it’s approximately 500 degrees out, there’s only one kind of frozen treat I’m interested in: Soft serve.
Sure, heaping scoops of real-cream mint chip or butter pecan have a place in my heart, but it’s small compared to the chamber I have reserved for the swirled vanilla and chocolate delicacy that delights my inner child, and probably contains little to no actual cream.
There’s a time and a place for premium foods: summertime and my stomach are not those.
In an effort to help my fellow soft-serve enthusiasts, I found not one, not two, but 12 locations in Sudbury with a soft serve option worth checking out.
This list includes frozen yogurt because having grown up around the corner from Paris Natural Foods and devouring more than my fair share of their towering cones, I consider it an equal member of the soft-serve-style family.
What the list doesn’t contain are well-known chains, so each of these is a one-of-a-kind soft serve experience.
North Star Confectionery
When the quest for Sudbury soft serve began, all the forums I found on the subject pointed to one place: North Star Confectionery. Sure, it might be a bit of a drive all the way out to Skead Road, but it’s worth it for their classic vanilla, chocolate, or twist offerings. Nearby students love heading their for an afternoon snack.
Garson Food Market
Moving west, you’ll find another gem in the Garson area at the Garson Food Market on Birch Street. This friendly convenience store stocks frozen yogurt mix with a whole range of fruit mix-ins.
Sure, sure: Cultures in the New Sudbury Mall is a chain, but there’s only one location in Sudbury and sometimes you need to get your soft serve fix without leaving the mall. Another purveyor of frozen yogurt, at least it’s a (moderately, possibly not at all) healthier choice.
There’s nothing like soft serve for dessert after a beautiful lunch of Costco samples. Don’t have a membership? Don’t worry: you don’t need one to swing by their food court for a top-notch vanilla, chocolate, or swirled cone or world-famous (if I’m to believe my sister) hot dog.
Yoyo’s Yogurt Cafe
Popcorn’s a classic snack at the movies, but soft-serve lovers will be thrilled to learn the snack selection at the SilverCity in Sudbury has expanded to include a Yoyo’s Yogurt Cafe. Their wide range of flavours include everything from pina colada to birthday cake, and their toppings bar really takes things to the next level.
Frubar Juicery downtown on Lisgar Street is another fancy frozen yogurt joint. Along with delicious, healthy smoothies, they offer fruit-flavoured frozen yogurt, or fancier options like chocolate and matcha.
If you’re old-fashioned, McKay’s Cafe in the medical building on Larch is guaranteed to hit the spot. Their friendly atmosphere and reasonable prices for vanilla, chocolate, or twist cones are delightful. Plus, the ability to take your cone to Memorial Park and eat it on a bench in the sun can’t be beat.
Melvin’s Variety Store
If you’re in the Donovan, you’re in luck, it’s a veritable soft-serve paradise. For starters, there’s Melvin’s Variety Store on, you guessed it, Melvin Street. They have frozen yogurt with a wide range of fruity mix-ins.
Jem Mart (on Kathleen)
Down on Kathleen Street, you can’t get soft-serve made to order, but they have premade, homemade sundaes in their freezer section with vanilla, chocolate, or twist bases, and strawberry, caramel, or chocolate sauces. It turns out soft-serve machines have to be fully emptied and cleaned at the end of each night, so it’s more efficient to make treats ahead to avoid waste.
Across the street at Donovan Variety, you’ll find classic vanilla cones. Although they don’t have other flavours, the novelty of a cone often wins out more options if there’s only a cup when I’m choosing.
If you’re vegan or lactose intolerant, all this talk of soft serve is probably making you sick just thinking about it. Good news: there’s vegan ice cream in Sudbury and you can find it in the Donovan at Flurples. They have vanilla and a second flavour that changes depending on the season, and you can get them alone or in a twist. Don’t forget to add sprinkles.
Paris Natural Foods
Last but not least, my childhood standard: Paris Natural Foods has arguably the best frozen yogurt in the city (arguably because I’m almost certain most of them use the same machine and ingredients). My sister recommends cherry-raspberry, while I’m more inclined towards a peach-pineapple blend.
And just to make things easier for you, we've created an interactive map so you can plan a full day of soft-serve hunting around the Nickel City.
If you know of other soft serve purveyors in the city, let us know in the comments below.