Ice cream and summer go together like sand and beaches. There are many things to love about summer, but one of the most fun has to be exploring Ottawa’s neighbourhoods in search of a great new frosty flavour or a treasured favourite.

Ottawa is blessed with a ton of fabulous ice cream parlours where you can make a hobby of becoming a frozen treat connoisseur. Here are just a few to get you started:

Inside the greenbelt

Stella Luna Gelato CaféOf course, we have to start a list of ice cream shops with our own backyard. Stella Luna has been a staple in Old Ottawa South since 2011, winning handfuls of awards along the way. Famous for its gelato, there are also plenty of other sweet and savoury options.

Where: 1103 Bank St. (or 1130 Wellington St. W.)
Sweet tip: On Sundays, between 9 p.m. & 10 p.m., all gelato is 40 per cent off.
Info: 613-523-1116; www.slgelato.com

Moo ShuThis is small-batch ice cream with Asian flare and an ever-changing menu that keeps you guessing. Note that the shop is closed Tuesdays.

Where: 477 Bank St.
Sweet tip: Stop by on Wednesdays to enjoy your ice cream in a homemade bubble waffle (multiple flavours available).
Info: mooshuicecream.com

The Merry DairyOnce available only by playing the popular “track the truck” game, Merry Dairy now has a storefront, too. That means more frozen treat options and owners who can have fun creating flavours.

Where: 102 Fairmont Ave., Hintonburg
Sweet tip: You have to try the chocoMAX if for no other reason than the story behind it. Regular customer and pint-sized budding flavour expert Max created it after much taste testing and experimenting. It was introduced in June and is available all summer.
Info: 613-858-7560; themerrydairy.com

Sweet Jesus

Sweet Jesus was born out of a love for experimentation. They use a soft serve base with a goal to make something that tastes and looks, unlike anything you’ve ever seen and had before. 

Where? 97 Clarence St.
Sweet tip: The mile high toppings are truly what makes this shop shine so don't be shy!
Info: 613-695-9797; http://www.sweetjesus4life.com/

Lois ‘n’ Frima’sA fixture in the ByWard Market since the 1980s, Lois ‘n’ Frima’s has created more than 60 recipes and makes its ice cream in small batches.

Where: 71 George St. (also in Overbrook, at 300 Coventry Rd., and Stittsville)
Sweet tip: Have a thick and creamy milkshake made from any flavour.
Info: 613-720-7707; loisnfrimasicecream.com

Chocolats FavorisThis chocolate-lover’s heaven offers one section devoted to chocolates treats, truffles, fondue sauces and more, while the other is all ice cream, sorbet and other frozen delights. A sauce bar with 12 dipping sauces offers plenty of options.

Where: 180 Vanguard Dr., Orléans (also in Gatineau)
Sweet tip: After your ice cream, pick up some chocolates to bring home with you.
Info: 613-824-3535; chocolatsfavoris.com

Outside the greenbelt

Carp Custom CreameryHaving evolved from a soft ice cream parlour called Twisty Cream more than a decade ago, the creamery has become an upscale ice cream bar with rural charm. There are 16 scoop-able flavours and more than 40 available in take-home tubs.

Where: 3763 Carp Rd., Carp
Sweet tip: Plan your trip for a Saturday and take in the Carp Farmers’ Market across the street while you’re in the village.
Info: 613-839-3336; custom-creamery.com

La CigaleLa Cigale is a must-stop spot for many visiting Chelsea or Gatineau Park next door. Ideal for a leisurely afternoon, there is an ample backyard dotted with Muskoka chairs and toys for the kids.

Where: 14 Ch. Scott, Chelsea
Sweet tip: Find all the old favourites, plus a few unusual flavours, like Coconut Cashew.
Info: 819-827-6060; on facebook

The Daily Scoop

Perfect for an afternoon outing or a day trip, picturesque Almonte has plenty of attractions to tempt you. And when you’re ready for a break, The Daily Scoop is a big draw. Along with hard and soft ice cream, frozen yogurt and other ice cream treats, the shop is also a café offering a selection of breakfast and lunch options.

Where: 500 Ottawa St., Almonte
Sweet tip: The Daily Scoop is known for its big scoops and chocolate peanut butter cup flavour. A single scoop is often plenty.
Info: 613-256-9066; thedailyscoop.ca

The Downtowne Ice Cream Shoppe

 A staple in Merrickville for 15 years now, shop owner Shelley Innes is always experimenting, which means the ice cream and gelato flavours are ever-changing. The shop makes for a refreshing stop after touring this picturesque town.

Where: 165 St. Lawrence St., Merrickville
Sweet tip: Current seasonal flavours include Maple Blueberry Pancakes. Yum!
Info: 613-269-2168; downtowneicecreamshoppe.ca