The Big Chill

The Big Chill

367 Manning Avenue     416.960.2455
Website     Little Italy

The Big Chill may not have been around as long as some other ice cream institutions in Toronto, but the smell of hot fresh waffles this parlour emits make it a neighbourhood mainstay.

The exterior is decked out with a mural and tons of neon, but the best part is the extensive collection of cow-themed tchotchkes decorating the inside, a shrine to all things cattle kitsch.

The vibe in here is as retro as the name, with pistachio and cream booths and patterned tabletops.

Banana splits ($9.95) come with your choice of two toppings. The Ferrero Rocher, Black Raspberry Cheesecake and Cookies n’ Cream ice cream comes from a closely guarded roster of local suppliers, and we top it with sprinkles, tons of peanuts and a healthy dose of chocolate sauce.

Mini Oreos topping squirts of whipped cream are the signature here, adding a little extra crunchy mini dessert to everything they serve.

Banana Fudge is my favourite flavour here, $4.45 for a single scoop and a dollar extra for a tantalizingly soft and sweet waffle bowl or cone, practically made to order.

The batter has a little vanilla in it, cooked for the exact right amount of time so it’s perfectly crispy. Hot fudge sauce, peanuts ($1) and whipped cream take my old fave to the next level.

Belgian waffles ($9.95) are made fresh to order and can be topped with pretty much anything in the store.

Mickey’s Birthday Cake ice cream, Oreo crumbles and caramel sauce toppings sink into the fluffy, elastic waffle with large square pockets big enough to hold the sugary sweet mess.

Donut sundaes ($6.99) are available occasionally whenever fresh Krispie Kreme donuts are brought in and they can combine two of the best things ever.

Maple Chocolate Truffle ice cream, Skor bits and caramel sauce on top emulates a maple donut feel.

Two scoops ($6.45) of mango sorbet and watermelon sherbet with little chocolate chip “seeds” show off the non-ice-cream options here, both splendidly fruity.

These are just some of around 34 flavours available during their open hours of noon to midnight daily.

Just remember to bring your wallet because they’re strictly cash only.

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