Where to Find the Best Ice Cream and Gelato in the Okanagan

Left: Medici's Gelateria in Oliver, BC. Right: The Ogopogo sculpture at Ogo's Ice Cream Parlour in Penticton, BC. credit: Claire Sear

The Okanagan serves the old-fashioned ice-cream of childhood memories-scoops so big, that no matter how fast you lick, you can’t beat the melt.

Since 1990, Tickleberry’s old-fashioned ice-cream parlor located in Okanagan Falls has been an Okanagan tradition. With 72 flavors and a towering kid’s cone, Tickleberry’s is a childhood fantasy come true. Old-fashioned flavors such as Tiger Tail, Maple Walnut and Mint Chocolate Chip compete with newly vogue Peanut Butter Binge and Rolo. Also enjoy Tickleberry’s- local Okanagan fruit dipped in chocolate. Locals – remember to ask for the loyalty card which provides the 10th cone free.

Summerland Sweets gives Tickleberry’s a run for the money on the biggest ice-cream cone (3 large scoops equals a single serving). Along with the classics, local favorites include Caribou Caramel, Moose Tracks, and Rocky Mountain Raspberry. Sit on the outdoor picnic tables overlooking the orchards or take the 5 minute walk down to the Kettle Valley Trestle and watch for the steam train.

Penticton’s Ogo’s Ice-Cream Parlor  wins hands-up for the best-decorated and “coolest” ice-cream parlor in the valley which includes a larger than life Ogopogo sculpture and hand-painted whimsical 50ft mural. A summer must- the signature Dr. Ogo’s cone-a homemade waffle cone dipped in chocolate and rolled in your choice of candy topping, with generous scoops of ice-cream (choose from over 50 flavors), topped with complimentary whipped cream and fresh fruit. If the custom built sidewalk patio is full, the park and beach are close-by.

Downtown Kelowna, boasts two ice-cream parlors, Moo-lix (250-869-0010) , a Kelowna favorite since 1998 specializes in hand-made waffle cones and has over 40 flavors to choose from including vegan and gluten-free options. Okanagan Fudge & Sundae Co.  serves custom-made sundaes, ice-cream cones and offers a choice of 24 flavors of soy-based soft serve ice-cream, a haven for the lactose intolerant and calorie counters.

No matter what door you choose, enjoying a good old fashioned ice-cream/sundae after a day on the beach is a Kelowna summer rite of passage. Kelowna’s Okanagan Lavender Farm, the best place to be when the lavender blooms, have again teamed up with Marble Slab Creamery , serving vanilla, chocolate, lemon, and blueberry ice-cream all with a hint of lavender.


The Okanagan is home to several local gelato artisans- all providing delicious hand-made gelato, and once again show-casing the Okanagan as a foodie delight. Nothing compares to the intense flavor of gelato and with half the butterfat of ice-cream, gelato is summer indulgence sans guilt. Osoyoos Gelato with 24 flavors wins for the most intriguing flavors such as kulfi, aztec chocolate, sea-salt caramel, and not to be missed for wine-lovers; the blackberry merlot. Most popular with locals include crème brulée, chocolate mousse and sorbettos made with local Okanagan fruit. Customers can easily wander down to the nearby beach/park to enjoy their gelato.

In the heart of wine country, in a former church, Medici’s Gelateria in Oliver is taking gelato to heavenly heights. The chocolate gelato made from double Belgian chocolate and the lemon gelato godly on a hot summer day are local favorites. Not to be missed- Sylvia’s homemade cheesecake with strawberry gelato- the zing comes from nearby Covet farm’s organic strawberries. Celebrate their one year anniversary on the newly built patio.

Support the arts and buy a scoop or two of gelato from Kelowna’s Rotary Centre for the Arts. The gelato is made by Kelowna native, Aimee Parisien and her career in gelato making started at the tender age of 12. Flavors include Orange Grand Marnier, Blueberry Sambuca and Maple Walnut. Finally, Carmelis Goat Cheese Boutique Dairy Farm in Kelowna, generously samples both their award winning cheeses and home-made gelatos. Kids will enjoy the trip to visit the goats. For those who avoid gluten, Carmelis’ is paradise, as all of their gelato is made with goat cheese and unmatched for the intensity of their flavors.

by  EAT Okanagan Reporter, Claire Sear

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