Heaven. On. A. Cone.
Not only is it the best ice cream in Quebec City, it's probably the best in Canada. It actually makes my Top 5 list of any ice cream in any corner of the world. And that's saying a lot.
Anyone that knows me knows that I am an ice cream junkie. I have favorites on several continents, I read reviews to find the best new shops on business trips, and finding good ice cream is one the top priorities when we move to a new place. Suffice it to say that I get more excited about a new ice cream spot than any other food experience on vacation. Ask my wife - I convince her to go way out of our way for the perfect cone.
When we first rolled into Chocolats Favoris on our first visit to Quebec City 6 years ago, I could tell that this place was special, and it did not disappoint on our return visit…or our next return visit…or the one after that. Yes, we did go three times in three days. In two cities (Quebec City and Montreal). No, it was not the kids who pressured us to do this - it was all me.
To begin, I’ll acknowledge that Chocolots Favoris sells a pretty wide variety of treats and sweets including a full chocolate shop. I’m not going to talk about any of that. From the moment I read my first review ahead of our initial visit and saw pictures, we've only had eyes for the chocolate-dipped ice cream.
How to Build Your Cone
The construction of the cone is pretty simple:
1. Choose your size:
The bigger, the better, obviously.
2. Choose your favorite flavor of soft serve:
Start with a base of soft-serve ice cream. It is rich, creamy, and delicious, but in this combination, it really does serve as a base. I’ll admit that I’ve only had the vanilla and chocolate, but I’m not sure that you can really go wrong. Whatever you choose, I’m sure your concoction is going to be delicious.
Note: The chocolate dipping sauce sticks doesn't stick well to the chocolate soft serve, so they'll only serve you chocolate ice cream in a cup. It's delicious, but if you like to eat an ice cream cone, choose a different base flavor. Counterintuitively, this also makes the ice cream much messier and more difficult to eat. The first time we went, our kids got chocolate. From then on we all always went with vanilla and weren't disappointed.
3. Choose your chocolate dip:
Milk Chocolate Base
Original Milk Chocolate
Dulce de Leche
Dark Chocolate Base
- Original Dark
- Orange Burst
White Chocolate Base
Cookies and Cream
This is where the magic happens. We’ve probably all experienced “chocolate shell” in the past. This is not that. The chocolate dip at Chocolats Favoris dries thick, soft, and chewy…and incredibly tasty. It isn’t brittle, and it doesn’t break off in chunks and fall all over your clothes when you bite into it. It’s like a luxurious chocolate bar that wraps around your ice cream and holds it inside until you get to it. In a word, it’s amazing.
Even with our three trips, we can’t comment on all the flavors of chocolate. Out of the ones that we tried, the Milk Chocolate, S’mores, and Salted Caramel were top of our list.
Another note: In our family, we tended to think that anything with a milk chocolate base was slightly softer and chewier than anything with a dark chocolate base. I wouldn’t let that dissuade you from dark chocolate if that is your persuasion, but we did find the Milk Chocolate to be a slightly better experience.
4. Choose your topping (if any)
Unless I’m eating plain vanilla ice cream, I’m not really a “topping” guy. In my mind, the chocolate dips take care of any added flavor that I need, and I never got any toppings. The kids did get sprinkles once, but then didn’t get them the second time. I don’t really feel that toppings are an integral part of the experience, but if you disagree, and think that crushed nuts would improve your vanilla with salted caramel, by all means indulge…I don’t think it’s going to hurt anything.
Making me choose a favorite ice cream shop is like making me choose my favorite child, and I’m not quite prepared to do that. That said, I’m not sure that I’ve ever had an ice cream that clearly surpasses this one, and I would recommend this place to anyone within a 100 mile radius of a shop. It was that good.
Fondues to Take Home
So after three visits in three days and facing the prospect of not being in Canada again in the foreseeable future, we were looking for a way to extend our Chocolats Favoris experience. We found that extension in the form of their take-home chocolate fondues.
The fondues come in the same flavors as the chocolate dips (they may be exactly the same thing, but we’re not sure if they are quite the same consistency), and the Salted Caramel flavor that we brought home was equally wonderful. For dip-able dessert items, we bought some strawberries, marshmallows, cheesecake, and pound cake, and I honestly couldn’t tell you which one was my favorite.
The instructions tell you to submerge the can of fondue in a pot of boiling water for 20 minutes, but we didn’t find that to be quite enough. We took it out of the pot and emptied it into our fondue pot, and it warmed up very well.
Finding Chocolats Favoris
Chocolats Favoris opened its first location in Levis (across the river from Quebec City) in 1979. Although they now have over 20 locations across Canada, there’s definitely a higher concentration close to their birthplace in the province of Quebec. See their website for a map of shop locations.
Unfortunately, you won’t find Chocolats Favoris in the US…yet. We can hope that we can’t keep them away for too long. They also don’t ship fondues south of the border at this point, so the only way to get your hands on this chocolate is make the trek to Canada.
Don’t visit Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa, the Toronto area, or even Victoria, BC without stopping by.