As a big ice cream lover, I find it hard for the ice cream world to surprise me.

However, lately the ice cream game has changed completely with new competitors popping up almost daily. Gone are the days where plain scoops of ice cream were reasonable. Now with the rise of food photography, these desserts are becoming more and more instagramable to keep up with the market.

This made me think if these massive ice cream cones are really as delicious as they look—are they seriously worth the hype? So I set off in search of delicious ice cream around Toronto and created a list of the most hyped ice cream joints I knew and if they are worth more than a pretty picture.

1. Sweet Jesus

Ice Cream

Photo by Julia Wigdor

Calling sinners everywhere, Sweet Jesus is the place to go for the most beautiful ice cream you will ever see. From s’mores to red velvet to cotton candy, this popular downtown Toronto joint seriously knows how to make pretty cones a science.

Don’t bother trying to search for their concoctions online because you won’t find them unless you go there in person. You won’t need to worry about being rushed to place your order since you’ll be waiting in line for at least an hour, depending on the time of day you choose to go.

Sweet Jesus knows how to make mean toppings. Their cake and candy pieces are to die for, but the ice cream on the other hand is subjective. If you like a lighter kind of tangy soft-serve, then Sweet Jesus is the place for you.

Overall, is Sweet Jesus worth the hype? Yeah, kind of. The ice cream is good but the wait isn’t necessarily worth it.

2. The Big Chill

Ice Cream

Photo by Julia Wigdor

What it lacks in toppings, The Big Chill makes up for in delicious ice cream flavours. With so many to choose from, it’s easy to get lost in the eyes of this ice cream monster. If you’re not feeling traditional ice cream, The Big Chill also offers many different food options like crepes, waffles, and smoothies that you can enjoy in their quirky cow themed restaurant.

With a dollop of whipped cream and a mini oreo on top, The Big Chill does flavours right. And if you’re a waffle cone fan, The Big Chill makes them fresh so if you’re not running there already, I don’t know what you’re waiting for.

So is The Big Chill worth the hype? Absolutely. If you’re in the mood for classic ice cream with a twist, then this is the perfect place for you.

3. Dutch Dreams

Ice Cream

Photo courtesy of @honeystores on Instagram

If quirky decorations are not your thing, then Dutch Dreams is not the place for you. What might change your mind, though, is the temptation of their ice cream with tons of amazing toppings. Dutch Dreams is somewhat of a staple in Toronto as it’s been around for as long as I’ve been alive (definitely longer), and that is because of the quality of their product.

If you won’t take my word for it, Drake also loves Dutch Dreams, so much that they named a flavour after him. With so many flavours to choose from, even an infinite amount if you decide to mix and match to create your own, Dutch Dreams is sure to please everyone.

Would I say Dutch Dreams is worth the hype? Yeah! If it’s good enough for Drake it has to be good enough for me, right?

4. Pancho’s Bakery

Ice Cream

Photo by Julia Wigdor

On a little bit of a different note, Pancho’s Bakery doesn’t really do ice cream. What do I mean? Well they specialize in cones, and when I say cones I don’t mean regular cones. Oh no no no, I mean the most amazing cone you didn’t think could be a cone but is a cone, and it’s called the churro cone.

Yes, Pancho’s Bakery decided to do the unthinkable by taking a delicious dessert, the churro, and turn it into a cone. It’s rich and heavy and everything you’d expect out of a giant churro filled with ice cream and sauce of your choosing.

One downside to the churro cone though is its freshness. I know fresh is a great thing! But when this churro is too fresh and super hot it melts the ice cream faster than you can eat it which makes a huge delicious sticky mess. But don’t worry, they give you a cute ‘I Love Churros’ cup to hold the creation in so if you’re a fast eater, the churro cone is the cone for you.

So is the Churro Cone worth the hype? Sure to try it once or twice. The ice cream was nothing special but the cone was so rich and heavy you’re going to need four stomachs just to finish it.

5. Booyah!

Ice Cream

Photo by Julia Wigdor

So I decided to follow the saying and I saved the best for last. Booyah, which is probably the newest ice cream joint on the block, is everything you will want out of an ice cream place. With their fresh cookies for delicious sandwiches, waffle cones shaped like tacos, and ice cream stuffed pastries, Booyah is as unreal as ice cream places get.

I spent a good half hour just deciding what type of combination I wanted and another half hour deciding what flavour to choose. Everything inside that little store is so delicious that I’ve already started making many plans to go back and try a different combo.

For all my non-dairy friends, Booyah also has amazing dairy free options that are just as delicious as regular ice cream. Don’t wait until 5 to 6pm to head out though, or you’ll get caught in a line and who seriously wants that?

Lastly is Booyah really worth the hype? 100000% YES. There is seriously something at Booyah for everyone so go right now. I’m serious right this second and check it out because man oh man is it worth it.

So if you’re still reading this and you’re not on your way to one of these locations I have not done my job. Happy ice cream adventures!