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Possibly the Best Little Gelato Cafe in Montreal

Possibly the Best Little Gelato Cafe in Montreal

For a small woman, I’ve eaten a lot of gelato. I mean really a lot. In Rome, Florence, New York, Montreal, Sydney and beyond. Wherever I could find a Little Italy. So it takes a lot to wow me.

But last week I found what is quite possibly… the very best I have ever tasted. Right here in Montreal! No lie, no paid endorsement, and absolutely no affiliation. This is the honest-to-goodness truth. So if, like me, you are a quality-hunter, and will go to extraordinary lengths to get the freshest, most flavourful food you can find, then have I got a treat for you.

Chez Vincenzo

Chez Vincenzo, an authentic artisanal gelateria, sits on the corner of Berri and Villeray, 3 blocks north of Metro Jean-Talon. Run by Vincenzo, a young Italian who was trained in Italy (check out the diploma from Carpigiano Gelato University on the wall) and honed his skills in a gelateria in Calabria, Southern Italy, it is worth the trek.

We were done in two minutes. But it was a fantastic two minutes.

He makes small batches, from scratch, with only the best ingredients. On the night we went, he was offering a mix of unusual flavours —Sesame, Liquirizia, Sabayon—alongside die-hard favourites, like Caramel de Sel, Café and various chocolate concoctions. There were several other flavours, but by 7pm, he had sold out of them.


Chez Vincenzo Gelateria might just be the best gelato joint in Montreal!

Pick a Flavour!

I chose the Pistachio because it’s very hard to get right, and easy to botch, and thus makes the ultimate “test flavour” for gelato connoisseurs. I added a second scoop of Caramel de Sel. In a cup, so there was no distracting extra flavours. Closing my eyes, I took a spoonful without knowing what flavour I’d chosen.

Toasted pistachio filled my head. Wow. It was intense. In a great way. Two bites later, sweet golden caramel with a tang of salt. Holy Moly. Of course I had to try my friend’s as well: Sabayon. What can I say, my mouth was singing. The flavours were so clean and pure, there was no mistaking one for the other.

We were done in two minutes. But it was a fantastic two minutes.

So, if you know a proud Italian, impress them by taking them here. If, blind-folded, you don’t think you could really taste any difference between gelato and ice cream, go and be enlightened. If you’ve never had anything but supermarket gelato, this place might just blow your mind. Seriously. Just go.

Chez Vincenzo
500 Villeray, Montreal, Quebec H2R 1H4, Canada
Tues – Fri: 7am – 9pm
Sat & Sun: 9am – 9pm.

There’s no website yet. They’re too busy making gelato (and coffee, and panini). But there’s a Facebook page with 100+ five-star reviews. See? It’s not just me.

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Belinda Darcey writes about travel, design and fashion. She is the author of The Princ…