Whether you fancy a simple soft serve, or double and triple scoops of your favourite flavours, ice cream (or alternative options) can bring families and friends together. With ice cream shops all across Calgary, the NW has the right mix of old and new to satisfy your cravings and host your get togethers. Are you ready to try something new for the summer?
Nothing celebrates the season like a creamy, and downright dreamy, scoop of ice cream. And though the summers seem short, Calgarians know a thing or two about enjoying this frozen sweet treat at anytime.
Just ask Leavitt’s Ice Cream Shop, fondly known as Lic’s, which set up shop in the NW Calgary community of Parkdale 35 years ago, and is still scooping up favourite flavours for long-time and new customers.
“Our passion for ice cream runs deep – three generations deep! It was nurtured from a young age by my grandparents,” recalls Elizabeth Leavitt, who owns Lic’s with her husband, Bryce Leavitt.
As toddlers, Elizabeth and Bryce, used to stand anxiously by and watch their grandparents as they cranked their hand-churned ice cream.
The family-owned and operated ice cream shop officially started in June of 1982 when Elizabeth, Bryce and her in-laws decided to open a modest shop serving sweet scoops of ice-cream goodness to NW Calgary patrons. In her 20s, Elizabeth found herself behind the counter with scooper in hand and helped create the legendary Lic’s dynasty.
“We’re so family-oriented and really wanted a place where our customers felt like family too. To this day, we have stayed true to our humble beginnings,” she says. “Displayed around the shop are family-owned vintage pieces, including a 1920’s cash register that belonged to my grandparents. It gives our customers that family-grown feel.”
In the early days, Lic’s offered flavours that were fairly simple– chocolate, neapolitan, vanilla, butterscotch – the typical North American ice cream fare.
Fast forward 35 years, the most popular varieties include new must-try summer flavours like mango sorbet and salted caramel. For those seeking more traditional flavours, try all-time classics like:
With 44 flavours on display at any given time and a frozen yogurt bar with nine different fruit options, it’s tough to pick your flavour of the day. Or come back to try them all!
The best part is that there are options for everyone. Whether you’re diabetic, have a gluten allergy or are lactose intolerant, Lic’s has something for everyone. Now, everyone can take part in the Lic’s experience.
Lic’s is just a short trip away from University District. Elizabeth is familiar with the route because she passes by NW Calgary’s newest urban development every day on her way to open shop.
“It’s exciting to see it come to life. Before, the hillside was overgrown. University District is beautifying the area and as a neighbour, we appreciate it. It’s creating the hope for a greater sense of community.”
Year after year, NW Calgary’s favourite ice cream shop has been welcoming sweet-tooth fans – new and long-time customers – who have made a visit to Lic’s a summer tradition.
“As University District develops, we’re excited to meet new families and neighbours to help them start a new summer tradition with us. These connections are part of what makes NW Calgary so special.”
Whether you’re looking for a new ice cream shop to cool off at during the hot summer days, or you simply have that craving, treat yourself and your Instagram feed to some of the most delicious scoops our city has to offer. Explore the best ice cream shops in NW Calgary – you don’t even need an excuse because July is National Ice Cream Month!
Where: 3410 3rd Avenue N.W.
Number of flavours: 44 flavours on display
Don’t miss: Pistachio & Almond
Where: 4105 Montgomery View N.W.
Number of flavours: 8 flavours
Don’t miss: Superhero
Where: 2104 Kensington Road N.W.
Number of flavours: 36 flavours on rotation
Don’t miss: Cookies and Cream
Where: 918 Centre Street North
Number of flavours: 7 flavours
Don’t miss: S’mores
Where: Hillhurst – opening soon!
Number of flavours: 10 flavours
Don’t miss: Tahitian Vanilla Bean
The University District blog is a resource for Calgarians who want to live, work, play, visit or buy in the northwest. We will provide you with information, stories, news and inspiration about the things that matter so you can live a more inspired, active and connected life in NW Calgary at University District… Life works here.