Panini & Ice Cream 1505 Main Street East

By Kristin Archer

I Heart Hamilton’s ice cream crawl is still trucking along, and what a tasty journey it has been.

A little east end gem, Panini & Ice Cream, had been on my list for quite some time. Shameful, really, that it took me this long, when it’s a place I have passed by countless times. It’s a humble spot that you could easily pass by, but one look at their social media and it’s pretty hard to ignore!

By now you know a recurring theme is my inability to choose a flavour in a timely fashion. But can you blame me when you’re staring at a list of mouth-watering Hewitt’s flavours: Black Cherry, Coconut, Banana Royale, Cookies & Cream, Watermelon Sherbet, Butterscotch Ripple, and of course your classics Chocolate, Vanilla, and Strawberry… it’s a task.

The decision-making doesn’t end there. How do you like it? Cone? Cup? Waffle cone? Sundae? (Which they specifically call their “Mind Blowing Sundae”). But herein lies the genius of Panini & Ice Cream: their famous Half & Half Shakes. Or as they like to call it, Half Shake, Half Amazing.

You can customize your shake – choose your shake/sundae/topping/sauce – or choose one of the brilliant creations they’ve come up with in their ice cream lab. I’m envisioning a very scientific, very delicious ice cream lab in the back.

During my visit I was celebrating I Heart Hamilton’s momentous 6th anniversary, so I went with the most festive possible, the Bubble Candy – a bubble gum shake topped with Cotton Candy Sundae with Nerds. The nostalgia of the Nerds, alone! I loved the combo of the hard ice cream and the thick, slurpy shake underneath.

With such epic shakes it’s hard to resist taking a picture. Share yours on social media and maybe you’ll even end up on their wall of fame that decorates the modest space.

And that’s just the ice cream. With a menu boasting of $5.99 paninis: Doritos panini, pizza panini, and Montreal smoked meat, to name a few, you bet I’ll be back.

Kristin Archer is the creator of I Heart Hamilton (, where she has blogged about experiences around her hometown since 2011, growing a social media presence along the way. Encouraging locals to “be a tourist in your own city,” she promotes arts and culture across her various social media platforms, blog, and weekly radio show on 93.3 CFMU.

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