Whenever you talk to a Vancouverite about ice cream, one name ALWAYS pops up. Freaken EARNEST.
One, their staff are so darn nice. AND two, their ice cream is SO DARN good.
Like every ice cream shop on the planet, you can sample all the flavours before picking your 2 scoopers (always get 2). Do this. But if you’re basic like us, you’ll just end up getting their signature Whiskey Hazelnut or London Fog every time.
Not cause their seasonal flavours are bad (not even close) or their collaboration ones. Those two flavours just specifically hit us in a different way.
Word of caution: Lines get REALLY long during the summer. So be prepared for that. If you’re semi-allergic to long lines like us and know the flavour you fancy, squeeze past everyone and head straight to the side counter to buy a pint instead.
Not only will you be the envy of everyone in that line, you also get the jar to take home if you somehow (note emphasis) don’t finish the pint in one go. Clean it and use it to grow some green onions or return it to Earnest for a $1 refund.
Locations: -3992 Fraser St, Vancouver, BC V5V 4E4 -1829 Quebec St, Vancouver, BC V5T 2Z3 -1485 Frances St, Vancouver, BC V5L 1Z1 -127 W 1st St, North Vancouver, BC V7M 1B1
When it comes to Passione, you get the vibe of a small neighbourhood gelateria with its tiny storefront, generous portions and the oh-so-friendly & soft-spoken Italian owner (Salvatore Boccoarossa) serving you behind the counter.
But then you add in the expertise and international accolades of Salvatore (graduate of Carpigiani Gelato University and winner of the Grand Title of North America Champions) and the unrelenting focus on only using fresh organic seasonal ingredients…
You get Passione Gelato in its entirety.
Their gelato is rich, creamy, hella aromatic. You’ll find a rotating list of flavours but some fan favourites include Pistachio, Tiramisu, and Sesame. Seasonal flavours like Fresh Mango, Yuzu, Thai Tea and Passion Fruit are also really popular.
Sal’s current favourites? Coconut and Amarena Cherry.
When it comes to grabbing a frozen treat in Richmond, Timothy’s is THE place every Vancouverite will scream for. Although they offer your classic ice cream and gelato, the real star (let’s be honest) is their amazingly fresh real fruit frozen yogurts.
Timothy’s froyos are made-to-order and have been operating since 1989. Choose from a variety of frozen fruits and they’ll blend it up to make the frozen yogurt! Popular combinations include peach & mango, mixed berries & mango, strawberry & peach, or blackberry & mango.
And for the full Timothy’s experience, make sure you get your froyo in a waffle cone! It’s 100% worth it for the extra cost since they make the waffle cones inhouse and right in front of your eyes!
Is there anything better than walking around Steveston Wharf with froyo? We think not!
If you’re feeling a little bit fancy and want to be magically transported to a cafe in Paris, a quaint little shop over in Kitsilano, called La Glace with their premier line of French ice cream that will surely hit the spot.
Their award-winning ice cream is made from scratch out of a Creme Anglaise base: basically a thick custard made out of egg yolks and heavy cream. What you get is a richer and fuller mouthfeel.
On the menu, you’ll find Cofounder Mark Tagulao’s creative spin on common ice cream flavours and an emphasis on seasonal local ingredients. Like their Matcha Strawberry using BC grown strawberry compote or Lemon Ricotta & Blueberry Sherbet made with Emmalea Farms local blueberries.
Besides just your standard scoop of ice cream, they also have ice cream cakes, flights, pastries and coffee for you to further indulge and spend more time being in awe at their whimsical decor.
Even one of our fav local foodies itsjosheats picked La Glace as one of his favourite summer spots to eat at!
Pro-tip: add a meringue on top of your ice cream for an even more stellar Instagram photo that will make your friends jealous and an even more amazing experience.
“Passion, goodness, and spoonfuls of fun,” that’s how co-owner Ian Bruce and co. defines their ice cream shop. We think it’s spot on.
From the signage to the oldschool-newschool-esque booths inside to the whimsical colours that embody EVERYTHING, Umaluma is a whole lot of fun.
What’s even more fun is how crazily good their plant-based gelato is. Without a doubt you will be stunned that it is 100% dairy-free. Every time we catch ourselves just wondering how could it be so good, yet no milk is used?!
The magic? Top-notch organic ingredients, a lot of skill, and taking an artisanal approach to crafting such delicious gelato.
From fruit-based gelatos to vanillas to chocolates to sorbettos, you’ll surely find THE one for you among their wide variety of flavours (over 2 dozen and rotating). Two of our standard favs is the Panda and Dark Chocolate Truffle. And if you’re in luck, you might catch the Horchata and Vancouver Sunset in their rotation.
P.S. You can also find their pints at local grocers like Whole Foods too!
Location: 235 East Pender St, Vancouver, BC, Canada, V6A 1T8
Cofounder and owners Blair and Josie had one goal in mind when starting up Rain or Shine: create delicious ice cream without all the chemical crap you see in processed food. And that’s exactly what they did.
Now with 3 locations and a truck roaming the city, Rain or Shine has spawned a legion of fans who go wild for their locally and organically sourced ice cream. Fan favs include London Fog, Blueberry Balsamic, and Cranberry Cheesecake.
And unlike other ice cream shops, they let you get two flavours in one scoop. That’s a major win for those who are always stuck on choosing which flavour to get!
Pro-tip: They have ice cream taco Tuesdays too!
Locations: -3382 Cambie St, Vancouver, BC V5Z 2W5 -1926 W 4th Ave #102, Vancouver, BC V6J 1M6 -6001 University Blvd, Vancouver, BC V6T 0C5 (UBC)
This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Mister, a tiny liquid nitrogen ice cream shop located just steps from the Yaletown Canada Line Station.
Unlike regular ice cream, using liquid nitrogen freezes the cream and creates a frozen treat that is denser, smoother, and creamier. And since each ice cream is made-to-order, it’s a fun sight to see as the gas flows out of the bowls and down the counter – something that entertains both kids and adults!
Like other ice cream shops in Vancouver, Mister has an emphasis on sourcing ingredients from local farmers and suppliers (support local!). So you’ll find a menu that has seasonal item and ones that are around year-long like Matcha, Creme Brulee and Thai Milk Tea.
But what really makes Mister shine and a league of their own is their willingness to step out-of-bounds and “drop” new unique flavours in ice cream or ice cream sandwich form. Some previous ones include…
Jalapeno Honey Chicken Skin Sandos
Ritz Cookie Ice Cream
Flaming Hot Cheetos Ice Cream Sando
Citrus Beet Ice Cream
Hong Kong Style Milk Tea Sandwich Between Pineapple Bun
So whether you opt for the gasly spectacle of their liquid nitrogen ice cream or a sando, you’ll be in good hands. Although there aren’t many seats available, we recommend taking your epic frozen treat on a stroll down Mainland Street or to the waterside.
Location: 1141 Mainland Street, Vancouver, BC V5V 3N7
Vancouver is matcha crazy. We’re matcha crazy. And if you’re looking to satisfy your craving, Popular Japanese Matcha brand, Nana’s Green Tea in Kerisdale will have that deep green tea flavour that will make your heart sing.
Get the Matcha Soft Serve with Shiratama (mochi balls) and you won’t be disappointed. Or if you fancy an ice cream float, try their Matcha Shiratama Float or towering Signature Matcha Parfait with Shiratama.
You can opt to dine-in or grab the soft serve to go on a stroll around the relaxed and carefree Kerrisdale neighbourhood.
If you’re looking for a memorable experience with friends or a partner, La Casa Gelato is the place to visit.
Aside from its iconic pink wall, that is perfect for your Instagram photos, inside you’ll find over 200 flavours to choose from. Yup – over 200 (238 to be exact). In fact, they are a Guinness World Record Holder!
The fun and longlasting memories come from testing some of the ODD and unexpected flavours there. Like Sake, Curry, Durian, Roast Garlic or Maple Bacon and then telling your companions to try it as well.
If you’re an adventurer, you’ll find yourself exploring La Casa Gelato for a good hour before deciding on your scoops.
Location: 1033 Venables Street, Vancouver, BC V6A 3R9
Honourable Mentions: 720 Sweets Metrotown, Bells & Whistles, Uno Gelato, Bon Crepe in Kobiniya, Dolar Shop
You’re in luck that Vancouver has a ton of amazing ice cream shops around. But if you’re the type that doesn’t fit in the “dessert first” mold and are looking for some good grub to get you going, consider these stellar fried chicken or sushi spots that will surely hit the mark. And then you tally back here for the dessert.
But that’s up to your priorities on where dessert fits!