Scoops of Summer: Searching for Vancouver’s Best Ice Cream

Photo credit: Flickr user fortes

Gelato. Sorbet. Ice cream. Soft serve. Fro Yo. I’ll choose a frozen treat over a slice of cake any time of year. Undoubtedly, no matter which version you prefer, scoops of summer taste better when the sun is shining.

As a beach front city, Vancouver should and does boast all types. From small batch, artisan gelato shops to edgy, new soft serve upstarts and classic creameries, Vancouver’s got it going on.

Don’t wing your dessert options. Here’s a round up of Vancouver’s best ice cream shops to help you get a head start on summer.

Bella Gelateria. Photo credit: Inside Vancouver


Authentic Italian cuisine plus Vancouver equals amore.

In terms of sheer number of flavours, no one beats La Casa Gelato (1033 Venables Street) and their 218 varieties including: pear gorgonzola, black sesame, curry, lavender and champagne pink grapefruit. Enter the pink stucco building and get lost in a taste-athon  time warp.

Meanwhile Bella Gelateria (1001 West Cordova) specializes in artisan, small batch production using organic milk and local ingredients whenever possible. Bella’s gelato maker James Coleridge recently competed in the 2012 Gelato World Cup.

Coleridge opened Bella Gelateria after tasting gelato on his honeymoon in Venice and trained at the Carpigiani Gelato University, which is located in Candyland right next to Willy Wonka’s house. Just kidding. It’s in Bologna. Flavous include: pistachio Siciliano, chocolate orange, bacio and Thai coconut milk.

Bella’s limited edition bacon chocolate gelato is now available on Edible Canada’s special Coast to Coast – 100-Percent Canadian Bacon Menu (Granville Island).

Ice Cream

While gelato consists of milk, sugar and flavour, classic ice cream – which is increasingly hard to find – is richer, using both milk and cream. Vancouverites flock to Stanley Park’s Prospect Point Cafe for their “World Famous Ice Cream” and panoramic view.

Denman’s Marble Slab – the popular mix your own flavour destination – is swamped on beach days in the West End. Nimby Burger, across from Kits Beach on Yew, serves real ice cream milk shakes in choc, strawberry and vanilla.

Soft Serve

Soft serve old school cool is now available at Fat Dragon BBQ (566 Powell), the newest East Van restaurant project by the dream team behind Campagnolo and Campagnolo Roma. Flavours change daily. Enjoy the surprise.

Otherwise, don’t underrate Ikea’s $1 cone.

Frozen Yogurt

Vancouver’s fro yo options continue to grow. Scoop! in beachfront Kitsilano (2050 W 4th) is popular for their probiotic yogurt, in house board games and mochi toppings.

Menchie’s – now open on Cambie – serves up flavours including: peanut butter, pomegranate tart, chocolate cake and vanilla latte.

What’s your favourite gelato, sorbet, ice cream, soft serve or fro yo destination?  Help out by commenting.

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15 Responses to Scoops of Summer: Searching for Vancouver’s Best Ice Cream

  1. vpro

    GI Gelato on Granville Island – under the bridge and under the Sandbar – has delicious flavours and generous sizes.

  2. You got it right with gelato, Bella Gelateria is absolutely the best. Yaletown Gelato is quite good too.
    When it comes to frozen yogurt, Pinkberry is the greatest ever. I do like Yogen Fruz, but I crave Pinkberry.

  3. MamaK

    Brazza on the NorthShore has the best gelato hands down. Mondo Gelato is a close 2nd…

  4. MariaB

    There is also a Marble Slab on West Broadway, west block of Cambie

  5. J

    i love Qoola! It’s self-serve and i feel like the toppings of choice are healthier than Menchies :)

    • Cooper

      Cannot believe you didn’t mention Qoola… the BEST and freshest froyo around! their greentea+marionberry sauce+mochi combo is my favorite.

  6. We offer the best handcrafted ice cream bars made with Avalon dairy cream & free range eggs on a decadent brownie base. Enrobed in dark chocolate.

  7. definitely my fave gelato place is bella gelateria….but my absolute fave frozen treat is pinkberry froyo! i’ve tried scoop, qoola and menchies, but pinkberry wins hands down every time ;D

  8. for gelato what about – Gelateria Dolce Amore on Commercial Drive

    for ice cream – can’t beat Dairy Queen – although they may be ice milk – varied locations – Marble Slab and possibly Cold Stone Creamier are runners up

    for frozen yogurt – i’ve been told Pinkberry is to die for, haven’t had the pleasure yet but Metrotown is pretty central

  9. La Casa Gelato! Oh how much I love them. :)
    The creamy cold gelato! Very much I want this summer! :)
    ice cream for business! click here

  10. I guess it’s time keep our tongues licking these great cold delights! :) Yum yum!

  11. Wow! They looked so irresistible. Love that threesome ice cream. :)

  12. Kathleen

    The list is not complete without Dolce Amore on Commercial. Best gelato ever! Nuff said. :o)

    I make special trips to the area – just for them! I’ll admit it, I’ve been known to stock up on pints. They are like a treasure in my freezer.

  13. Nicolas

    Back in early 80’s , there was an Italian ice cream parlor on
    Robson St. Does anyone remember the name of that place ?

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