It’s hard to imagine summer without ice cream: from the fairgrounds to the backyard, ice cream is the perennial favourite summertime treat for all ages. These days, ice cream comes in countless flavours (so many, in fact, that one Vancouver ice cream shop holds the Guinness World Record for most flavours) and styles, from soft serve to old-fashioned scoops. Here’s a few of our favourite spots for ice cream in Vancouver and the surrounding region… Head out to enjoy one (or make a field trip of it and spend the day on an ice cream tour!)
The Best Spots for Ice Cream in Vancouver
Glenburn Soda Fountain
For nearly ten years, Glenburn has been a favourite in the Heights neighbourhood of North Burnaby. This old-school fountain shop offers a step back in time and features not just ice cream but sundaes, milkshakes and malts as well as other homemade desserts.
Where: Gastown, Burnaby & Richmond
Known for their unique soft-serve recipe featuring local Avalon organic milk, this creamy, all-natural ice cream is a fan favourite. With a variety of toppings (like fruit from the Okanagan and honeycomb from the Fraser Valley), these ice cream cones also help support local children – the company donates partial proceeds from sales to BC Children’s Hospital.
Rain or Shine
Where: Kitsilano, UBC, Cambie
This local shop has grown to three great locations for ice cream in Vancouver, each of them popular all year long. They also offer a food truck location at English Bay (check here
for schedules). With unique flavours and a friendly community feel, Rain or Shine has become one of the city’s favourite ice cream destinations.
Earnest Ice Cream
Where: Vancouver and North Vancouver
With a focus on ethical practices, such as a zero waste approach to business, Earnest Ice Cream is a locally sourced and owned business with four locations for ice cream in Vancouver and one in North Vancouver. Keep your eye open at farmer’s markets for their wares, as well, and be sure to return the glass jars – they’re re-used like glass milk jars.
Want something a little bit fancy? Check out La Glace, a premier line of French ice cream. Made from scratch with a final product that is rich and decadent, this ice cream first appeared at select pop up events around town and has a storefront on West 16th. All of their products are made locally on site.
The iconic Vancouver ice cream shop is housed in a pink building in East Vancouver: Casa Gelato has been serving up all the choices (238 in all, actually) for decades now. This store actually holds the World Record for “Most Commercially Available Flavours.” It may take you a bit of time to decide which flavour you want. (Note: according to the website, the shop takes Canadian or US cash or debit cards, but no credit cards.)
J Squared Ice Cream
Check out the unique offerings at J Squared, which include the traditional favourites alongside unique combinations like matcha green tea, roasted oolong milk tea, Japanese black sesame, Vietnamese coffee and more.
Anny’s Dairy Bar
Here’s one of the region’s best kept secrets – the maple flavoured soft serve at Anny’s Dairy Bar in uptown New Westminster. A favourite of locals in the neighbourhood, people often make the trip out to Anny’s if they move away, just to get a taste of this unique ice cream. The shop also sells poutine, hot dogs, and more, so there’s plenty to round out your summer treats.
Rocky Point Ice Cream
Where: Port Moody, New Westminster, Coquitlam
This local favourite started off with one shop 25 years ago in a small kiosk in Rocky Point Park. They have three locations and make their own small batch flavours with classics like chocolate chip mint and unique flavour combinations that change from season to season.
Famous in Korea, where it was first launched, the Milkcow Café has come to Canada with two locations – one in Toronto and one right here in Richmond. Known for their unique soft serve and topping choices, this is one of the fastest growing ice cream chains in Asia, known as a favourite of many K-pop celebrities.