Here's the scoop: Ice cream shops in Vancouver

Ice cream: what more needs to be said? We've got the scoop on some of the city’s best. From taco-style waffle cones to virtuous vegan treats, here are a few of our fave Vancouver ice cream joints. [Photo courtesy of Rain or Shine Ice Cream]

Earnest Ice Cream

3992 Fraser St, Vancouver, BC V5V 4E4

Originally only available at small, specialty grocery stores, the signature glass jars with the brown labels and large-print font filled with delectable creamery goodness were a cult favourite. When their full-scale “scoop shop” opened, fans rejoiced and Earnest went mainstream. Their permanent stock of six flavours is augmented by an impressive array of seasonal offerings, including original flavours like spruce tip, blackberry black pepper and 33 Acres of Malt, featuring beer from the local brewery.

Dolce Amore

1588 Commercial Dr, Vancouver, BC V5L 3Y2

Currently in the hands of the fourth generation of the Grippo family, Dolce Amore is the Drive’s favourite place for gelato. Made in the traditional Italian style, the cases are beauties to behold. Stainless steel chaffing dishes overflow with balls of gelato, topped with a flourish of garnishes that reveal their flavours. You can also find 500 mL, 750 mL, 1, 2 and 5 L tubs of the good stuff to go to ensure your freezer is adequately stocked for those midnight cravings.

Soft Peaks Ice Cream

25 Alexander St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1B2

Move over Dairy Queen, there’s another soft serve royal in town. You’d think opening an ice cream store in the middle of February would be a strange business decision, but the lineup for this Gastown shop clearly shows that there’s no one season for ice cream. Using only organic ingredients, and relying on Avalon milk rather than cream, means this lower-fat, but still delicious confection is a truly local product and good for the earth. Toppings like fresh honeycomb, Himalayan pink salt or Yuzu marmalade indicate the foodie-focussed nature of this outfit and have guaranteed an instant following.

La Casa Gelato By International Ice Cream Factory

1033 Venables St, Vancouver, BC V6A 3R9

A scoop at this brightly lit shop at the corner of Venables and Glen Drive is an event unto itself. On any given night, the place is jammed with families, dates, friends and individuals testing out any number of their 200+ flavours. Thanks to house-made waffle cones, the aroma wafting outside is irresistible — your only job is to narrow down what you’ll fill yours with. From the classic to the outrageous — durian fruit? curry? — turn your ice cream outing into an adventure.

Bella Gelateria

1001 Cordova St W, Vancouver, BC V6C 0B7

The word is out that Bella Gelateria, now with two locations, is some of the best gelato this side of the Arno River. Lineups down the block and around the corner from their Cordova Street café belie the tasty offerings inside. You can tell a Bella cone by the precarious way your gelato clings to the sides or the messy dollop in your cup, signs of the rich, quality ingredients that go into “Maestro” James’s creative concoctions.

Rain or Shine Homemade Ice Cream Ltd

102-1926 4th Ave W, Vancouver, BC V6J 1M5

This upbeat, sunny little shop along 4th Avenue is an excellent place to stop for your ice cream fix. With a solid list of “keepers” — flavours always on offer like salted caramel, London fog and blueberry balsamic — as well as a rotating list of “seasonal flings,” all this frozen dairy goodness is made from local ingredients. Top your cone with foodie-worthy sauces (fig balsamic reduction, lemon olive oil), or turn your cone into a shake for a drinkable treat.

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