Vancouver’s Best Ice Cream, Ranked

Summer is coming to an end and we need to get our last licks in. We've mapped out the best spots for your ranking consideration.
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Vancouver’s Best Ice Cream, Ranked

Summer is coming to a close so we’ve been busily licking our way through mountains of Vancouver ice cream (in the name of research). These are our picks for the best spots in town, presented on a map and in a poll for your ranking consideration. Happy spooning!

– top image via Welcome Ice Cream –

BETA5
413 Industrial Ave.

Though they specialize in chocolate it should be noted that they also make damn good ice cream, as evidenced by their themed, super fun Ice Cream Socials and outstanding ice cream sandwiches.

The Juice Truck (Main Street)
4236 Main St

They do some pretty tasty vegan soft serve here. Creamsicle and cookies & cream have both made appearances this summer, but it’s the peanut butter and jelly swirl that we’d line up for.

Soft Peaks
25 Alexander St.

The focus at this Gastown sweet-tooth magnet is soft serve made with organic milk. Lots of topic options. Go for the basic twist with honeycomb or coconut with chocolate syrup.

Rooster's Ice Cream Bar
1039 E Broadway

Tiny little Rooster’s is down the block from my VW mechanic so it’s where I go to feel better about life after dropping off my van (that has stopped working for the umpteenth time). Lemon poppyseed is my current balm.

Yum Sweet Shop
4150 Main St.

Where the hell was this place when I was a kid? Ice cream sandwiches, soft serve, sundaes, ice cream cakes, milkshakes — the lot! Salted caramel bars are pure heaven.

Amato Gelato
78 E 1st Ave, Vancouver, BC

Located on the edge of Olympic Village, this sliver of a people-watching spot offers 70+ flavours of creamy deliciousness. Grab a cone and walk the seawall west toward’s Stamp’s Landing, where you can buy another cone at Uno for the sake of comparison.

Uno Gelato (Burrard Landing)
#30-1055 Canada Place

This trio of new gelato shops opened last summer and the quality is extraordinarily good. Aim for the salted caramel of vegan “midnight chocolate”.

Uno Gelato (Stamps Landing) 601 Stamps Landing MAP
Uno Gelato (Broadway) 2579 West Broadway MAP
Earnest Ice Cream
3992 Fraser St.

The gangbusters success story of the local scoop game, Earnest – first launched in the Fraserhood back in 2010 – has expanded to include three other locations, which we’ve listed below. Secret weapon: sundaes.

Earnest Ice Cream (Olympic Village) 1829 Quebec St. MAP
Earnest Ice Cream (Frances St.) 1485 Frances St. MAP
Earnest Ice Cream (North Van) 127 W 1st St, North Vancouver MAP
Umaluma
235 East Pender St.

Dairy-free ice cream? Yup, and it’s fantastic stuff. We’ve been fans since day one. Love the look of the Chinatown shop, too. Wish their were more locations. Flavour: Dark Secret (sour cherries brewed in port wine with chocolate walnuts and quince).

Say Hello Sweets
400 Industrial Ave

Wait…vegan ice cream in cubes? Yup, Naomi Arnaut’s little company makes delicious stuff from coconut milk, agave nectar and cashew milk. If it’s on offer, pounce on the marshmallow flavour.

La Casa Gelato
1033 Venables St.

La Casa Gelato has been a neighbourhood institution in Strathcona for 35 years, serving up a dizzying array of 238 flavours, everything from gorgonzola and pear to strawberry cheesecake.

Rain Or Shine Ice Cream
102-1926 West 4th Ave.

There’s a good reason why the tiny sidewalk parklet outside Rain or Shine in Kits is always busy. The ice cream is fabulous! They also have locations on Cambie St. and out at UBC (listed below). Best flavour: Coffee Toffee or Honey Lavender.

Rain Or Shine (Cambie) 3382 Cambie St. MAP
Rain or Shine Ice Cream (UBC) 6001 University Boulevard MAP
Mister
1141 Mainland Street

Consistently excellent, decadently dense ice cream made with liquid nitrogen in-house. Mister uses all-natural, mostly locally sourced ingredients, and is a good reason to skip the dessert menu when out for dinner in Yaletown. Hot tip: Smores Bar.

Welcome Ice Cream
277 8th St E, North Vancouver

Want the best version of Rocky Road you’ve ever tasted in your life? Head to this small batch North Shore gem for a scoop or two.

Innocent Ice Cream
4895 Main St.

Our go-to when looking for something sweet in the Little Mountain neighbourhood. They specialize in gluten-free ice cream cookie sandwiches. Multitude of flavour combos to choose from. Aim for the Butter Cup (chocolate ice cream between the peanut butter cookies).

Dolce Amore
1588 Commercial Dr.

Mmm, this place is dangerously close to home. They use grass-fed milk, organic cane sugars and homemade nut butters to do their tasty thing. White chocolate coconut is ridiculous. Superb affogato.

Bella Gelateria
1001 W Cordova St.

The multiple award-winning, internationally celebrated bell of the gelato ball is famed for its consistent awesomeness across all flavours. The stuff is flawless. Current favourite: Wickedly Burnt Caramel.

Sweet Barrel Creamery
2729 Arbutus St.

A rebrand of the old Tangram Creamery, this new spot has some of the best coffee-flavoured ice cream we’ve ever tasted (among several other flavours).

Buckets
3330 Main St.

A small liquid nitrogen operation that compliments its mainstay flavours with must-try oddities like Oolong and Sweet Maple Corn. Secret weapon: strawberry milkshakes and lemon cookie ice cream sandwiches.

La Glace
2785 W 16th Ave.

Arguably Vancouver’s most attractive ice cream parlour. They don’t rest on their aesthetic, however, as the French-style product is superb. (In my personal opinion, this stuff has the best mouth-feel of any Vancouver ice cream.)

Who makes the best ice cream in Vancouver?

View Results

There are 10 comments

  1. How can you try to rank and compare Ice Cream and Gelato when the two are so different?
    There are other great Gelato shops like D’oro and Passione and others that are not even on your list let alone tested or tried.
    Perhaps you should identify first what are you scouting for best Gelato or best Ice cream? Then be methodical!
    This is poor!

  2. Hi Giueseppe. Fair point. Gelato and ice cream are different, but since they are enjoyed and celebrated in the same manner I thought it appropriate to include gelato in the ice cream poll. Also, in the past we have not included gelato in ice cream stories and been burned by it. It’s a scylla and charybdis. Sorry to disappoint.

  3. Say Hello Sweets is by far the best ice cream I’ve EVER had! I love it so much that my wife and I had their ice cream truck come to our wedding to surprise the guests with desert. We didn’t tell anyone it was vegan, and literally no one noticed the difference, with people going back for seconds and thirds!

  4. Nice – some new places to try, some old favourites. The Sun just did a feature where they anointed Sweet Barrel as “the best,” a fool’s errand, but mentioned many of the same venues you do.

    Utterly out of scope – forgive, if you will – is Mallard in Bellingham, in about the center of the gourmet ghetto downtown on Railroad. They fire on all cylinders, with great mouthfeel and genius flavours. We bring as much of their stuff back with us as fits the cooler. Dairy-based and sorbets only, though.

  5. I regret that I misspoke – Vancouver Sun anointed La Glace, not Sweet Barrel. Sorry.

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