Warm weather is here, and with it an excuse to indulge in a scoop or three of ice cream. Although supermarket freezers are exploding with delicious vegan ice cream choices (Luna & Larry’s salted caramel & chocolate is a personal favourite), sometimes we all want to let someone else do the scooping while we enjoy a new flavour with friends.
Fortunately, there’s no shortage of mouthwatering, cow-approved vegan ice cream options in Vancouver. Here are five of our favourites:
1. Chau Veggie Express, 5052 Victoria Drive
Caramelized Banana and Chocolate Chunk Cookie Dough; Image Chau Veggie Express
Chau Veggie Express offers a wide variety of ice creams by the scoop and pint, all of which are vegan. Current flavours include: coconut vanilla bean, Vietnamese coffee chocolate, Thai iced tea, chocolate hazelnut praline, caramelized bananas and cookie dough, coconut vanilla bean and lemongrass, and coconut pandan leaf and kale.
Andrew, Chau’s pastry chef and the genius behind Chau’s innovate vegan ice cream offerings, says: “I developed the recipes based on my favourite childhood memories. The ice creams are salted. The ice cream base is seasoned to reflect a very traditional Vietnamese style preparation of coconut cream used in Vietnamese desserts as well as savoury dishes, and I love it. It gives the ice cream another dimension and depth of flavour, and this is the way I grew up eating desserts at
Vietnamese shops and cafes.”
2. Earnest Ice Cream, Multiple Locations
Mint Chip; Image Earnest Ice Cream
Earnest Ice Cream serves up rotating, seasonal flavours alongside classics. Scoops and pints are available in their two shops, while their pints can be found at distributors all over the city.
Earnest Ice Cream says, “We change our vegan flavours weekly. We try to have two offerings, but depending on popularity sometimes one sells rather quickly.” Past vegan offerings have included coconut-lime sorbet, café au lait, chocolate, cookies + cream, lemon, maple walnut, and mint chip. Check out their website for what’s currently available in their scoop shops!
3. Rain or Shine, 1926 West 4th; 3382 Cambie
Coconut Chocolate Chunk; Image Rain or Shine
Rain or Shine has on its regular menu a vegan sundae: the Yumaste! It’s made with coconut chocolate chunk ice cream, seasonal berry compote, chocolate sauce and candied hazelnuts. All of their sundae toppings are made in house; other vegan offerings include fig balsamic reduction and eureka lemon olive oil.
While the coconut chocolate chunk ice cream, made with organic coconut milk, is always available, Rain or Shine also rotates through seasonal offerings. Josie from Rain or Shine says, “Currently we have an organic cucumber lime sorbet but we will be making a mint strawberry sorbet soon. We may also do a grapefruit IPA sorbet for craft beer week.”
4. Bella Gelateria, Yaletown and Coal Harbour
Orange & Vanilla Creamsicle and Chocolate Sorbetto; Image VHS
While sorbet is typically vegan and can be found at gelato joints all over town, Bella Gelateria is worth a special visit. In 2014, its proprietor won “International Gelato Master of the Year.” What does this mean? We have no idea, but Bella Gelateria’s array of sorbettos—ranging from the familiar to the exotic—are smooth, creamy, and flavourful.
On a recent visit, their Yaletown location featured eight non-dairy sorbetto flavours: cantaloupe, chocolate, creamsicle (orange & vanilla), faloodeh (rose water & rice noodles), lemon & basil, mango mango mango, rambutan, and yuzu citrus (Japan).
5. What’s Shaken Milkshake Bar, 586 Davie Street
Banana, peanut butter, and chia protein shake; Image What’s Shaken
Okay, so this one is shakes, not ice cream, but it’s too good not include.
What’s Shaken generally carries a non-dairy base of almond or coconut ice cream. You can design your own drink from the many offerings, or choose from the menu.
Xiomara at What’s Shaken says, “A few favorite non dairy shakes are Oreo, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Mango, Strawberry, Creme Latte, Blueberry, Coconut Nutty and Kale Colada. Our protein and superfood shakes can also be made with Vegan protein powder and we carry almond milks and coconut water.”
What’s your favourite vegan ice cream in Vancouver? Did we miss anything great? Let us know in the comments!