It's summer, which means great ice cream shops have been popping all over the place in Vancouver. Every year, there are new and awesome artisanal gelato shops opening all over the city. But good ice cream is something that takes years to master and once you do, your patrons will be coming back no matter what new and exciting gelateria opened across the street. Here's how it looked in our personal favorite ice cream shops this summer.
Rain or Shine
Location: 3382 Cambie Street or 1926 West 4th Ave
Ice Cream is a treat most people associate with happiness, childhood memories and summer. Rain or Shine is a company which wants to make you remember these happy days and relive them again, be it a sunny day or a truly rainy one. They specialize in making ice cream fun, while keeping the ingredients, fresh, local and natural, without added chemicals or flavours. They even have a list of local suppliers for you to read through, including Birchwood Dairy, Vancouver Olive Oil Company, Canadian Hazelnut Company, Campbell’s Honey and many more seasonal suppliers providing the freshest ingredients for your ice cream.
For those who can't choose just one or two from their variety of flavours, or those who are looking to stock their fridge for worse days, they have ice cream flights and whole pints on the menu.
Rain or Shine is a place that doesn't just sell the ice cream. They provide a place for people to enjoy each others company. This place became a true social hub for the neighbourhood. People from all over the place are coming in for a scoop. A big part of the charm is the friendly and always smiling staff working at the shop.
Rain or Shine is open every day from noon to 10 pm.
Earnest Ice Cream
Location: 3992 Fraser St or 1829 Quebec Street
What would make ice cream even better? Enjoying ice cream that comes from honest local sources in a place that cares for the environment. That's Earnest Ice Cream for you, a true environmentally-friendly ice cream shop in town, trying to become a first zero-waste ice cream shop in Vancouver.
They create their ice cream in small batches with the freshest of ingredients for you to enjoy in the shop or take home with you. They have a good selection of classic flavours like caramel, chocolate, and vanilla, but they also rotate a selection of seasonal flavours you really need to get before they are gone. With Flavours like Bourbon Peach or Blackberry Cheesecake, you can't go wrong. They even make innovative vegan options. At their shop, you can enjoy Vegan Chai, Vegan Strawberry Brownie or a vegan classic like Vegan Cookies and Cream.
They will also happily pack some ice cream for you to take home and make you feel good about caring for the environment. Their ice cream pints are packed into returnable and reusable jars that make them a true zero waste company. You can even find these pints all over the city, in your favourite coffee shops or restaurants. And every jar you bring back gives you a $1 store credit to use for your favourite ice cream flavour. Pleasure doing business with them, isn't it?
Both of their locations are open for you to enjoy Monday to Sunday from 12 pm to 10 pm. If you are not in the area, you can check all their pints distributor on their site.
La Casa Gelato
Location: 1033 Venables Street
When it comes to gelaterias, La Casa Gelato is the mother ship. Since 1994 these guys have been producing some of the finest gelato in town from their tucked away location in Strathcona. Now with more than 588 flavours (and counting), no one comes close to the variety and creativity of this elite creamery.
Forget about chocolate and vanilla. We're talking jalapeno blackberry gelato that is almost too hot to handle. We're talking aged balsamic vinegar gelato that tastes like balsamic vinegar. With 218 flavours available on site at all times, it would take hours just to sample all the options. Whether you're looking for something classic or for something completely off the wall, this place has got it. There's even apple wasabi gelato.
Usually packed with people and with dance-pop spreading around from the speakers, this is truly a unique ice cream experience and is worth visiting at any time of year. Funny moments, like the crowd taking a break from sampling the sweets to spontaneously dancing the Macarena is what happens here a lot.
Upon walking in the door, you buy a poker chip representing your desired serving size. You are then free to roam the store, sampling as many of the flavours as you like. When you find the one for you (or, if you're feeling lucky), you trade in your chip and get your scoop. When it comes down to it, making the final decision is nearly impossible. Thankfully, there isn't anything here which isn't worth having — even if only for the novelty of eating ice cream that tastes exactly like garlic. Yes, they have garlic flavoured gelato, and yes, you should try it.
You can test your taste buds and try all the flavours in La Casa Gelato 7 days a week, 365 days a year 11 am till 11 pm. Twelve hours should be enough to taste at least half of their flavours!
Meet The Photographer: Ricardo Vacas
Ricardo Vacas, owner of the firm Kerp Photography, always showed intense interest in many forms of creative arts. His professional photography career started in his home country, Spain, where he was the official photographer of several music bands, models and clothing brands. He decided to move to Wellington, New Zealand in 2012, knowing his real interest was fashion photography more than any other field. Currently living in Vancouver, Canada, he now combines his fashion, editorial and commercial photography projects with regular trips to Europe and USA.