Okay, so you probably think of Chicago or New York first when it comes to a "foodie" city, but Vancouver's certainly got some bang for its buck. With world-class Japanese food , to-die-for ramen and authentic tacos , it's certainly a contender in our books. With the inevitable heat of summer just around the corner, its time to take advantage of another aspect of Vancouver’s booming artisanal food scene: ice cream.
Technically speaking, the "artisan" accreditation is given to handmade, premium desserts that strive to capture both original and classic flavors, but we just look at it as super delicious and super Instagrammable food. With hot spots like La Casa Gelato, Earnest and Rain or Shine already drawing in crowds, we've pre-selected some slightly more subtle venues where you can try something new while beating the heat (and the line).
Making its home in the stylish streets of Gastown, Soft Peaks creates their delectable handmade soft-serve from Avalon’s local organic milk. The shop offers generous portions of soft-serve plus healthy fruity combinations loaded with berries. If you’re looking for something a little more savory, Soft peaks has several chocolatey combinations, as well as fan favourites like the Salty Himalayan.
There isn’t a shop you can visit that will amaze you more than 720 Sweets . The shop works to create revolutionary flavors, including their bestselling milk tea ice cream. 720 Sweets works hard to satisfy your cravings with distinctive add-ons such as almond sticks and toasted marshmallows, or different takes like their creative cookie sandwiches. Their ice creams stand out when super-cooled with dry-ice, making for a unique and stunning sight.
Tangram is a relative newcomer to the artisan ice cream scene. Their exclusive cones and bowls are made from Langue de Chat, a French cookie that is heated and pressed into different shapes. Offering unique flavors like Houjicha (a roasted Japanese tea) and seasonal flavors like the amazing Amazake (fermented rice with orange and ginger), this little-known store has also debuted a toasted s'mores ice cream on a stick this season, with a creamy and cold vanilla center.
Taking an intuitive and innovative approach to the art of ice cream, the newly opened LIK N2blasts their product with liquid nitrogen after hand-churning their desserts. The super-cooling process creates a rapid freezing reaction that results in a denser and smoother ice cream. Topped with cookies and squirts of syrupy goodness, they’re quickly becoming a popular place to “chill” out.
One of the biggest foodie trends to surface this year in the dessert world was the taiyaki cone: a fish-shaped Asian pastry filled with ice cream and crazy toppings. ON Yogurt brought the treat to Vancouver, as well as their rolled-and-fried frozen yogurt cups – and both have been blowing up the Internet with their gorgeous textures and innovative presentation. Gelato options are also available and come in strawberry, Oreo, chocolate, creme brulee, or matcha.
Got a craving for even more wild desserts? Take a peek at Singapore's Harry Potter cafe and its Goblet of Fire drink: