By Brittany Tiplady
If you’re like me, living in an apartment sans air conditioning, cool-down treats are a must for summer sanity. And lucky for dairy-free and plant-based folks, there are plenty of options available that accommodate all kinds of dietary restrictions and preferences. Get outta the heat and check out this curated list of dairy-free treats available in Metro Vancouver from Fort Langley to the North Shore.
The Hive Cafe
Transit: New Westminster SkyTrain station
A quick six-minute walk from the New Westminster SkyTrain will take you to the Hive Cafe: a delightful spot for all things refreshment. Coffee, espresso, thirst-quenching iced teas are kinda their thing. Grab a Pear + Mango Shaken Tea, or a Lavender Lemonade and take a stroll down New West’s Pier Park, which happens to be right next door.
Innocent Ice Cream
Transit: Take the the the Expo Line to Main Street Skytrain Station, and then the #3 Main bus, heading south. A quick walk will take you to the Innocent take out window.
Innocent is home to the “World’s best Gluten-Free Ice Cream Sandwiches” and according to the glowing reviews: their customer base certainly agrees. Their menu lineup is packed with Instagrammable plant-based options including sandwiches and scoops available in a Gluten-Free Waffle cone or a cup. Bring your pup with you too and treat them to a Strawberry and Oat-based pupsicle.
Transit: 14 or 16 bus, plus a short three-minute walk.
When researching spots to feature in this article, the overwhelming consensus was Umaluma must be included. Umaluma scoops dairy-free, plant-based gelato, highly praised by foodies like Erin Ireland. Saffron Orange and Drunken Cherry are fan favourites.
Whisk Matcha Cafe
Transit: 8 Fraser bus.
Whisk is a premium matcha cafe and retail shop on Kingsway, using ingredients and methods directly from Kyoto, Japan. Their cafe menu has a host of matcha-based offerings (I’ve been told they are currently serving a refreshing Iced Matcha with Strawberry Puree), but you can also try out some fancy drinks at home! Purchase some Whisk Matcha Organic Everyday at your next visit and try out this delicious, cool-down Matcha Lemonade in your kitchen.
Transit: Aberdeen Canada Line Station, plus a four-minute walk.
SoyTalk has a mission: to raise awareness of the importance of soybeans. According to their website, they “believe that soybeans provide and offer more than just a cup of soy milk. In 2019, we decided to open this game-changing dessert shop in Richmond, BC. By using top-notch ingredients and technology, our goal is to push healthy (and affordable!) dessert choices to those who enjoy eating sweets.”
Popular items for a hot day include their Signature Soy Soft Serve, and beverages like Watermelon and Brown Sugar Taro.
Come for the picturesque, small-town vibe, leave with a full belly. Maria’s Gelato is the perfect way to cap off a trip to Fort Langley and the best part is, Maria’s offers a generous selection of cool-down treats including a host of vegan flavours! But the treats don’t stop at gelato: while you’re there, be sure to snag vegan baked goods like donuts and Flour Girl Baking buns!
Transit: Braid Station, 153 Coquitlam Central Station
Rumour has it that IKEA recently launched a Foodbox truck with a vegan-friendly menu! Head on over for the glorious A/C, some home goods, and a cup of plant-based strawberry soft serve for $1.
Vancouver’s North Shore
Parlour Ice Cream
Transit: Lonsdale Quay SeaBus
Welcome Parlour Ice Cream, nestled in the Lonsdale Quay Shipyards, serves all-natural small-batch ice cream. Pop by during your next North Shore visit for a treat–vegan options are available! Open daily with a rotating menu.