By Sonu Purhar
Nothing beats a creamy cold treat on a hot summer day – but unfortunately for us vegan and non-dairy folks, options are often limited. Sure, we can wander into an ice cream parlour with a hypnotizing array of flavours, but something in us dies a little when we spot the sad collection of ice crystal-studded sorbets in the corner. So, we’ve uncovered seven spots all around Metro Vancouver that churn genuinely delicious, adventurously flavoured vegan ice cream – nary a sad sorbet in sight. Enjoy!
235 East Pender Street, Vancouver and other locations
Umaluma’s creamy plant-based gelato is available in stores across Metro Vancouver, though the trendy Chinatown shop offers a cool vibe where you can savour your flavour among like-minded dessert addicts. There are more than 35 options to choose from, including innovative daily specials – we like the Drunken Cherry, which combines bourbon-soaked Amarena cherries with house-made candied pecans.
127 West 1st Street, North Vancouver and other locations
Earnest’s popular small-batch ice cream holds distinction for selling out at farmers’ markets even in the dead of winter. The shops feature a dazzling array of vegan flavours that will fool even the stoutest dairy fan. Try the Strawberry Toasted Coconut, a tropical delight incorporating organic strawberry puree and crunchy desiccated coconut; and the Peanut Butter & Jam, which pays homage to your childhood favourite with a rich peanut base swirled with tart cherry jam.
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103-15146 100 Avenue, Surrey and other locations
If you do like sorbets, head straight to Menchies. Known for low- and non-fat frozen yogurt, the dessert parlour also churns fruit-forward sorbets crafted with natural ingredients. Delving outside the typical lemon and strawberry, idyllic summer picks include black cherry, juicy watermelon and orchard peach. The franchise also recently introduced a mouthwatering lineup of dairy-free frozen yogurt.
4090 Hastings Street, Burnaby
In addition to creamy desserts, milkshakes and malts, this old-fashioned ice cream parlour boasts sweet treats for those who don’t do dairy. Though ice cream flavours are always rotating, Glenburn offers at least one dairy-free alternative at all times, which guests can pair with vegan cones and toppings (past flavours have included mixed berry sorbet from Rocky Point Ice Cream).
2991 Lougheed Highway, Coquitlam and other locations
With shops across Canada and the U.S., Marble Slab is a pro at scooping up freshly made ice cream topped by any of 30-plus accoutrements. Vegan flavours are solid yet dependably delicious – think chocolate, strawberry banana and piña colada – and can be jazzed up with additions like cherries, pecans and graham crackers.
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204-21183 88 Avenue, Langley
Crafted with organic ingredients, Peter’s House ice creams incorporate inclusions from local sellers like Krause Berry Farm. Non-dairy options are plentiful and refreshingly creative with intriguing concoctions like licorice and juniper berry, ginger raspberry sorbet and watermelon agave.
15045 Marine Drive, White Rock
This family-owned gelateria takes inspiration from popular flavours in Italy, and there are always a couple vegan options in the mix. Try the avocado, which is surprisingly sweet and creamy – then, head across the street to the waterfront and enjoy your cone while watching the waves. Happy summer!