Indulge in some of the best cool desserts in town as chosen by the top chefs in the city
Vancouver is riding high on a dessert craze right now, and who doesn’t adore a frozen treat in the summer time? Right now I am obsessed with the orange-almond gelato at D’Oro at 1094 Denman; it’s insanely good and a litre of it makes the perfect dinner party dessert.
I asked some of the city’s best chefs where they go to indulge, so make it your mission to lick your way through these delicious desserts before summer is over...
1. Patisserie Lebeau waffles with Mario's gelato
Recommened by Meeru Dhalwala, Vij’s, Rangoli’s
"I love Patisserie Lebeau’s chocolate chip Belgian waffles with Mario's hedgehog gelato. The waffles are rich and thick but not overwhelmingly icky sweet and the gelato isn't as rich as ice cream; the hedgehog tastes great with the chocolate in the waffles. It's the most convenient way to eat a rich, restaurant-style dessert at home. We’ll share one oven-toasted waffle with a big scoop of gelato (which softens on the warm waffle)."
2. Mister artisan ice cream
Fahim KassamRecommened by Sandy Chen, Torafuku
"When I’m craving a frozen treat, I will drive from Richmond all the way to Mister in Yaletown. They open from 1 p.m. till 10 p.m. on weekdays, and till 11 p.m. on the weekends. From my experience, you have to go there before they open or 30 minutes before they close because there’s always a line up. I love how all their ice creams are made to order with the liquid nitrogen, making each spoonful extra creamy and smooth. Also, their flavours are so unique. Right now I’m really crazy about their Pineapple Bun with Hong Kong milk tea ice cream sandwich. When I take a bite, it feels like I just had a mouthful of milk tea and bun in my mouth at the same time, and I must say it is amazing! You must go there and try it, then you will know what I mean."
3. Doolami shaved ice with fresh fruit
Yelp/Steph YRecommended by Alex Tung, La Grotta del Formaggio
"I'm a big fan of Doolami on Granville Street. They serve up Chinese desserts, house-made ice creams and my favourite—the shaved ices with fresh fruit. At home, I tend to be fairly seasonal and eat as much local fruit as possible when it's in season. At Doolami, they import tropical fruit at the height of its ripeness and it's quite an exotic sweet treat. Paired with their super light and fluffy shaved ice, it's one of my favourite frozen treats."
4. Cadeaux ice cream sandwiches
Recommended by Shelome Bouvette, Chicha
"Cadeaux bakery makes their ice cream sandwiches all from scratch. The chocolate-wafer cookie has a touch of salt and just the right crumb that is super satisfying when biting into the house-made ice cream. They have rotating flavours throughout the summer months and did I mention they're huge? Great to share... or not. I go with classic old-fashioned vanilla or the caramelized pecan."
5. Cactus Club frosé
Recommended by Daniel McGee, Au Comptoir
"My favourite frozen treat is Cactus Club frosé—it's just fun to drink! It reminds me of being a kid in the summer and going for a Slurpee. Now I can have a fun adult version on a patio! I first tried theirs this year, but I remember last year it was starting to be a trend and I had them a few times around town. Try one!"
6. Roosters ice cream cookie sandwich
Recommended by Lauraleigh Paul, Bigheart Bannock
"Our favourite place is Roosters Ice Cream Bar on Broadway. It's a small establishment just by Vancouver Community College and the prices are incredibly accessible for all in our East Van community. They are a super-friendly small business that makes the best ice cream. We love the ice cream cookie sandwich; my sons love the salt caramel. I usually get a litre of strawberry for home delight as well! They don't have a huge menu so it's never overwhelming nor difficult to miss trying their new flavours."
7. Birchwood Dairy Farm ice cream
Recommended by Cesar Madrigal, La Taqueria
"If you feel like going out to explore the Lower Mainland, you can't miss Birchwood Dairy Farm in Abbotsford. It's quite close to town but far enough that there are green fields and even a tiny petting zoo for your little ones. As a dairy farm, they manufacture their own milk, cream, yogurt, butter and ice cream! You get to see the whole process—from milking the cow to churning the cream to finally ice cream at this local spot. I can't say what my favourite ice cream flavour is; it's hard to single one out. But I walk out with half the store every time I'm there!"
8. Bella Gelateria sorbetto and Earnest lemon tart sundae
Maestro JamesRecommended by Letitia Wan, Ask For Luigi
"Chocolate sorbetto, because it’s so dark and intensely chocolate-ly, but clean on the palate; and vanilla gelato affogato because espresso(!!!)—both from Bella Gelateria. Also, the lemon tart sundae at Earnest (with sweet-cream ice cream) is a favourite. A new Earnest location just opened in my neighbourhood and it’s great balance of tart and creamy, with a crunchy pie crust."