Vancouver’s 5 Best Ice Creams

On the quest for the country’s finest.

Daily Edit: Canada' Best Ice Cream, Mister

We asked judges in Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal, and Toronto to select their respective cities’ finest ice creams. Here are Vancouver’s results.

Brown Paper Packages
Small-batch ice cream company Brown Paper Packages set the bar high with their product’s texture (dense, silky, world-class rich) and ultra-precise flavours. Consider chocolate Thai basil a high-born twist on mint chocolate, while lemon olive oil’s complex and lively character and smooth, firm consistency could satisfy the most discerning palate. A definite must-try. Note: they also make terrific ice cream sandwiches. (Runner up in the lemon category: Rooster Ice Cream’s lemon poppy seed, a sweeter, more viscous take on citrus.)

Rain or Shine
Rain or Shine’s chocolate honeycomb flavour—studded with hunks of honeycomb candy and accented by a hint of malted barley in its base—is like a big, goofy smile; easy, lovable, and universal. Who doesn’t crave something crunchy, creamy, salty, and sweet? While one could easily put away a pint of this chocolaty treat on its own as it foam-ishly melts,  trying the company’s signature British Columbian blueberry balsamic flavour is worth it too, especially if the sweet-savoury dichotomy is of personal interest. Shout out to their bad-mood-busting peanut butter flavour (doused with house-made hot fudge) for making our day on more than one occasion.

Mister churns its ice cream with liquid nitrogen to ensure the formation of smaller-than-usual ice crystals, and a resultant cashmere-smooth mouth feel. A double Oreo flavour with micro-pulverized cookie in a milk chocolate base and big cookie pieces throughout is easy to fall in love with—a childhood favourite effectively elevated.

Gelateria Dolce Amore
The exacting standards of the Little Italy gelato bar Dolce Amore are epitomized by their classic chocolate flavour, which is dark, dense, cocoa-y, not too sweet, and decidedly “adult.” While the company does offer some mildly zany flavours (think lavender and pumpkin pie), their classics, including nice renditions of pistachio and hazelnut, shine. Pick up one of their pretzel-studded cookies, too. Italian? Maybe not, but definitely delicious.

Birchwood Dairy Farm
Birchwood Dairy crafts old-fashioned, fluffy ice cream in retro-flavours your grandpa would love (as would you). Think soft tubs of coffee crunch veined with chocolate shingles, and black raspberry cheesecake ribboned thickly with sweet-tart raspberry sauce; un-gimmicky old-school goodness, fresh from the 120 milk cows that dot its 220-acre farm.

Photo courtesy of Mister.