Taste Test: Vancouver’s best ice cream

With so many delicious options available, we've taken it upon ourselves to narrow it down for you

With so many delicious options available, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to narrow it down for you

Ice cream falls into that rare category that even when it comes in a bucket, it’s still pretty good. But when ice cream leaves you speechless, you know it’s entered into the realm of truly great. And that’s what our judges found among the offerings served up by these eight fantastic competitors, who were selected from an even longer list of candidates. They did the work—now you get to enjoy the fruits of their “labour.”winning_icecreamOne judge described this as “pure PNE summer,” and no wonder—its refreshing (but not tart) flavour is the quintessence of a long and enjoyable summer day.Rooster’s Ice Cream Bar1039 E. Broadwayroostersicecreambar.combestchocolate1Perfect texture, “grown-up flavours,” and real pieces of chocolate made it the best of the bunch in this category. Its other non-chocolate offerings are just as good, too.Brown Paper Packages620 Quebec St.brownpaperpackages.cabestsavouryThis flavour won’t be for everyone. But if your palate’s sophisticated enough, it might just blow your mind—or someone else’s. “That’s third-date ice cream,” one of the judges said. “That’ll seal the deal.”Tangram Creamery2729 Arbutus St.@tangramcreameryThe rest of the bunch might not have secured any titles this year, but were still fantastic enough to place in our ice cream Taste Test.amatogelatoMario’s Gelati is an institution in Vancouver, and the Amato Gelato Cafe serves up 72 rotating flavours of the stuff. If you want variety and selection, this is your best bet.Amato Gelato78 E. First Ave.amatogelato.combellagelateriablackBella has been wowing local gelato lovers for years, and this flavour sums up why they’re great: sophisticated, nuanced, and supremely satisfying.Bella Gelateria1089 Marinaside Ct.bellagelateria.comdoolamidessertHave you had Chinese ice cream yet? If not, head down to Marpole and grab a scoop of this mango goodness. And if you’re feeling brave, try the durian (but don’t say we didn’t warn you).Doolami Dessert8030 Granville St.@doolamiearnest2People routinely line up around the block for Earnest Ice Cream—its flavours (like this whiskey hazelnut) are both experimental and accessible.  And its vegan varieties are remarkably un-vegan-tasting, too.Earnest Ice Cream1829 Quebec St.earnesticecream.comrainorshineIf you like something that’s on the sweeter side, Rain or Shine’s ice cream is probably for you. One judge described it as “the safe word ice cream.” We don’t know what that means, but we think it’s positive.Rain Or Shine3382 Cambie St.rainorshineicecream.com As rated by these expert judgesJoie Alvaro Kent is a freelance food writer hopelessly smitten with peanut butter and chocolate ice cream.Lee Man is a Restaurant Awards judge who believes, like Marco Polo, that the Chinese invented ice creamAnya Levykh is the Westender’s restaurant critic, a Restaurant Awards judge, and an unreformed cookbook junkie.