Thursday, June 20, 2024

Ice cream, gelato, soft serve… 10 places you HAVE to try!


With hot weather here, it’s time for a cool treat! Ice cream, gelato, soft serve, dairy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, or just totally decadent – these 10 locations cover it all!

Parachute Ice CreamParachute Ice Cream

  • What: Located in the bustling foodie zone of Rock Bay breweries and coffee roasters is one of the best artisan ice cream makers in Victoria! All the ice creams are made in house, in small batches, using as many locally sourced ingredients as possible. Parachute Ice Cream think outside the box in terms of flavours – some of our favorites include London Fog, Whiskey Hazelnut, Rhubarb Crumble, and Lemon Cream. In addition to the standard creamy cow’s milk ice creams, they offer an assortment of dairy-free and vegan ice creams, like vegan brownie and Black Bear Espresso, as well as a grass-fed water buffalo ice cream from milk from the Comox Valley. They make their own buttermilk waffle cones, of course, and can easily do you up a milkshake or float if you ask them! Stop by the shop for a scoop or to take a hand-packed pint home.
  • Where: 105-2626 Bridge Street

The Italian BakeryThe Italian Bakery

  • What: Family-owned and operated, the Italian Bakery has been in Victoria since 1978! One of the first to bring traditional Italian methods to our city including gelato making. Gelato is renowned for its rich flavour and thirst-quenching properties. They make all of their gelato in house using modern equipment, but utilizing family recipes from Italy. The case has both regular gelato and lactose free options (sorbetto), which can be served in a sugar cone, waffle cone, cup, or bowl. In the summer you can also try affogati (espresso with gelato!). There is also a take home option, perfect for a dinner party dessert. Flavours range from regional classics such as nocciola, amaretto, and vaniglia, to more tropical varieties including mango and coconut. We LOVE the anguria (watermelon) sorbetto!
  • Where: 3197 Quadra Street

Kid Sister Ice CreamKid Sister Ice Cream

  • What: Owner Brett Black’s travels through Mexico inspire the incredible array of paletas (or popsicles) that loyal fans flock to purchase every day. Now relocated in Fan Tan Alley from Fisgard Street, the store specializes in small batch, made from scratch, locally sourced paletas and ice creams. The milk used is organic from Avalon dairy and their delicious products are packed in wrappers made from natural plant-based sustainable resources that are 100% biodegradable & compostable. This also means no plastic or toxins leaching into your treats. Flavours of meyer lemons, local cherries and berries, mangoes and limes, mocha cheesecake… every visit has a surprise! The waffle cones are made fresh in-house and there are also milkshakes and sundaes. If you are lucky, get yourself a Mango Raspberry Lime paleta on a hot summer’s day. Vegan and dairy-free ice creams are also available.
  • Where: 10 Fan Tan Alley

Fol Epi Yates
Fol Epi Yates

  • What: The Yates Street location of Fol Epi sells small batches of tantalizing in-house made gelato and sorbet. The flavours reflect local seasonal organic ingredients such as berries, apricots, nectarines, as well as classics like chocolate and vanilla. The line up changes regularly. The Basil Lime gelato always sells out, especially on hot days! The ingredients are all natural, with no synthetic emulsifiers or additives. The waffle cones are also made in-house. The sorbet are dairy-free. The flavours are absolutely bursting and this is one of our all time favorite locations for a cold treat in the city!
  • Where: 732 Yates Street

Cold ComfortCold Comfort

      • What: Cold Comfort specializes in uniquely flavoured small batch ice cream – 360 flavours have been created so far! All natural with absolutely nothing artificial and utilizing seasonal, organic and local ingredients – with something for every dietary restriction. There are dairy free (coconut milk) “ice creams”, (unofficially) “gluten-free” ice cream sandwich cookies (almond flour & meringue), vegan pints and a vegan ice cream sandwich, and diabetic friendly sugar-free ice cream (made with xylitol). The location has days where you can make a custom ice cream sandwich with our favorite Empire Donut, for an out-of-this-world treat. So head on over to North Park and pick up an ice cream sandwich or a pint!
      • Where: 2–1115 North Park Street

Pour CoffeePour Coffee

      • What: Pour Coffee is a family-owned and operated shop in downtown Victoria. A great place for high quality and locally crafted coffee, baked goods and of course gelato! They handpick their gelato and sorbetto flavours based on the feedback they get from customers, utilizing two BC based suppliers; Mario’s Gelati from Vancouver and Salt Spring Gelato. Both focus on natural and locally sourced ingredients and emphasize freshness. Neither uses flavoured mixes nor hydrogenated oils. Indulge yourself in salted caramel, natural mango, Belgian chocolate or even Bubble Gum. Better yet, try some Vanilla Bean drenched in a shot of locally roasted espresso. Perfection! There are also always dairy-free options available.
      • Where: 817 Government Street

Jackson's Ice Cream FloatJackson’s Ice Cream Float

      • What: Jackson’s Ice Cream Float is the only floating ice cream shop in Canada – possibly the world! Located at Fisherman’s Wharf and full of charm, Jackson’s embodies a classic ice cream parlour with generous scoop sizes and friendly staff. Offering sixteen flavours of hard ice cream, three flavours of soft-serve, milkshakes and floats. This year “the Danny” was added to the menu; a waffle cone filled halfway with soft-serve and then topped with a scoop of whichever flavour you please. Perfect for those indecisive folks! Jackson’s serves locally made ice cream and offers lactose-free, gluten-free and vegan options.
      • Where: Fisherman’s Wharf

Charlie's Ice Cream ShopCharlie’s Ice Cream Shop

      • What: Recently opened, Charlie’s Ice Cream Shop is already becoming known for their decadent soft serve ice cream. Located right on the inner harbour, Charlie’s serves tasty creations, delicious hot dogs, all with friendly service! Their original creations is what distinguishes then from other ice cream shops; creamy soft serve, layered with unique toppings such as chocolate covered pretzels, fresh fruit, and popcorn, then topped with a mouthwatering array of syrups. With their great location and creamy ice cream, Charlie’s is the perfect place to grab a treat and enjoy a summer’s day in Victoria!
      • Where: 1207 Wharf Street

Beacon Drive-In RestaurantBeacon Drive-In Restaurant

      • What: Beacon Drive-In Restaurant is on its 58th year of serving its classic treat – ice cream! Using only local Island Farms Soft Serve ice cream all these years, it’s no wonder they’ve been around for so long! Beacon’s warm atmosphere and friendly staff continue to serve up smiles and sweet treats year round, whether you prefer to order inside or out. Beacon Drive-In Restaurant has even been voted “Best Ice Cream” in Victoria for the last 22 years in a row. This summer, get yourself a soft serve and go for a stroll in Beacon Hill Park or wander down to Dallas road!
      • Where: 126 Douglas Street

Chocolats FavorisChocolats Favoris

  • What: Soft serve dipped in gooey rich chocolate – what could be better than that? This is the first chocolate shop, out west in British Columbia, for the Quebec-based chocolatier. “We wanted to find a spectacular site. That’s why we opted for the beautiful city of Victoria!” according to Favoris. Select your size and flavour of soft serve and then choose from 12 flavours to dip it in. We can’t get enough of the hazelnut praline and cookies and cream!
  • Where: 1010 Government Street

All photography by ItkasanImages

Jitka Z
Meeting people from all walks of life and sharing their stories is my passion!

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