I had come to know about Innocent Ice Cream when they were selling gluten-free ice cream sandwiches out of food truck around English Bay last year. Although I’m a West End resident, I never quite made it to visit them while they were in the area. I was wanting to try them this summer if they were back selling at the beach. It turns out that Innocent Ice Cream has now evolved into a bricks and mortar shop in the Little Mountain area of Main Street and 33rd. They’re certainly a more unique concept being Vancouver’s first dedicated gluten-free ice cream parlour. I had heard their grand opening through social media and decided to visit them on their big day yesterday.
Note: None of the food in this review was complimentary. Opinions are my own.
Simple Interior, Friendly Staff
The outside of their new shop had grand opening signs with pink balloons. Also spotted was their signature tricycle which they use for catering events. The inside was simple with a display case of their ice cream and a few tables near the entrance. There is seating outside in the front of the shop as well as the back. One thing to note was that their staff was super friendly. My husband waited outside with my dog and the staff went above and beyond by bringing a water bowl for her without us asking.
Innocent Ice Cream Menu
The gluten-free ice cream are available as scoops (single or double), ice cream sandwiches, or mini ice cream sandwiches (singles or flights). They offer chocolately, nutty, and fruity ice cream flavours including Salty Peanut (peanut butter & salted caramel), Kong (double chocolate & banana), Cherry Bomb (double chocolate and wild cherry) and more.
Innocent Ice Cream also offers espresso-based drinks because ice cream and coffee make the perfect pairing. They have a few sandwich, ice cream, and coffee combos as well.
What I Tried
Their grand opening special was buy one ice cream mini sandwich, get one free. I noticed that their ice cream sandwiches do not come premade. The ice cream is physically scooped on order and placed between two soft-baked cookies to create the sandwich.
I bought 4 mini ice cream sandwiches for the price of 2 for $6.20 total. The flavours I had were the Canadian 🇨🇦 (oatmeal & maple walnut), Cherry Bomb (double chocolate and wild cherry), Shortcake (white chocolate chip & strawberry) and Salty Peanut (peanut butter & salted caramel). It was also interesting that the ice cream sandwiches were placed in little baking cups.
In terms of taste, I thought the flavours were all on solid and tasted like what was noted. I enjoyed the Salty Peanut the most which had a nice combination of peanut and salted caramel flavours. The Cherry Bomb was also surprisingly good with a nice balance of double chocolate and wild cherry flavours.
From a logistical standpoint, I found it a bit, shall we say, challenging to eat the ice cream sandwiches. The reason was that the amount of ice cream given was generous but perhaps a bit too much proportionally to the cookies. So when I bite into the sandwich while holding it like a burger, a bunch of the ice cream squeezed out on one end. It turned out a bit messier than I would like. Perhaps the sandwich would be better enjoyed with the baking cup afterall to contain it or better yet, in a cup or cone.
While I quite appreciated the all-natural, gluten-free aspect of the ice cream, I found that their ice cream was was softer in texture and melted quite a bit more quickly. Perhaps that is the trade-off for a “healthier” ice cream which does not use stabilizers. For comparison, I found the the ice cream sandwiches from Mister, which are premade, to not melt very easily. I’ve had no issues transporting them from their shop to my home taking 15 minutes door-to-door.
Overall Impression of Innocent Ice Cream
Innocent Ice Cream is certainly a unique concept in Vancouver by offering only gluten-free ice cream. Flavours were good and staff were very nice. As I feel that their ice cream is a bit more soft in texture, I would suggest the cone or cup options. Rating: 3.5/5