You’d be hard pressed to find a person who doesn’t love ice cream. It’s almost everybody’s favourite frosty refuge – especially in the summer. Yet, with the recent rise in veganism (a 600 per cent increase was observed between 2014 and 2017!), traditional ice cream recipes are off the menu for a lot of people.
There is no need for panic, though, vegan ice cream is on the up and there are a whole host of wonderfully delicious outlets jumping on the trend here in Toronto. This article will run through some of the best places to get vegan ice cream in Toronto.
What is Vegan Ice Cream?
It may seem like an obvious question, but there are multiple variations of vegan ice cream throughout the world and it can mean different things to different people. In general terms, though, vegan ice cream is any ice cream that does not contain dairy or other animal products. Typically, they are made from fruits, plant-based milks, ice, and natural sweeteners and flavourings.
Where to Buy the Best Vegan Ice Cream in Toronto
Citizens of Toronto are lucky when it comes to food, with most restaurants and eateries offering vegan options for customers. The ice cream scene is no exception. If you’re searching for somewhere to get a sweet, icy plant-based treat, then look no further than the following places. Here are the best vegan ice cream hangouts in Toronto.
Bang Bang Ice Cream & Bakery (93 Ossington Ave)
All the ice cream in Bang Bang’s is homemade and delicious. Although not exclusively a vegan outlet, their vegan ice cream is rich, decadent, and well worthy of the hype that surrounds it. Located on Ossington Street, you’re likely to find reassuringly long lines at peak times, as revellers wait to get hold of some of the best vegan flavours around, including Coconut, Vanilla and Jasmine.
Booyah Inc (16 Vaughan Rd)
The ice cream at Booyah’s is colourful, flavoursome, and creative (they even have ice cream tacos!). Most of the vegan choices are coconut based and they have a wide range of different flavours. Their taro ice cream alone is worth the slight trek out of the centre into the Wychwood area and, without a doubt, Booyah offer some of the best vegan ice cream in Toronto.
Nanashake (4750 Yonge St)
One of the best things about Nanashake is that it is 100% vegan. Their choice is vast, and they offer some niche flavours that you won’t find elsewhere throughout the city. They recently introduced a new Clean Ice Cream range that is gluten-free, plant-based, and contains no refined sugars or chemicals. Flavours in this range include Fairtrade banana, almond milk, cashew, and guar gum.
Hibiscus (238 Augusta Ave)
Hibiscus is considered to be among the best vegan restaurants in Toronto. It is a small vegetarian café that offers a variety of different sweet and savoury products on their menu. They have a moderate price range and their vegan ice cream range is worth every penny! Try finishing off a nice vegan meal with their raspberry coconut or green tea flavours.
Wong’s Ice Cream & Store (617 Gerrard St East)
If you’re after something a little different to the typical choices of vegan ice cream, Toronto’s Wong’s Ice Cream & Store might be just what you’re looking for. Here, they incorporate some intriguing Eastern flavours into vegan ice cream, and the results are wonderful. Their vegan flavours include Orange Candied Ginger, Lemongrass Lime Sorbet, and Coconut Mango Sticky Rice.
Brett’s Ice Cream (1698 Queen St East)
Brett’s are a dedicated ice cream outlet who have a huge range of flavours. Only a handful of the ice creams are vegan, but they are extremely tasty. The Avocado Lime Sorbet is a particular highlight and, although, the prices are slightly above average, you get what you pay for.
Bar Ape Gelato (283 Rushton Rd)
Over the years, Bar Ape has acquired a strong reputation for some of the best gelato treats in Toronto, and it’s easy to see why. One reviewer describes Bar Ape’s relationship to ice cream as tantamount to Rolls Royce’s to cars – it’s top grade. In addition to the standard flavours, they also provide some of the best vegan ice cream in Toronto. Their gelato menu changes from week-to-week, but typically include flavours such as Coconut and Almond, Chocolate, and Raspberry.
Not Your Mother (1346 Queen St West)
Not Your Mother is a soft serve ice cream shop with a 70s theme that serves entirely plant-based products and is one of Toronto’s best vegan ice cream outlets. They have a huge range of Eastern flavoured desserts, with their vegan ice cream menu ranking among the best in the city. Choices include Thai Tea, Matcha Passionfruit, and Durian.
Taiyaki NYC Toronto (128 Dundas St West)
Taiyaki NYC is a Japanese ice cream joint that takes its name from the fish-shaped cones in which the gelato is served. The outlet has its origins in New York City and has become known for their aesthetic and decadent choices. Their vegan mango ice cream is a particular favourite. When it comes to the best vegan ice cream, Toronto’s Taiyaki branch won’t disappoint.
La Diperie (372 Danforth Ave)
La Diperie have various ice cream joints throughout Canada and are known for their rich and lavish soft serve ice creams. Now, though, they also have a vegan ice cream range. Admittedly, it’s not very extensive, but their cookie dough flavour is one of the best vegan ice creams in Toronto, and well worth investigating.
Vegan Ice Cream in Toronto FAQs
What ice cream is vegan?
Vegan ice cream is a frozen dessert made solely with plant-based products. Typically, it is made using coconut or nut milk, fruits, and other flavours from the plant kingdom.
What is the best vegan ice cream?
Deciding the best vegan ice cream is entirely subjective. Some people may enjoy the rich frozen dark chocolate dessert, while others might elect for a tangy citrus sorbet.
Is vegan ice cream better for you?
Generally, vegan ice creams are healthier than their dairy alternatives. Yet, this is not always the case. Some vegan ice creams are packed with sugar and it is important to check the nutritional makeup of a product before assuming you can indulge guilt-free.
Is there ice cream made from almond milk?
Almond milk vegan ice cream is a popular and common choice in the world of plant-based gelato. Many people choose almond milk as it is lower in calories than cow’s milk and contains a good amount of vitamin E and potassium.
Are sugar cones vegan?
Sugar cones are typically made with flour, brown sugar, soy lecithin, oat fibre, and vegetable oil shortening. The lack of animal-based products, therefore, makes them vegan. Conversely, waffle cones are usually made with eggs and are not vegan.