We ventured out this past Sunday for some tasty gelato. We have a bit of a tradition of heading out for ice cream on March 1 – not so relevant here in Vancouver where our winters are relatively mild, but definitely somewhat bizarre in Toronto where March 1 weather is still below freezing.
On a recommendation, we headed over to La Casa Gelato over at 1033 Venables St. It’s in a bit of an industrial no man’s land, but close to Strathcona Park where neighbourhood residents were throwing the ball for their dogs.
Open for nearly 30 years, La Casa Gelato is a destination spot and famous among the local and tourist set alike – including Martha Stewart, who visited and sent along some photos and a letter thanking owner Vince Misceo for his hospitality and the opportunity to taste his famous gelato.
Walking in, I was absolutely astonished by how huge this place is. La Casa Gelato boasts over 508 flavours, with at least 218 different varieties available on any given day. La Casa Gelato is a place where “you can find your favorite flavours, as well as your not-so-favorite flavours” – and they’re not messing around. Here you’ll find all the classic cream and fruit flavours alongside curry, durian and even Iranian favourite akbar mashti, a concoction of saffron, rosewater, and pistachios. My sister says that she loves going to La Casa Gelato since it’s the only place she’s seen avocado ice cream. The store has these amazing chalk murals depicting gelato in settings from all over the world – from Egypt to India to our very own Rideau Canal – and really lend to the gelato flavour’s international theme.
When La Casa Gelato’s site says that you’ll find it hard to decide, it isn’t kidding. The choice is bordering on overwhelming – how to decide between almond mocha and hazelnut chocolate? – but luckily my girls weren’t too indecisive, settling into a cherry custard and blueberry sorbet, each choosing a bright red cone among a vast selection of blue, green and regular, as well as waffle, dipped and more. Four single cones cost us $16 even.
There are no spots to sit indoors so we headed across the street to a garden clearly set out for customers, with a bright La Casa Gelato mural and a Christmas light canopy that would look awesome on a hot summer evening. The girls had a great time running around while my husband and I sat and checked out the Spring bloom.
I’m curious to see what the place will be like in the heat of the summer – and am looking forward to our next outing.
La Casa Gelato
1033 Venables St., Vancouver | 604.251.3211