It's a question you've definitely searched at some point: What is Vancouver's best ice cream? We decided to answer it for you so you can get your creamy, rich goodness in a warm, buttery cone ASAP.

Picture this: You get off the packed bus, the sky is a gloomy grey and Buchanan D Block looms menacingly before you. The thought of a lecture hall filled with drowsy students makes you feel nauseous.

You can taste the burn of coffee down your throat already. But wait – what’s that heavenly smell? Could it be? Freshly churned ice cream and toasty waffle cones?

Athena Huynh

It’s Rain or Shine! That’s right. Fourth avenue’s favourite ice cream is now on campus.

I decided to test Vancouver’s two major ice cream competitors: Rain or Shine (ROS) and Earnest. They’re both organic, fresh and made with passion. Each have a mix of traditional and strange, experimental flavours with vegan options too. Which one claims the title of the best ice cream in Vancouver?

And, now that we have one on campus, is it really worth it to bus all the way to Mount Pleasant for a scoop? 

This writer’s opinion: only for the very, serious ice cream enthusiasts. Let's see how the two stack up in front of each other.


Athena Huynh

Earnest churns a slightly creamier product, not unlike gelato. Pictured above is their Strawberry Brownie and Serious Chocolate. But ROS is appealing in a different way. It has a bite and feels fuller in your mouth.


At ROS, the Chipotle Corn, although it sounds unusual, had a welcoming kick. The Blueberry Balsamic is an interesting combination, fresh and tart and perfect for summer. You absolutely cannot go wrong with classics like Malted Chocolate Honeycomb and Vanilla, which are well balanced.

My favourite flavour was definitely the Peanut Butter. It’s rich, nutty, a little chunky and oh-so-peanut buttery. Combine it with the Salted Caramel for a match made in ice cream heaven. And the new seasonal for November, Brown Butter Snickerdoodle? Grab a pint of the buttery goodness.

However, the Apple Cheesecake fell short of expectations with a combination of flavours that got a bit lost in my mouth and a wetter texture.

At Earnest, the Salted Caramel is more potently caramelized and Milk Chocolate will make a chocoholic very happy with its stronger chocolate flavour.

The Sweet Cream could have been a little less sweeter and Whisky Hazelnut definitely needed more hazelnut. And maybe more whisky. The Oatmeal Brown Sugar had actual chunks of oatmeal which felt odd in my mouth.


Athena Huynh

You don’t have to go far to fulfill a ROS craving – it's on campus and open till 10pm! No long headache-inducing bus rides. Earnest does have more locations though for those of you commuting to UBC from elsewhere.


Athena Huynh

The big pro at Rain or Shine is that they make their waffle cones on the spot. When you walk in the store the sweet, honeyed aroma hits you like a drug. While waiting, you can watch the mesmerizing act of fresh cones being scraped off the machine. And ice cream tacos on Tuesday? Yes please.

Athena Huynh

Earnest had smaller, unexciting cones that really dampened the ice cream experience. For me, this was deciding factor since the ice cream itself was practically tied in terms of quality.

So if you need an ice cream sandwich, take the bus to Earnest on a Saturday. You won’t regret it. But if a crispy-soft, buttery cone with a hug is all you want, then go behind the nest and enjoy your scoop at Rain or Shine. It truly is Vancouver's best ice cream experience.