10 Places to Find Over-the-Top Shaved Ice Desserts

Sorry ice cream: we've got a new summer love.

July 10, 2018

By Sam Nar / Photo: Sam Nar

While ice cream and gelato may be the first summer love for many Vancouverites, Asian-styled shaved ice—popular in Taiwan, Korea and Japan—is a cool alternative as the weather heats up. Here’s where to find it closer to home.

(Photo Credit: Sulmida Dessert Cafe, Instagram)

1. Sulmida Dessert Cafe

With three locations established in the city and plans to open up a fourth, Sulmida Dessert Cafe is already a shaved ice powerhouse. Featuring K-town flavours like Injeolmi (sweet rice cake coated with roasted soybean powder) and classics like strawberry, mango, and chocolate, what really sets this local cafe apart is the signature snow-like texture of the finely crushed ice base.

Where: 140 – 8211 Ackroyd Road, Richmond; 780 Denman St, Burnaby; 4697 Kingsway St, Burnaby; #6-4564 Coquitlam (coming soon)

(Photo Credit: Mango Yummy, Instagram)

2. Mango Yummy

From the hit night market stall comes this award-winning storefront in Richmond, famous for all things light and fruity. As the name suggests, the list of shaved ice flavours at this dessert shop leans tropical: mango, strawberry, grapefruit, red bean, and a mixed fruit hybrid, topped with either real fruits, grass jelly, mochi, vanilla ice cream, or mango sago (blended mango, tapioca pearls, and milk).

Where: 6564 No 3 Rd, Richmond; 8328 Capstan Way #1108, Richmond

(Photo Credit: Icy Bar, Instagram)

3. Icy Bar

This dessert place specializes in traditional Taiwanese- and Hong Kong-style shaved ice infused with pureed fruits served with a fluffy, cotton candy-esque texture that patrons can choose to garnish with fresh fruits, bursting boba balls, smooth mochi, or classic ice cream. They’re also known for making a mean “pancake” dessert that comes in mango, durian, and strawberry and Nutella—so it looks like you’ll have to go at least twice.

Where: 3618 Kingsway, Vancouver; 1475 Kingsway, Vancouver; 115-4940 No 3 Rd, Richmond

(Photo Credit: 17 Degree C Bubble Tea & Cafe)

4. 17 Degree C Bubble Tea & Dessert Cafe

It might come as a surprise that a cafe named after mildly warm weather can be this versed in creating frozen desserts but 17 Degree C Bubble Tea & Dessert Cafe is reeling in Vancouverites with their cool presentations. Try their watermelon shaved ice piled high with watermelon balls and ice cream, and the strawberry ice pot (Korean styled shaved ice with dry ice underneath for effects).

Where: 2229 Kingsway, Vancouver

(Photo Credit: Passion8 Dessert Cafe, Instagram)

5. Passion8 Dessert Cafe

You’re not a true foodie until you’ve tried Asian ice desserts from this sweet spot. They’re best known for their Snow Mountain series that includes the signature Matchacha (Japanese matcha powder and mochi with red bean), Mango Bongo (sliced mango with homemade cheesecake and ice cream), and Mr. Choco Brown (homemade brownie and chocolate flake with chocolate ice cream in the shape of a bear).

Where: 3010 Cambie St, Vancouver

(Photo Credit: My Frosty Korean Dessert Cafe, Instagram)

6. My Frosty Korean Dessert Cafe

This clean and modern cafe that whips up some of the best shaved ice in town with seven rotating flavours: mango, strawberry, blueberry, red bean, chocolate, cookies, and Injeolmi (think Japanese mochi on ice). The dessert shop’s trademark is the layers of syrup so that every bite is just as delicious as the first.

Where: 220 2800 E1st ave, Vancouver

(Photo Credit: Snowy Village Dessert Cafe, Instagram)

7. Snowy Village Dessert Cafe

With two successful shops in the city, this local cafe is one of the hottest (or should we say, coolest) places to get Korean shaved ice. This location boasts a milky base with a wide variety of flavours: milk, oreo, chocolate, green tea, cheesecake, mango, blueberry, strawberry, assorted fruit, and Injeolmi (see above) so you can beat the heat.

Where: 8571 Alexandra Rd, Richmond; 1696 Robson St, Vancouver

(Photo Credit: Dear & Fro)

8. Dear & Fro

For foodies who are just as invested in finding the most Instagram-worthy foods as they are in finding the best icy desserts, look no further. From the stunning glass display at the entrance to the picturesque shaved ice servings, Dear & Fro is bringing you delightful paper-thin ribbons in style and flavour. Go nuts with the seasonal shaved ice (sweet soybean powder, nuts, and black sesame ice cream) or share the large strawberry portion with friends.

Where: 2070 W 41st Ave, Vancouver

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