La Casa Gelato has been a Vancouver institution since it moved from Commercial Drive to its current location in 1994. Once they moved to Venables, it has been the scene of endless streams of people lining up to get their gelato and sorbetto. It's especially insane when warmer weather hits. If you drive by during the daytime, it is not uncommon to see the whole sidewalk on Glen Drive filled with people eating gelato. The parking lots are usually filled to capacity and the gelato "showroom" is packed with anxious people. They are at the PNE every year and they are just as popular there as well.
Currently, they are up to 218 flavours available in-store at any time. There's even durian! They have to put a cover on it, so it doesn't contaminate the other flavours. I've had La Casa many times in the past and their selection is massive, it's very hard to decide on a flavour. However, you are allowed to sample a few before making that difficult decision. Just remember to go pay first, they will give you a coloured chip that indicates what you ordered. Just pass it onto the servers and they will get your gelato/sorbetto.
There were way too many people in La Casa for me to take my sweet time to decide and try different flavours. I had ordered the 3 scoop cup, if I took my time, it would've been awhile. Therefore, I went straight to the sorbetto and picked out Kiwi and Orange-Pineapple. Knowing that La Casa has 218 flavours on site, I just asked my server if they had any cheesecake flavours, low and behold, they had several. I just picked the standard Strawberry Cheesecake. With a large cup in hand, I left the madhouse and went to share with Viv. From my previous visits, I've always thought that La Casa had the largest selection; but not necessarily the best tasting gelato. This visit confirms my previous suspicions. The Kiwi was bitter and overly tart. There needed to be much more sugar in it. However, the Orange-Pineapple was bang on with a good balance of tart and sweet. Moreover, we thought the texture of the sorbetto was quite creamy (even though it has no cream). The Strawberry Cheesecake was a bit of a disappointment. There was barely any cheesecake flavour. The gelato was a bit bland. However, the strawberry flavour wasn't too sweet, which was good. Moreover, the texture was creamy and not icy. Unlike ice cream, gelato does not get its texture from fat; rather it is the richness achieved from limited the air in the churning process.
I know that many people swear by La Casa Gelato and I don't blame them. There is a massive selection of flavours and the gelato/sorbetto are pretty good. However, the sheer number of flavours are a detriment as well. I believe that it's very hard to nail all the flavours at one time and this is the case at La Casa. By no means is it bad, I actually like it. However, I think the flavours at Amato (Mario's), Vivo and Mondo are better.
- Massive selection
- Gelato/Sorbetto have a decent consistency
- Freshly made waffle cones
- No comfortable place to sit
- It's a madhouse (on warm days)
La Casa Gelato
1033 Venables Street
11:00am - 11:00pm (7 days a week)