There's a debate raging across Vancouver at the moment, brought on by the ongoing summer heat: soft-serve or hard-serve ice-cream? 

If you've never been to Soft Peaks in Gastown, you may not be fully equipped to answer this question. You might think that soft-serve is something sold out of a machine at fast-food establishments. Thanks to brothers Dan and Ken Kim, Vancouver can enjoy soft-serve as it should be. At Soft Peaks, the soft serve is made from local Avalon organic milk, organic cream, organic milk powder, and organic stabilizers or emulsifiers. They also use dextrose instead of genetically modified sugar, such as high fructose corn syrup. This results in a "twist on milk" that generally is lower in fat than hard-serve ice cream, and often tastes creamier thanks to the air that is introduced at freezing. Add some amazing toppings, like local Okanagan and Fraser River honeycomb, and you have yourself a serious competitor to the traditional hard-serve ice cream.

We highly recommend their signature flavour, Honeycomb Peak, which is topped with a wedge of honeycomb. Alternatively, try to Mudslide - you can't go wrong with Tim Tam flakes and chocolate syrup.

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If the bright yellow exterior doesn't catch your attention, then the cute little racoon face on the sign should be enough to entice you in to this independent coffee shop. And if the friendly staff behind the counter don't make you want to stay a while, then the coffee and food definitely will. 

Located on a side street just off 4th Avenue, Culprit Coffee Co. describes itself as Vancouver's first fully dedicated gluten free coffee shop. For those of you who say that gluten-free-anything must taste like cardboard, be prepared to swallow your words (excuse the pun). For those of you who are always searching for the best gluten free treats, welcome home. 

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