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The bar has been raised for gelato.  Bella Gelateria is the new boy in the Vancouver gelato world and this place is destroying the competition.  If you are looking for potentially the best gelato in the world, try this place out (and yes I have had gelato in Italy).

When you visit Bella Gelateria be sure to talk to the owner James.   He seems to always be there and he will initiate the conversation if you show interest in his gelato.  This man went to Gelato University in Italy and holds a masters degree, to me he is a Rhodes Scholar of gelato if there was such a thing.  His passion and love shines through in conversation and he will gladly tell you how he only sources the finest ingredients for his product.  His pistachios come from Bronte,  hazelnuts from Piedmonte, and sorrento lemons from California.  While you may be concerned that his carbon footprint is larger than the Sasquatch, he shortens his shoe size by using local ingredients such as a Avalon Milk, Canadian Springs bottled water and local fruit straight from  BC farms.  I know using bottled water is hardly eco friendly but I assume that the chlorine from the tap water just doesn't cut it.



Walking in you can see two large gelato machines that look like washing machines merged with an oversized cylon head.   Like with any restaurant, I am happy when I get to see what is going on behind the scenes, it is comforting to know they are confident enough to show the public what they are doing.  Usually, I am happy to see that the cook is not wiping his nose but seeing the process also makes me happy. The gelato is all stored in covered stainless steel containers which help keep the gelato at its ideal temperature.  I commend him for doing this, as it is definitely less appealing to the consumer however the strict temperature control definitely makes for a better product.

The pistachio was soo flavourful it forced me to come back again the next day.  The blueberry was refreshing and tasted better than eating the fruit itself. And the chocolate, I usually don't ever order chocolate ice cream/gelato but this flavour was soo insane, I couldn't believe it, a perfect hit of sweetness and richness.

The double scoop runs at $5.95 which is very competitive with all the other gelato spots in Vancouver.  I am surprised that he can make that price point considering that his rent must be through the roof, his ingredients must run up a bill and he has to save for the slower traffic of the winter time.

Everyone, lactose intolerant or not should make a trip down to Bella Gelateria to try this product out.


Bella Gelateria
1001 West Cordova Street
Vancouver, BC

Bella Gelateria on Urbanspoon

Matt

19 comments

David B said... @ September 2, 2010 at 3:41 AM

My wife, kids and I tried Bella Gelato and were very disappointed. The vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate gelato were very poor with little taste. We often go to our real italian gelato place and they are far better. Lots of hype for this Bella place but it is very poor overall.

Marisol Cruz said... @ September 2, 2010 at 8:51 AM

David B

with all due respect I beleive you didn't enjoy the flavor because your families taste buds are polluted because you're used to consuming processed refined foods.

Bella only uses the finest pure, real whole ingredients. There are no chemicals! He makes the gelato right in front of you - I'm sure you noticed the huge glass window in front of his kitchen. You can see everything he puts in - only the finest ingredients you can find.

In fact once they gave me one of the fresh strawberries to taste. It was incredible - what a real strawberry should taste like.

I respect your opinion - but I really would encourage you to throw out the processed foods your family has growned accustomed to eating. Give up the fast food. This will give your body and taste buds time to heal. Make an effort to eat whole natural foods.

Also - this is the only real gelato place that I'm aware of. I don't think you'll find anywhere else that uses real organic milk or spring water!

Good luck in your search for health - don't let too much time go by!

This is real

Anonymous said... @ September 2, 2010 at 9:18 AM

This is truly the best gelato I've ever had. And I've had alot of gelato in Italy. Add James to the mix - whose passion for his craft is awe-inspiring - and you've got a treasure on your hands.

Word of warning, though: wait for James, or at least get a feel for the other staff. There's one gal that works there who, for a person surrounded by desserts, just seems like she's having a miserable time.

Anonymous said... @ September 2, 2010 at 10:32 AM

Solid advice Marisol. David B- good luck in your search for health.

Anya said... @ September 2, 2010 at 10:59 AM

Best gelato outside of Italy!

I was sitting in front of Bella devouring my Affogato, with my puppy sadly staring at me, and James told me that he is considering making gelato for dogs next summer, of course, using all natural ingredients. My dog has great taste buds so he is very excited.

Miky said... @ September 2, 2010 at 11:22 AM

This place is better than the Italians. Extremely high quality dessert, and a wonderful addition to this city.

Lydia said... @ September 2, 2010 at 12:04 PM

I totally agree with all of you (except of course David B. Sorry dude.) This place is the best ever and I work a 5 minute walk from it and the awesome Giovane cafe. I had a conversation with James the first time I went there because I was so enthused, and he showed me his refractometer. I went home and searched "Gelato University" and found a photo of him in a Time magazine photo-essay. For reals!

Blink26 said... @ September 4, 2010 at 11:31 AM

Just went there last night on your advice. AMAZING. Best damn gelato we've ever had. Subtley sweet. Perfect texture. Pure taste. It's definitely somewhere we'll go again and somewhere we'll take new visitors to Vancouver.

Mary said... @ September 7, 2010 at 11:17 AM

Absolutely the best gelato in town, hands down. For once, a lemon gelato that doesn't taste like soap!! If you get a chance to chat with James while you're there, please please do. He has such passion for what he does and is totally fun to talk to.

Anonymous said... @ September 7, 2010 at 12:39 PM

Is it good - yes..at least by what's available in Vancouver. Is it authentic - no...he uses carob and guar gums and egg yolks....

Anonymous said... @ September 7, 2010 at 12:41 PM

I mean he does not use egg yolks...

Anonymous said... @ September 12, 2010 at 6:40 PM

He doesn't use egg yolks because a huge chunk of the population is allergic and it's unnecessary. Also if you're buying the type of egg yolks generally purchased for making ice cream/gelato, it's damn hard to find certified organic with the right sugar levels. Better to just be pure and go without them.

Bet you didn't know a lot of the authentic gelato in italy still uses pretty toxic stuff in their bases. He uses carob (from a plant) to avoid all of the X Y Zs. What makes Bella authentic is the process and the passion and the 5 star ingredients.

Anonymous said... @ September 13, 2010 at 12:07 AM

love, love, LOVED Bella Gelateria!!! James, the owner, is so knowledgable, and his gelato is simply the best in Vancouver! The staff there is great, and their gelato is like butter...actually...like butt-AH. the texture is very smooth, its taste is not overly sweet, and hype is really all it is cracked up to be.

Anonymous said... @ September 13, 2010 at 10:57 AM

Making gelato without egg yolks because it's 'unnecessary" and some people are allergic? Come on...let's not tell stories here. He uses gums because its (1) cheaper and (2) easier to work with that yolks. People are allergic to milk, nuts, etc. so that argument is nonsense...

Rick Chung said... @ September 17, 2010 at 5:30 PM

Gelato at Bella Gelateria :: http://j.mp/d9eCcq

ShawKOL8 said... @ September 30, 2010 at 11:33 PM

I love this place! Bella Gelateria has the best gelato that I've tried. The chocolate variations are decadently delicious. Although the price is a bit on the steep side, I can't help but come back for more and not just for the gelato. ;)

Here's a lil rhyme I wrote about my recent experience:

"Service with a smile and they let you try.. 3 chocolate flavours did I feast my eye... upon her blue green eyes.. a taste of heaven.. a sight to behold... my taste buds fulfilled while a new love unfolds..." LOL

Anonymous said... @ October 21, 2010 at 9:31 AM

This place is without a doubt THE BEST Gelato shop in town!! It rivals the very best that I have had in Rome, Florence, and Verona. A must visit if you are a gelato fan. You won't be disappointed. All natural and made the artisan way.

Anonymous said... @ July 8, 2012 at 1:38 AM

I just read the press on the awards. I was eager to try n the gelatos. I visited Bella and was very very surprised at the low quality of the product. Maybe I just came in a bad production day or maybe the owner was having a bad day not too sure. I probably won't go back the prices were far high. There are a couple of Italian gelato places in town that really good and much better in my opinion .

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