Also known as patbingsu or bingsu, bingsoo is a popular Korean shaved ice dessert that uses milk instead of water. The result is a creamier texture than traditional shaved ice (for shaved ice, try Myst Asian Fusion, Meet Fresh, Tealips, or 17° Dessert Café). The shaved ice milk makes the dessert’s texture akin to fluffy snow; it’s often aptly referred to as “snowy ice” or “snow cream.”
Bingsoos are composed of a base of fresh creamy ice shavings, paired with an assortment of toppings. While it was once only topped with sweetened red bean paste (the “pat”), the toppings have since expanded in variety to include fruit jelly, rice cake, fruit, ice cream, condensed milk, and much more. Some modern versions don’t even include the traditional red bean paste hence the omission of “pat” to the more colloquial “bingsoo.”
Here are eight places in Metro Vancouver to enjoy this icy Korean dessert.
A popular place to indulge in bingsoos, Passion 8 serves up beautifully composed bingsoos that taste as delicious as they look. Among their oft-ordered bingsoo flavours are Injeolmi (Korean rice cake with roasted soybean powder) and Tiramisu.
Address: 3010 Cambie Street, Vancouver
Sulmida Dessert Café
Sulmida is known for their powdery, fluffy bingsoos. Their sizes are decent portions, each one packed full with shaved milky ice and flavour toppings. From mango cheese, choco Oreo to yogurt berry to green tea, Sulmida offers a wide variety of flavours.
Address: 4697 Kingsway, Burnaby
Address: 140-8211 Ackroyd Road, Richmond
One of the more well-known places to indulge in bingsoos, Snowy Village is a hot spot for the cool treat. The fluffy ice milk melts in your mouth. Popular flavors include Injeolmi, Oreo, and Mango. Snowy Village even offers their bingsoos to go, in insulated bags which keep the treat frozen for 45 minutes.
Address: Multiple locations; check website for details
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Cup Full Dessert Café
Located in Coquitlam’s Henderson Mall, Cup Full serves up fresh fruit drinks, Soft Peaks soft serve, roll cakes, and bingsoos. The small café serves up bingsoos that are takeout-ready in the usual popular flavours of red bean, matcha, and mango.
Address: #2079-1163 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam
Midam Dessert Café & Bistro
Midam Dessert Café and Bistro boasts of bingsoo dishes topped with rice cakes, fruits, ice cream, and more – and they offer soy milk bingsoo as well. In addition to the icy dessert, Midam also offers a whole menu of Korean dishes. Their newer second location in Richmond is basketball-themed with all sorts of NBA décor.
Address: 1110-4651 Garden City Road, Richmond
Address: 110A-4501 North Road, Burnaby
A more affordable option, Icepik Shavery offers snow cream: a hybrid between Hawaiian shaved ice and ice cream. Icepik differs from the other places because the milky ice is flavored; choices include taro, green tea, and earl grey. You can choose from ready-made combos or design your own.
Address: #1-3375 Kingsway, Vancouver
A recent addition to the bingsoo craze, My Frosty serves up generous portions of the powdery Korean dessert. My Frosty is known for their Injeolmi Bingsoo which stands out from the likes of Snowy Village and Passion 8 because the ice is flavoured, making it extra nutty.
Address: #220-2800 East 1st Avenue, Vancouver
Located in Burnaby near Metrotown, Café Joie is a cute cafe that offers waffles, macarons, bingsoos, and more. Choose from flavours like mango, strawberry, and red bean.
Address: #110-6125 Sussex Avenue, Burnaby