If I had my druthers, I’d sup upon creamy, saccharine sorbet as oft as sunshine, euros, and appetite allowed. To be fair, I can’t recall any other period in which this trio of stipulations aligned all destiny-like to make my 4 months abroad in Cannes continually punctured by glacier (=ice cream shop) visits. While European glaciers certainly boast their fair share of dairy-filled ice cream, sorbets are also in promised-land-abundance; this is no America in which one must watch friends lap up dripping cones of Baskin Robbins while you, the token vegan, glumly eye-strain for a lone sorbet in the gargantuan tubs. European sorbet options abound so when you’ve bemoaned a substandard food day (or week or month or…), it’s a relatively cheap way—at most €3 for a scoop—to stretch out your stomach and delight in the human invention of processed sugar.
Cannes is not a vegan wonderland as I’ve opined many a time before, but you’re sure to be bombarded with sorbet options galore. I’ll review my two favorite vegan-friendly glaciers below: Barbarac and Vilfeu Pere Et Fils Glacier.
Barbarac can account for most of my dining euros spent in Cannes because I’m staunchly pro-sorbet as snack, lunch, dinner, dessert, CHUCKED INTO MY GULLET, whatever. This chain has a dizzying array of fruit-based flavors and I’ve indulged in a fair number, those most memorable being banana, mango, coconut, chocolate (!!), strawberry, and guava. A friend leaped off the bridge of safe ordering when she pointed at the tub of watermelon; said friend soon declared it vile and my lick of solidarity confirmed it. I still wish I had scourged up the moxie to order blackcurrant; some-more-adventurous-day, perhaps.
Do as Emilys do and combine mango and coconut on a sugar cone; I’m trying to craft an apt description but I think tastebud orgy just about does it. That coconut sorbet, she be my sorbet hussy-for-hire. Is that nonsensical? I think MoFo has been footling my word-combinin’ dexterity.
St. Tropez and Cannes house Barbarac’s two locations and I admit that the St. Tropez-ians packed a significantly more impresive wallop of a scoop than the Cannois. And that St.Tropez-procured cone aforepictured? Two flavors (the trusty mango and coconut) for €4 and one frugal belly full for hours to come.
Barbarac (Click for pictures of the Cannes and St. Tropez locations.)
4 Rue Félix Fauré
06400 Cannes, France
Vilfeu Glacier is not your typical French glacier in that its proprietors seem to harbor some misplaced affinity towards kitschy 50s retro diner paraphenalia. I’d scoff but that television beaming out mah boi Marty McFly rights all aesthetic wrongs. I’ll flow along, ice cream parlor proudly window-advertising soy shakes.
This soy chocolate shake was probably not worth its prohibitive price tag, at least €7 if memory don’t trip. I demand my shakes thick and creamy so this frothy concoction with a liquid viscosity was a semi-bummer. Still, the atypical chocolate flavor was lustily and there is simply no other place in Cannes to get dairy-free ice cream. Vegan ice cream monopoly much?
Photo Credit: Esther Sokolow (with friend Laura Wade looking all cute)
Final gripe: Vilfeu suffers from an inexplicable chair famine. When ordering, promptly send a friend on chair-duty to pounce tiger-style upon one of the two outdoor tables or those of the scant few inside. What am I saying? This is Cannes and if you’re contemplating ice cream, it’s obvs beach weather. Ignore cross-walks when traveling beachside and, please, keep all ice cream sand-free while you take in the Mediterranean big ol’ blue wet thing.
Vilfeu Pere Et Fils Glacier
9 Rue Montaigne
06400 Cannes, France