Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream: Revisiting Dairy Free Flavors

Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream

Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream

It is always gratifying when I stop in a shop where I haven’t been for a few months, to see that they have more dairy free options than the last time I was there!  That was the experience I had when I visited Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream on 7th Street in the East Village recently.

The first time I visited Van Leeuwen, which was last summer, they only had two vegan flavors, chocolate and vanilla.  But these were two of the most incredible dairy free ice creams I had ever tasted.  So when I saw that they now are offering 6 dairy free flavors, I was thrilled.  In addition to the chocolate, they now have salted caramel, mint chip, coffee, pistachio and banana nut (no more vanilla – I guess it was too boring).

Van Leeuwen Vegan Ice Cream Options

Van Leeuwen Vegan Ice Cream Options

In addition to the menu listing the flavors available (vegan and otherwise), there is a second menu now, offering sundaes and other ice cream treats.  And lo and behold, there is one vegan offering mentioned!

Van Leeuwen Sundaes Board

Van Leeuwen Sundaes Board

I had to try the vegan sundae!  I ordered it, and the counter person was a little flustered – he had never made it before.  But from the description on the board – chocolate and pistachio vegan ice creams, chocolate sauce, cacao nibs and walnuts – he was able to give it a go.  And here is what it looked like:

Van Leeuwen's Vegan Sundae

Van Leeuwen’s Vegan Sundae

How was it?  Very very good.  Crunchy walnuts and cacao nibs, rich chocolate sauce and two first-rate vegan ice cream flavors.  It was a little on the heavy side though – some vegan whipped cream and maybe some fruit on top would’ve made it truly awesome.  Nevertheless, it was a solid vegan attempt at a sundae.

Next time I visit – which, believe me, will not be long from now – I will have to try the salted caramel and mint chip flavors – and maybe banana nut, too.  Just for scientific purposes, you understand, to make sure that they are not too terrible.  Knowing Van Leeuwen, I am sure they are wonderful.  Even the scientist side of me can admit that.

About Karl Peterson

Karl Peterson is an avid traveler, passionate about food and food-related entertainment, completely allergic to dairy. He is founder, owner and principle contributor to “The Dairy Free Traveler” blog. The Dairy Free Traveler perfectly dovetails two of his greatest areas of interest: traveling near and far, and searching for great cuisine (especially dairy free!)

The Dairy Free Traveler publishes original material about the dairy free lifestyle, eating the best food in the most interesting destinations around the world. Karl’s tours take him from thriving New York City, to exotic Marrakesh, to elegant Paris bistros — (yes! even Parisians have gotten on the dairy free bandwagon.)

The Dairy Free Traveler himself also engages with independent dairy free food producers, highlighting new dairy free product launches and events that support dairy free entrepreneurs.

Peterson is among the top 7 most widely read TripAdvisor reviewers in New York City and is repeatedly cited as a Top Contributor at His reviews have garnered more than 542,000 readers — half in the U.S., and half among the many countries he has visited around the world.

Beyond writing this blog, Peterson is a published author, with contributions to “Savoring Gotham” edited by Andrew F. Smith (published 2015 by Oxford University) and the forthcoming Oxford Companion to Cheese (a bit ironic, yes, but a professional is often asked to stretch beyond their comfort zone!).

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