Van Leeuwen, an ice creamery and bakery in NYC, has started serving vegan ice cream! The comapny announced last night that they will be serving coconut-based ice cream in chocolate and vanilla flavors at all of their storefronts and trucks in the city. Made using organic coconut cream, the flyer announcing the new confection boasts that this isn’t just your average chocolate and vanilla, but rather “Michel Cluizel chocolate” and “Cold Ground, Oak Barrel Aged” vanilla. This might explain the cost, at $5.50 for a small serving and $7.50 for a large.
It’s 80 degrees in Brooklyn today and I just happened to be right around the corner from Van Leeuwen’s Boerum Hill location during my lunch break, which meant that I was obligated to taste-test the new ice cream. I brought a friend, because I just had to try both flavors for any curious parties out there (you’re welcome). I know, ice cream for lunch. Us vegans have it rough.
The chocolate was extremely chocolate-y and not too sweet, with no hint of coconut flavor. The vanilla had a hint of coconut-y taste, but was good. Overall, I’ve had better, but I’ve also had worse. And yes, Van Leeuwen serves vegan ice cream cones, according to the nice lady who served my scoop.
Walking down the street and grabbing a cone when the craving hits has just become a little bit easier for vegans in New York City, but I wouldn’t necessarily go out of my way to try this ice cream. It’s no Lula’s (which is temporarily closed, unfortunately), and costs about as much of a pint of vegan ice cream from Whole Foods. Still, kudos to Van Leeuwen for taking the leap and reaching out to the vegan community. We can only hope other business will follow suit.