When it comes to eating and desserts, NYC is one of my favorite cities on the East Coast. Sure, West Coast cities like Portland and San Diego are great spots for vegan living, but the sheer amount of vegan eateries in NYC is like nowhere else I’ve been in the U.S.
A short while ago, I had the chance to visit New York City and made it my goal to find some of the city’s best dessert spots. With the warm weather coming on, though, it’s time for ice cream!
In today’s post, I’m going to show you some of the best vegan ice cream in NYC. Whether you’re looking for oat milk ice cream, vegan sorbet, or vegan ice cream sandwiches, I’ve got you covered.
Are you ready for an ice-cold cone?
Is NYC A Good City For Vegan Dessert?
The “Big Apple” is known for a lot of things. The Yankees, traffic, yellow cabs, the Empire State Building, Jay-Z, and a whole lot more. However, they’re also one of the fastest-growing vegan-friendly cities in the US!
Despite the recent pandemic, there are tons of great local vegan ice cream parlors and dessert shops that will knock your socks off.
From simple in-and-out ice cream shops to high-end pastry shops, NYC has it all. And if you’re looking for some seriously good vegan ice cream, then there are few better places in the world.
The Best Ice Cream In NYC: Top Spots
Are you ready to take a culinary taste trip? Whether you live in New York or you’re just visiting for a quick trip, these are # vegan ice cream parlors in NYC that I highly recommend checking out.
1) Van Leeuwen Ice Cream
- Website: https://vanleeuwenicecream.com/scoop-shops/
- Location: 48 1/2 E 7th St, New York, NY 10003
- Favorite Ice Cream: Vegan Churros & Fudge
Where do I even begin? Van Leeuwen Ice Cream has some of the best vegan ice creams that I’ve ever had in my life. The quality is outstanding and their selection of vegan ice cream is inspiring.
Before coming to this ice cream shop, I had no idea how many flavors of vegan ice cream were even possible.
Although Van Leeuwen Ice Cream isn’t specifically a vegan ice cream parlor (they sell dairy ice cream too), they have over fifteen different vegan ice cream flavors!
Some of the flavors that stood out the most to me include Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll, Cookie Crumble Strawberry Jam, and Bourbon Vanilla Apple Crisp.
The flavor that I ended up getting was Churros & Fudge. Since churros aren’t traditionally vegan, I hadn’t had the opportunity to try anything churro-flavored in a very long time. So, naturally, I jumped at the opportunity.
It was absolutely delicious. All of their vegan ice creams use an oat milk base, which is the creamiest-tasting plant milk, in my opinion. Rich dark chocolate fudge and gooey cinnamon bites are layered with real brown sugar in a thick, creamy base.
Van Leeuwen’s has locations all over the city as well, so no matter what bureau you’re in, I guarantee you’ll find one close to you. Since Van Leeuwen manufactures its own ice cream, the flavors should be consistent no matter which shop you visit.
2) Whipped Urban Dessert Lab
- Website: https://urbandessertlab.com/
- Location: 95 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002
- Favorite Ice Cream: Coffee Waffle Crunch
Whipped Urban Dessert Lab is the world’s first black-female-owned oat milk ice cream shop. Unlike most of the ice cream spots in NYC, Whipped Urban Dessert Lab only sells oat milk ice cream.
Additionally, all of their toppings and sauces are dairy-free, egg-free, and 100% vegan. So, you can order anything you want off of the menu without having to analyze any ingredients!
The vibe at Whipped is very upscale. You can tell that they take vegan ice cream seriously. So seriously, in fact, that they’ve turned it into an art.
This isn’t the type of ice cream shop where you go and get a few scoops in a boring waffle cone and walk out the door. From the moment you enter the line until you put your spoon into your ice cream, you’re in control of the process.
You get to pick your ice cream base, pick the sauce you want, and watch as they roll your scoops around in a delicious vegan topping of your choice.
When I went, I got the Coffee Waffle Crunch pre-made fusion. It features their signature homemade sweet cream oat milk ice cream, rolled in their house-made coffee sauce, and then covered in crushed-up waffle cones.
It’s definitely one of the more expensive vegan ice cream cones that I’ve had, but it was worth every penny!
3) Chloe’s Soft Serve Fruit Co. x Juice Press
- Website: https://www.chloesfruit.com/
- Location: 25 E 17th St, New York, NY 10003
- Favorite Ice Cream: Strawberry Soft Serve
If you love fruit and ice cream, then Chloe’s Soft Serve Fruit Co x Juice Press is the perfect compromise. Almost everything on the menu is 100% vegan and is made using real fruit, unrefined cane sugar, and filtered water.
Chloe’s is another woman-owned business that was started by Chloe after she had her first child.
She began making homemade fruit-based soft serves for her kid at home and eventually turned it into a whole business. Now she sells soft-serve fruit in her shop along with her signature oat milk popsicles.
Her shop also doubles as a juice press, if you’re looking for a healthy, energizing herbal tonic to wash your ice cream down with!
When I went, I got a strawberry soft serve and topped it with vegan sprinkles. It’s basically mashed up fruit, water, and sugar that’s turned into pure soft serve that tastes very similar to real soft-serve ice cream!
4) Rawsome Treats
- Website: http://www.rawsometreats.com/
- Location: 158 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002
- Favorite Ice Cream: Moo Moo Pie (Ice Cream Sandwich)
Rawsome Treats is one of my favorite overall dessert spots in New York City! They’re a specialty vegan dessert shop that offers a number of dishes catering to the raw vegan diet as well.
They don’t sell traditional scoops at Rawsome Treats, but they do have some of the best (and only) vegan ice cream sandwiches that I’ve ever had.
When I went, I got the Moo Moo Pie ice cream sandwich. It’s made using raw vegan cashew ice cream and is sandwiched between two pieces of chocolate cookie that are made using real cocoa and all-organic ingredients.
The ice cream sandwiches are a bit on the small side, but they’re totally worth it!
Where’s The Best Oat Milk Ice Cream In NYC?
If I had to pick, I’d see that Van Leeuwen’s Ice Cream has the best oat milk ice cream in NYC. Not only can you buy scoops in-store, but you can also take home pints to satisfy your late-night cravings!
Does Morgenstern’s Have Vegan Ice Cream?
Morgenstern’s Ice Cream is one of the most well-known vegan ice cream shops in NYC. Although it temporarily shut down for the pandemic, they’ve recently re-opened (just in time for the summer season)!
Although they’re not an exclusively vegan ice cream shop, they’ve always had a few really good flavors. Recently, however, they added forty new flavors to their menu, many of which are vegan-friendly!
Conclusion – Where’s The Best Vegan Ice Cream In NYC?
Experience-wise, I’d have to say that Whipped Urban Dessert Lab is the best overall vegan ice cream shop in NYC. I love the atmosphere there and the upscale vibe.
Every time I walk in, it makes me feel like I’m some sort of celebrity. However, if you’re just looking for a great pint to take home, then you can’t go wrong with Van Leeuwen’s Ice Cream.
If you liked this article, be sure to check out my last post on The Best Vegan Bakeries in NYC. There I listed all of the other great spots that I had a chance to visit during my trip!