Everyone knows that New Yorkers take their pizza, coffee and bagels incredibly seriously. But really we should add ice cream to the list. Handmade and creative ice creams sold in beautiful independent stores are easy to come by in this city.
Van Leeuwen gets our vote as number one. Not only because it has a branch close to home but also because it strikes the perfect balance between classic and inventive flavors, is reliably rich and creamy, and always has a great tiled floor. Plus, it has an amazing range of vegan options.
Vegan ice cream? Yes, hear me out. Made with cashew or coconut milk, these creations are smooth, flavor-packed and made for everyone to scoop, not just die-hard vegans (though I imagine they too are super grateful that Van Leeuwen exists).
The permanent menu focuses on the classics: chocolate, salted caramel, pistachio and ginger, in both vegan and non-vegan forms. If you’re after something wackier, check out the specials, which range from fluffernutter and matcha to boysenberry shortcake.
You’ll find Van Leeuwen locations scattered throughout Brooklyn and downtown Manhattan and you can chase its truck around the city in the summer months. As an added bonus, most of the stores are open from 7am until midnight: it’s always the right time for ice cream.
Van Leeuwen: Citywide.
Photo: Van Leeuwen.