Ice cream

NYC | In Search of: Vegan Icecream - Van Leeuwen by Ace Pai

One cold January day, a friend and I decided to go for some icecream. We had both studied in Italy half a year ago and I had just gotten back from Florence (without getting the chance to eat gelato) so the icecream craving was strong. I suggested Van Leeuwen, a name I know of from the non-dairy icecream shelves of Wholefoods and a video I once saw on Facebook. 

I have tried their pistacchio pints before and I absolutely love the creaminess and the strong flavour of the pistacchio but I had heard that they offered special vegan flavours in their shops so I knew that I had to go and taste them for myself!

The new vegan flavour out at the time (available at all locations) was Planet Earth. The blue “ocean” is made of spirulina and has an almond flavour while the chunks of matcha cakes make up the green “land.” It was an interesting combination that I’ve never seen elsewhere. In my opinion, the almond flavouring was a bit artificial tasting but I enjoyed the matcha chunks. I didn’t quite like it at first taste but it grew on me and now I occasionally crave this weird flavour while studying.

This definitely is something that I don’t think is for everyone. It’s probably a flavour that kids won’t love either. However, I think you should be the judge of that yourself ;) as it is apparently pretty popular and has been sold out at certain locations that I’ve been to.


The other new vegan flavour that came out around the end of March was Dark Matter, a homage to Stephen Hawkings who had passed away on the 14th. The beautiful black colour comes from blending activated charcoal with its cashew milk and coconut cream base, chucks of vegan honeycomb candy are then folded in to add a nice crunch. The result is a wonderful flavour that is, in my opinion, similar to toasted coconut. 

Since my last visit, Van Leeuwen has come out with another new vegan flavour (horchata, I believe) that I have yet to try. When I do get a chance to, I will make sure to update this post! In the mean time, you should head on over to Van Leeuwen to try these vegan flavours for yourself!