I miss going to ice cream shops.

I miss standing in long lines looking at the menu board, exploring the various options to choose from and even hearing those around me discuss what flavor to try. For some, the selection is overwhelming, so they just go with vanilla or chocolate. For some, the myriad of choices is like a quest for perfection - which flavor has the most cookie dough, the most nuts, the most fruit, etc. For others, it's just fun to try the craziest thing on the menu. For me, it's the combination of it all.

Van Leeuwen Ice Cream

Specifically, I miss going to Van Leeuwen Ice Cream. For those of you who aren't aware, ice cream has never been the same since Van Leeuwen famously started serving in the Spring of 2008 out of a buttery yellow truck on the streets of NYC.

They make all their ice cream from scratch in Greenpoint, Brooklyn and feature both classic and vegan scoops. Their classic flavors are crafted with fresh milk, cream, cane sugar, and egg yolks - no artificial flavors or unpronounceable ingredients.

Meanwhile, the vegan scoops are made with housemade cashew milk, organic coconut milk, organic extra virgin coconut oil, organic cane sugar, pure cocoa butter, and organic carob bean - again, incredibly natural and thoughtful ingredients. 

Where/How to Find

They now have stores and trucks across NYC and LA and offer a vast pint selection in grocery stores. They even have a cookbook that was released in June 2015, “The Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream Cookbook”, which includes over 100 vegan and classic recipes along with stories from the past decade.

Not to fear, though. Van Leeuwen is looking out for EVERYONE during this time. Thankfully, you can purchase their pints in grocery stores or order nation-wide delivery from their website. 

Looking out for EVERYONE

Speaking of looking out for everyone, they have vegan and nondairy flavors that are incredible. Personally, I love the vegan chocolate and peanut butter chip flavors. 

Despite being an ardent nut butter advocate and consumer, I was never into the whole nut butter ice cream flavors - until I met this one. It’s rich, creamy flavor is game changing, and like nothing I’ve ever tasted before. Safe to say if you try any flavor - this should be one.

They also recently released their line of oat milk ice creams. Of these, they have classic flavors like strawberry, but also just released incredible new flavors like Vegan Chocolate Oat Milk Cookie Dough Chunk and Vegan Oat Milk Brownie Sundae Raspberry Swirl. They also have Oat Milk Mocha Latte which is made with vegan oat milk coffee ice cream,  with fair trade Colombian coffee beans, and finished off with a swirl of their house-made fudge.

Doing good beyond just being ice cream

But when I said they are looking out for everyone, I really meant it. As of March 27th, Van Leeuwen had delivered over 471 gallons of their ice cream to 29 hospitals across NYC in an effort to show appreciate for all that healthcare and essential workers are doing in the time of COVID-19. 

They launched a donations program that included hospitals in Los Angeles and New York City, which made it so if you work at a hospital in LA or NYC and would like to receive a Van Leeuwen Ice Cream donation for you and your team, you could reach out to donations@vanleeuwenicecream.com.

Not only does it feel good to eat their ice cream, Van Leeuwen is proving that it DOES good as well. In a time where the world can use some extra compassion, it is inspiring to see Van Leeuwen leading the way. Cheers to more ice cream!