These days, you can’t visit a supermarket and not spot at least one vegan option in the ice cream section. So many major companies now offer vegan ice cream pints, bars, and sandwiches. But what about ice cream shops? It turns out that they’re catering to the ever-growing vegan demand, too. Choosing dairy-free options helps keep mother cows with their calves instead of being torn away from them shortly after birth. Compassionate customers can help encourage these companies to make the right choice—so go ahead and indulge.
Here are a few of our favorite spots to grab a scoop of vegan ice cream:
This San Francisco–based chocolate company has ice cream shops in California and several other states. It recently introduced its first vegan ice cream flavor—a coconut-based vanilla ice cream from Cosmic Bliss (formerly Coconut Bliss).
After years of pressure from PETA, Dairy Queen has rolled out its first vegan frozen dessert—a gluten-free variety of its classic Dilly Bar. The Non-Dairy Dilly Bar is made with a coconut cream–based soft serve, which is wrapped in a crunchy chocolate coating. Availability varies from franchise to franchise, so call your local store to see whether it has this option in stock. If not, say that you’d like to try it! Click here to find a Dairy Queen location near you.
According to Amy’s Ice Creams, “By popular demand, we here at Amy’s created our very own vegan ice cream based on our most popular flavor [Vegan Mexican Vanilla]!” Vegan chocolate and, on the rare occasion, a vegan coffee flavor are also available. The Texas-based chain regularly offers at least one nondairy variety at each Austin, Houston, and San Antonio location. Click here to find an Amy’s near you.
After vegan pints were introduced, cruelty-free scoops became available in select Ben & Jerry’s shops nationwide. Flavors include Caramel Almond Brittle, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Coconut Almond Fudge Chip, and Cold Brew Coffee Fudge Chip—all vegan and all delicious.
Low-calorie favorite Halo Top made nondairy ice cream dreams come true last year when it announced new vegan flavors. Now, if you’re in Los Angeles, you can get nondairy chocolate and cookie dough ice cream at Halo Top Scoop Shops.
Jeni Britton Bauer, founder of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, set out to “make a plant-based ice cream using … perfect and wonderful plants, cacao and coconut with little else.” First, the chain introduced its dairy-free Dark Chocolate Truffle flavor, packed with fair-trade, Dutch-processed cocoa powder. Since then, it’s added even more vegan flavors: Cold Brew With Coconut Cream, Roasted Peanut Butter & Strawberry Jam, Texas Sheet Cake, and Caramel Pecan Sticky Buns. All flavors are available online and at Jeni’s scoop shops nationwide.
For 70 years, McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams, based in Santa Barbara, California, was known for its dairy “products.” Now, the brand is giving the people what they want: vegan ice cream scoops. The deliciously creamy options currently include Cookies & Cream, Dark Chocolate Chip, Eureka Lemon & Marionberries, Toasted Coconut Almond Chip, and Turkish Coffee. The new flavors go “well with Netflix and couches” but don’t “go well with milk as that would kinda defeat the whole purpose,” according to the company. Visit your local McConnell’s scoop shop to try the new vegan flavors today. Not near a scoop shop? No problem! Visit a Gelson’s or Bristol Farms supermarket to pick up a pint, or click here to have a pint (or many) shipped straight to your door.
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New York City chain OddFellows serves up several flavors of vegan ice cream, including Miso Cherry, Oatmeal Cookie Dough, and Chocolate Chunk. The shop is also one of the only places where you can try Eclipse Foods’ plant-based ice cream, which claims to be even creamier than ice cream made from cow’s milk. OddFellows’ flavors change regularly, so be sure to check its website for daily offerings.
If you live in the Northeastern U.S., chances are you’ve heard of Perry’s Ice Cream. The regional brand has been serving ice cream in places like New York, western Pennsylvania, New England, and northeast Ohio for decades. Now, to meet the growing demand for animal-free food, it’s added three vegan flavors to its lineup: Cookies & Cream, Lemon Raspberry, and Vanilla. Click here to find a stand that offers the almond-based flavors.
Known for its uncommon flavor combinations, West Coast–based chain Salt & Straw serves vegan ice cream year-round but features special vegan scoops every January. Bourbon & Caramelized Honeycomb, Coconut Rice Pudding, and Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies & Cream are just a few of the scrumptious flavors available.
Popular East Coast road-trip stop Stewart’s Shops has launched a delightfully dairy-free pint of vegan ice cream. The new vegan flavor, Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup, came to be after Stewart’s received numerous requests from compassionate customers to provide a dairy-free option. If you’re a fan of salty and sweet, you’re in luck—this nondairy dessert “combines sweet chocolate with a salty peanut butter swirl and provides a rich and creamy flavor made with a coconut base.” Yum!
Sub Zero shops are taking over the U.S., and luckily, they have vegan options. Every ice cream order can be customized. Choose from a soy-, almond-, or cashew-milk base. Then choose the flavor and toppings you want, and let the liquid nitrogen do the rest.
Forget chocolate and vanilla. Van Leeuwen shops and trucks offer vegan flavors like Salted Caramel, Cookie Crumble Strawberry Jam, and Concord Grape PB&J. Its ice cream scoops are available in Los Angeles and New York City.
Remember: Desserts—even vegan ones—should always be consumed in moderation. The same goes for these delicious frozen yogurt flavors, which you should check out immediately.