So, to find the healthiest—and most delicious—frozen treats around, we taste-tested our way through the city’s yummiest creamy offerings—many of which don’t contain a drop of dairy.
Here are our seven favorite servings.
Soft Serve Fruit Co., formerly Simply Peeled, makes exactly what its name suggests with just water, fruit, and organic cane sugar. Super-fresh-tasting selections like banana, blueberry, and mango rotate with the seasons, as do the Greenmarket-sourced toppings. But the fabulous flavor stays put. Small cup: $3.50 (VEGAN)
1371 3rd Ave (at 78th Street), Upper East Side
25 East 17th Street (at Broadway), Union Square
Van Leeuwen artisanal ice cream isn’t low-fat. But foodies who like their clean ingredients can rejoice: The base of every batch is organic milk and eggs from an upstate farm, and organic cane sugar. We love that Van Leeuwan dishes out transparency, as well as some of the city’s most creative ice cream. Giandujia, anyone? Small cone: $4.50
Locations in the East Village, Greenpoint, and Boerum Hill. The Van Leeuwen truck roams the streets of Manhattan. Pints are available at Whole Foods.
Steve’s frozen kombucha took the city by surprise this summer by proving just how delish the fermented health drink could be as an ice-y dessert. The Red Ginger and Urban Passion are out of this world. And Steve’s also churns out coconut milk-based ice cream, like exotic Coconut Cilantro Lime. The Bryant Park location teems with yogis after their free outdoor class. Small cup: $4
4 East 42nd Street (between Madison and 5th), Midtown East
Red Mango beats out the frozen yogurt shop competition because it’s made with nonfat yogurt and a pure cane sugar—and little else. It also has (slightly) fewer calories and less sugar than Pinkberry. Order the Coconut with fresh pineapple and dark chocolate chips—it adds a tropical breeze to a sticky weekend in the city. Small cup: $2.95
Locations throughout the city.
Italian import Grom Gelato tastes much more decadent than it is. I could barely finish a small Cioccolato Extranoir sorbet because it was so rich and chocolatey, but it turns out it contained only 120 calories—and no additives or preservatives. Small cup: $5.25
Locations in Greenwich Village, Columbus Circle, and the Upper West Side.
People’s Pops blends local, seasonal fruit with water and just a dash of organic cane sugar into the most refreshing, delicious handmade ice-pop around. The seasonal Raspberry Basil will have you biting into chunks of fresh raspberries, while visions of your carefree childhood summers dance through your head. Popsicle: $3.50 (VEGAN)
Locations throughout the city.
Pure Food and Wine’s sister company One Lucky Duck has elevated the art of vegan ice cream. They start with coconut, coconut oil, and cashew, sweeten with agave, and then add raw ingredients to make flavors like Almond Buttercup and “Oreo” Cookie. The consistency brings to mind an ice cream blended with an Italian ice. Half pint: $8 (VEGAN)
125 E. 17th Street (between Irving Place and 3rd), Gramercy
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