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Find sweet relief from the NYC heat by treating yourself to the city’s top vegan ice cream


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Photo: Getty Images/FG Trade

Summer in New York is sweltering. Wait on the subway platform for just five minutes, and you’re guaranteed a serious case of underboob sweat. The air is thick and humid, which doesn’t exactly make for a great hair day. And sometimes, you’re so desperate for relief that you praise on high when a drop of water from someone’s air conditioner lands on your sticky skin.

The upside: You’re never too far from a sweet, delicious ice cream cone. And because this is 2018 and plant-based everything is taking over, there are plenty of vegan options available for the dairy-free set.

Rounded up here is a list of where to go for a sweet, vegan treat to help you cool down.

Chloe’s Fruit

This soft serve haven only uses a few key ingredients: fruit, water, and a touch of cane sugar. Besides dairy, Chloe’s has also nixed high-fructose syrup—a sneaky additive in many ice-creams, even vegan ones—from its menu. The amazing part is that the soft serve is still super creamy and delish. Want to go all out? Go for the waffle sundae.

25 East 17th Street, New York, New York, 10003

Van Leeuwen

Local cult-favorite Van Leeuwen was the big winner in Well+Good’s vegan ice-cream taste test, loved for its clean ingredients list and extra-creamy blend of coconut milk and cashew milk. The chain has several locations throughout the city and sells both vegan and non-vegan ice-cream, making it a crowd-pleaser for your whole friend group.

Locations in the Upper West Side, West Village, East Village, and Lower East Side. See vanleeuwenicecream.com for details.

Mike & Dave’s

Similar to Chloe’s, Mike & Dave’s crafts its soft serve from fruit—and no weird chemicals. The best-friends-turned-business-partners are all about living the healthy life, which includes bowls of nice cream on the reg. The toppings are brimming with benefits too: pink Himalayan sea salt, nut butter, and gluten-free granola.

120 Macdougal Street, New York, New York 10012

Koku

Koku is a Well+Good fave. The base is made with coconut, but doesn’t have an overwhelming coconutty, frozen-drink-at-an-all-inclusive-resort taste. The toppings are a smorgasbord of wellness all-stars as well, including collagen, spirulina, and bee pollen. (Collagen and bee pollen aren’t vegan, but they’re totally optional.) Bonus: It’s served in a picture-perfect coconut and topped with edible flowers.

Now being served at Springbone Kitchen, 90 West 3rd Street, New York, New York, 10012

Ice Cream House

Whether you’re in the mood for a milkshake, cone, or ice-cream cake, Ice Cream House has you covered with both vegan and non-vegan options. Their dairy-free ice-cream is soy-based, and is that perfect soft texture you’d expect from a European gelato. And there’s a full toppings bar, so go wild with the add-ons.

Three locations in Brooklyn. See icecreamhouse.com for details.

With constantly rotating flavors — about 16 daily, including at least four vegan options — you’ll want to revisit Crème & Cocoa throughout the summer to try them all. Popular with the grown-up crowd are their boozy selections, such as piña colada vegan ice cream, strawberry Moscato sorbet, Hennessy caramel ice cream and Guinness stout dark cocoa chip, with coquito ice cream available during the holiday season. Last week we tried their intensely aromatic sorrel sorbet, banana pudding ice cream made with Caribbean vanilla and fresh bananas, and deeply chocolate stout cocoa chip ice cream. Despite their wide variety, Astrid and Omar are nowhere near finished dreaming up new concoctions. “I would love to make a Mauby sorbet,” Astrid says, referring to a Caribbean tree bark-based beverage. “I also wouldn’t mind making a flan ice cream. If it’s something that people in the community are used to, then we’ll make those flavors.” || 1067 Nostrand Ave. #sorrel #blackownedbrooklyn

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Creme and Cocoa

This family-owned business with Caribbean roots has several vegan options with total vacation vibes. A few of the flavors: pina colada, strawberry coconut, and passion fruit. Non-vegan options are available, too, for your dairy-loving friends.

1067 Nostrand Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11225

Pressed Juicery

You may already go there for your juice fix, but Pressed Juicery can cure your ice cream cravings, too, with their Freeze soft serve, made with fruits, veggies, and nuts. (It may sound like a salad, but one spoonful will have you converted.) In classic Pressed Juicery form, the Freezes are made with added boosters, like turmeric and coconut meat.

Various locations. See pressedjuicery.com for details. 

Juice Press

Not to be outdone, Juice Press has their own vegan ice cream offerings, in two flavors, chocolate and berry, made with fruit and without soy, gluten, refined sugars, and GMOs.

Various locations. See juicepress.com for details.

If you don’t feel like venturing out, here’s how to make your own vegan ice cream at home. And while you’re adding places to your NYC bucket list, don’t forget these wellness hot spots.

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