NEW YORK CITY — Do you dare to go dairy-free?
Or do you simply loathe lactose?
There are lots of reasons you might not eat traditional ice cream — from cutting cholesterol to maintaining a vegan diet.
Whatever the case may be, New York has plenty of ice cream alternatives that are made without milk so that all residents can get their just desserts, regardless of their dietary desires or needs.
DNAinfo New York has come up with a list of some of the city's best picks.
Three locations: 48 1/2 East 7th St., East Village; 632 Manhattan Ave., Greenpoint; 81 Bergen St., Boerum Hill
For the first time this summer, this creamery is offering vegan chocolate and vanilla scoops. These coconut butter-based picks feature Van Leeuwen's signature vanilla, made from "organic bourbon and Tahitian vanilla orchids grown in Papua New Guinea." After being cured in the sun, the beans are "aged in vodka in oak barrels for four months," according to the chainlet's website.
623 Vanderbilt Ave., at St. Marks Avenue, Prospect Heights
This neighborhood stalwart has long been a sweet spot for frozen-treat seekers who forgo dairy. That's because of a single Ample Hills flavor — the coconut fudge sorbet. Like Van Leeuwen, the sorbet is coconut based. The cocoa comes from Guittard Chocolate Company — a gourmet American confectioner. "We've had it for a couple of years now," said Eric Wu, the store's general manager. "The texture and the taste are just like ice cream. We'll play a game sometimes where we'll hand it to somebody and then be like 'By the way, that's vegan,' and they're like 'what?'"
Made in Long Island City and sold at Smorgasburg as well as stores around town, this vegan and gluten-free outfit specializes "in fruit, vegetable & tea based non-dairy ice creams to make extraordinary flavors." Alchemy's selections include "Bermuda Triangle," a virgin pina colada ice cream, and "Jealousy," a strawberry sampling with chocolate balsamic sauce. Alchemy might be best known for its "magic wands" — billed as a "concoction of cake layered with ice cream and a topping."
3624 15th Ave., Borough Park; 1725 Avenue M, Flatbush; 875 Bedford Ave., at Skillman Street, Williamsburg
Each lick will have you saying l'chaim at this kosher ice cream conglomerate, which runs three stores in Brooklyn. Ice Cream House's offerings include soft serve and scoopables, as well as ice cream cakes.
This roving ice cream sandwich purveyor has made the city's streets sweeter — and it hasn't neglected vegans. Dairy-free cookies are available on a rotating basis and include ginger molasses, carrot cake and chocolate truffle banana, according to the website. All the brand's sorbets are vegan, as is a horchata rice milk-based ice cream, Coolhaus confirmed.
"Many of our customers are shocked when they find out the sorbets are vegan — because they are extremely dense and flavorful, so they can stand up to the creaminess of ice cream," founder Natasha Case said.