Dairy-free ice cream and soft serve are luscious frozen treats perfect for vegans and people with lactose intolerance. By using the milk of coconut, soy, or tree nuts as the base for the “cream,” these dairy-free desserts can achieve a rich, velvety consistency that rivals traditional ice cream.
On the other hand, that sweet tooth with a penchant for treats with fruity flavors and an icy texture may prefer other frozen desserts sans dairy such as popsicles, Italian ice, and sorbet. Featuring an extensive range of flavors from the exotic (e.g. pineapple jalapeño, sweet tea, coconut lime, etc.) to classics like vanilla and chocolate, these scrumptious ice cream shops offer some of America's best dairy-free frozen confections:
Best Dairy-Free and Vegan Ice Cream in the U.S.
Steel City Pops
Sweet Peaks Ice Cream
Ted and Wally’s Ice Cream
The Perfect Scoop & Boba Tea
Las Vegas, NV
Little Rock, AR
Rock Salt Creamery
Kippy’s! Non-Dairy Ice Cream Shop
North Wildwood, NJ
Little Man Ice Cream
Micalizzi Italian Ice
Long Island City, NY
Molly’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream
The Hop Ice Cream Cafe
Gigi’s Ice Lollies
Jake's Ice Cream
Ice Cream Joy
Roxy’s Ice Cream Social
Oklahoma City, OK
Back to Eden Bakery
Brown Cow Ice Cream Parlor
Forest Park, IL
Little Baby’s Ice Cream
Broad Ripple Ice Cream Station (Brics)
Like No Udder
Over the Top
Pleasant Hill, IA
Scoopy Doo Gelato Shop
Glacé Artisan Ice Cream
The Arctic Scoop
Pied Piper Creamery
Hansen’s Sno-Bliz Sweet Shop
New Orleans, LA
Tropical Dreams Ice Cream
Salt Lake City, UT
Ben & Jerry’s
The Skinny Dip Frozen Yogurt Bar
Virginia Beach, VA
Love’s Ice Cream
Grand Rapids, MI
Izzy’s Ice Cream
Saint Paul, MN
Ellen’s Homemade Ice Cream
Deep South Pops
Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream Company
Ices Plain & Fancy
St. Louis, MO
Big Dipper Ice Cream Shop
|District of Columbia |
Recommendations: We wanted to know what we should try at each of these places, so we went to the experts: the shops themselves. Here's what they recommended:
Love’s Ice Cream, Michigan
This shop’s customers are quite fond of their Amaretto Cherry and Lavender Blueberry vegan flavors.
Jake’s Ice Cream, Georgia
For the health-conscious, Jake recommends the coconut milk-based and naturally sweetened Joyscream, an original recipe filled with super foods. For people looking to let loose a little more, try the Raspberry Almond Swirl, Dark Chocolate Puddin’, or Roasted Coconut.
The Arctic Scoop, Kentucky
The Arctic Scoop is all about selection- they offer 55 vegan flavors that are custom made for you using liquid nitrogen. These include favorites such as cookies and cream, and also more unexpected mixes like Bavarian cream with pretzels. They’ve also created a lactose-free Pet Pal Treats so your puppy can beat the heat, too.
Little Baby’s Ice Cream, Pennsylvania
This ice cream shop gets creative with flavor combinations- sample the Chocolate Salt Malt, Speculoos (cookie butter), and Coconut Chai.
Gelato Fiasco, Maine
For the lovers of rich, creamy desserts who want to avoid the cream, try their Dark Chocolate Noir Sorbetto. It is fabulous on its own, or paired with Ripe Mango or Raspberry Truffle Sorbetto.
Hop Ice Cream Cafe, North Carolina
Some of the flavors Hop Ice Cream has created have to be seen to be believed. Go on a culinary adventure with Indian Rice Pudding, Thai Curry, or Carrot Ginger Sorbet, all dairy-free. If you’re not quite ready for these, they recommend their top selling Banana Creme, a creamy frozen treat that has no milk of any kind.
Ice Cream Joy, Ohio
Vegans rejoice! This shop’s two recommended flavors are Cayenne Sweet Potato Pecan and Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookie Dough, both vegan and both delicious.
Ices Plain & Fancy, Missouri
Ices is proud to offer any ice cream as non-dairy, given their liquid nitrogen flash-churning. If this means too much choice, they recommend trying their German Chocolate, which is coconut/almond milk based and topped with candied coconut and walnuts.
Pied Piper Creamery, Tennessee
This shop is heaven for sorbet lovers, as their summer sorbets flavors include chocolate coconut, strawberry, raspberry, cantaloupe, and perpetual favorite watermelon sorbet. They also offer LactAid right in the store, in case you want to stop for a spur-of-the-moment dairy treat.
Hansen’s Sno-Bliz, Louisiana
Interesting flavor combinations are the name of the game at Hansen’s. Watermelon and cucumber, satsuma and cardamom, vanilla and lemonade...all dairy-free!
Roxy’s Ice Cream Social, Oklahoma
Roxy’s recommends their most popular non-dairy flavor, German Chocolate. It’s coconut milk based, and has candied pecans and toasted coconut mixed in.
Like No Udder, Rhode Island
Try the cashew-based Cookies and Cream or Almond Joyful, both available at their newly-opened storefront location.
Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream Company, Wisconsin
Enjoy a dairy-free dessert in multiple formats here: soy-based ice cream, italian ice, and even a soon-to-be-added vegan specialty shake! Carrot Mango is a local favorite.
Pleasant Pops, Washington DC
The top recommendation has to be Strawberry Ginger Lemonade- even President Obama gave it a try when he visited!
Wild Scoops, Alaska
Warm yourself up by trying some Fireweed Lemon Sorbet, get your blood pumping with Good Morning, Alaska (coffee coconut with cacao nibs), or just embrace the outdoors and get Snow (coconut with toasted flakes)
Sweet Peaks, Montana
Chocolate lovers should sample the Chocolate Coconut Ice Cream, made with coconut milk and tasting like a Fudgesicle. If you want something fruitier, pick up some Lemon Cucumber Basil sorbet.
Izzy's Ice Cream, Minnesota
Non-dairy diners can enjoy Peanut Butter, Chocolate Sorbet, or a fruity Raspberry and Passionfruit flavor. If you can't decide between two, why not try their 'Izzy Scoop', which adds a small scoop of a second flavor on top of your main ice cream for an excellent combination.
Rock Salt Creamery, New Hampshire
This shop innovates with both non-dairy flavors and styles. Get your frozen treat fix with a vegan ice cream bar, or vegan ice cream sandwich.
Cool Scoops, New Jersey
This 50's-style diner regularly offers vanilla and chocolate dairy free flavors, a variety of gelati, and dairy free shakes.
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This article was written by Justina Tran.