First Look: Van Leeuwen’s Ice Creams Makes Waves in Dallas

Dallas has become a hot spot for fans of sweet and cold. With new popsicle, gelato and ice cream shops paving the streets of Dallas, the typical sweet-toothed foodie’s dilemma has shifted from finding one good dessert option to choosing between many.

Van Leeuwen [Van-loo-in], originally founded in Brooklyn, is just one such shop making big gains in Dallas’ ice cream scene. The company makes all of its products from scratch with nothing but milk, cream, eggs and cane sugar (or coconut, cashew and oats for the vegan counterparts). What’s more, the diet-friendly ice cream shop labels its entire menu with common allergens, including tree nuts, coconut, gluten, peanuts and soy

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The Van Leeuwen store opened in early May.

Anisha Holla

“Good is choice ingredients. Even if we have to go to Mount Etna to get them,” is part of the mantra from their website. Perhaps you’ve seen Van Leeuwen when traversing the frozen aisle of your local grocery store. Known superior for pints of ice cream, the company also offers quality ice cream delivery to customers’ doors.

Now, they’ve opened a scoop shop in Dallas, and they’re fixing more than just ice cream pints.

Walking in, you might find your eyes overwhelmed by colors. Pink paint and tiles enclose the small shop, painted over with purple, blue and yellow circles. Brace yourself though, sight isn’t the only sense that’s in for a wild ride.

click to enlarge Customers can also pick up a pint to go.  - ANISHA HOLLA

Customers can also pick up a pint to go.

Anisha Holla

Van Leeuwen’s ice cream menu may be one of the most extensive in Dallas to date, with over 27 flavors to choose from, and that’s before the toppings. As if choosing a flavor wasn’t daunting enough, the ice cream shop boasts two menus, with one dedicated to vegan ice cream.

While some flavors rotate out seasonally, many of Van Leeuwen’s popular flavors are permanent fixtures. For the non-vegans, grab a scoop of the brown sugar cookie dough: a brown sugar ice cream dotted with gooey cookie dough pieces and nuts.

Another popular flavor is the praline butter cake, a sweet-cream ice cream sprinkled with praline pieces and soft brown butter cake. If your palate is more adventure-seeking try the Marionberry Cheesecake with a thick jam ribbon cutting through ice cream speckled with a house-made Graham cracker crumble.

Vegan or not, make sure to try out the popular vegan Churros and Fudge ice cream made with a cinnamon and brown-sugar base and swirled in with a fudge ribbon and churro chunks. You might also find your gaze drifting to the vegan Cookie Crumble Strawberry Jam, a rich vanilla-flavored ice cream base with Oregon-made jam and crumbled oat cookies.

Ice cream at Van Leeuwen is served by the cup or cone, in singles ($5.75), doubles ($7.50) or trios ($9.50). Also, dessert-lovers can choose to have their ice cream as a sundae or lick it from a cookie sandwich. Regardless of presentation, it’s clear that the ice cream here is the star of the show.

The phrase, “If you have a mouth, we have a flavor,” is written in bold on the shop’s menu and is, quite frankly, a pretty good description.

Van Leeuwen Ice Cream, 3699 McKinney Ave., 11 am – 11 pm Sunday – Thursday; 11 am – 12 am Friday – Saturday

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