NYC’s Sustainable Ice Cream Shops

By Alden Wicker

Everybody is already talking about the end of summer. (Just stop.) But I’m still sweating over here, so I decided to arrange a little tour of the most sustainable ice cream shops in NYC with some of my conscious blogger friends from the Ethical Writers Coalition.

To hit all the best shops, we started in Williamsburg, took the ferry to DUMBO, walked through Cobble Hill, then took the F to the Lower East Side and walked up to the East Village. Many of these stores have several locations, though, so if you’re in the West Village or Park Slope, you’ll be able to get a sweet, cold treat as well!

So how did I choose which shops to hit? There are four things that could make an ice cream shop sustainable:

1. They use locally-sourced ingredients. If the ice cream has dairy in it, it’s from pasture-raised cows within a few hours of where you’re eating it.

2. They use organic ingredients.

3. It’s vegan. Raising cows, even on a pasture, has a much higher environmental impact than growing plants.

4. They take steps to reduce waste.

And this is why I love NYC. Using these criteria, there is not just one sustainable ice cream shop, but eight of them! So it was a full day of cold, sugary fun. The benefit of our tour is that instead of just using the internet, we personally visited each of the shops in question, so we could give you an accurate report on their relative merits. It was a hard job, but we made it through, because we know this is important to you.

Ample Hills Creamery

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(Vegan options) This ice cream shop serves up a cornucopia of flavors made in-house of hormone- and antibiotic-free eggs, cream and milk. There’s Sweet Honey, a White Russian flavor called The Dude, The Munchies with pretzel and potato chips, Ooey Gooey Butter Cake, and so many more. The emphasis is on super-rich flavors, like the Ooey Gooey – vanilla with Louisiana butter cake – and Nona D’s Oatmeal Lace. While we visited their small summer location at Brooklyn Bridge Park, they have several other shops around Brooklyn and Manhattan, plus a weather-allowing one at Rockaway Beach. They are mindful of waste, with recycled cardboard cups, and composting areas at several of their locations.

Prospect Heights
623 Vanderbilt Ave., Brooklyn
(347) 240 – 3926
Sun – Thurs: Noon to 11pm
Fri & Sat: Noon to Midnight

Gowanus
305 Nevins St., Brooklyn
(347) 725-4061
Sun – Thurs: Noon to 11pm
Fri & Sat: Noon to Midnight

Brooklyn Bridge Park
Pier 5, Brooklyn
(718) 643-6961
Mon-Fri: 11am -10pm
Sat-Sun: 10am -10pm

Riis Park Beach Bazaar
157 Rockaway Beach Blvd, Queens
riisparkbeachbazaar.com
Mon – Fri: Noon to 9pm
Sat & Sun: 11am to 9pm
*weather dependent*

Gotham West Market
600 11th Ave., Manhattan
212-582-9354
Sun – Thurs: Noon to 11pm
Fri & Sat: Noon to Midnight

Blue Marble

Blue Marble Ice Cream // eco-friendly

(Vegan options) Mention Blue Marble to a New Yorker and you will likely hear a, “Oh my God, it’s so good.” Besides the heavenly taste, social responsibility is at the core of their brand. They use super-premium, certified organic dairy from pasture-raised cows, and ingredients with no hormones, antibiotics, harmful pesticides or artificial additives. Their flavors are simple and straightforward and not too sugary, yet fresh and modern, like the green tea matcha ice cream I had at their Cobble Hill location. They also use reusable tasting spoons instead of plastic ones. During the summer you can find them at Smorgasburg, Fornino’s at Brooklyn Bridge Park, Governor’s Island, and Central Park’s Summer Stage.

Cobble Hill
196 Court St, Brooklyn
347.384.2100

Prospect Heights
186 Underhill Ave, Brooklyn NY 11238
718.399.6926

Blythe Ann’s

 Blythe Ann's

(All vegan) Formerly known as Lulu’s Apothecary, this cute little shop has a retro vibe and all the traditional flavors like egg cream, ice cream sundays, chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry, but in the vegan version. We were told that the name Blythe Ann is only temporary while the owner decides what to call the shop, but we love the name and hope it stays! The ice cream was pretty fantastic too, and we appreciated that the tasting spoons and cups were reusable ones, instead of plastic throwaways.

East Village
516 E 6th St, Manhattan

DF Mavens

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(All vegan) Sort of like a diary-free mecca, this big, fancy shop in the East Village has too many flavors to choose from, and they are all incredibly delicious. If you’re not into ice cream at the moment, you can get fresh juices, coffee with made-that-morning almond milk, or kombucha.

East Village
37 St Marks Pl, Manhattan
212-260-9800

Melt Bakery

Melt Bakery ice cream sandwiches

Not just an ice cream shop, but an ice cream sandwich store, this itty bitty shop places classic flavors inside inventive cookies, like chocolate chip walnut with vanilla, red velvet with cream cheese, snickerdoodle with cinnamon, and crackly chocolate with peppermint. Ingredients are locally-sourced and seasonal, with an eye on sustainability. Can’t make it over there? Put an order in and have them delivered to your apartment or cubicle.

Lower East Side
132 Orchard Street, Manhattan
(646) 535-MELT

MilkMade

Milk Made ice cream

Milkmade started out as just a craft ice cream delivery service, but has a little “tasting shop” in Brooklyn, where you can try flavors made from locally-sourced ingredients from farms and artisanal producers, like s’more and strawberry-banana ice cream with a peanut butter swirl.

Cobble Hill
204 Sackett Street, Brooklyn
(347) 422-0879

Oddfellow’s

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(Vegan options) Oddfellow’s takes the unique step of pasteurizing their own ice cream base, using locally sourced, hormone-free and additive-free dairy for a richer, creamier taste. The flavors are fun, like Thai Ice Cream and Honey Blueberry. Try a milkshakes or ice cream float featuring Virgil’s gourmet sodas, or a topping of Mast Brothers Hot Fudge. With every serving of ice cream they sell, they donate $0.05 to the Food Bank for New York City. Tasting spoons are reusable, not plastic, and the waffle cones are made in house.

Williamsburg
175 Kent Ave, Brooklyn
(347) 599-0556

East Village
75 East 4th St., Manhattan
917.475.1812

Van Leeuwen

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Photo credit: Faye Lessler

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Photo credit: Faye Lessler

(Vegan options) Formerly just a roving ice cream truck, this delicious ice cream brand now has several permanent locations in Brooklyn and Manhattan. (The food truck has a pretty much permanent residence in Williamsburg on Bedford and North 8th, but plans are in the works for a brick-and-mortar location on Wythe.) The flavors are all super-simple, with just a few ingredients: milk, cream, eggs, and cane sugar. My personal favorite is Earl Grey Tea, but you might go for more traditional flavors like salted caramel or plain (but transcendent) vanilla. Read a longer review from my friend Faye Lessler.

Greenpoint
620 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn
(347)987-4774

Boerum Hill
81 Bergen St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
(347) 763-2979

East Village
48.5 East 7th St, New York, NY 10003
(718) 715-0758

West Village
152 West 10th St, New York, NY 10014
(917) 475-1448

 

About the Author

Alden is the founder and editor-in-chief of EcoCult, covering all things sustainable in NYC and beyond, including fashion, beauty, food, and events. She’s been published in Refinery29, EcoSalon, xoJane, Well+Good, Huffington Post Green, Narratively, LearnVest, Societé Perrier, and Greatist. She also runs a blog about electronic music with her boyfriend called Under the Sound, and is a co-founder of the Ethical Writers Coalition. Check her out on Twitter at @AldenWicker and Instagram @EcoCult

 

 

 

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