City Cast

The Best Vegan Ice Cream In DC

Kaela Cote-Stemmermann
Kaela Cote-Stemmermann
Posted on July 18   |   Updated on July 19
Ice cream options from Van Leeuwen’s in Union Market.

Ice cream from Van Leeuwen’s in Union Market. (Adam Perkins/Hey DC reader)

I am not vegan, but I do have hot girl tummy problems™ and refuse to carry Lactaid, so I sympathize. Through many trials and tribulations, I have discovered the best vegan ice cream spots in D.C. (because there are some bad ones) so your conscience and tummy don’t have to suffer.

Mt. Desert Island (Mt. Pleasant):

This standby always has at least two non-dairy ice creams and two sorbets. The texture can run “icy” but I appreciate the fun rotating flavors. The cortado flavor is excellent.

Here’s The Scoop (Park View):

A Black woman-owned ice cream shop with a half dairy-free menu. The baklava flavor is superb, and don’t knock the guava and cheese flavor 'til you try it!

Van Leeuwen (multiple locations):

This New York chain just opened three locations in D.C. and it’s a godsend for dairy-free folks. They have at least five vegan flavors that are creamy, not overly processed, and taste just like dairy ice cream. You haven’t lived till you try the vegan peanut butter brownie honeycomb.

Jeni’s (multiple locations):

Jeni’s doesn’t have many vegan options, but what they have they do right. It makes the list purely because of its vegan coconut cold brew flavor. The lemon bar flavor is also superb.

Happy Ice Cream (Dupont):

This tiny ice cream stand by Gemini is open evenings and weekends. They only have three to four rotating flavors at a time, but one is almost always dairy free. It's risky if you’re picky, but it’s some of the best vegan ice cream I’ve ever had.

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