Sarah McLachlan once sang “your love is better than ice cream.” She was wrong. Yes, romance can be amazing, but a scoop of perfectly-packed ice cream is basically love anyway, especially if it comes with sprinkles. To be honest, one of our biggest anxieties when embracing a plant-based diet was literally, “But what about ice cream?” Because really, without the occasional vegan ice cream ecstasy, what is life?
To answer that question, the Wild Elements team had our own type of Super Bowl—one where we scooped dozens of bowls of plant-based ice cream in search of the perfect non-dairy ice cream. Below are our absolute favorites, but if you have other brands you think we should try, email firstname.lastname@example.org, because look: we’ll never complain about trying another dessert.
The Best Vegan Ice Cream for Purists: Sunscoop
If “matcha gummi bear swirl” sounds like sacrilege to you, steer yourself to Sunscoop. The female-founded brand makes the creamiest and most comforting scoop of vanilla ice cream we’ve tried, and it maintains its consistency on a cone, with apple pie, or blended into a dessert shake with frozen berries.
The Best Vegan Version of an Ice Cream Truck
Remember those gooey frozen sundae cones you could buy from the ice cream truck window after soccer practice? Jolly Llama has them in a vegan, gluten-free version so you can treat yourself to a single-serving dessert without chasing down your local Good Humor guy.
The Best Vegan Ice Cream at CVS: Ben & Jerry’s
It’s 9 P.M. and you’re craving ice cream. Impossible to find a vegan version at your corner store, right? Nope! Ben & Jerry’s vegan ice cream has dairy-free versions of several best-selling favorites, including Netflix and Chill’d (peanut butter with pretzels and brownie bits), “Milk” and Cookies (vanilla with chocolate chip cookies, chocolate sandwich cookies, and chocolate cookie swirls), and classics like Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Cherry Garcia.
The Best Artisinal Vegan Ice Cream: Van Leeuwen
Real talk: We like Van Leeuwen’s plant-based ice creams way better than their traditional ones! It’s partly because their formula is super-creamy, and partly because their flavors are insane. Among their -haves are Churros & Fudge, Bourbon Vanilla Apple Crisp, and Vegan Fudge Chocolate Brownie. But this is a small-batch business, which means if you see something you like, you’d better add to cart immediately, or risk losing out. (Like we did with Cookie Crumble Strawberry Jam. Alas!)
The Best Vegan Ice Cream If You Don’t Totally Love Ice Cream
1. Come here, we just want to talk…
2. Oatly makes a strawberry “ice cream” that’s thicker and more dense than a traditional sorbet, but way lighter and less creamy than a traditional ice cream. If you love the thrill of cold sweetness on your tastebuds but don’t enjoy the richness and lingering taste of normal scoops, this one’s for you.