Van Leeuwen Ice Cream Review

If you’re a fan of artisanal ice cream, you’ve likely heard of Van Leeuwen. With its roots in New York CityNew York, Van Leeuwen has become a household name among ice cream enthusiasts, thanks to their high-quality ingredients and unique flavors. We will take a closer look at what makes Van Leeuwen ice cream so special.

What is Van Leeuwen Ice Cream?

Van Leeuwen Ice Cream is an ice cream parlor chain that originated as a food truck in New York City in 2008. It was founded by Pete Van Leeuwen, his brother Ben, and their partner Laura O’Neill, who sold their ice cream flavors from yellow trucks based on imported ingredients like Ceylon cinnamon, Sicilian pistachios, and vanilla from Papua New Guinea. 

The company received a significant investment of $18.7 million from the American private equity firm Nextworld in 2020. Since then, Van Leeuwen has grown rapidly and opened 27 stores across the United States, including 17 in New York City. Their expansion continued in 2022 with the opening of their 30th store, including their first locations in Dallas and Colorado.

What Are the Famous Flavors of Van Leeuwen Ice Cream?

Hot Honey

The flavor of this ice cream is best described as having a subtle warmth at the back of the throat rather than being outright hot. Although it might not be suitable for those who are highly sensitive to spicy foods, most people should find the mild burn quite pleasant. 

The ice cream itself is a smooth and creamy vanilla, with delicious chunks of hard candy honeycomb and swirls of hot honey that add a complex, sweet, and spicy flavor profile. In other words, this flavor is the perfect balance of creamy sweetness and a touch of heat that lingers just long enough to keep you coming back for more.

VLW The Logo

Wild Blueberry Shortcake

Similar to the Hot Honey flavor, this ice cream has a variety of mix-ins that add a unique twist to its taste. The shortcake pieces in this ice cream are chewy and slightly dull by themselves, but when combined with the blueberry swirl, their flavor is taken to another level. 

It’s hard to pinpoint what makes the combination so delicious, but it’s possible that the wildness of the blueberry somehow infused into the shortcake pieces. The vanilla ice cream base is a perfect canvas for the mix-ins, with its creamy texture and easy-to-scoop consistency. 

The result is an ice cream flavor that is both rich and indulgent, with a perfect balance of flavors and textures that will leave you wanting more.

Bourbon Cherries Jubilee

This ice cream flavor is simple but packed with flavor. Made with just two components – sweet cream ice cream and swirls of bourbon cherry compote – it’s a delicious and indulgent treat. The cherry compote is made by cooking the fruit in syrup, resulting in a rich and decadent flavor that perfectly complements the sweet cream ice cream base. 

Although the bourbon is listed as an ingredient, it’s not overpowering, and you won’t get a boozy taste while enjoying the ice cream. Instead, the bourbon flavor shows up subtly in the aftertaste, adding another layer of complexity to the flavor profile. 

VLW The Scoop

The sweet cream base is sweeter than the vanilla bases in other varieties, creating a well-balanced combination of sweet and tart. This pint is bursting with fruity goodness, and the cherry compote adds a lot of flavor to this delicious dessert.

Planet Earth

This ice cream flavor is inspired by what the Earth might have looked like millions of years ago, with blue spirulina almond ice cream representing the water and matcha green tea cake pieces standing in for patches of land. Spirulina, a blue-green algae, gives the ice cream its bright blue color, and while it’s listed as an ingredient, the base doesn’t taste like pond scum at all. 

The addition of blue raspberry extract adds another layer of fruity sweetness to the mix. The matcha green tea cake pieces provide a chewy texture that contrasts with the creamy base, but they don’t have a strong matcha flavor. This pint is a unique and refreshing treat, perfect for anyone looking for something a little bit different.

Limoncello Cake

Looking for a refreshing and creamy treat that’s perfect for spring or summer? Look no further than this delicious Limoncello Cake ice cream. The lemon flavor is perfectly balanced, not too overpowering but not too subtle either, and is complemented by the creamy texture of the ice cream. 

But the real star of the show here is the chewy brown-sugar cake bites, which add a delightful crunch and sweetness to every bite. This ice cream is the perfect treat on a warm day, with its bright and citrusy flavor and cool, creamy texture. So why not indulge in a scoop of this irresistible dessert today?

VLW Ice cream on cone

Blood Orange Chocolate Chip

Looking for an ice cream flavor that’s both classic and unique? Look no further than this deliciousBlood Orange Chocolate Chip. While the citrus notes are certainly distinct, they’re not so strong as to overpower the other flavors. Instead, they add a tangy bite that perfectly complements the sweetness of the vanilla and chocolate. 

In fact, the flavor profile is reminiscent of a classic vanilla ice cream with chocolate chips, but with a subtle twist that sets it apart from the rest. So if you’re looking for a tasty and refreshing treat that’s both familiar and unique, give this citrus vanilla with chocolate chips a try today.

Is Van Leeuwen Ice Cream Worth Trying?

If you’re a fan of ice cream and looking for a high-quality, artisanal option, then Van Leeuwen Ice Cream is definitely worth trying. With a history that began as a food truck in New York City in 2008, Van Leeuwen has since expanded to 27 locations across the United States, including 17 stores in New York City alone. 

VLW the Icream tubs

The brand prides itself on using high-quality, imported ingredients like Ceylon cinnamon, Sicilian pistachios, and vanilla from Papua New Guinea, to create unique and delicious flavors that set it apart from other ice cream shops. 

Van Leeuwen’s menu features a range of creative and innovative flavors, from the tangy and refreshing Lemon Sherbet to the rich and indulgent Chocolate Fudge Brownie. There’s something for everyone, whether you prefer classic flavors or more adventurous options. 

And while the ice cream may be on the pricier side, it’s well worth the cost for the quality and unique flavors.


Van Leeuwen Ice Cream is a must-try for any ice cream lover looking for unique and high-quality flavors. From their use of imported ingredients to their creative mix-ins, each pint is a delicious adventure. 

With their expansion across the United States, including new locations in Dallas and Colorado, Van Leeuwen is becoming more accessible to ice cream enthusiasts everywhere. Don’t miss out on the chance to try one of their innovative and delectable flavors.

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