This has long been on my list of “To Try” ice cream places, so I was very happy when my friend and I found ourselves near Van Leeuwen’s new brick-and-mortar shop in Brooklyn last week, and on a warm, sunny day to boot.
The shop is small and charming, with a delightful painting of their truck being lifted into the air by some colorful balloons on one wall, a small counter with muffins, biscotti, and old-school ice cream sundae glasses in the front, and large windows that fold back, giving the whole place the feel of an outdoor cafe.
Fortunately for me, three ice cream flavors were already sold out, so choosing a flavor was slightly easier. Just slightly. I debated between Earl Grey Tea and Ginger and finally decided on Earl Grey Tea, which I was absolutely happy with. The ice cream wasn’t too sweet and the flavor was subtle and pure, like a cup of earl grey tea in a creamy frozen form. I was so tempted to eat another scoop but held back – that will make my next visit that much sweeter.
My friend ordered a scoop of gianduja, which is hazelnut blended with chocolate – that was also delicious and I could have stolen a few more bites, but that just would have been rude.
I’m just glad that I have so many options to enjoy this ice cream now – I can chase down their trucks roaming city, I can make a trek out to Brooklyn and visit this cute little shop, or, (and this is dangerous), I can go to my local market and find pre-packed pints of Van Leeuwen ice cream in its freezer section. If they stock Earl Grey ice cream, I’m in big trouble.
Here’s the rundown:
Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream
632 Manhattan Ave. between Nassau and Norman Avenues (Trucks also roam the city)
Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY 11222
Hours: Weekdays, 8am to 11pm; Weekends, 9am to 11pm