Denver's Best Vegan Ice Cream Options | Westword

The Ten Best Vegan Ice Cream Options in Denver

Discover decadent dairy-free scoops, soft-serve twists, sundaes, ice cream sandwiches and more.
Ice cream truck Best One Yet offers an entirely plant-based menu.
Ice cream truck Best One Yet offers an entirely plant-based menu. Best One Yet
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Whether you’re vegan or dairy simply doesn’t settle well with you, there’s no need to feel left out this summer — or be forced to order a less-than-satisfying sorbet. We recently released our list of the ten best ice cream shops in the city, and most offer at least one vegan option.

But if you're looking for the best places to get a wide variety of vegan-friendly cold treats, here are our picks:

Best One Yet
Best One Yet started as an ice cream cart attached to a shiny red Vespa scooter. Following successful seasons, the business graduated to a full-sized food truck, allowing founder Helen Williams to scale her vegan ice cream operation. This summer, it’s stationed at the City Park and Boulder farmers' markets, and will appear at several events like Vegan Nights and VegFest. Stop by to savor its ice cream cookie sandwiches, shakes and an array of rotating coconut milk-based flavors such as peanut butter brownie and Rocky Mountain Road.
click to enlarge four soft serve ice cream cones in front of a blue and pink wall
Dang has eight flavors on the menu at a time, and two are always vegan.
Dang Soft Serve
2211 Oneida Street

Soft-serve ice cream — much less vegan soft serve — is hard to come by in Denver, but Dang delivers ever-changing creative flavors like chocolate ganache, cherry, peanut butter banana and chai. Order a twist of two and make it a sundae with a wide variety of tasty toppings. This south Park Hill shop is a sister concept of Little Man and hosts live music on Saturday nights all through the summer.

Em's Ice Cream
2829 Fairfax Street
10061 West 26th Avenue, Wheat Ridge

All of Em's ice cream flavors are small-batched churned and gluten-free, and three are also plant-based. Pop into its north Park Hill or Wheat Ridge locations to sample a rotating selection of scoops like coconut-vanilla, dark chocolate and strawberry, plus a variety of vegan fruit popsicles.

Gelato Boy
Multiple locations
Having grown up in Italy, Gelato Boy co-founder Giulia Licht understands the qualities of good gelato — and evidently, dairy isn’t a requirement. The company has five scoop shops across Denver and Boulder, and each serves several scratch-made vegan choices. The current lineup includes dark chocolate, strawberry, lemon poppy and a limited-edition berry shortcake, all made with a creamy blend of coconut and oats. Plant-based pints are also available at several local grocers, including King Soopers, Whole Foods and Sprouts.
Multiple Heaven Creamery ice cream cones and melting scoops laid flat on a counter
Heaven Creamery offers vegan ice cream, gelato, cones and more.
Heaven Creamery
Heaven Creamery
Multiple locations
Martha Trillo founded this fast-growing ice cream and gelato brand, which now has five shops in the metro area, plus a sixth set to open in Arvada. Having a daughter with severe lactose intolerance, Trillo was very intentional in including vegan menu options. Order from a rotating selection of eighteen plant-based ice cream flavors, which are even tastier in vegan cones made from fresh, innovative ingredients like dragonfruit and beets. Chocolate-dipped pops and summer specials like ice cream-topped piña coladas add to the selection.

Little Man
Multiple locations
Housed in a massive 28-foot milk can, the flagship Little Man location in LoHi has become a Denver landmark. In April, it debuted its ninth outpost in Greenwood Village and plans to open another in Littleton come July. No matter where you are in the city, you’re likely not far from its delicious vegan selection, which includes coffee chip, horchata and salted chocolate Oreo.
click to enlarge A pink Sweet Action cup filled with a scoop of vegan ice cream
Sweet Action has rotating vegan flavors, plus to-go pints.
Abigail Bliss
Sweet Action
Multiple locations
More than a decade ago, Westword named Sweet Action the Best Ice Cream for the Milk-Averse” — and the distinction rings true to this day. All four Denver locations offer a fantastic lineup of vegan options, including chocolate chip, banana and strawberry, plus rotating seasonal flavors. Plant-based pints of coffee and doughnuts, caramel carrot cake and more also appear in-store and at retailers including Natural Grocers and Whole Foods.

Sweet Cow
Multiple locations
Sweet Cow caters to many in the metro region, with shops spanning from Longmont to Platt Park. Swing by for a scoop from its rotating vegan selection, which, depending on the location, currently includes Dutch chocolate, raspberry chocolate chip, cookies and cream, chocolate peanut butter and strawberry banana golden Oreo. Safe to say, it’s a must on your next ice cream tour of the city.
click to enlarge One chocolate fudge and two strawberry sundaes from Sweet Izzy
Everything on Sweet Izzy’s menu is vegan and gluten-free, waffle cones included.
Sweet Izzy
Sweet Izzy
3003 East Third Avenue

Founders Mike and Elizabeth Doucette hail from what they describe as the “ice cream-centric” town of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where they operate the original Sweet Izzy location on a seasonal basis. Late last year, they launched a year-round outpost in Cherry Creek North that offers an entirely vegan and gluten-free menu. Everything is up for grabs, from its cookie dough and salted caramel ice creams to classic chocolate and vanilla soft serve, waffle cones and toppings like organic fruit, chocolate-covered pretzels and rainbow sprinkles.

Van Leeuwen
1459 Larimer Street
1750 29th Street, Boulder

You’ve likely seen national ice cream brand Van Leeuwen in Walmart, Sprouts and other grocers across the city. But for a freshly made treat, head to its Denver or Boulder shops on a hot summer day. The plant-based selection is generous, with flavors like strawberry shortcake, peanut butter brownie honeycomb and banana bread pudding with fudge swirls. Order a scoop in a vegan-friendly sugar cone, sandwich it between two chocolate chip cookies or make it a sundae with toppings like hot fudge and vegan whipped cream.
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