A cult favorite ice cream from Brooklyn is coming to Dallas: Van Leeuwen, whose New York ice cream shops have earned a dedicated following, is opening a location at Dallas' West Village.
The shop will take over the former Paciugo Gelato space, which closed in 2020; according to a spokesperson, the shop is slated to open by early 2022.
Van Leeuwen was founded by brothers Ben and Pete Van Leeuwen and Laura O'Neill in 2008 as a food truck before expanding to a brick-and-mortar operation, with 17 shops across New York. In recent years they've executed an expansion, both opening new shops and making their pints, which are packaged in cool pastel-tinted cartons, available in supermarkets such as Sprouts and Central Market.
"The idea came out of our passion for artisanally produced foods," O'Neill told PBS. "We set out to make the best possible ice cream using only fresh milk and cream, cane sugar, egg yolks and the finest flavors ingredients from small producers locally and around the world."
They take an artisanal approach to everything including using ingredients from like-minded acclaimed vendors such as Intelligentsia Coffee. At their shops, they also feature pastries, cakes, scones, muffins, and cookies, using the same carefully procured chocolates, spices, nuts and fruits used in their ice cream.
They offer more than 40 flavors, including a robust vegan/nondairy selection, which they make from a variety of milks including coconut, cashew, and oats; with their super creamy texture, they're easily among the best vegan/nondairy ice creams on the market.
Shops typically offer 30 to 32 flavors, a mix of dairy and vegan, plus four special flavors every month, made, in the company's parlance, "without junk," from milk, cream, eggs, and cane sugar (or their vegan equivalents).
The distinct flavors come from an obsession with sourcing high quality ingredients such as Sicilian pistachios, cold-pressed Tahitian vanilla, and organic black tea from Rishi. For example, their Honeycomb flavor uses a honeycomb-shaped candy that's made in house.
The company made its Texas debut in May 2021 with the opening of a shop in Houston, where they have two more openings planned. Houston was their third market, joining New York City and Los Angeles, and they've since opened locations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
They mark the second big name in ice cream to come to Dallas: Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream entered the market in February 2021 with a shop in Deep Ellum, and will host a grand opening of a second shop, this one in Addison, on October 28.
Eric Sandler contributed to this story.