Whether you’re vegan, lactose intolerant or looking to try something different, you deserve a sweet summer treat just as much as anyone else.
And we don’t just mean candy or dark chocolate—dairy free ice cream abounds in West Michigan, allowing you to enjoy the creamy textures and luscious flavors without the conventional lactic ingredients that cause so many of us issues.
Not that we’re taking an anti-dairy stance, but your taste buds deserve to know about all possible alternatives. Those alternatives include shaved ice, vegan froyo, sorbetto, Dole whip, and more. So let’s take a look at some of the best dairy-free frozen treats around.
Palazzolo’s Artisan Dairy
You’re most likely to find Palazzolo’s products in a local grocery store like Kingma’s or Bridge Street Market, but you can also order it straight to your door. One of their big specialties is sorbetto, a frozen dessert made with ice, fruit juice, fruit puree, and that’s about it. There’s no dairy, just delicious frozen fruit in all its sugary glory. Enjoy flavors like Fresh Mango and Fresh Red Raspberry straight from a pint, or blend it into a smoothie. Palazzolo also offers packaged slushies!
Love’s Ice Cream & Chocolate
435 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids
Love’s in the Downtown Market serves up from-scratch scoops of low net carb dairy-free gelato, which is a great option for diabetics, those on a keto or low-carb diet, or those looking to reduce their sugar consumption. All of Love’s ice creams and dairy-free gelatos are gluten free, and all dairy-free pints are gluten free and vegan.
134 Monroe Center NW, Grand Rapids
Located conveniently downtown by Rosa Parks Circle, Sweet Yo’s offers a rotating daily mix of a dozen flavors, including vegan options! The self-serve toppings bar has more than 65 choices, most of which are dairy-free. Fill up your cup and step outside for some fun in the city.
Frostbite Shaved Ice
Who needs snow cones when you can have shaved ice brought directly to your summer shindig? Originating in Taiwan, and popular in Hawaii, shaved ice (some people just call it “shave ice”), has a fine and pillowy texture. This allows the syrup to be absorbed into the ice, rather than dropping over large chunks and pooling at the bottom. Shave ice is fluffy and light, and local Frostbite founder J Hawkins has a passion for it. With flavors like banana, cherry, cotton candy, pina colada, root beer and many more, everyone at your party will be glad you booked this dairy-free treat.
Frosty Boy GR
1757 Plainfield Ave., Grand Rapids
Multi-time winners of Revue’s Best of the West, Frosty Boy is one of the most popular ice cream stands around. It helps that their menu is absolutely massive, without sacrificing for quality, and they change it up frequently with vegan/dairy-free specials. For example, they recently offered a vegan Cappuccino soft serve, which blends well with vegan vanilla or as a vegan brownie flurry—that’s right, they even have dairy-free brownies! Plus, the occasional fruit sorbetto, which are naturally vegan. And heck, while you’re here, may as well get some French fries! Those are always dairy free. ν
The Pump House
Another locally owned fro-yo haven, The Pump House has a legion of fans thanks to their massive daily selection, which includes sorbet. These dairy-free options even include unique flavors like Chocolate Fudge and Key Lime, and they go great with many toppings.
Furniture City Creamery
958 Cherry St. SE, Grand Rapids
Furniture City Creamery is known for offering fresh, small-batch ice cream year-round, with multiple vegan (coconut milk-based) offerings. The flavors change constantly, with options ranging from the classic Strawberry, Vanilla and Chocolate to the more adventurous Key Lime Pie. As of writing this, the menu includes a Trans Joy flavor, with blue raspberry, bubble gum and vanilla—available in vegan, dairy-free form as well! You can also make your own shake or sundae with whatever vegan options are available, which includes their dairy free chocolate sauce and caramel sauce.