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Detroit is known as a city of “grit”— tough, real, and resilient. Because of this, people might not associate it with vegan food options, but that couldn't be further from the truth.
Detroit has built a solid foundation of vegan options with new restaurants regularly popping up. Among these new vegan places are various ice cream spots, or “nice cream” as it’s commonly called in the city.
Check out this list of dairy-free ice cream spots across Detroit that proves vegan ice cream can be just as creamy and delicious as dairy ice cream.
Just outside of Detroit in Madison Heights, Milkster Nitrogen Creamery uses liquid nitrogen to custom-make every order of ice cream and create a super-smooth texture. Even better, the creamery features syringes filled with sauces like Nutella and pumpkin so you can insert a boost of flavor in your ice cream. They offer dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan options that change daily; check their social media to see what flavors they’re scoopin’ each day! With locations in Troy, Rochester Hills, Partridge Creek, and Northville, there's no reason not to enjoy one of these sweet treats.
Created by best-selling author, journalist, and Detroit-original Mitch Albom, this hotspot is one to write home about. The Detroit Water Ice Factory serves up an unusual concoction called “water ice,” with fun Detroit names, like “Honolulu Blue Raspberry” (for those Detroit Lions jerseys), “Corvette Cherry”, and “Woodward Watermelon.” Water ice is fruity like sherbet, frozen like shaved ice, and creamy like ice cream, but without the fat, dairy, and cholesterol. With the exception of a couple flavors, it’s totally vegan. Profits go towards chairty, so you have all the more reason to visit.
Located in Ferndale and Midtown, Treat Dreams is a Detroit staple known for its creative and exotic flavors (they have a Thanksgiving Dinner flavor that has turkey in it…). They have a rotation of over 800 flavors, including a number of vegan options. Made with rice or soy milk, the vegan chocolate peanut butter flavor is one of the most popular choices. When a vegan ice cream is a top-seller, it’s a true testament to just how good their ice cream must be.
Dairy Twist Cafe boasts the “largest selection of vegan soft serve and vegan hand dip ice cream in Oakland County.” Their soy-based soft serve is 100% dairy-, gluten-, fat-, cholesterol-, and peanut and tree nut-free. They even use a separate machine to avoid contact with milk or egg products, so those with severe allergies can rest easy. Make sure to sample their black cherry vegan ice cream — it’s a popular choice made with almond milk. Their hard-scooped ice cream is soy-based and just as delicious; we recommend espresso Oreo!
Avalon’s motto is, “Eat well. Do good.” With multiple locations and ventures across Michigan, the company values its community and the earth, and, as such, offers up tons of vegan goodies like walnut-raisin carrot cake. However, one of their tastiest treats is vegan gelato! While it's not available in every location, it's worth traveling to a location that sells it.
When you’re craving a vegan milkshake, make sure to track down Shimmy Shack food truck. Shimmy Shack aims to dispel the myth that plant-based food is bland and boring by showcasing delicious “naughty” foods like burgers, fries, nachos — and milkshakes! The food truck’s vegan milkshakes are created with rice-based ice cream and rice milk. Available in three different flavors, chocolate, Cookie Monster, and strawberry, these milkshakes are the perfect relief for a humid Detroit day.