Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream

48 1/2 E 7th St(nr 2nd Ave)New York, NY 10003
6 at Astor Pl
Mon-Thu 7am-11pm, Fri 7am-Midnight, Sat 9am-Midnight, Sun 9am-11pm
Coffee Roaster
Toby's Estate

This particular branch of Van Leeuwen, their largest, is as of now, the ultimate realization of the company’s evolving design sense, with lots of exposed brick, a long row of beautiful yellow metal window stools, and small black and white floor tiles. The uncluttered counter area contains only their signature turntable-driven sound system and records, a few shop-sized bags of coffee beans, a purposefully sparse pastry case, and a Dutch Mirage espresso machine, along with mundanities such as a tip jar, cash register, etc.

Artisanal ice cream is the draw here, not the coffee, which, while presented with the trappings of seriousness, doesn’t achieve that level on a consistent basis. It pretty much depends on who is making it at the time – there doesn’t appear to be managerial dedication to good coffee. That said, you probably won’t have a terrible espresso here, but you probably won’t have a great one either.

Van Leeuwen’s affogatto (espresso poured over ice cream), is pretty great, depending of course more on the ice cream than the espresso. We’re also partial to their chocolate ice cream, which has a strong Dutch cocoa flavor and isn’t too sweet. Baked goods vary in quality. A particular favorite is the small, unsweet, hazelnut cake. The chocolate chip cookies are so loaded with chocolate that they’re almost more brownie than cookie, which is a plus to some and a bit too much of a good thing for others.