Everyone who knows me knows that I have a penchant for vegan cheesecake and other baked goods, but I'm also quite fond of dairy-free frozen desserts. I spent Memorial Day weekend at Siesta Beach in Sarasota, not just because it was voted the number-one beach in the nation, but because Sub Zero, the innovative ice-cream chain that uses liquid nitrogen to freeze custom-made frozen desserts instantly, has a new location at 219 Avenida Madera, right by the beach. Sub Zero -- which was featured on ABC's Shark Tank -- isn't exclusively vegan, but customers can choose almond, rice, or soy milk (depending on the location) as the base for their ice cream, and the majority of Sub Zero's 47 standard flavors are vegan. (Just ask the staff for confirmation.) Sub Zero also offers a few vegan "mix-ins," including fruit, nuts, coconut, and Oreos, and it will also make vegan smoothies, milkshakes, and ice-cream pies.
Although I haven't personally tried any of these concoctions, I have inhaled -- er, eaten -- some tasty treats from the Sub Zero shop at 4065 Clark Rd. in Sarasota: cherry ice cream with mixed berries, white chocolate with Oreos, mint with just a hint of cookie crumbs, and my own special custom mix of pumpkin and cinnamon with pecans. I chose almond milk as the base for all of them, and they were all delicious. I ordered the "creamy" soft serve, but Sub Zero offers two other consistencies, or "chill factors," if you will.
Next time I go, I'm thinking that I'll get a scoop each of blueberry, strawberry, and vanilla -- you know, to be patriotic. If you, too, want to kick off summer with some cow-free ice cream (and I'm sure you will after you read Ryan Gosling's eye-opening comments about cattle dehorning) check for a Sub Zero shop near you, or visit one of the following other vegan-friendly ice cream parlors and eateries:
•ￂﾠSmell The Bread is Sarasota's newest vegan-friendly restaurant and offers homemade vegan ice cream, in addition to tasty vegan sandwiches and pastries.
•ￂﾠKindKreme offers a vegan brownie with two or three scoops of Icekreme, topped with raw chocolate or caramel syrup and a dry topping of your choice, that vegan ice cream connoisseurs in Los Angeles claim is especially drool-worthy.
•ￂﾠGreen Restaurant in Tempe, Arizona, serves up delectable soy-based, soft-serve concoctions as well as tempting vegan appetizers, entrees, and more.
•ￂﾠSustainable NYC serves several flavors of Lula's Sweet Apothecary's scrumptious cashew-nut based ice cream.
•ￂﾠKarma Cream in Gainesville, Florida, is popular with students and everyone else who has a sweet tooth. It also offers sandwiches, bakery items, and more.
• The Chicago Diner offers an assortment of thick and creamy milkshakes and vegan ice cream options on its expansive and mouthwatering vegan menu.
•ￂﾠThe Skinny Dip is in Hampton Roads, Virginia, not far from PETA's HQ, so PETA staffers have sampled and will vouch for the vegan frozen yogurt.
Michelle Kretzer learned about factory farming while pursuing a degree in Journalism at the University of Kentucky. She immediately stopped eating meat and dedicated herself to the cause of animal rights. When she is not writing for the PETA Foundation, Michelle enjoys traveling, collecting Beatles memorabilia, and finding great cruelty-free shoes and bags.