Vegan Ice Cream at Great Escape in Watkins Glen, NY

After we enjoyed a delicious dinner at the Wildflower Cafe in Watkins Glen, we needed to complete our meal with a delicious dessert. Just down the main street in town, The Great Escape Ice Cream Store served up a huge variety of frozen treats, including a great variety of vegan soft serve ice cream flavors! This darling ice cream parlor has been family-owned for the past 32 years, and we could tell that it was a beloved spot in the downtown region.

First of all, it is often difficult to find vegan desserts of any kind while traveling about, let alone in a small town like Watkins Glen. Secondly, it is rare that we would find delicious, plant-based desserts in such a great amount of flavors! Oh, the choices! It was difficult to decide as all of these sounded so yummy. After some deliberation, I eventually chose the Maple Nut flavor (sticking with my Canadian roots, I suppose), and Justin opted for the Caramel vegan ice cream. The above board shows all of the vegan options available at Great Escape. Most of these are flavors added to soft serve ice cream, and there were two different kinds of the hard ice cream, too.

When we placed our orders, we were given the option of having vanilla, chocolate, or a twist of vanilla and chocolate soft serve ice cream. Maple nut seemed to go best with vanilla, and Justin chose to have the chocolate-vanilla twist with his caramel-flavored treat. We ate the ice cream out of small bowls, although they did have vegan cones available as well.

The vegan ice cream at Great Escape is soy-based, though you would hardly know it. It tasted exactly like what I recall dairy ice cream tasting like! Dairy-free ice cream can be made out of a variety of different plant-based milks, including soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk, cashew milk, and the list goes on. Most grocery stores nowadays carry at least a few types of dairy-free ice cream, so you should give it a try! Our personal favorite to purchase at home is a coconut milk ice cream made by Luna & Larry in the chocolate peanut butter flavor. It is the best ice cream we have ever eaten! Oh, my apologies for getting off on a tangent there…we are used to buying the hard ice cream at home, but eating soft-serve ice cream was such a treat.

If you find yourself in the Finger Lakes region of New York state, be sure to stop by The Great Escape in Watkins Glen for a yummy frozen treat, although you may have a tough time choosing what flavor to eat!

The Great Escape

221 S. Franklin St.

Watkins Glen, NY

Summer Hours: 11:00am-10:00pm

Spring & Fall Hours: 12:00pm-9:00pm

This post is part of the #SundayTraveler blog link party, where each Sunday we are able to travel the world by reading various travel blog posts! You can check out What to Pack for a Vacation in Croatia by Chasing the Donkey this week.

What flavor of vegan soft serve ice cream would you like to try?


34 Responses

  1. Baskets Life Travel
    | Reply

    Oh Yum – being married to a professional athlete and two up and coming athletes – we are always looking for a great way to enjoy tasty treats and to eat a little bit healthier – this looks fantastic – if we are ever in the area we will stop by for sure ~ thank you for sharing! YUM

  2. Molly S
    | Reply

    There’s no way I would be able to choose just one flavour – I’m not vegan but these look so yummy! I’d be the one who makes things awkward and asks for two (or three) different ones in the same bowl……;)

  3. slightly astray
    | Reply

    Yum! Ice cream has to be my favorite treat. I’m addicted! And I really love the coconut ice cream at the stores too (so worth it for the extra price)! All these vegan flavors sound so yummy!

  4. Raphael Alexander Zoren
    | Reply

    I love the color of the wooden houses! They look so pretty! Reminds me of my time at Belize!!!

  5. Mrs Chasing the Donkey
    | Reply

    I lurrrrrrve ice-cream (my big but is testament to that), but I never knew vegan ice cream was an option – you learn something new each day. Thanks for linking up with us for #SundayTraveler again guys.

    • Lots of vegan ice cream exists, and I love my ice cream! It would def be tougher being vegan if I couldn’t eat ice cream, but thankfully there are tons of choices out there that taste great!

  6. Anglo Italian
    | Reply

    Yummy! It’s not always easy to find vegan ice cream and when we do there isn’t a huge selection either. This one looks incredibly good though! πŸ™‚

  7. Megan Claire
    | Reply

    Cool! I’ve never tried anything Vegan before, but my husband is gluten free so I know how difficult it is to find food – and we LOVE ice-cream!! Never knew Vegan ice-cream was an option!

    • Oooh yes, sometimes you can find gluten-free and vegan stuff in the same place since both cater towards intolerances/allergies sometimes! Usually the vegan bakeries I go to are also all gluten-free!

  8. Props to this little ice-cream shop for keeping up with the times and offering vegan. Very cool! It looks so cute too.

  9. Antonette Spaan
    | Reply

    Great that you were able to find some vegan icecream, I don’t think that would be very easy around here. Icecream just needs to be eaten in summer, no summer is complete without at least one decent ice cream a week…

  10. Christa Thompson
    | Reply

    I suddenly feel an isatiable craving for ice cream, curious…. πŸ˜‰

    • Funny that! πŸ˜‰ When I write these types of blog posts, I always end up craving the food again, too! Ahh!

  11. Jessica Meddows
    | Reply

    Look at all of that choice, that’s fantastic!

    We’re staying at an RV park with a fruit orchard and vineyard this week in Hollister, a small town 30 miles south of San Jose. I was just excited they had TWO vegan gelato options, hehe. My choices were only blood orange and mango though.

    If I could have had any choice from the menu in Watkins Glen, I think I would have had maple nut, coconut or caramel.

  12. Diana - Life in German.
    | Reply

    I’ve never tried vegan ice cream, those flavors sound tempting! how nice that you were able to find a place that sells it!

    • We were happy to find this place – it isn’t easy to find vegan ice cream when you’re out on the road, I know of a few places in the Toronto area that sell it! It is nice to find an ice cream parlor with so many flavors πŸ™‚

  13. Chris Boothman
    | Reply

    The moment I saw the words ice-cream I knew this was going to be a great post! I have never sampled vegan ice-cream so really wondering how this differs from normal ice-cream. Definitely agree that those flavors are intriguing especially when you added the caramel twist which is definitely my favorite sweet tooth item!

    • For the most part (if you try a good one), it tastes just the same as regular ice cream! In this case, it tasted exactly the same for me. Definitely satisfies my sweet tooth…yes, Justin and I both love our sweets, and we definitely aren’t deprived by going vegan thankfully!

  14. Alli
    | Reply

    You always have the cutest posts! πŸ™‚ You guys find the neatest little spots all the time! I’ve never tried vegan ice cream ever but it actually sounds like it’s as yummy after reading this!

    • Thank you! πŸ™‚ It’s definitely worth a try, if you can find coconut-milk ice cream, it’s really delicious! Even if you aren’t a coconut fan….the flavored ice creams don’t taste of coconut, only the original coconut flavor does πŸ™‚

  15. Serena Chiarle
    | Reply

    So cool that you’ve managed to find a whole ice-cream parlour with vegan ice-cream and so many flavours to choose from! Here usually you might just find a few flavours in “regular” ice-cream places.
    I like how the place looks by the way, wooden hub with pastel colours πŸ™‚

  16. Jess
    | Reply

    The next time we’re driving through New York I definitely need to go here with my sister – the thing I miss most about sticking to vegan-friendly places is that I don’t get to explore new ice cream shops!

  17. Adelina | Pack Me To
    | Reply

    I’ve never had vegan soft serve before. Judging by the photos they look pretty legit. Did they carry the right flavour even after being mixed? I’ve tried one of those coconut bars before and they were amazing. Life changing really. I’m lactose intolerant so I can’t eat too much ice cream without getting sick, but I cat eat those no problem! I need to investigate vegan ice cream some more.

    • That’s one reason why I ended up going vegan….my stomach hurts anytime I eat dairy! It is so nice to eat ice cream and not be in pain afterwards! It tasted just like regular ice cream, I wouldn’t have noticed any difference. So yes, totally legit! πŸ™‚

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