Sweet Jane Gives Me Ice Cream Pains

sweet janes astoria vegan chao ice cream queens nyc

I’m one of the few people who eats ice cream all year long, even if it’s freezing. We need to start a club. We’ll call it: “I scream for ice cream errday.” ISFICE. So cool, amiright?

Anyway, this is my first foray into discovering vegan ice cream parlors in QUEENS. They do exist! Granted, Sweet Jane’s is not fully vegan, but they do have an impressive selection of vegan flavors. That’s enough of an excuse to trek out to Astoria for me!

Ambiance – Fair, but really, can't you do better?

Sweet Jane has a sort of home-grown, small-business/neighborhood local vibe. They aren’t heavy on décor, but it certainly feels like a friendly, unpretentious spot to be. They could work on their décor a bit more, since it feels a bit haphazard at the moment: a tangle of holiday string lights dangles from the sheet-tile ceiling, a painting-less photo frame messily displays a few taped dollar bills, and the benches could do with a few throw pillows for comfort. Spicing things up couldn’t hurt!

sweet janes astoria vegan chao ice cream queens nyc 1
Located in the heart of Astoria, Sweet Jane’s is my new guilty pleasure!
sweet janes astoria vegan chao ice cream queens nyc 6
Love the chalkboard menu, don’t love the office-cubicle-like lighting.
sweet janes astoria vegan chao ice cream queens nyc 2
The 100% dairy-free, dedicated ice cream cooler with coconut, cashew and soy based ice creams.

Service – Near Confection Perfection

There was one young “parlor warden” on call at the time we visited SJ’s, and she was quite friendly and pleasant to talk to. I’m that typical annoying difficult customer, asking all kinds of questions about where the ice cream was made (all the vegan flavors are created onsite!), whether the cookies were vegan (she was “98%” sure they were, and they definitely tasted vegan to me.

They’re made offsite by a local baker) and which ones were made with cashew milk (I’m a newly minted cashew-milk-ice-cream devotee). She was nice throughout the whole process.

Originally, I wanted to put my ice cream in one of SJ’s waffle/speciality cones, but our server didn’t know whether they were vegan. That’s cool, but it would be nice for a business to be mindful about its vegan customers in all aspects of the products it offers, not just one sector, so just a suggestion for next time.

sweet janes astoria vegan chao ice cream queens nyc
The standout characteristic of Sweet Jane’s ice cream is the punch of natural flavor it delivers in each bite.

Blueberry Lavender – Near Confection Perfection

This coconut-based flavor kind of tastes like a mix of fruity sorbet and a bit of creamy coconut. I was able to detect the lavender notes, which could easily cause the dessert to taste more “herbal” but somehow, the combination of fruity blueberry flavor and floral lavender touches worked. It was a unique mélange that ended up making my mouth think.

I also appreciated that there were sizable chunks of blueberry in my scoop. So really, I’m getting a serving of fruit in there as well! Yay for multitasking junk food!

Pineapple Coconut – Near Confection Perfection

Pineapple coconut is basically one of the best classic flavor combinations out there, so it’s tough to mess this one up. I enjoyed SJ’s take on this mainstay, though. Although I’ve found SJ’s ice cream to be less on the creamy side than most coconut milk ice cream’s I’ve had (they must use a more watery type of coconut milk base vs. the thick, canned one), it has plenty of flavor in every icy bite.

Chocolate Chip Cookie – Almost Acceptable

I probably could have been more brave and made a cookie-wich out of my ice cream scoops, but I just ate it old school, alternating bite by bite.

sweet janes astoria vegan chao ice cream queens nyc 4
If you can make it at home, why buy it outside?

The cookie was tasty, but it didn’t knock me out of the ballpark. It tasted like a cookie I could have made at home: simple, hearty, satisfying. And it “tasted vegan,” according to Juan… not sure if that’s the best attribute, but there it is. I wouldn’t buy it again, just on the basis that it doesn’t offer me a flavor palette I could create on my own.

I’m happy to support local businesses that offer vegan options, especially if it involves ice cream. Even if it’s snowing outside, a visit to SJ’s will most definitely still be in my future!

sweet janes astoria vegan chao ice cream queens nyc 3
Next time I come, I’ll try the vegan truffles!

Mango Mango Chinatown – My New Chinatown Icy Treat Mainstay

mango mango chinatown dessert

To be perfectly honest, there really aren’t many great ice cream places in Chinatown, let alone vegan ice cream joints. Literally, there are only about three, not counting the shredded-ice parlors (which are great, but it’s not ice cream). When I don’t feel like just having the generic Haagen-Dazs fruit sorbet in a cone, I […]

DQ’s Got Nothing on DF Mavens’ Ice Cream

DF Mavens St. Marks Vegan Chao collage

Ever since Stogo closed nearly 2 years ago and left a huge gaping hole in my ice-cream less heart, I’ve been on the search again for the next creamy, dreamy vegan ice cream contender. Big shoes to fill, since Stogo ice cream was the bomb-diggity (and they had stamp cards!) and then some. Though judging […]

Van Leeuwen, Van Ruined

Van Leeuwen Ice Cream Vegan Review NYC

I’ll admit it… my world was totally and completely shattered the day I found out Stogo in st marks had closed. Then, to add insult to injury, lulas was in talks to close up due to marital troubles… it was like a bad vegan nightmare (thankfully they were able to settle and reopen, with fewer […]