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The Great Escape Ice Cream Parlor

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    ( 13 reviews )
Contact 607-535-7354
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221 S Franklin St (at downtown), Watkins Glen, New York, USA, 14891

Long-time operating ice cream shop in downtown. Offers a large assortment of soft serve ice cream flavors, both dairy as well as vegan, made onsite. Ask about the soy bars and vegan cookie sandwiches. Open Mon-Sun 11:00am-10:00pm.

Reviews (13)

First Review by Kind Cindy

Wow! Vegan Gelato & cool vibes! - Edit

This cool 50s-inspired ice cream place has a funky vibe, and so many great vegan options (& vegan-friendly staff). In our one week stay at nearby Farm Sanctuary we stopped at this place at least 4 times for vegan ice cream! Yum!!! Fav vegan gelato flavours: chocolate peanut butter, ginger snap, vanilla biscotti. They also have huge vegan chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches, vegan soft serve with many flavour options, vegan parfaits, and vegan baked goods. And they make their own in-house vegan sugar cones. We'd go back a million more times!!! We'd give them a 5-star review if they went full-on vegan. :)

Pros: multiple vegan gelato flavours, multiple vegan soft serve flavours, vegan-knowledgeable staff

Cons: not full vegan (yet)!


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Not that great... - Edit

Stopped in last week after Farm Sanctuary and asked what was vegan. We were told: a key lime icecream that looked gross and melted, a vanilla chocolate crushed oreo flavour icecream, and a cookie. This is hard icecream, btw. No mention of soft serve. The cost of the vegan icecream is almost double the non-vegan icecream, and stored right alongside the non-vegan icecream. It was a bit of a rip off. Best thing was that they had a few vegan and gluten-free cones.
BTW, there is one other icecream place about a block or 2 north of this place, on the same street, also advertising vegan icecream.

Pros: vegan & gluten free cones, good portions

Cons: expensive, limited options, icecream kept alongside non-veg icecream


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Yummy Vegan Ice Cream - Edit

We stopped here after visiting Farm Sanctuary, and it was really good. I had the vanilla soft serve with chocolate and peanut butter toppings, and it was the closest thing to a sundae-type treat I've had since becoming vegan (at least one that I didn't have to make myself!). It was really great, and we will definitely return when we're in the area again.

Pros: Great ice cream/toppings, Inexpensive


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Good ice cream, don't add the flavors - Edit

The Chicago Vegan Foods company makes the soft serve that is here and it's always pretty good. The chocolate reminds me of a frosty from Wendy's and the vanilla is more of a marshmallow than vanilla. Getting one of these two are your best options. Don't bother getting the flavored syrups in them though...it's all high-fructose corn syrup. Not worth it.

Pros: soft serve vegan, yay!


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Awesome oreo ice cream! - Edit

So happy we stopped here on our trip to Watkins glen! We were greeted with a big smile and treated like family. Their vegan soft serve machine was down and they were kind enough to have an alternate vegan option which was delicious oreo vanilla flavor! I would definetly go back!!!

Pros: Friendly , Accomodating, Delicious


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Must have vegan ice cream!! - Edit

My family and I LOVE this place as part of our visit to Ithaca and Farm Sanctuary every year. Never been disappointed. We all had the vegan soft serve vanilla in waffle cones and had no problem with consistency, flavor or anything. We also split vegan peanut butter cookies filled with vanilla ice cream. They only had 2 left since they were closing for the season, but if they had more we would have bought many to go. The owner was super friendly and helpful, even made a special walnut topping for my husband. The owner said they'll have 2 vegan bakers next year. Sooo excited to make plans for next year. My sons , 9 & 11 read the 2 bad reviews and honestly couldn't believe it! Never had a bad time or flavor during any of our trips!!! We love it!!!

Pros: soft serve, icecream sandwiches, service

Cons: none


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vegan ice cream! - Edit

We stop by Great Escape each year during our visit to Farm Sanctuary. It's nice that there is a vegan ice cream option in town. Currently, they offer a vanilla/plain soft serve base with lots of flavor shots to chose from. As you might expect (and I'm sure is true for a non-vegan version), some flavor shots taste and work better than others. We're never that adventurous, usually going with the basics like chocolate, strawberry or banana. It's always been very good and kept us going back every year. The owner mentioned he may add a chocolate base option and maybe even some vegan hard ice cream next season!


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Vegan ice cream left something to be desired - Edit

I visited Farm Sanctuary and made a trip to this place to try their vegan soft serve ice cream. As a previous reviewer said, it was gross and a let down! They have a ton of flavors but it's basically a flavored syrup they add to the main soft serve mix. The picture is misleading - you think you're getting soft serve on a cone, but it comes in milkshake form. I got the lemon flavor and it tasted like chemicals. Threw it out after a few bites - was not worth the calories. I did kind of like the decor though, all the old ice cream scoops hanging from the ceiling were funky.


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vegan soft serve - Edit

After reading the other reviews, I was so excited to try this vegan soft serve ice cream. Not inedible, but I threw it away after several bites. It tasted fake and chemical-y, and WAY too sweet. Really they just have a soft serve "base" (which wasn't good on its own, either) and then add these artificially flavored syrups into it. I chose espresso... what a mistake. Plus, you can only order a "medium" if you get a flavor, which is way too large and pricey! I also got walnuts on mine and they tasted stale. The atmosphere was so tacky and almost fair-like. I didn't get to try any vegan ice cream in Ithaca but I hear there's some better stuff over there. I'd say it's worth the drive!


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Most delicious vegan soft serve - Edit

I have never found vegan soft serve until this restaurant. It is AMAZING and especially a great treat after visiting nearby Farm Sanctuary :) from which you can get a 10% off coupon for vegan ice cream. I recommend the soft serve with oreos on top. So delicious!! So far they only have one flavor, so it would be great if they added a few more.


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I Scream For Ice-Cream - Edit

Me and my boyfriend had just gotten done visiting Farm Sanctuary, and they told us about The Great Escape Ice Cream Parlor, (They also gave us coupons for ice cream!) I was so excited to try vegan soft serve ice cream. I got it topped with fresh banana, and it was DELICIOUS. I definitely wish I lived closer!

Pros: Tasty, Inexpensive


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Soft Vegan - Edit

Watkins Glen offers some great vegan friendly options and my husband and I were thrilled to see the local ice cream parlor advertised vegan soft ice cream! We made the mistake however of asking for a "flavour" to be added which involves adding brightly coloureed "koolaid" like flavouring and blending. The result was far too sweet and had a strange after taste (as one might expect).

I am giving this 4 "happy cows" only because I think the vanilla would have been tasty on its own with any number of the toppings that were offered such as walnuts or maple syrup.

Pros: Right on the main street

Cons: Stay away from flavour additives


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This page has been viewed 1695 times since Aug 2010.

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