Van Leeuwen Mac N’ Cheese ice cream | Upper East Site
Van Leeuwen Mac N’ Cheese ice cream | Upper East Site

Mac N’ Cheese Ice Cream: How it Tastes and Why the UES Couldn’t Get it

MANHATTAN – New Yorkers love a good promotion or pop-up and local ice cream purveyor Van Leeuwen didn’t disappoint with it’s new collaboration with Kraft foods to make a Macaroni and Cheese ice cream that’s sure to conjure up childhood memories.

The hot new ice cream flavor dropped at 11am Wednesday and immediately broke the internet— Van Leeuwen’s website crashed under the heavy traffic of ice cream lovers trying to find a cup of cheesy orange-colored bliss.

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We arrived at the Van Leeuwen on Second Avenue just north of East 84th street twenty minutes before the Yorkville ice cream shop opened and there was already two people waiting outside the store.  

Customers wait for Van Leeuwen’s UES store to open/Upper East Site

Within a few minutes a third person arrived, and over the next 40 minutes a total of 11 people came to the ice cream shop looking for the ice cream— forming a line on the sidewalk.

The wait would be long because the Upper East Side store had not received its delivery of the Mac N’ Cheese flavored ice cream, despite Upper West Side stores having it in stock. 

Line of customers waiting for Macaroni and Cheese ice cream/Upper East Site

Workers kept telling the line it was on the way but offered no time frame. We reached out to Van Leeuwen who told Upper East Site they raised the issue with operations and later updated that the coveted ice cream was on the way.

We couldn’t wait— so we raced over to the Van Leeuwen on Amsterdam Avenue near West 81st street— a journey to the forbidden West Side. 

(This is big for us, as far as were concerned there’s nothing on the other side of the park.)

Advertisement for Macaroni and Cheese ice cream in UWS store
Advertisement for Macaroni and Cheese ice cream in UWS store/Upper East Site

We made it to the UWS store and within minutes had two had packed pints of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese ice cream— the orange just as neon colored as you remember from the powder inside the box

As for flavor— it’s strangely good. 

Salty and sweet it reminds me of those cheap bright orange cheese crackers sold at bodegas and Duane Reade that I had as a snack as a kid. 

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The flavor, while not delicious, had it moments— and had i put peanut butter chips on top it would taste identical to peanut butter cheese crackers you’ll also find at bodegas and drug stores. 

Is it a home run? Far from it.

However, if you’re someone who likes to lead the pack— you’ll want to give it taste— just for the story and the nostalgia if nothing else. 

We checked in with the Upper East Side store, as of 3:45pm, they now have the macaroni and cheese ice cream in stock but warned it is selling fast!

Van Leeuwen Mac N’ Cheese ice cream/Upper East Site

Just mentioning the flavor will make some people cringe, but this reporter thinks it’s worth a shot. In full disclosure, I did not finish a small cup— about half was as much as I wanted to eat before noon. 

While we were there, we picked up two extra pints of the Mac N’ Cheese ice cream and will be giving it away to our Instagram followers on Friday. To enter, please visit @uppereastsiteny on instagram.

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