As summer approaches and the mercury rises, ice cream is on everyone’s mind.
There are amazing soft serves, sundaes, Italian gelato and artisanal ice creams dotted all over New York City. Here’s my pick of the ones you’ll want to get your hands on.
This quaint creamery is a top pick. If you’re vegan, then it’ll be yours too with a variety of vegan options created with a satisfying coconut milk base. Whether you’re in East Village or Brooklyn, the shops are located on a quiet street with an enchanting neighbourhood vibe. Although the menu is small, everything is awfully appealing so you’ll struggle to make your decision. Make sure you check the chalk board for daily specials, the honeycomb special pictured above tasted like golden goodness. The unusual Earl Grey flavour is the talk of the town, or better yet go for a double scoop with the ever popular creamy pistachio.
This original take on a nostalgic ice cream parlour is one of my favourites in the city. This small batch operation delivers some tantalising and unique flavours that simply wow the palette. The cardamon lemon jam, banana curry and salt and pepper pine-nut are examples of some more inventive flavour combinations you can expect at Morgensten’s. If you have trouble deciding, the knowledgable staff will assist you with a winning combination.
72 wooster st, SoHo and other locations across Manhattan and Brooklyn
Momofuku is one of New York’s most hip restaurant groups and their playful take on an old fashioned milk bar can be found in several places across the city. The cereal milk soft-serve is probably the most ‘instagrammed’ cold treat in Gotham. It’s swirly cereal milk infused soft serve and crunchy outer dusting of cornflakes has a huge following amongst New Yorkers and tourists alike. It basically tastes like the best bits of breakfast, but on a whole other level. Call me counter-cultural or plain crazy but I sometimes choose the chocolate fudge sauce instead of the cornflakes.
The name has caught your attention, and their delicious soft serve will keep your attention for a while longer. Locals simply love this shop which originally started out as an ice cream truck. If you’re a first-timer to the ole Big Gay, look no further than the Salty Pimp Cone; vanilla soft serve, salted caramel sauce and dipped in chocolate. That’s one sexy ice cream. Once you’ve been initiated there are loads of other cones to try.
The flavours are less sophisticated then some of NYC’s artisanal ice cream outfits, but that’s what makes Ample Hills so good. Imagine a more refined Ben and Jerrys. You know with all those quirky bits and pieces thrown into the mix, yet so much better. Wait there’s more, they have freshly baked m&m cookie cones because if you’re going to splurge on calories you ought to do it right. Plus, the creamery is named after a sentence in Walt Whitman’s Crossing Brooklyn Ferry. They’ve won my heart as poetry and ice cream are two of my favourite things.
For some nostalgic about a long-past childhood or those wanting to experience the closest thing to the soda fountain hey-days. Get yourself a sundae from old-timey Brooklyn Farmacy. This contemporary soda fountain revival is endearingly set in a former 1920s apothecary. The place oozes authenticity and vintage American charm. Think twirling red stools, tiled floors, wooden panelling and expansive marble countertop. Their desserts are not for the faint hearted, at this joint you’ll get the works and then a cherry on top.
I’ll be honest, this is quite a touristy spot. However, the ice creams are still pretty good. Although I do recommend the place for a good reason. It is mainly about enjoying your cone whilst sitting in the park beside the iconic Brooklyn Bridge and experiencing some breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline. The best bit is that even if you’re a local, it just feels like you’re on holiday.
If you’re interested in uniquely Asian flavours, this is the go-to ice cream parlour with an exotic Chinese twist. Be transported to China with flavours like black sesame, green tea, pandan or red bean. This family run operation in the heart of Manhattan’s bustling Chinatown has been serving homemade ice cream for over 30 years. Look out for the sign with a happy looking green dragon enthusiastically devouring ice cream.
The red and white striped interiors and old fashioned uniforms won me over before tasting the ice cream. Then I tried the ice cream and was suitably impressed. You’re in America, so best to go crazy for flavours like pecan pie, S’mores, cornbread or the slightly savoury but incredible maple bacon pecan.
Traditional Italian style gelato in the famous New York food market. If you’re there to eat some pizza, make sure you save room for dessert. During the humid New York summer where that heat can become unbearable amongst the high rise buildings, a refreshing sorbet in midtown hits the spot.
This Brooklyn based bakery is winning hearts with their ice cream sandwiches available at Smorgasburg food festival on weekends. Be prepared to queue for this popular treat. I can happily recommend the Goodwich; an appealing combination of oat chocolate chunk cookie, sea salt, drizzled fudge and vanilla ice cream. Then plonk yourself down by the water to enjoy some of the best views of New York.
ICE CREAM TRUCKS
Don’t forget there are plenty of these trucks floating around the streets and who can resist the allure of the sweet, sweet sounds of an ice cream truck? Keep an eye out (or ear out) for Mister Softee who is known for the best vanilla soft serve with sprinkles in the city.
My opinion is, and will always be, my own. The Portmanteau Press only includes content that aligns with the aesthetic, standard and values of the PP brand.