NYC's Essential Destinations for Ice Cream Lovers
May 28, 2019
On a hot and sunny day, no treat is more enjoyable than a cold, refreshing scoop of ice cream. And if you find yourself in the Big Apple this summer, you can do a lot better than grabbing a few spoonfuls of plain vanilla straight from the carton while standing in front of your open freezer. New York City is filled with incredible ice cream shops, and we’ve rounded up our favorites just in time for scoop season. When summer days make you scream for ice cream, these 10 NYC spots have you covered with everything from old-fashioned sundaes to Technicolor cones.
1. Eddie’s Sweet Shop
Kicking off our list is a tried-and-true NYC institution: Eddie’s Sweet Shop. This Forest Hills ice cream parlor has been serving up scoops and sundaes for nearly a century, and it retains all of its old-fashioned charm with classic décor and traditional flavors to match. Head to Eddie’s for a bowl of Butter Pecan, Rum Raisin, or Maple Walnut made using their 100-year-old recipes; bring a few friends to conquer their most famous sundae—the towering Banana Royal.
2. Ample Hills
Next up is a Brooklyn-based brand that now serves its creative flavors at 10 NYC-area locations, plus outposts in California and Florida. Ample Hills is the place to go if you like your ice cream with a few quirky mix-ins. Order a cone of “The Munchies” for a salty-sweet blend of pretzel-infused ice cream with Ritz crackers, potato chips, pretzels, and crushed M&Ms. Or go for a classic Southern flavor with our personal favorite: Ooey Gooey Butter Cake. (P.S. Ample Hills ships nationwide, so you can get your ice cream fix anywhere in the U.S.)
3. Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream
Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream put itself on the map with the King Kong Banana Split, which includes 5 scoops of ice cream, a mountain of toppings, and a whopping $24 price tag. But we actually chose this Lower East Side shop for its incredible flavors, which range from beloved classics like Madagascar Vanilla to innovative options like Banana Curry, Cinnamon Whiskey, and Cardamom Lemon Jam.
4. Dominique Ansel Kitchen
If you consider yourself an NYC foodie, you’ve probably already lined up at Dominique Ansel Bakery to snag a fresh cronut on a Saturday morning. During the summer months, consider a stop at Ansel’s seasonal West Village soft serve window instead. All summer long, Dominique Ansel Kitchen serves up creative flavors like Burrata, Peach Tea, and Cold Brew (which comes garnished with anise biscotti and milk foam). 2019 hours and flavors are still TBD—so stay tuned, ice cream fans.
5. Ice & Vice
If you’re seeking the city’s most Instagram-worthy scoop, we recommend a stop at Ice & Vice, an experimental ice cream shop with locations in Manhattan and Long Island City. Their handcrafted offerings include unexpected flavor combos like Prickly Pear with Candied Cactus Meringue, plus slices of ice cream pie, ice cream tacos with Oreo shells, and sky-high cones piled with colorful garnishes. Check out their feed to see the latest creations before your visit.
When just one type of treat isn’t enough to satisfy your sweet tooth, head to Eggloo in Chinatown. This novelty shop offers a new take on the waffle cone, pairing fresh, fluffy Hong Kong style waffles with classic ice cream flavors like Cookies n’ Cream, Strawberry, and Mint Chocolate Chip. There are also countless ways to customize your creation. You can choose a green tea flavored waffle, one filled with chocolate, or even one dressed up by an ice cream “rose.” And if that’s not quite enough, Eggloo offers up a menu of bright, flavorful toppings like Pocky, mochi, Fruity Pebbles, and matcha drizzle.
7. Tipsy Scoop
Can’t decide between going out for ice cream and going out for drinks? At Tipsy Scoop, you don’t have to! Billed as an ice cream “barlour,” this shop serves handcrafted ice cream infused with liquor, resulting in scoops with up to 5% ABV. You can make summer’s sweetest toast with flavors like Spiked Mint Chocolate Chip, Strawberry White Sangria Sorbet, and Red Velvet Martini. They’ll also ship pints of boozy ice cream anywhere in the U.S., so you don’t have to be an NYC local to get a sugary summer buzz.
8. Soft Swerve
The award for brightest ice cream in NYC undoubtedly goes to Manhattan soft serve joint, Soft Swerve. There, you can fill a cone with unique, Asian-inspired flavors like Viet Cold Brew Coffee, Milk Tea, and Black Sesame. First-time visitors should order Ube Purple Yam, the eye-popping flavor that put Soft Swerve on the map. Finish off your cone with a few options from their toppings bar—which range from Reese’s Puffs and Fruity Pebbles to Almond Cookies and Skor Toffee—and prepare to snap a few pics before you take your first bite.
9. Il Labratorio del Gelato
Ice cream with a side of…science? That’s what you’ll find at this Manhattan gelateria, which offers up 40 daily selections from an ever-growing list of more than 300 gelato and sorbet flavors in its modern, industrial-style tasting room. Il Labratorio del Gelato is known for sourcing the highest quality ingredients for elegant, thoughtfully curated flavors like Butternut Squash, Turkish Fig, and Tarragon Pink Pepper. While you enjoy a scoop or two, get a closer look at the “lab” via the glass-walled production room.
10. Chloe’s Soft Serve Fruit Co.
Okay, after all that ice cream you might feel the need for a slightly healthier treat. If that’s the case, hit up Chloe’s Soft Serve Fruit Co. Their refreshing soft serve is made from a guilt-free blend of fruit, water, and a bit of cane sugar, resulting in reliably delicious flavors like mango, pineapple, banana, and dark chocolate. Don’t worry, dessert fans—you can still load up your fruity sundae with sauces, sprinkles, and candies from their toppings bar for a treat that’s not too healthy.
Scorching summer days call for more than just ice cream—you’ll also need a great pair of shades! Take along your favorite Knockaround styles when you check out these NYC scoop shops and tag us with #KnockFan on social for a chance to be featured!
Written by Caroline Lees for Knockaround.