New York City is a world famous culinary center and a foodie’s paradise, and this is no different when it comes to everyone’s favorite frozen dessert. There are thousands of ice cream stores dotted all over New York City, and ice cream lovers can find all kinds of establishments: discerning newcomers, always-experiential cultural fusion lovers, to the decades-old stores that have made New York City ice cream history. From ice cream to soda, fluffy cones to ice cream cake, vanilla to honeycomb to black sesame to tea: this is a guide (to some) of the best ice cream New York has to offer.
10 Amble Hills Creamery
Since its founding in 2010, Ample Hills Creamery has seen some ups and downs, but the ice cream has remained a crowd pleaser. It is known for its fun flavours, and for incorporating delicious pastries into ice cream. Public favorites include Ooey Gooey Butter Cake, Breakfast Trash and Summer of Love perfect for summer. The Ample Hills ice cream base is made in their own factory in Red Hooks, as are all the cakes, cupcakes, and pies used in their filling, filling scoops.
9 Taiyaki NYC
Taiyaki NYC’s gorgeous colorful ice cream served on a Taiyaki cover has foodies all over New York scared of Instagram fever: Yes, it’s beautiful but do you know…good? Fortunately, the answer is yes! Taiyaki NYC specializes in soft ice cream with traditional Japanese flavors like green tea, black sesame, and cherry blossom served in an Instagrammable fish-shaped infinity ice cream cone. Taiyaki NYC turns taiiyaki, prosperity and good luck dating back to the Edo period in Japan, into an ice cream cone. Taiyakis are made of baked or fried sweet waffle batter in the shape of a fish and filled with sweet red bean paste. As delicious (and historic!) as it is beautiful.
8 Mikey loves it
Nationally famous and locally loved, Mickey is the brainchild of Michael “Mickey” Cole, who unites a love of community, pop culture, and of course ice cream! With inventive flavors and the most imaginative reference names, Mickey Lakes’ strawberry cheesecake has served Pink Floyd’s Dream and Mickey’s Vanilla Ice Trio to the likes of Kelly Clarkson, Hillary Clinton, Jay-Z and thousands of New York ice cream lovers (including visitors). It hardly gets any better than this!
7 Big gay ice cream parlor
A proud and fun twist on favorite ice cream parlors is what customers can expect from Big Gay Ice Cream. Starting in 2009 as a food truck and developing into a successful franchise, owners Douglas Quint and Brian Petroff have sought to elevate their beloved—but sometimes discussed as ordinary—ice cream into a decadent experience. It’s easy to get the idea with the house’s Salty Pimp, a lightly salted cone (yes, that’s right!) that serves up a smooth cone filled with dulce de leche and covered in a chocolate crust.
6 Eddie’s Sweet Shop
Away from the ice cream shop, Eddie’s Sweet Shop is a full-time dessert travel experience. The oldest ice cream shop in town, Eddie’s Sweet Shop in Forest Hills has been serving ice cream on the same fridge, worktops, sundae cups, and silver plates since 1925, for nearly 100 years! Families have been going to Eddie’s for generations for ice cream the same way their grandparents did: Homemade soft serve, banana peelers, soda floats, epic sundaes, all with plenty of fresh whipped cream, with, of course, cherries on top.
5 Max and Mina
Max & Mina’s is the place to go for ice cream for all lovers of truly exotic flavours. Completely homemade and kosher, Max & Mina’s has a spinning wheel of experimental flavors like malt, beer, cajun, rum, raisin, coconut, Ferrero Rocher and many more. seems strange? Well, the exotic can be delicious, as Max & Mina proves by being a local and national favorite since 1997. The decor of this 97-year-old Queens store reflects the exotic flavors of this unique ice cream and is a must for any adventurous foodie.
4 cream and cocoa
Inspired by the wonderful tropical flavors of the Caribbean, Creme & Cocoa Ice Cream offers a variety of ice creams and sorbets for anyone looking to add a taste of carrots to their summer. Papaya, soursop, sorrel, and passion fruit are always served alongside chocolate, cookie, and vanilla (Caribbean vanilla of course!). Fun for adults, Creme & Cocoa also has a menu of delicious options like mango and coconut rum, vanilla and hibiscus, or strong beer and brownies.
3 Banana Cafe
Inspired by Italian culture – a popular dessert in Italy, made with gelato or ice cream “drenched” in espresso – Caffè Panna seeks to unite two fundamental principles of life: ice cream and coffee. Using both local and Italian ingredients, Caffè Panna in Manhattan specializes in making sundaes: homemade bases like crisp Oreo or caramel swirl, in-house scoops, or smoothies, and a shot of fresh espresso with panna (cream) shipped from Italy.
2 Van Leeuwen
With a belief in pure, classic, high-quality ingredients, Van Leeuwen Ice Cream started as a food truck in 2008 with the goal of “making good ice cream that makes you feel good”. With simple, locally sourced ingredients and plenty of vegan options, Van Leeuwen makes simple but great ice cream; It was also perfectly captured by their favorite honey ice cream, a sweet, crunchy blend of vanilla and honey that won the tastes of people across New York and beyond.
1 Chinatown Ice Cream Factory
More than just an ice cream shop, the (original!) Chinese Ice Cream Factory is New York Institute. Opened in 1978, it is one of the oldest Chinatown establishments and a staple of the neighborhood and city. Known for decades for its unique and exciting flavors inspired by Chinese cuisine, Chinatown Ice Cream has been ahead of the curve. Lychee, mango, green tea, and taro are staples, and coffee, vanilla swirl, and chocolate chips are exotic flavors.