It's always a good time for ice cream in NYC, right? You have loads of ice cream shops, from nut-free to Brooklyn’s coolest spots, the best gelato to the top Instagram-worthy ice cream creations.MoreLess
A family affair established by Nick Larsen and Petrushka Bazin Larsen, a neighborhood couple with three kids, this Harlem-based shop scoops out handmade, seasonal, small batch ice cream and non-dairy frozen desserts in flavors both classic and inspired. Made with thoughtfully-curated and sourced ingredients (chocolate from Madagascar, vanilla from Ile Bourbon, produce from the local farmer’s market) Sugar Hill Creamery has both kid-friendly and exotic flavors.
Everything about Stuffed Ice Cream is a little extra. For starters, it’s signature “cruff” is a toasted glazed donut stuffed with ice cream and finished off with sugar toppings of your choice. Flavors include traditional and nuanced, such as Rocky Road, Rice Krispies, Vanilla, White Chocolate Lavender, and Black Sesame. Signature cruffs in pre-designed combos include the “Unicorn Poop” and “Cookie Road.” If a cruff is not your thing, you can get a cone.
One of Davey’s Ice Cream locations is in the East Village (ice cream Insta-bait HQ) but you won’t find too many crazy flavors here. Instead, expect classics like “Chocolate chocolate”, “Fresh Strawberry”, and a celebrated “Cookies & Cream” crafted from fresh ingredients and Hudson Valley milk. You can also go for a traditional but “supreme” banana split, brownie sundae, or milk shake.
Blue Marble, the first certified organic artisanal ice cream maker in New York, serves sweet-tasting treats with minimal added sugar and maximum goodness provided by Mother Nature herself. Featuring classics like strawberry and cookies and cream made from farm-fresh New York State dairy, its flavors are straightforward and pure. Blue marble operates two shops in Brooklyn and pop-up carts around town.
We can’t get enough of A La Mode, a place that has changed the lives of many allergy-prone kids and adults alike. All of the ice cream at this fun store/party space/ice cream shop is nut-free, sesame-free and egg-free. And with flavors like Partly Cloudy (blue cotton candy with marshmallows) and Pink Sprinkle (pink vanilla with rainbow sprinkles) for the kids and Wired (coffee with chocolate chips) for adults, everyone at A La Mode has something to smile about.
The brand is famous for irresistible combinations like Snap Mallow, Pop, (marshmallow ice cream with toasted Rice Krispie clusters ), Salted Crack'd Caramel (salted butter caramel ice cream with chocolate covered homemade saltine crackers) and The Munchies (pretzel infused ice cream with clusters of potato chips, pretzels, Ritz crackers, and mini M&Ms).
We’ve long been a fan of Lower East side native Mikey Cole’s pop culture-inspired artisanal, organic ice cream and his fun storefront decked out with images of pop icons. (Flavors at the downtown store include “Pink Floyd”, “The Brady Bunch”, “Ice Ice Mikey” and “Foxy Brown.”) Cole started his business selling ice cream out of a pushcart, and now also offers vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free varieties. The shop is delivering to Manhattan.
Brought to you buy a gastro-molecular pastry chef (the guy behind Empire Mayonnaise) and a husband and wife team that admired said chefs skills , this ice cream shop features super fresh flavors in way outside-the-box combinations. The kids are guaranteed to love the vanilla-based Sprinkles but we bet Burnt Marshmallow and Oatmeal Cookie Dough could become the new favorites. (Parents, FYI: popsicles infused with booze are now available, in flavors like Rosé and Grapefruit Campari.)
Big Gay is going local. They’ve teamed up with Ronnybook Farms and developed a proprietary base for their famous soft serve creations. And if the graham crackers and lemon curd toppings taste more homemade, that’s because they’re now made in-house. Among the creative confections are the Bea Arthur (vanilla ice cream and dulce de leche topped with finely-crushed Nilla wafers) and American Globs (vanilla with sea salt and pretzels dipped in a chocolate shell).
OK, shaved ice treat shop Snowdays does not technically serve ice cream, but its derivative of Taiwanese and Korean shaved ices, which is fluffy (like snow), is actually creamy and tastes like ice cream. Pretty cool, right? The business has operated a shop in the East Village for years, and now there's also a Brooklyn store in Bay Ridge. Flavors can be as exotic as Roasted Black Sesame or as basic as Sweet Milk, and they have great toppings from the classics like Oreos and M&Ms.
You might have heard of The Sweet Shop, an Upper East Side throwback for sweet treats. But here, you’ll find more than just candy. This retro shop has OddFellows’ ice cream, and Il Laboratorio gelato and sorbet, so you don’t have to head downtown for great ice cream. In the summer, their cold options include handmade shaved ices they call "New York City Snow Balls" that come in 12 flavors, and their artisanal ice cream sandwiches are amazing. The Sweet Shop is open for curbside service.
Taiyaki is a kind of fish in Japan, but don’t let that confuse you. Taiyaki NYC sells fish-shaped waffle cones filled with soft serve (a popular street food in Japan) because, why not? Yet another treat that made appearances on Instagram feeds everywhere, this unusual dessert is pretty and delicious. And the cones aren’t just filled with ice cream—they also have custard or red bean paste in them if you like—alongside unusual ice cream flavors like matcha or black sesame.
Now in its 18th year, this shop is still our favorite for hand-crafted traditional Italian gelato and sorbet. Tucked inconspicuously next to the Lower East Side’s famous Tenement Museum, the atmosphere at Il Laboratorio del Gelato HQ is spare and industrial, but don’t let that fool you. On any given day customers can choose from 48 artisanal and vibrant flavors like kid-friendly banana chocolate chip, and concord grape.
This old-school soda fountain and candy shop, founded decades before most of its hipster competitors, doesn’t put on airs or stuff its homemade flavors full of bric-a-brac that would make Ben & Jerry blush. Here, you can find familiar favorites like vanilla, chocolate and strawberry (along with a few other classics like rum raisin, butter pecan and coffee almond chip) served up in metal footed ice cream dishes and drowned in thick hot fudge, caramel sauce, home made whipped cream and nuts.