The Top Ten NYC Ice Cream Spots

We know we just published an incredible July 4th 10-day detox, but that doesn’t mean we can’t share our favorite ice cream spots so you’re prepared when either A. you’re off the detox or B. you want to retox while you detox. Either way, this is our top ten list for your summer. Do us proud…

1. Milk Bar: If you haven’t had the chance to experience a Milk Bar soft-serve, stop what you’re doing and change that. You can’t go wrong with the classic Cereal Milk  soft-serve, and be sure to get it topped with corn flakes. Other seasonal and notable flavors include Peanut Butter Banana, Birthday Cake, Rosemary Salted Caramel, Crack Pie and Orange Clove.

2. Odd Fellows Ice Cream: If you’re driven by all things extraordinary and unique, here’s a place for you. At Oddfellows, expect to find, well, odd flavors. Miso Cherry, Cornbread, Chorizo Caramel Swirl, Maitake Mushroom, and Maple Bacon Pecan are amongst some of the wild, one-of-a-kind flavors that food aficionados go crazy for.

3. Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream: Morgenstern’s roster of flavors includes Burnt Honey Vanila, Szechuan Peppercorn Chocolate, Sesame Caramel, Green Tea Pistachio, Banana Curry, American Egg and Durian Banana. The quaint little parlor surely isn’t one to shy away from pushing boundaries, and even offers avocado toast in ice cream form. Unlike most ice cream parlors, this one doesn’t display its offerings behind the counter, so trust your gut and be adventurous.

4. Ample Hills Creamery: Whoever is responsible for coming up with the flavors at Ample Hills is a true genius. Ooey Gooey Butter Cake, Salted Crack Caramel, Butter Pecan Brittle, Peppermint Pattie…Are you drooling yet? If you’re not willing to make the trek out to the triple-decker Gowanus flagship that has a great rooftop deck, check out the much smaller – but equally as delicious – location in Gotham West Market.

5. Van Leeuwen Ice Cream: Fine ingredients are the focus at Van Leeuwen, where all ice creams are made from hormone-free milk sourced from pasture-raised cows on a farm upstate. Flavors like Strawberry, Palm Sugar, and Earl Grey are huge hits amongst Van Leeuwen fans, and they also offer a nice variety of vegan options.

6. Emack and Bolio’s Ice Cream: You’ve probably seen wild and colorful cereal-crusted ice cream cones pop up on your Instagram feed, and chances are, they’re from Emack and Bolio’s. The non-descript, retro ice cream shop’s signature oversized cones are dipped in hot marshmallow and rolled in whatever your heart desires.

7. Blue Marble Ice Cream: This eco-conscious Brooklyn ice cream parlor doesn’t stray too far from simple, seasonal flavors, but that’s what makes it stand out. Unlike most ice creams, Blue Marble’s scoops aren’t sickly sweet, allowing the flavors to shine on their own. The ice cream shop proudly claims to be the city’s only certified organic ice cream shop.

8. Dominique Ansel KitchenDominique Ansel may be known as ‘The Cronut Guy’, but he may as well be the Soft-Serve Guy as well. His new West Village bakery and kitchen has recently opened a soft-serve window that serves its cold treats on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Ansel is known to push the boundaries when it comes to flavors, and his ice creams live up to his reputation. The Burrata cone is topped with balsamic caramel and confit strawberry, while the Gianduja cone features hazelnut brittle, orange mist and sea salt.

9. Big Gay Ice Cream: There is nothing subtle about Big Gay Ice Cream, from the Swarovski crystal-accented rainbow unicorn mural on the wall to the vibrant staff and service. Ice cream cones feature elaborate toppings such as dulce de leche and crushed Nilla Wafers on the Bea Arthur, and dipped chocolate, sea salt and even more dulce de leche on the famous Salty Pimp.

10. Sundaes and Cones: Asian flavors like ginger, lychee, wasabi, red bean, taro and black sesame are the stars at Sundaes and Cones, a simple, sun-lit East Village ice creamery. Here’s a little secret: the folks behind the counter are very generous with samples, so don’t be shy.

*Photographed by Tanya Maithai.

Craving an iced coffee instead? Check out our list of the top 30 iced coffees in New York City