Best Ice Cream & Gelato in NYC
These delicious frozen treats made from milk, cream and sugar that are said to have originated in the 5th Century in Ancient Greece. Gelato is the Italian word for ice cream, and when used in English often refers to an Italian style of ice cream that can be softer, and is generally lower in fat but higher in sugar than other styles of ice cream.
These desserts are classic treats that are loved by people of all ages, and many locations have put innovative spins on what was once the simple treat. Here are our top spots in Manhattan and Brooklyn to check out!
Emack & Bolio’s
115 Montague Street | Between Henry St & Hicks St | Brooklyn Heights
Massachusetts-based Emack & Bolio’s offers three locations in New York City, including one in Brooklyn Heights. Named after two homeless men for whom founder Robert Rook performed pro bono legal work, this ice cream joint also has locations in Thailand and Hong Kong. With a variety of options like Grasshopper Pie, seasonal Pumpkin, and Vegan Chocolate (made with coconut milk), you can pair it with an inventively delicious cone with Fruit Loops or Fruity Pebbles. Enjoy!
132 Orchard Street | Lower East Side
If you find yourself in the mood for an ice cream sandwich, Melt Bakery is your place. You can find them on the Lower East Side all year round, but don’t be surprised to find their stands at the various food markets throughout the city such as Madison Square Eats just west of Madison Square Park. Melt Bakery typically offers about 10 different ice cream sandwich flavors, but our favorite hands down is the “Lovelet”- two red velvet meltcakes with cream cheese ice cream in the middle. We have never had anything like these ice cream sandwiches and recommend them 100%!
Sprinkles Ice Cream
782 Lexington Avenue (at 60th Street) | Upper East Side
When we tried Sprinkles Ice Cream for the first time, we were not let down. While the flavors vary by day, favorites to check out include the malted milk chocolate, cap’n crunch, and the red velvet. However, if you are at Sprinkles Ice Cream and do not try the Sprinkles Sundae, you’re missing out! How could you turn down a scoop of Ice Cream in between a cupcake top and bottom?! We sure couldn’t!
A La Mode Shoppe
360 East 55th Street | Between 1st Ave & 2nd Ave | Midtown East
Very tasty homemade ice cream + a rotating menu of flavors + nut free across the board + family friendly for kids = A La Mode Shoppe! We give this place high marks for its creative flavors like Partly Cloudy (Cotton Candy) as well as its straightforward but delicious Chocolate ice cream. A La Mode is a nut-free facility, so feel free to come in with any and all friends who may have allergies. And they sell children’s apparel and toys as well, so make sure to bring the kids!
10Below Ice Cream
10 Mott Street | Between Mosco St & Park Row | Chinatown
10Below is the first place in New York City to offer Thai inspired rolled ice cream. 10Below was something out of the ordinary. After placing your order, you can then go and watch them make your ice cream on a cold plate that reaches -10° F. After three minutes, you have yourself a huge cup of made-to-order ice cream, to which you can add unlimited toppings! I would recommend either the S’mores or Nutella flavors.
Il laboratorio del gelato
188 Ludlow St | Between Houston St & Stanton St | Lower East Side
Known for its creativity with more than 300 flavors, il laboratorio del gelato provides you with plenty of options. That said, many who frequent this delicious gelato spot in Manhattan’s Lower East Side opt for their best classic flavors such as salted caramel or chocolate. Don’t be afraid to venture out, however, and try one of their seasonal flavors like Kahlua and vanilla rum, Prosecco with orange juice, or Turkish fig!
Ample Hills Creamery
623 Vanderbilt Avenue | Prospect Heights | Brooklyn
Ample Hills opened in 2011 and since then had been on our list of places to try. To cut to the chase: their ice cream did not disappoint. Their flavors are extremely creative and fun; no wonder they are consistently reviewed as one of the top ice cream shops in all of New York! All of their ice cream is made on sight, with the freshest ingredients around. They even have their own bakery where they make the add-ins for the ice cream. We got to try the “Salted Crack Caramel” which consisted of caramel ice cream with chunks of caramel cookies, and also the “Munchies” which consisted of pretzel-infused ice cream with clusters of Ritz crackers, potato chips, pretzels and mini M & M’s. We will definitely be back!
OddFellows Ice Cream & Co.
175 Kent Avenue | Williamsburg | Brooklyn
Located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, OddFellows is known for their artisanal ice cream flavors, as well as their signature ice cream sandwiches often referred to as “OddPockets.” An OddPocket is an ice cream sandwich that uses brioche bread and is stuffed with your choice of flavor, pressed in a Panini maker, drizzled with a gooey topping, and rolled in a crunchy topping. The Banana Puddin’ and Carrot Cake ice creams were the most noteworthy.
Ice & Vice
221 East Broadway | Between Clinton St & Montgomery St | Lower East Side
We decided to give Ice & Vice a try after seeing pictures of their cream cones all over our Instagram feeds, and let us tell you, we were not disappointed. Ice & Vice is known for their out-of-the-box flavors, and they even have some flavors named after food Instagram accounts such as @foodbabyny and @spoonuniversity. We tried the “Milk Money” which consisted of toasted milk, sea salt, and chocolate ganache, and the “Food Baby” which had Concord grape, donut soil, rainbow sprinkles and raspberry coulis. Ice & Vice also has Konery cones, and top their creations off with toasted Squish Marshmallows.
Rice Cream Shoppe
195 Bleecker Street | West Village
If you love Rice Pudding, the Rice Cream Shoppe is the place for you! This spot offers about 25 different flavors to choose from, including several vegan flavors. There are also 10 different toppings that you can add to your treat. While the Rice Cream Shoppe is known for their delicious and creamy Rice Pudding, they are also the only place in New York City to offer Vegan Gelato! This Gelato is the real deal, and tastes like the real thing too. Located in the West Village near Washington Square Park, this place is in a great location and a must if you are in the area.
Black Tap Craft Burgers: Milkshakes
529 Broome Street | SoHo
I’m sure you have heard of this one. These milkshakes are outrageously over the top. On an average day, you best be ready to wait at least two hours to get your hands on one of these famous milkshakes! We got lucky and went at around 4pm during the middle of the week to the location in the Meatpacking District and didn’t have to wait at all. If you like milkshakes these are seriously the real deal. The presentation of these shakes is hard to beat, and they definitely provide the perfect Instagram opportunity! The burgers also looked incredible and we will definitely be back to try them!