New York City ice cream: Where to find the best
Spring, glorious spring. It's the time of year when the sandals come out (maybe too soon), the jackets get put away and New Yorkers start dreaming about sidewalk dining and weekends spent in the park.
Yeah yeah that all sounds great but what spring means for us is sweet, delicious icy desserts. So without further ado, here are our picks for the best ice cream parlors in the city. Both old school and new school are represented here.
With Georgia Kral
Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain(Credit: Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain)
The Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain opened in an old abandoned pharmacy in Carroll Gardens to applause from neighbors who were happy to see something become of the former storefront. Now, soda jerks make authentic egg creams and ice cream sundaes. The ice cream is from Adirondack Creamery in upstate Kingston.
513 Henry St., Carroll Gardens; 718-522-6260, brooklynfarmacyandsodafountain.com
Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream(Credit: Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream)
Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream made its name when owners Ben Van Leeuwen, Laura O'Neill and Peter Van Leeuwen started selling ice cream out of yellow scoop trucks in the city and has since expanded to include six trucks and a trio of stores. Every batch of Van Leeuwen's ice cream is made from scratch in Greenpoint with hormone and antibiotic-free milk and cream and cane sugar. Plus, Van Leeuwen now offers vegan flavors.
81 Bergen St., Boerum Hill; 620 Manhattan Ave., Greenpoint; 48 ½ E. 7th St.; 204 Wythe Ave., WIlliamsburg; 152 W. 10th St., vanleeuwenicecream.com
Sundaes and Cones(Credit: Sundaes and Cones via Facebook)
Founded in Bay Ridge in 1991, Sundaes and Cones has been selling quality, homemade ice cream for more than 20 years. The shop moved to the East Village in 2006. Sundaes and Cones offers classic favorites like chocolate and vanilla but keeps their menu up to date with new flavors. They also offer nonfat, sugarless ice cream and frozen yogurt.
95 E. 10th St., sundaescones.com
The Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory(Credit: Santa Dog via Flickr (CC BY-SA))
One of the most straightforward ice cream joints, The Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory keeps their mission simple: make delicious ice cream. Their original location is on the landmark Fulton Ferry Pier overlooking a sweeping view of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan skyline. To keep up with popular demand, the second shop was opened in Greenpoint in 2007. The menu keeps it classic, with peaches & cream and butter pecan being as wild as the flavors get. But simple as they may be, this has been called the best ice cream in Brooklyn by many.
1 Water St., DUMBO; 97 Commercial St., Greenpoint, brooklynicecreamfactory.com
The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory(Credit: The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory)
An unofficial Chinatown landmark, this ice cream shop has been serving up the good stuff for nearly 30 years. The family-run business has made a name for itself by churning the classics -- rocky road, mint chip and coffee strawberry -- with the more original: red bean, lychee, green tea and durian. Interestingly, in the world of The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, the classic flavors are labeled "exotic" and the more creative are referred to as "regular."
65 Bayard St., chinatownicecreamfactory.com
Blue Marble Ice Cream(Credit: Blue Marble Ice Cream via Facebook)
In 2007, Jennie Dundas and Alexis Miesen embarked on a mission to offer a product that was as good to the environment as it was to eat. If you can't make it down to one of the shops, Blue Marble is also available at many retailers, including Union Market and Whole Foods, as well as various seasonal outposts in the form of roving ice cream carts.
186 Underhill Ave., Prospect Heights; 220 36th St., Industry City/Sunset Park, bluemarbleicecream.com
OddFellows Ice Cream Company(Credit: OddFellows Ice Cream Company)
OddFellows is the brain child of chef Sam Mason and his partners Mohan and Holiday Kumar. They make premium small-batch ice cream from scratch in their Williamsburg kitchen, including classic and some unlikely flavors. The flavors change daily but customers can expect options like miso cherry, Thai iced tea and lime tarragon.
175 Kent Ave., Williamsburg; 75 E. 4th St., oddfellowsnyc.com
Big Gay Ice Cream(Credit: Donny Tsang)
Starting with a Big Gay Ice Cream truck in June 2009, founders Douglas Quint and Bryan Petroff have since become a New York favorite and have expanded to two locations in the city and one in Philadelphia. With treats ranging from the famous "salty pimp" cone to a "Mermaid" cup and the whipped cream-topped "Monday Sundae," Big Gay Ice Cream has changed the soft serve game in NYC.
61 Grove St., 125 E. 7th St., biggayicecream.com
Egger’s Ice Cream Parlor(Credit: Egger's Ice Cream Parlor via Facebook)
A rare ice cream parlor that's frozen in time, Egger's has been around since 1932. Timeless flavors like cookies and cream and vanilla peanut butter swirl are favorites, and there are egg creams and malts, too.
7437 Amboy Rd., Tottenville, 718-605-9335; 1194 Forest Ave., Westerleigh, 718-981-2110
Ample Hills Creamery(Credit: Stewart, Tabori & Chang / Lucy Schaeffer)
While taking a break from writing sci-fi movies, Brian Smith decided to turn his creative juices toward something tastier, and Ample Hills Creamery was born. Named after some lines from Walt Whitman's "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry," the ice cream was originally sold out of a cart at summer concerts in Prospect Park. Smith uses local ingredients to make his famous flavors like Mexican hot chocolate and the ever-popular salted crack caramel.
623 Vanderbilt Ave., Prospect Heights; 305 Nevins St., Gowanus; 600 11th Ave.; and 73 Gansevoort St., in addition to seasonal pop-ups at Brooklyn Bridge Park and Jacob Riis Park, amplehills.com
Eddie's Sweet Shop(Credit: Eddie's Sweet Shop via Facebook)
This family-run parlor has been a Queens classic since the '60s, when the Citrano family opened it on the site of an even older ice cream shop, Witt's. Famous for sundaes with homemade ice cream and whipped cream and thick hot fudge served up in old-school aluminum dishes, walking into Eddie's is like taking a step back in time. It's one of the few places in NYC where you can still get an egg cream just the way you remember it, while sitting at a marble-topped counter..
105-29 Metropolitan Ave., Forest Hills, 718-520-8514
Lickety Split(Credit: Flickr/ Joe Shlabotnik )
A welcome respite on a hot City Island day, Lickety Split is as fun as its name. The ice cream is Breyer's, but what this spot lacks in homemade treats it makes up for in charm. Pull a heart-shaped chair into the shade and enjoy soft-serve, gelato, ice, or a wide variety of flavors with tons of toppings, and enjoy the beachy vibe. 295 City Island Ave., Bronx; 718-885-9654