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The 10 Best Milkshakes in NYC

Maria Gracia Santillana | February 9, 2021 | Food & Drink

Black Tap Vegan Black ’N White CakeShake

Black Tap in Manhattan makes some of the wildest milkshakes in the city. Pictured above: The Vegan Black ’N White CakeShake.

Smoothies are healthy and all that jazz, but we're in the mood for a milkshake.

These delectable frosties turn something already delicious into an elevated experience. Creamy, smooth, and fun, these concoctions are worth the brain freeze. Enjoy it alone or alongside a burger -- and if you're really adventurous, try dipping your fries into your shake.

Whether you take your milkshake malted or straight-up vanilla, with little bits of candy inside or a mix of different flavors, there's no wrong way to shake the house down.

We scoured the streets for the best milkshakes in New York City, and we found quite a few gems. From the extravagant CrazyShakes at BlackTap, to the classics at Ray’s Candy, these milkshakes are sure to hit the spot.

See also: The 11 Best Ice Cream Shops in NYC

Black Tap

529 Broome St. / Website

Sprinkles, whipped cream, and candy galore! The extravagant shakes at Black Tap are not only Instagram-worthy, they're incredibly delicious. These decadent concoctions have everything from classic shake mixtures to flavored whipped creams and baked good toppings. From cake to brownies, cookies and even cotton candy, the sky's the limit with Black Tap’s CrazyShakes.

That's not to say their Classic Shakes should be overlooked. Featuring staples like vanilla and chocolate, as well as specials cake batter and blueberry pie, these all aor perfectly with Black Tap’s burgers and fries.

Because of the pandemic, Black Tap is offering CrazyShake at-home kits. With all the ingredients you’ll need to make their Two Cakes and Two Brooklyn Blackouts shakes, you can bring the shake party home.

Van Leeuwen

48 ½ East 7th St.; 81 Bergen St.; 620 Manhattan Ave. / Website

A consistent top-contender for best ice-cream shop in the city, Van Leeuwen has devoted fans. Offering oat milk-based vegan options and whole-milk classics, Van Leeuwen is a one-stop shop for varying tastes. All flavors in their ever-rotating menu can be made into milkshakes. If you’re up for something new, ask for an affogato: a scoop of vanilla served on a shot of espresso.

Pro tip: Ask for one scoop of vegan dark chocolate and one scoop of vegan peanut butter chocolate chip in your milkshake. Chocolate and peanut butter goodness is a fan favorite.

Brooklyn Farmacy Soda Fountain

513 Henry St. / Website

This Carroll Gardens throwback soda and ice-cream joint is retro fun with modern flavors. They offer five specialty sundaes and classics, though the combination of flavors and toppings are endless. While you can order your own custom milkshake when open for indoor dining, current delivery options are limited to the existing menu. If you're feeling nostalgic, try the banana chocolate chip milkshake with whipped cream. For something special, try the Rainbow Connection milkshake; a vanilla base with sprinkles both in and out of the shake. We also like the Rocket Shake; a classic Farmacy shake with a double shot of cold Brooklyn Espresso. Order in, sip, and enjoy!

Finest Ice-Cream

88 West Houston; 2 Rivington St. / Website

While there is some debate on whether Morgensten’s ice-creams is better eaten then consumed in shake form, there is no question about Morgenstern’s Manhattan fame. Here, flavors are categories, with six different types of vanilla available and a total of 88 flavors to choose from. We recommend the classic Black and White Milkshake made with chocolate and raw milk, or the Cherry Chocolate chip for a refreshing flavor.

Milk Bar

Multiple locations / Website

While Christina Tosi is best known for her Crack Pie and Compost Cookies, her pastry empire has grown well past baked goods. Select Milk Bar locations now serve the cult-favorite Cereal Milk Milkshake. Made from Tosi’s Cereal Milk soft serve, this shake is pure comfort. Topped with buttered and roasted corn flakes, it's nothing short of childhood nostalgia.

Seasonal shakes also hit all the right sweet spots. Their new Peppermint Bark Shake is topped with chocolate syrup and peppermint bark crumbles, celebrating winter holidays in classic style.

See also: The 7 Best Ice Cream Shops in Boston

Taiyaki NYC

119 Baxter St.; 264 Bedford Ave. / Website

What’s better than a milkshake that comes with a complementary float? What about a waffle-topped, Japanese-inspired shake? At Taiyaki NYC, you can get both! The Chinatown staple went viral in 2016 when the store first opened, and the iconic, fish-shaped waffles topped with Matcha ice-cream have dominated the shop’s Instagram tags. Although a less popular item on the menu, their shakes can be made with any of the available ice-cream flavors. The Matcha frappe and Taro floats are fan favorites.

Harlem Shake

100 W. 124th St. / Website

Serving classics like vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry, this burger and shake joint is ever better than the meme. Their signature Harlem Shake, featuring red velvet ice cream, is just sweet and thick enough to hit the spot. With a full stomach and happy soul, you might just do the viral dance on your way out.

OddFellows Ice Cream

44 Water St.; 379 Suydam St. / Website

OddFellows offers more than 20 flavors, but you may have never seen them before. From Black Pepper Fig to Chocotorta ice-cream, milkshakes are their specialty. Swapping out milk for actual coffee, the Cold Brew Milkshake is the perfect burst of deliciously-thick energy. They can be made with any flavor, but we recommend coffee or mocha for that extra pump of caffeine. The White Russian is also popular. Milk-flavored sherbert is topped with Kahlua syrup, whipped cream, and a coffee soil top. The Dude abides.

OddFellows is currently not serving milkshakes via delivery, but they are a must-try once physical locations reopen. If you can’t wait, DIY their milkshakes by ordering pints of their classics and seasonal flavors, mixing with either milk or cold brew!

Lexington Candy Shop

1226 Lexington Ave. / Website

Lexington Candy Shop just screams nostalgia. Everything in this place takes you back to the '50s – even their malted milkshakes! Using real malt powder, these retro treats come in vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, coffee and an ever-changing flavor of the month. Top with whipped cream and a cherry (or three) for the perfect classic milkshake.

Ray’s Candy

113 Avenue A / Website

Part of the allure to Ray’s Candy is Ray himself. The owner of this East Village staple is well known by locals, serving milkshakes alongside midnight snacks 24 hours a day. Open for take-out and delivery, Ray’s Candy staples include Oreo and Nutella milkshakes. With flavors ranging from a classic vanilla to pistachio and even strawberry banana made with fresh bananas, Ray’s brings you American classics with a NYC twist.

Photography by: Courtesy Black Tap