10 Awesome Ice Cream Destinations in NYC to Try This Weekend

By Sarah Zorn | June 21, 2018 | Food & Drink

Though we still have a childlike, Pavlovian response to the cheery jingle of a Mr. Softee truck, NYC’s wealth of innovative scoop shops really speak to our grown-up palate, providing an incredible, edible demonstration of what ice cream can really be. The list of homegrown power players is seemingly endless—from Ample Hills and Van Leeuwen, to Morgenstern’s and OddFellows—but they’re only the tip of the ice cream cone when it comes to show-stopping sweets. Here are ten spots guaranteed to keep you slurping throughout the summer season, including 10Below, which ushered in the Thai rolled ice cream obsession, and MilkMade, which packs its pints with ingredients from hyper-local purveyors.

The Chocolate Room

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With locations in both Cobble Hill and Park Slope, you don’t need to wander far in Brooklyn for a chocolate fix. Especially if your tastes run to frozen dairy instead of confections. Sure, the bars and bonbons are sublime, but the same TLC—not to mention high quality cocoa—goes into crafting molten rivers of hot fudge, which can be ladled on top of small-batch scoops of Madagascar vanilla bean, Sumatran coffee, or fresh mint chip ice cream, or incorporated into brownie sundaes, further ornamented with brandied cherries and whipped cream. 269 Court St., 718-246-2600

Ice and Vice

This LES ice cream parlor is a veritable Instagram star, and for good reason. Not only do they serve up seriously out-of-the-box scoops (think the 9AM with Vietnamese coffee and donut truffles, the Bee’s Knees with jasmine, honey, gin and bee pollen, and the Opium Den with white sesame, toasted poppy seeds and lemon bread croutons), patrons are strongly encouraged to create a teetering stack of sweets… such as a cone topped with a wedge of ice cream cake topped with an ice cream sandwich. 221 E. Broadway, 646-678-3687

Sugar Hill Creamery

The first independent ice cream shop to grace Harlem in over 35 years, the husband and wife-run Sugar Hill has made multiple overtures to the community. The walls are decorated with rotating portraits of local residents, the owners are members of Harlem Park to Park, which represents over 100 entrepreneurs committed to cultural preservation, small business and economic development, and the ice cream itself is worth traversing Manhattan for… seasonal options include Lemon Sorrel, English Pea and Rhubarb, Honey Lavender, and Peanut Butter and Jam. 184 Lenox Ave., 212-634-9004

Sherry B Dessert Studio

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Move over, cookies! This seriously sweet addition to the Meatpacking District uses slabs of moist and flavorful cake in its ice cream sandwiches instead. Look for the Purple Velvet (cream cheese ice cream encased in purple velvet cake), the Coffee Break (coffee ice cream paired with New York-style crumb cake), and the Fluffernutter—peanut butter and marshmallow ice cream squished between sliced banana bread. 643 Hudson St., 646-850-0170

Eddie’s Sweet Shop

At over 100 years old, Eddie’s has essentially achieved icon status. A classic ice cream parlor and soda shop in the purest sense, the Forest Hills favorite keeps things fabulously old school with pressed tin ceilings, marble counters, swivel stools, and all manner of malteds, floats, ice cream sodas and egg creams, as well as sundaes dripping out of pedestaled silver dishes. 105-29 Metropolitan Ave., 718-520-8514

Tipsy Scoop

Getting an ice cream fix is a wholly adult pursuit at this booze-fueled parlor, which spikes its scoops with a liquor store’s worth of tipples. We’re talking Chocolate Stout and Pretzel, Maple Bacon Bourbon, Cake Batter Vodka Martini, and Mango Margarita Sorbet. 217 E. 26th St., 917-388-2862

Milk Bar

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Sugar maven Christina Tosi practically created a dynasty around one ingenious idea—cereal milk soft serve. Tasting like the bottom of a bowl of cereal—in the most delectable way possible, of course—the ethereal ice cream is made with milk, cornflakes, brown sugar and just a pinch of salt. That said, chocolate malt and birthday cake shakes, or strawberry corn and chocolate pretzel dulce milkquakes are equally compelling options. Multiple locations, milkbarstore.com

Sam’s Fried Ice Cream

An explosion of textures and temperatures, Sam’s paradoxical, deep-fried treat is as cool as it is hot. The flavor bombs can be personalized with green tea, cookies and cream, black sesame or hazelnut ice cream, rolled in crusts of breadcrumbs, corn flakes or crushed oreos, and drizzled with caramel, condensed milk, Nutella or whipped cream. 37B Orchard St., 646-833-7538

MilkMade

This teensy weensy shop and subscription service is all about collaboration, joining forces with area businesses for made-in-NYC flavors like the Mermaid Parade dotted with candy seashells crafted from Raaka’s vegan coconut chocolate, the Bandstand Sorbet infused with gin from New York Distilling Co., and the Pride Pint, mixed with crumbles of the Awkward Scone’s rainbow cookie cake. 204 Sackett St., milkmadeicecream.com

10Below

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Thai rolled ice cream is all the rage, resulting in a proliferation of purveyors throughout the city. But this Mott Street spot (which currently boasts multiple offshoots) can be credited with kickstarting the craze in the city, using a cold plate that reaches temperatures well below freezing, to magically and instantly transform liquid cream into a delightful, fun to eat treat. Multiple Locations, 10belowicecream.com