Best ice cream sundaes and treats

What's cooler than being cool? These nine ice-cold desserts.

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  • Doug's pecan-pie sundae at Buttermilk Channel

  • Milk shake at Momofuku Milk Bar

  • Olive oil coppetta at Otto Enoteca Pizzeria

  • Po Sundae at Po

  • Sundae at ABC Kitchen

  • Waffle with ice cream at Hinsch's Confectionery

  • Banana split at Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory

  • Strawberry sundae at Timmy O's Frozen Custard

  • Pandan ice cream at Chinatown Ice Cream Factory

Doug's pecan-pie sundae at Buttermilk Channel

Doug's pecan-pie sundae at Buttermilk Channel
Buttermilk Channel owner Doug Crowell is the idea man behind this pie-meets-sundae sensation, inspired by the dessert he makes for his family every Thanksgiving. Scoops of Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream's subtle vanilla separate layers of house-made pie filling: a dark, molasses-infused concoction packed with pecans and tinged with bourbon. The goo gets delightfully stickier from the cold as you work your way down the tall old-fashioned milk-shake glass. 524 Court St at Huntington St, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn (718-852-8490, buttermilkchannelnyc.com). $7.

Milk shake at Momofuku Milk Bar East Village
Christina Tosi's cereal-milk soft serve has its own cultish following by now, its oaty sweetness being an instant nostalgia trip. But put it in shake form with strawberry milk, and you have something even more distinct and delicious: a liquid Crunch Berry. The strawberry brightens the cereal flavor and adds a sour note that keeps the mixture from being too cloying. We have no problem gulping this one down. Shakes available at East Village location, 207 Second Ave at 13th St, enter on E 13th St (momofuku.com). $6.

Olive oil coppetta at
The ingredient list sounds a little daunting: olive oil gelato topped with passion-fruit granita, strawberries, lime curd and basil syrup. But the result is a beautifully orchestrated, mouth-buzzing blend. The lime curd wakes you up with its intense acidity, the strawberries deliver summery sweetness, the pungent crunchy granita adds much-needed texture, and the salty basil syrup offers an herbal tang. The delicately flavored olive-oil gelato expertly unites all of these disparate flavors—it doesn't do battle with the fruits, it balances them. 1 Fifth Ave at 8th St (212-995-9559, ottopizzeria.com). $11.

Po Sundae at P
Po don't need no stinking whipped cream. Served elegantly in a wineglass, a bump of dense, almost bready mint ice cream from LES experts Il Laboratorio del Gelato is doused with a pleasingly bitter, house-made dark-chocolate sauce. As if chocolate and mint weren't already a perfect pairing, Po tosses in a sexy third player: cinnamon-spiced toasted pine nuts, which add a delicious Rice Krispies crunch to the whole affair. 31 Cornelia St between Bleecker and W 4th Sts (212-645-2189, porestaurant.com). $7.

Sundae at ABC Kitchen
Jean-Georges Vongerichten's upscale restaurant and caf linked to ABC Carpet & Home offers just one sundae, but it's plenty memorable, thanks to its salty-sweet combination, and clever construction. A wide, shallow bowl arrives with a pool of dark-chocolate syrup at the bottom. Wading in the topping (good enough to slurp on its own, by the way) are three diminutive scoops of salted-caramel ice cream showered with caramel-candied popcorn and peanuts. The dessert is like a spoonable box of Crackerjack, with cool ice cream as the prize. 35 E 18th St between Broadway and Park Ave South (212-475-5829, abckitchennyc.com). $11.

Waffle with ice cream at Hinsch's Confectionery
The warm, crispy waffles at this old-fashioned soda shop are house-made—as is the ice cream, the wet walnuts and the whipped cream. Add thick hot fudge, a cherry on top and a waitress who calls you "hon," and you're in ice cream heaven. 8518 Fifth Ave between 85th and 86th Sts, Bay Ridge, Brooklyn (718-748-2854). $7.50.

Banana split at Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory
All of the toppings for BICF's sundaes are made by the pastry chef at the River Caf; that includes the Michel Cluizel hot fudge, the real-maple-syrup wet walnuts, and the buttery caramel sauce. And while they're top-notch, what really makes this split sing is the ice cream itself—naturally flavored with ingredients such as bourbon vanilla, 24 percent butterfat chocolate, fresh strawberries and butter-pecan molasses butter. And then there's the fact that it's served in a little plastic boat. What could possibly make anyone happier? 1 Water St at Old Fulton St (718-246-3963, brooklynicecreamfactory.com) * 97 Commercial St at Manhattan Ave, Greenpoint, Brooklyn (718-349-2506). $8.

Strawberry sundae at Timmy O's Frozen Custard
Locals make regular stops for the thick, creamy custard churned out by Timmy O'Leary. You'll find only the basics in stock: chocolate (fortified with Dutch cocoa), vanilla (made from Madagascar beans), plus a third flavor of the day (strawberry, dulce de leche, banana creme, all from fresh ingredients). The narrow shop is lined with a counter and helmed by either Timmy or his wife, Rita, who grew up in the neighborhood. She'll explain that frozen custard has much less air than traditional ice cream; plus, it's frozen quickly, to prevent big ice crystals from forming. The result is a super-smooth texture and a dense mouthfeel. You won't need to go fancy here; just let the cold stuff speak for itself. Adorn it with a shot of strawberry topping, whipped cream and rainbow sprinkles, or leave your choice in the hands of the experts: Rita and Timmy know their wares (as does new hot-shot gourmet diner M. Wells, which is serving scoops, shakes and floats). 49-07 104th St between Corona and Nicholas Aves, Corona, Queens (516-242-1843). $5.

Pandan ice cream and sprinkles at Chinatown Ice Cream Factory
The exciting thing about CICF is the wide selection of Asian flavors: avocado, almond cookie, lychee, black sesame, durian, ginger, taro. (More-familiar tastes like chocolate and vanilla are labeled as "exotic" on this menu.) But it's the pandan that calls to us every time, with its sweet, slightly medicinal tingle and bright green sheen. Top it with a sugary hit of rainbow sprinkles to offset the bitterness, and the sundae will satisfy your adult sense of taste along with your childlike sense of fun. 65 Bayard St between Elizabeth and Mott Sts (212-608-4170, chinatownicecreamfactory.com). $3.75 per scoop.

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