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Photograph: Courtesy Black Tap

The Best Milkshakes in NYC

When you're craving a frosty treat, go for the best milkshakes in NYC

Written by
Oliver Strand

There’s something about a milkshake that makes any day a special occasion. It’s a frosty summer treat or a creamy indulgence to enjoy any time of year. The simple combination of milk and ice cream is thoroughly rewarding when done well, but some shops take milkshakes to new heights with wildly inventive creations that are the stuff of candy-coated dreams. The best milkshakes in NYC can be found at ice cream shops, soda fountains and candy stores around the city. These drinkable desserts can satisfy any sweet tooth or even a craving for, say, ice cream, pie and cookies all at once. Whatever your flavors of choice may be, and whatever mix-ins you dream of, these milkshakes in NYC could be just what you’re looking for.

Best milkshakes in NYC

Black and White Milkshake at Morgenstern's Finest
Photograph: Courtesy Morgenstern's Finest

1. Black and White Milkshake at Morgenstern's Finest

You can get a milkshake made with any of the exceptional 88 flavors at Morgenstern's Finest (various locations): This is where you go to get a Black Licorice Shake, or a Durian Banana Shake or one of the six kinds of vanilla. If that's too much choice, start with a classic Black and White Milkshake, made with chocolate/raw milk. Then go back, and try a new flavor.
Horchata Milkshake at la Newyorkina
Photogrpah: Melissa Hom

2. Horchata Milkshake at la Newyorkina

The Horchata Milkshake at la Newyorkina (West Village) is a contemporary classic. The creamy horchata milkshake is ribboned with cajeta, a kind of dulce de leche made with goat's milk. The biggest problem? Remembering to save room so you can add on an order of churros con chocolate.


Munchies Milkshake at Ample Hills Creamery
Photograph: Ample Hills Creamery

3. Munchies Milkshake at Ample Hills Creamery

Imagine all your favorite bodega snacks in a single creamy treat! The Munchies Milkshake from Ample Hills Creamery (various locations) is salty, sweet and delicious: A pretzel milk base is mixed with Ritz crackers, pretzels, potato chips and mini M&M’s.

Churro Choco Taco Milkshake at Black Tap
Photograph: Courtesy Black Tap

4. Churro Choco Taco Milkshake at Black Tap

Are you sitting down? The Churro Choco Taco Milkshake at Black Tap (various locations), is a Cinnamon Toast Crunch shake with a vanilla frosted rim and cinnamon toast crunch topping garnished with a choco taco, two churros, whipped cream and dulce de leche. Yes, it will feed your entire family.

Strawberry Milkshake at Five Guys
Photograph: Audrey Melton

5. Strawberry Milkshake at Five Guys

They keep it simple at Five Guys (various locations), and they do it right. The Strawberry Milkshake is made with real strawberries, not strawberry flavoring, which gives it the taste of summer. Other milkshakes are just as straightforward and just as delicious: Try the Salted Caramel, the Peanut Butter or the Oreo Crème—which is made with fluffy, blindingly-white Oreo filling.

Rainbow Connection at Brooklyn Farmacy
Photograph: @vvviviana

6. Rainbow Connection at Brooklyn Farmacy

Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it: Say hello to the Rainbow Connection at Brooklyn Farmacy (Carroll Gardens), a vanilla cream milkshake spun with sprinkles and topped with sprinkles—the lovers and dreamers can ask nicely for an extra side of sprinkles.

It’s Ya Birthday at Peachy Keen
Photograph: Alejandro Ramos | It’s Ya Birthday milkshake

7. It’s Ya Birthday at Peachy Keen

The gorgeous and kaleidoscopic Peachy Keen in midtown has a whole menu of what it calls “Groovy Milkshakes.” You get a tall, stacked shake with ingredients that create a beautiful marriage of flavors. Our favorite is the “It’s Ya Birthday,” made with vanilla ice cream, sprinkles, birthday cake cookie dough, whipped cream, rainbow sprinkles, raspberry syrup, and a slice of birthday cake. It’s extreme. It’s a lot. It’s good. You can even make it boozy for a little extra.

Taro and Strawberry Milkshake at Chinatown Ice Cream Factory
Photograph: Courtesy Chinatown Ice Cream Facotry

8. Taro and Strawberry Milkshake at Chinatown Ice Cream Factory

The Chinatown Ice Cream Factory (various locations) is a New York institution, a place where you'll find a delicious mashup of Chinese and American flavors. Take the Taro and Strawberry Milkshake: It's Asian, it's American and it's totally NYC.

Pie Milkshake at Davey's Ice Cream
Photograph: Courtesy Davey's Ice Cream

9. Pie Milkshake at Davey's Ice Cream

You can have your pie and drink it too at Davey's Ice Cream (various locations). The Pie Milkshake is a vanilla base blended with an entire slice of pie. The pie selection includes Peanut Butter Pie, Banana Cream Pie and seasonal pies that change throughout the year.

  • Restaurants
  • Ice cream parlors
  • Forest Hills

What's the difference between a Milkshake and a Frosted Milkshake at Eddie's Sweet Shop? While a Milkshake is made with one scoop of ice cream, the Frosted is made with two! (As for the Thick Milkshake, made with three scoops, well that's just nuts.) This Forest Hills institution was already a classic when current owner Vito Citrano took it over in 1968, and he keeps the old traditions alive: All the ice cream is made inhouse. Even the hot fudge and caramel sauce are made by hand! Every New Yorker should go to Eddie’s at least once.

Crunchy Cereal Shake at Milk Bar
Photograph: Momomilk LLC

11. Crunchy Cereal Shake at Milk Bar

This sweet-as-candy empire that is Milk Bar (various locations) was built on Cereal Milk, Christina Tosi's ode to how we wish our childhood breakfasts tasted. The Crunchy Cereal Shake is a blend of that signature Cereal Milk Soft Serve, crunchy caramelized cornflake cereal and whole milk, and topped with caramelized cornflake cereal for good measure.

Cookie Dō Milkshake at DŌ
Photogrpah: Dina Joanna Coloma

12. Cookie Dō Milkshake at DŌ

The Cookie Dō Milkshake at  (West Village, 550 La Guardia Place; Brookly, Time Out Market, 55 Water St) is a choose your own adventure: You pick a vanilla or chocolate base, then decide which cookie dough to mix from the 20 flavors on the menu. The milkshake is then topped with whipped cream and sprinkles, naturally.

Bananarama at Harlem Shake
Photograph: Nycfoodmuse

13. Bananarama at Harlem Shake

There's more than just shakes at Harlem Shake (Harlem)–there's a full menu of satisfying diner fare–but you would do well to order a seasonal shake like the Banarama, made with an organic dark chocolate base and Habrio bananas. 

Thick Milkshake at il Laboratorio del Gelato
Photograph: Liz Clayman

14. Thick Milkshake at il Laboratorio del Gelato

The milkshakes are thick at il Laboratorio del Gelato (various locations). Not just kinda thick, but thick-thick, eat it with a spoon thick. You have your pick of amazing artisanal flavors—but the Espresso Milkshake, made with a double shot of espresso, is best saved for grownups.

Midtown Milkshake at Soft Swerve
Photograph: Soft Swerve

15. Midtown Milkshake at Soft Swerve

The Midtown Milkshake at Soft Swerve (Lower East Side) is black sesame soft serve ice cream blended with milk chocolate drizzle and Oreos. The nutty flavor is familiar but unexpected—it tastes like a peanut butter cup spent a school year abroad.

Strawberry Milkshake at Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream
Photograph: Courtesy Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream

16. Strawberry Milkshake at Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream

The Strawberry Milkshake at Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream (various locations) is a timeless classic, the taste of June ever since somebody was smart enough to churn ice cream with strawberries still warm from the summer sun. At Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream this iconic milkshake comes with rainbow sprinkles, which is a VBD for any kid.

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