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Photograph: Katie June Burton

The best ice cream flavors this season

Gear up for another summer filled with the best new ice cream flavors of the season in restaurants and ice cream shops

By Alyson Penn

Out of all of the things to do in the summer in NYC, cooling down with ice cream isn’t so much a staple as it is a necessity. When it’s 95 degrees outside and the beating sun above and hot pavement below are causing heatstroke, Gothamites reach a frosty cone as quickly as they do a shady spot in Central Park’s Sheep’s Meadow on a Saturday afternoon. The best new ice cream flavors of the season come from some of the best ice cream shops and best bakeries in NYC.

RECOMMENDED: Find the best ice cream in NYC

Best ice cream flavors this season

1. Cotton-candy pop-rocks ice cream at Wowfulls

Restaurants Street food Lower East Side

Wowfulls has previously hawked its ice-cream-filled Hong Kong–style egg waffles at events like Governors Ball and Smorgasburg, and now the operation takes permanent residence on the Lower East Side. The shop offers the colorful street-food sweets in four varities—original, chocolate, matcha and flavor of the month—along with fresh scoops like cotton-candy Pop Rocks and Oreo Captain Crunch.

Dominique Ansel Kitchen
Courtesy: Dominique Ansel Kitchen

2. Cold brew soft serve at Dominique Ansel Kitchen

Restaurants French West Village

Dominique Ansel is favoring deep-cut desserts over his croissant-doughnut phenom at Dominique Ansel Kitchen, the sophomoric effort to his hysteria-inducing bakery in Soho. During the warm-weather season, Ansel opens a take-out window doling out inventive soft-serve flavors. Alongside his smash-hit burrata, he's introducing rotating flavors for summer 2017: Cold brew ice cream topped with an anise biscotti and milk foam in June, white peach ice cream with salted pistachios and lavendar honey in July, and dark-chocolate–olive-oil with fig agrodolce and sea salt in August.

Photograph: Liz Clayman

3. Aperol spritz sorbet at Dante

Bars Cocktail bars Greenwich Village

Come for the negroni, stay for the vibe and just move right in for the pasta. It's that simple, pleasure-seeking ideology that embodies Dante, the beloved MacDougal Street Italian café turned small plates restaurant and cocktail bar in 2015. For the summer, the team has collaborated with Oddfellows to create an Aperol Spritz sorbet, which can be topped with sparkling rosé in a wine glass. Or, if you don't feel like getting the extra-boozy version, you can order it solely by the scoop.

4. Brown butter ice cream at Fowler & Wells

Restaurants Contemporary American Financial District

Fowler & Wells—Tom Colicchio’s first new Manhattan restaurant since opening Colicchio & Sons six years ago—in set right in the Beekman Hotel in FiDi. In place of gastro nerdiness, Colicchio and executive chef Bryan Hunt offer polished, straightforward American food that extends to dessert. Pastry chef Abby Swain’s ice-cream treats, available in the restaurant's Bar Room, include brown-butter scoops with pistachio financiers and pickled cherries, and a toasted oatmeal ice-cream sandwich with chamomile cream lining the center.

Photograph: Katie June Burton

5. Kale-strawberry sorbet OddFellows Ice Cream Co.

Restaurants Ice cream parlors East Village

Ice cream and salad might not seem like a symbiotic, but the popular parlour has partnered with salad hot spot Sweetgreen for a kale-and-basil–swirled strawberry sorbet topped with lemon granola, micro basil and extra virgin olive oil. Catch the healthy bowl at Oddfellows' East Village and Williamsburg locations.

Daily Provisions
Photograph: Liz Clayman

6. Salted-caraway-rye ice cream at Daily Provisions

Restaurants Cafés Gramercy

Daily Provisions, everyone's favorite cruller purveyor, is adding ice cream to its menu just in time for summer. The sister shop to Union Square Cafe is partnering with Portland-based ice-cream store Salt & Straw for custom flavors, including Salted Caraway Rye with Strawberry Cheesecake (molasses-dipped caraway-rye loaf slices with strawberry jam, liquid poppyseed cheesecake and three-seed brittle) and Joe Coffee & Freckled Chocolate (Joe coffee steeped in chocolate cream and topped with shattered molten chocolate).

Photograph: Courtesy Bessou

8. Red-bean–coconut sorbet at Bessou

Restaurants Japanese Noho

Gone are the days of the gritty Lower East Side. Now, instead of bums on the Bowery, you’re more likely to find charming little hideaways like this Japanese comfort-food restaurant. The spot's name loosely translates to ‘home away from home,’ and for owner Maiko Kyogoku, that’s just what this is. Try the new red-bean–coconut sorbet made with coconut milk subbing in for real dairy, for those on a strict vegan diet.

Photograph: Courtesy Megu

9. Salted milk ice cream at Megu

Restaurants Japanese Chelsea

Taking over the former Cherry space at Dream Downtown, this 5,000-square-foot, 145-seat revamp of the clubby Japanese superlounge comes courtesy of Beautique restaurateur Jon Bakhshi. Bakhshi has tapped Top Chef alum Francis Tariga-Weshnak (Catch) to oversee a menu of modern-Japanese plates, including the debut of a sated milk ice cream flavor. The sweet-and-salty scoops are topped off with edible gold flakes and white-chocolate straws.

Photograph: Courtesy Il Buco Aliementari

10. Strawberry–makrut-lime sorbet at Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria

Restaurants Italian Noho

Il Buco’s casual offshoot—one part winecentric restaurant (Vineria), one part gourmet food pantry (Alimentari)—is debuting a whole roster of new sorbeti and gelati flavors. Some that look particularly swoon-worthy: A strawberry–makrut-lime sorbet and smoked-cinnamon–steel-cut-oat gelato. For the latter, pastry chef Robert Bryant utilizes toasted steel-cut oats and smoked-cinnamon–infused egg yolks to make the super-rich flavor.

Photograph: Melissa Hom

11. Concord-grape–sesame sorbet at Bevy

Restaurants American Midtown West

This upscale American restaurant in the Park Hyatt dishes out refreshing sorbet flavors like concord-grape–sesame, pear-chamomile and grapefruit-Angostura. The fresh fruit used in the sorbet is sourced from local vendors.

Photograph: Courtesy the Palm Court

12. Lychee rose ice cream at the Palm Court

Restaurants Tea rooms Midtown West

Helmed by Iron Chef alum Geoffrey Zakarian (Town, Country), the revamped restaurant features a larger indoor garden below its soaring stained-glass dome, including oversize potted greens, ceiling-high palm trees and an ivy-covered trellis. It’s a fitting setting for a lychee-rose ice cream from executive pastry chef Matthew Lambie. The pink treat is prepared with lychee puree, rose water, fresh raspberries and coconut milk.

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