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.
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Best ice cream flavors this season
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 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.
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.
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.
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, 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).
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.
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.
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.
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.