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The best ice cream NYC has to offer

If you’re looking for the city’s best ice cream, NYC is packed with acclaimed newcomers and old frozen favorites

Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

There are few ways to get our nostalgia-loving hearts racing quite like the best ice cream NYC has to offer. And luckily for frozen-treat lovers, you don’t have to go Usain Bolt–ing after Mister Softee for a licking of summer's finest sweets. Instead, head to one of New York's top parlors or best food trucks, which turn out oddball flavors, gargantuan sundaes and whimsical ice cream sandwiches built atop the best donuts in NYC. Whether you want a classic cone or a sober spin on your favorite boozy milkshake, you'll find all that and more at these shops serving the best ice cream in NYC.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best dessert in NYC

Best ice cream in NYC

1

Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream

Plain-Jane flavors get their due at this soda-shop throwback from pastry-bag-wielding restaurateur Nicholas Morgenstern (Goat Town, El Rey): Scoop purists have four creamy, extremely vanilla-y vanillas (bourbon, Madagascar, burnt honey, French and rum raisin) to choose from. Succumb to the gluttony and get them all in the colossal King Kong Banana Split.

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Lower East Side
2

Ample Hills Creamery

The behemoth, two-story follow-up to husband-and-wife team Brian Smith and Jackie Cuscuna’s Prospect Heights scoop shop churns out ever-changing, off-the-wall flavors that will please inner and actual kids alike. Snap Mallow Pop, an überrich, jet-puffed marshmallow number studded with crunchy, toasted rice-cereal nubs, is as comforting as a bake-sale Rice Krispies Treat.

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Gowanus
3

OddFellows Ice Cream Co.

There’s no fear of sugar overkill at this pint-size, circus-striped East Village outpost of the Brooklyn crowd-pleaser. Chef-owner Sam Mason (wd~50) tempers his greatest hits with savory and salty notes: Custardy caramel comes with a cholesterol-quivering swirl of meaty chorizo, and sweet cherry gets an oddball hit of smooth miso.

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East Village
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4

Ice & Vice

If Vice magazine had an ice cream annex, this would be it. Modern, dark and edgy, this experimental ice cream shop touts a rotating menu of envelope-pushing flavors like Bath Salts (lavender and pine stracciatella), American Beauty (crème fraîche and rose petal jam) and Opium Den (white sesame, toasted poppy seed and lemon bread crouton).

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Downtown
5

Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream

In addition to its full range of scoop flavors (chocolate, honeycomb, Sicilian pistachio)—churned with hormone-free milk sourced from upstate cows and piped into all-natural cones—the environmentally conscious ice cream café serves Toby’s Estate coffee (espresso and drip), and a rotating selection of fresh-baked pastries including Ovenly’s vegan salted chocolate-chip cookies and Balthazar croissants.

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East Village
6

Big Gay Ice Cream Shop

Ice cream truckers Doug Quint and Bryan Petroff offer their quirky soft-serve creations in a small East Village shop, emblazoned with a giant rainbow-swirled cone. Find crowd favorites like the Salty Pimp (vanilla ice cream, dulce de leche, sea salt and a chocolate dip) and the Bea Arthur (vanilla ice cream, dulce de leche and crushed ‘nilla wafers).

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East Village
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7

Il Laboratorio del Gelato

The modern, industrial tasting room offers 40 flavors at a time, plucked from a 200-strong repertoire that includes wasabi, vanilla-saffron, avocado and a range of chocolate flavors, plus dozens of fruit sorbets. Can't decide? See what's being made in the glass-walled production room, visible from the street.

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Lower East Side
8

Milk Bar

Pastry whiz Christina Tosi made her name in extreme, compulsively craveable treats like Compost Cookies and Crack Pie. And Milk Bar’s signature Cereal Milk soft serve gives us one more delectable reason to visit one of its six NYC locations. Made with milk, cornflakes, brown sugar and a hint of salt, this throwback treat is one part dessert, two parts nostalgia.

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East Village
9

Grom

This popular Italian gelateria emphasizes authentic ingredients like Sfusato lemons from Amalfi and Guatemalan coffee. Flavors such as stracciatella (vanilla with chocolate shavings) are available year-round, while fruit sorbets (melon, peach) vary by season.

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Midtown West
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10

10Below Ice Cream

Inspired by Thai street food, these fresh made-to-order ice-cream rolls force you to rethink everything you thought you knew about ice cream. Choose one of eight rotating flavor combinations, then gaze in awe as your homemade liquid ice cream is poured onto a sub-zero cold plate where it gets mixed, flattened and scraped into five perfectly formed cylinders. Toppings are free and unlimited, so go ahead and add those Teddy Grahams to your heart’s content.

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Downtown
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More ice cream in NYC stories

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The best gelato shops in NYC

Gelato holds a special place in New Yorker’s ice cream-loving hearts—and these are New York’s best shops to get it at

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By: Christina Izzo
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See the best ice cream shops in America

The 21 best ice cream shops in America

Whether you like oddball flavors or your taste is more vanilla, get your frozen fix at these top ice cream shops, from classic parlors to new-wave purveyors

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By: Time Out editors

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Comments

7 comments
Riccardo T
Riccardo T

Guyana what about Grom? Best real icecream in NY, organic, Italian, great product

shaidyn c
shaidyn c

This list does not include Snowdays also, You guys gotta do better. There ice cream is awesome. It is like shaved ice creams or something texture is like Cotton candy yet it is ice cream and it is light with any topping you want. This is on 10th street and 1st avenue and I think its a must try it gonna be next big thing maybe i love what they are doing never seem ice cream like that before.

Omar A
Omar A

I cannot believe in this list !!! It does not include GROM...It is impossible not having GROM as the best in class Ice Cream in NYC!!!! Best quality ingredients, artisan made, and high quality process Please go to http://www.grom.it/mobile/eng/index.php and see what is really GOOD! SUPERB!!!!

Mimi A
Mimi A

According to Yelp Treat Petite Cafe is closed?? Someone didn't do their research. Apparently Big Gay Ice Cream Shop took over.

Tazi Phillips
Tazi Phillips moderator

@Mimi A Thank you for pointing that out! Treat Petite is under a new name, Arbuz, and new location in Sheepshead Bay, but has all of the same offerings. We've updated to display the correct information above!