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The best ice cream in NYC

Here's the scoop on where to find the best ice cream in NYC, from acclaimed newcomers to old frozen favorites

Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz
Salted caramel pretzel standard at Morgenstern's

There are plenty of childhood foods that we love well into adulthood, but few get our nostalgic hearts racing quite like ice cream. And luckily for frozen-treat lovers, you don’t have to go Usain Bolt–ing after Mister Softee for a licking of summer's best dessert—instead, head to one of New York's top parlors, doling out hopped-up scoops, gargantuan ice cream sundaes, food-truck favorites and a healthy dose of whimsy. Whether you're looking for an indulgent sundae to go with your iced coffee or a grab-and-go ice cream sandwich, we've got you covered with our guide to the best ice cream NYC has to offer.

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. $20

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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. Single $4.95, double $6.95

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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. Single $4, double $6

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East Village
4

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. Small $5.25, large $7.25

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East Village
5

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). $5.74

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East Village
6

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). Single $4.36, double $6.20

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Downtown
7

Momofuku Milk Bar East Village

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. $5

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East Village
8

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. $7

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Downtown
9

The Good Batch

This Brooklyn bakery proudly serves coffee, cakes and decadent cookie-smashed ice cream sandwiches using seasonal, locally-sourced ingredients whenever possible. Their signature sandwich—the Goodwich—showcases vanilla ice cream, drizzled fudge and a hint of sea salt between two colossal oat chocolate chunk cookies. $6

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Clinton Hill
10

Davey's Ice Cream

This colorful East Village outpost is the brainchild of graphic-designer-turned-dessert-maven David Yoo who takes his ice cream very seriously, churning out all-natural sweet cream-based parlor classics like Salted Caramel and Roasted Pistachio. But if you’re looking for high-gear decadence, go straight for their signature Peanut Butter Pie Milkshake—a heavenly blend of Mexican vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce, whipped cream and an entire slice of peanut butter pie. $11

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East Village
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Comments

5 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!