Most people associate dining in New York City with beginning their day with a bagel or devouring a piece of pizza, but what if I told you that the city that never sleeps is brimming with incredible ice cream shops? I believe this to be true, and I’ve eaten a lot of ice cream in my life.
It was difficult to choose my favorites since I have grown to love so many stores after living in New York City for over 20 years, but these NYC ice cream shops are ones you really must try if you find yourself in the city, or even if you live there and haven’t had the chance yet.
Visiting more places in the area? Check out our other tasty guides:
- 5 Must-Try Vegan Pizza Brooklyn
- 10 Must-Try Jersey City Restaurants
- 10 Must-Try Restaurants In Rochester NY
- 5 Best Restaurants in LeRoy, New York
- 7 Must-Try Batavia Restaurants
- The 7 Best East Tremont Restaurants
- The 7 Best Albany Restaurants
When in New York City, don’t miss out on these activities to help you immerse yourself in the city (get them while they’re hot!):
- New York Greenwich Village Secret Food Tour with Private Tour Option
- New York’s West Village Food Tour
- New York Experience: Brooklyn Food, History & Culture Tour
The Top 5 NYC Ice Cream Shops
Soda Fountain & Brooklyn Farmacy
+17185226260513 Henry Street, Brooklyn, New York 11231.
Since 2010, Brooklyn Farmacy has been selling sweet delicacies to Brooklynites and those from other cities. As you go into Brooklyn Farmacy, you will feel transported back in time since it is housed in an original 1920s apothecary shop. Brooklyn Farmacy is famous for its specialty sundaes, such as the Sir Twix-A-Lot, which combines shortcake and cold caramel with vanilla ice cream and is encased in a milk chocolate shell sprinkled with fleur de sel salt, and the Potato Head, which combines vanilla ice cream, peanut butter, warm caramel, north fork potato chips, and fresh whipped cream.
In addition to the unique sundaes, milkshakes, ice cream floats, egg creams, and sorbet are available for those who want a dairy-free alternative. This cafe has an artistically beautiful ambience as well as sweets. If you want to eat in, try to go throughout the week during the day to avoid having to wait for a table. Nonetheless, if you do have to wait, it will be well worth it. The ice cream is excellent, the service is equivalent to the dessert, and from my experience, there are a lot of other people around.
Even if you do have to wait a few minutes for your lunch, the store provides a selection of board games you may play (if they are available) to keep yourself busy while you wait.
6th Avenue, New York, NY 10020 +191738829041250 (Rockefeller Center Flagship)
While Van Leeuwen has outlets in a few major cities around the United States, there are 19 NYC ice cream stores to mention a few: Boerum Hill, East Village, Greenpoint, Hudson Yards, Nolita, Prospect Heights, Rockefeller Center, and SoHo.
This business is well-known for its wide selection of ice cream varieties and distinctive tastes. Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Honeycomb, Cookies & Cream, Brown Sugar Chunk, and Praline Butter Cake are some of my favorite tastes. While I have yet to test any vegan varieties, there are several options available, like Vegan Peanut Butter Honeycomb, Vegan Pistachio, and Vegan Choc Chip Cookie Dough, to name a few.
When I go to one of their locations, I usually have a brownie sundae with a scoop of Chocolate Fudge Brownie and Cookies & Cream, topped with whipped cream and rainbow sprinkles. What’s amazing about Van Leeuwen shops is that you can not only grab a cup or cone to sit and enjoy while you’re there, but there are also freezers packed with pints you can buy and take home with you to enjoy later.
Apart from the great ice cream, I like the ambience, minimalist mood, and pastel color palette of these establishments. This location is ideal for late-night sweets since most stores are open from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Cereal Bar with Milk and Cream
(406) 686-6695 159 Mott Street, New York, NY 10013
Milk & Cream Cereal Bar is not your typical ice cream store, but it is one you should see on your next trip to New York City. There are three locations: the New York City Flagship on Mott Street, Jersey City (technically not in New York City, but quite near), and Astoria Queens. I’ve only ever visited the Mott Street store, where I’ve always had a great experience.
Because of its extensive selection, this institution is among the greatest ice cream stores in New York. You may make your own ice cream cup or cone by combining your favorite cereals, such as Apple Jacks, Fruity Pebbles, Smores, Fruit Loops, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch, with the ice cream. The good times don’t end there. After selecting your ice cream flavor and cereal mix, you may add a range of toppings ranging from fruits and nuts to cookies and sweets such as brownie bits, chocolate teddy grahams, or M&Ms.
You may also order one of their famous combo specials if you want. I like the Cookie Crisp Carnival, which combines Cookie Crisp, cookie dough, and Oreos and is topped with cookie crunchies and cookie dough. But, there are other additional specials available, such Froot Berry Bliss and Apple Jack Avalanche. If you visit one of the locations but don’t feel like having a treat right away, you may order any of their trademark combo pints.
Be sure to photograph your goodie since it will undoubtedly brighten up your Instagram account. Outside of the restaurant, there is a pleasant small sitting area where one may people-watch while enjoying their delicacy.
New York, NY 10038, 89 South St (no phone number)
Dipped ice cream is delicious, but it is frequently ignored. Mister Dips is one of the best ice cream stores in New York for soft serve. Despite the fact that I had only visited this place once, I had a fantastic time. Soft serve dipped cones on the menu are Berry Gibbs, Chocolate P.B.D., and Summer Patriot.
I got the Winnie the Pooh Berry dipped cone, which is a soft serve cone with honey nut ice cream, butterscotch-berry dip, and bumble bee candy. This is a limited edition cone that will be sold at Pier 17 Seaport until July 24, 2022. The dip was incredibly sweet and tasty. I also had one of the thick-as-hell milkshakes. I went for the Choco-Pudding Pop and really loved every sip.
While the milkshakes are pretty huge, I would prefer one of the dipped cones if you are simply looking for a little treat. This location’s look is likewise quite fashionable and modern, with plenty of lights and digital billboards.
There are two sites in New York: one on South Street in Manhattan’s Seaport and another on N. 12th Street in Brooklyn. On a weekday when I came, the location was quite full for a modest business.
Large Gay Ice Cream
207 Front Street, New York, NY 10038 +12678868024
Big Gay Ice Cream is noted for using high-quality ingredients and creating delicacies with unusual names like the Salty Pimp, Rocky Roadhouse, and Monday Sundae. This business serves everything from milkshakes to sundaes to truckers, which are their improved rendition of traditional ice cream truck sandwiches. If you want something non-dairy, they have Paletas, which are Mexican fruit pops.
The Rocky Roadhouse, a chocolate ice cream cone wrapped in a Rocky Roadhouse topping of small marshmallows, toasted almonds, and chocolate pieces, is my favorite delicacy. I like that they supply you with a little boat since they understand how heavy and difficult it may be to transport, particularly on a hot summer day. Besides from the delectable ice cream, the team members are always really polite and courteous, even though the lines may become rather long at times, particularly during the summer.
In New York City, Big Gay Ice Cream has three outlets. There is one near Madison Square Garden, one at South Street Seaport, and one on the Upper West Side. If you visit the South Street Seaport, you should make a point of stopping by Big Gay Ice Cream and Mister Dips, particularly if you have a sweet taste, since they are conveniently placed near one another. Probably one of the greatest ice cream stores in NYC.
Ice Cream Shops in New York City
The great ice cream businesses that New York City has to offer should not be overlooked. The businesses listed above are only a handful of the greatest in town, so if you’re searching for a sweet treat, start here. Call ahead of time in case the menu changes or to guarantee that the flavor you wish to taste is in stock that day. The last thing you want to do is wait in the heat for ice cream just to find out that the flavor you’ve been wanting isn’t available that day.
New York City really has it all, and its ice cream shops notably go above and above, so take advantage of their deliciousness if you can.