There’s no better feeling than taking some ice cream with you on the go. Whether you like it in a cup or a cone, you’re guaranteed to melt once you take that first cold bite. There are parlors all over the city of New York City, and each one wants to bring you an experience you’ll never forget. After one scoop, you’ll be hooked from unexpected flavors to how they’re served. Click through to check out the different kinds of scoops waiting for you in the Big Apple (they’re perfect for a sunny stroll in one of the many NYC parks).
New York City’s Best Ice Cream
Soft Swerve loves to combine classic flavors and the traditional tastes of Chinatown in what it serves. You won’t find your standard ice cream favorites here, as their flavors are inspired by the kinds of flavors and textures you might find in Asia.
Here, you can get a bite of purple “Ube Purple Yam,” white “Black Sesame,” or green “Matcha” that packs in all of the flavors in a single swirl. You can also go the extra mile and add some crunchy toppings to your swirls, like sprinkles or cereal. If you can’t choose what combination you want, order one of their sundaes. Each one is piled high with toppings and named after different areas in the city.
Have the taste of breakfast when you order the cereal-covered “Broadway,” or add some spice to your strawberries with “Strawberry Fields.” Soft Swerve is here to change the way you think about ice cream with each bite.
Gelato is a traditional Italian ice cream that offers a rich texture and sweet flavors you won’t find in a regular parlor. One of the best gelato shops in the city is Il Laboratorio del Gelato on the Lower East Side. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, this shop prepares gelato in the traditional way, making it richer, creamier and lower in fat than other parlors.
Il Laboratorio del Gelato offers a world of flavors at your fingertips that you would never expect to be packed into your typical scoop. Each one can be found in its own category, like the spices of “Apple Cinnamon” and “Nutmeg,” some spirits of “Bourbon” and “Vanilla Rum,” and even vegetables like “Carrot” and “Corn.”
This shop is much more than its gelato, as they also serve sorbet and cakes made out of gelato you can order. Il Laboratorio del Gelato will change the way you think about ice cream and give you gelato the way it was meant to be eaten.
One of the local staples of Chinatown is The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, a parlor that’s been around for over 40 years. This family-owned business makes homemade ice cream for everyone that comes in.
While the business does serve traditional flavors like chocolate and vanilla, its specialty is flavors inspired by the classic treats of China. A popular flavor is “Lychee,” made from a fruit native to China. Some other standouts are the herbal tastes of “Green Tea” and the dessert blend of an “Almond Cookie.”
The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory is also known for creating its own flavors that you might see when you walk in, like “Jelly Doughnut” and “Rainbow Cookie.” You can feel like a world traveler when you take a bite of the ice cream at The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory.
There’s nothing better than a scoop of ice cream you can create yourself, and Minus Celsius is here to make that happen. This parlor on the Lower East Side creates ice cream with a personalized touch so each scoop can be your own.
The specialty at Minus Celsius specialty is rolled ice cream, serving their flavors in a tube shape that’s covered with your choice of unlimited toppings. Some of the standout flavors are their vanilla and Oreo “Crazy Cookie,” their chocolate “Bussin Monkey” with bananas and Nutella or their coffee-flavored “Coffee Break.”
If rolled ice cream isn’t your thing, don’t worry. You can always order a regular scoop of ice cream or try one served with an egg waffle, a sweet treat from Hong Kong. When you eat a Minus Celsius treat, you’ll have the ice cream experience you deserve.
Fried food is a popular treat you can find at street fairs, but have you ever considered fried ice cream? If you’re in Chinatown, Sam’s Fried Ice Cream is here to make that dream come true. This ice cream parlor has specialized in fried ice cream for over ten years, giving you something to crunch on that instantly melts in your mouth.
Sam’s Fried Ice Cream loves to recreate all your favorite flavors in a fried scoop, and they can even taste like some other well-known treats. You can get the flavors of a doughnut with their “Powdered Sugar” option, the crunch of an Oreo with “Oreo Crust,” or pile on the chocolate with “Chocolate Drizzle.”
You can also create your own flavor by choosing the ice cream on the inside and what type of crunch you want on the outside. Be sure to look for Sam’s during your next city visit, whether at their shop or the next street fair.