At New York Family we always pride ourselves on having the inside scoop, and if there’s one kind of scoops we’re kind of experts on, it’s ice cream scoops! We’re rounding up the best of the best ice cream shops in NYC that will be sure to please kiddos and adults alike. Plus we’re dishing on the must-order items on their menus for Summer 2019!
Dominique Ansel always shakes up the pastry world with innovation and creativity like the legendary cronut. This summer Dominique Ansel has some really fun soft serve at Dominique Ansel Kitchen where they open up their soft serve ice cream window (located at the Dutch door on the side of their shop) and serve made-from-scratch ice creams.
Summer Sensation: A favorite that they’ll have all summer long is their What-a-Melon Soft Serve, made with a slice of juicy ripe watermelon (complete with tiny dark chocolate “seeds”), filled to order with our homemade watermelon soft serve. They’re also transforming the entire pastry case into a dessert tribute to NYC! The New York Collection features 9 brand new pastries inspired by all the things we love about NYC. Think: a Bodega Coffee Tiramisu (a nod to those iconic blue coffee cups), an “Everything Bagel & Schmear” Pavlova, a New York Slice that’s actually a strawberry tart, a Haute Dog made of raspberry cremeux and lady’s fingers “buns,” a Pretzel cake inspired by street cart soft pretzels, and more.
Ample Hills Creamery is the beloved Brooklyn-based, family-owned ice cream company always scooping cult-favorite flavors in their creative and playful style, like Salted Crack Caramel, Ooey Gooey, and The Munchies. We adore that Ample Hills bakes their own magnificent mix-ins and each location has a signature flavor.
Summer sensation: Their Big Summer Collaboration launches July 1st and is a one of a kind ice cream collection. There’s a Black Tap Collaboration with a custom ice cream flavor that will turn unto a Crazy Shake at Black Tap locations and a Crazy Sundae at Ample Hills locations. Also plan to take the Tour de Hills, a Summer challenge to embark on a journey to 10 out of the 14 ice cream scoop shops to become a Hillionaire and earn sweet prizes!
Melt Bakery knows how to rock your taste buds with their delectable homemade ice cream cookie sandwiches with the best seasonal ingredients and flavor combinations. From the first bite into a decadent cookie to the cool ice cream inside (courtesy of seasoned pastry chef Julian Plyter), you will literally melt with happiness. We are in love with the Lovelet (it tastes like a yummy cupcake), and the Classic (Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies + Vanilla Ice Cream).
Summer Sensation: New this season is The Evil Twin, featuring chocolate chip cookies and chocolate ice cream! It is the perfect combination! Plus, Melt is everywhere you are this summer from The Spur to Citifield for baseball games.
Taiyaki in NYC is synonymous with their super-instagrammable fish-shaped ice cream cones. This signature ice cream creation has a Taiyaki (fish shaped pastry at festivals and weddings representing wealth and happiness) waffle cone filled with matcha and black sesame ice cream, a wafer stick, mini mochi rice cakes, and red bean paste or custard fillings.
Summer Sensation: The kid-friendly summer favorite is the Unicorn Taiyaki ice cream. The most popular flavors of the ice cream are the classic vanilla and matcha ice cream. We love the unique and bold flavor combinations but kids will swoon over the unicorn presentation.
Max & Mina’s Ice Cream is always creating new, cutting-edge flavors and combinations with seasonal fruits and ingredients and our favorite cereals! Favorite flavors include Cookie Monster, Captain Crunch, Cookies and Cream, and their best-selling, Fruity Pebbles. For strawberry season there’s a sensational Strawberry Fruity Pebbles. There are also rotating daily specials like lemon lime pie.
Summer Sensation: As we write, they just made a batch of Aloha Coconut Praline, a coconut based flavor with praline, caramel, and coconut flakes. There is also a five blend cereal flavor in honor of getting out of school for summer.
Eddie’s Sweet Shop is a NYC institution, having been in the family for five generations. It’s like walking into the past when you go in the shop and it’s surreal to see how all traditions and tastes have been passed down over time (like the amazing hot fudge made in copper kettle!). We love all the old school ice cream dishes. The most popular for kids are the classic chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry with mint chocolate chip and coffee coming in close after.
Summer Sensation: Don’t miss the blueberry and peaches ice cream, two of their spectacular summer flavors.
OddFellows creates their delectable ice cream right in their Brooklyn kitchen. Everyone loves both their classic and unconventional flavors. We learned that the biggest kid favorite flavors are Sprinkles, Strawberry Jam, and Pink Lemonade sorbet. They are all on rotation for the summer.
Summer Sensation: OddFellows will be the first ice cream shop with a summer happy hour in their Dumbo location! Kids can get scoops, adults can get scoops and a glass of wine or craft beer. Kids of all ages are sure to enjoy the scoops, sips, and views.
Sugar Hill Creamery is devoted to local collaborations and the best ingredients, serving handmade, small batch ice cream and non-dairy frozen desserts. Many of the available flavors are inspired by their Caribbean and Midwestern cultures, as well as Harlem, their neighborhood of close to 15 years. The summer scoops that are especially popular with the kiddos include Andy Griffith (Vanilla), Unfinished Business (Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Strawberry Basil with Lemon Curd and Shortbread, and Gone til November (Soursop)* (non-dairy). We love that they host a New Mom’s Group for Moms and babies to come together for a relaxed conversation about the ups and down of parenting.
Summer Sensation: They are hosting Doggy Socials in collaboration with The Bark Shoppe, a Harlem-based pet care facility, where dogs can enjoy $3 pup scoops while their humans chat. This event is also great for kids who love dogs. Kids can also visit the shop with their summer camps for a 45-minute demonstration/activity on ice cream making.
The Sugar Factory has the most epic ice cream creations for special celebrations, birthdays, and any regular day when you want to scream for ice cream. They have traditional sundaes, insane shakes, and larger than life sundaes. They really do make the world a sweet place.
Summer Sensation: Don’t miss the World Famous Sugar Factory King Kong Sundae for any group gathering. It has 24 Scoops of Ice Cream covered with Hot Fudge, Caramel and Strawberry Sauce, Sliced Bananas, Toasted Marshmallows, Reese’s® Pieces, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Crushed Waffle Cones, Gummi Bears, White Chocolate Strawberry Shavings and Toasted Walnuts with Whipped Cream, Giant Lollipops and Sparklers on top! It’s the ultimate sweet, summer splurge!
Sweet Moment is known for their mountain high Bingsoos (Shaved Ice) with many different flavors, cute and tasty Bottle Cakes, in-house made Pastries and Cookies made by their own pâtissier. Everyone is sure to have a sweet moment or two!
Summer Sensation: Try the new Matcha & Strawberry Bingsoo!
photo via Rockaway Beach
La Newyorkina is a Mexican sweets company specializing in all natural, handmade paletas, ice cream, baked goods, and confections. We love that it is a woman owned business and all the fantastic flavors in every bite. There are always fresh and seasonal flavors based on what’s at the market but the tres leches is an absolute must and summer essential!
Summer Sensation: Get excited for their cherries and cream flavor starting soon as well as roasted strawberry ice cream.
Eggloo desserts combine eclectic Asian Fusion flavors with quality ingredients to bring you something that may taste new but nostalgic, foreign but native, and that are Instagram-worthy. The hugely popular Eggloo Roses and Cones come in regular and vegan options and both pretty and special in its own!
Summer Sensation: Eggloo will have a special limited Ice Cream Float collaboration with Brooklyn Crafted in late July/early August!
The Original Lower East Side Ice Cream Factory comes from the family who brings you The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory & The Original Flushing Ice Cream Factory and are now serving us at the new Essex Street Market.
Summer Sensation: Kid-friendly favorites for summertime are taro, pandan, green tea oreo, and anything with rainbow mochi toppings.
For those always looking to make a difference and influence change in a positive way, there is no better excuse than to indulge at Alphabet Scoop. This artisanal ice cream shop gives teenagers classroom instruction and mentoring partnerships all while training and employing them with real job and life skills in what we all scream for…ice cream! And if this alone isn’t enough to win you over, the premium, homemade ice cream served by these youth will be your bonus payment.
Summer Sensation: They have all the new seasonal flavors in stock and you’re doing good while eating ice cream at every visit!
Ice & Vice is an experimental ice cream shop, handcrafting ice cream, sorbet and frozen yogurt in small, customized batches. It’s always edgy and always ultra-premium, and they serve up quality and vice with every scoop. Ice & Vice has a direct relationship with its local dairy farm, and all dairy is delivered direct to the kitchen. All of our products are infused, assembled, churned, and deep frozen in our production kitchen, which is a licensed dairy plant.
Summer Sensation: All shops now have summer hours with the sweet summer seasonals. Check out the same same old same same old seasonal favorites like Pokey (prickly pear, candied cactus meringue), Milk Money (toasted milk, sea salt chocolate ganache), and more!
With these unique NYC ice cream scoop shops your family can cool off from the summer heat in the sweetest way!
NOTE: For ice cream lovers, many of these amazing vendors and more will be at the NYC Summer Ice Cream Blizzard on the UWS on Sunday, July 21, at Grand Bazaar NYC, from 10 am to 5:30 pm
Jana Beauchamp is a Manhattan writer and mom of two