Dina’s Guide to NYC Ice Cream

Dina’s Guide to Ice Cream in New York City includes ice cream, gelato, frozen yogurt and any other kind of frozen treat.  (Most of these ice cream shops are in Manhattan unless otherwise noted.)

Dina’s rating system:  5–exceptional, 4–above average, 3–a good bet, 2–take it or leave it, 1–try elsewhere

Amorino Gelato 3–The trademark at this gelateria is the rose-shaped “scoop” of gelato.  I enjoyed the caramel flavor.  Greenwich Village, Chelsea, Times Square and Upper West Side

Ample Hills 5–All-natural ice cream made from local ingredients in fun flavors like marshmallow ice cream with Rice Krispies, homemade honeycomb candy in sweet cream ice cream and vanilla ice cream with St. Louis Ooey Gooey Butter Cake.  Hell’s Kitchen, Bubby’s High Line and Brooklyn

Ample Hills

Ample Hills ice cream

Andy’s Italian Ices 4–Great Italian ices and creme ices. Try the cannoli and lemon.  Various locations

Andy's Italian creme ice-- cannoli

Andy’s Italian creme ice– cannoli

Big Daddy’s 3–Americana diner known for classic sundaes and wild shakes like the black and white cookie shake and the bacon milky way.  Great place for kids of all ages. Gramercy Park and Upper West Side

Big Daddy's sundaes

Big Daddy’s sundaes

Big Gay Ice Cream 3–Started as an ice cream truck, now a store.  Known for soft serve with crazy toppings like the Salty Pimp with vanilla ice cream, dulce de leche, sea salt and chocolate dip.  West Village, East Village and Meatpacking District

Big Gay Ice Cream olive oil ice cream

Big Gay Ice Cream olive oil ice cream

Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory 4–Delicious ice cream in classic flavors like strawberry, vanilla and chocolate.  Brooklyn–Brooklyn Heights and Greenpoint

ice cream

Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory

Caffe Roma 3–A classic Italian coffee shop with delicious gelato and sorbet.  The lemon ice is some of the best around.  Little Italy

Caffe Roma gelato

Caffe Roma gelato

Chinatown Ice Cream Factory 5–Creamy, delicious ice cream in traditional American flavors strawberry cheesecake and Oreo cookie and Asian flavors like almond cookie, taro, lychee, pandan and even durian!  Chinatown

almond cookie and taro ice creams at Chinatown Ice Cream Factory

Almond cookie and taro ice creams at Chinatown Ice Cream Factory

Chloe’s 3–Yummy soft serve fruit that is great for those who eat dairy free, gluten free or low fat.  Flatiron/Union Square

Chloe's soft serve fruit

Chloe’s soft serve fruit

Cones 3–I read that this is an Argentine-style ice cream shop.  Perhaps it is more like gelato, as it isn’t creamy enough for my taste.  West Village

Coney’s Cones 1–The only place to get ice cream on the boardwalk in Coney Island, but I found it to be icy and syrupy.  Brooklyn–Coney Island

Coney's Cones lemon ice

Coney’s Cones lemon ice

Dairy Queen–OK, I know I’m always pontificating about eating local, but I grew up on Dilly bars and I do have an exception for Dairy Queen.  I love Blizzards and just a plain ol’ vanilla soft serve cone.  Will I go to Dairy Queen in Manhattan with all these other choices available?  Yes, but not as often as I would if all this wasn’t available.  Greenwich Village

Davey’s Ice Cream 3–Handmade ice cream with natural and local ingredients that is lower in sugar with more natural flavor.  Classic and unusual flavors like Mexican vanilla and roasted pistachio.  East Village and Brooklyn

Davey's Ice Cream

Davey’s Ice Cream

Delmonico’s 5–Yes, Delmonico’s is a steakhouse, but it is also known for creating the baked Alaska, which is something an ice cream lover should not miss.  Downtown

Delmonico's baked Alaska

Delmonico’s baked Alaska

Dolce Gelateria 5–My favorite gelato in the city.  Great classic gelato flavors and unusual ones like olive oil. The pumpkin is so fresh and wonderful. Nothing disappoints.  Currently looking for a new location closed

Dolce Gelateria gelato

Dolce Gelateria gelato

Emack & Bolio’s 3–Known for its flavored cones and creative ice cream flavors like Space Cake–cake batter ice cream with shortbread cookie and red velvet cake pieces. Upper East Side, Upper West Side and Brooklyn Heights

Emack & Bolio's flavored cones

Emack & Bolio’s flavored cones

Ferrara 3–Over 100 years old, Ferrara is a Little Italy icon, serving Italian pastries and gelato.  Little Italy

Francois Payard Bakery 4–Francois Payard is known for many other wonderful things, but he also makes macaron ice cream sandwiches.  Columbus Circle, Noho and Tribeca

Franois Payard Passion fruit cheesecake macaron ice cream sandwich

Franois Payard Passion fruit cheesecake macaron ice cream sandwich

Grom 5–Deliciously rich gelato made with natural ingredients from all over the world like almonds from Sicily and Columbian chocolate chips. Great Italian flavors like chestnut (seasonal) and chocolate.  West Village, Columbus Circle, Central Park

Grom gelato

Grom gelato

Haagen-Dazs 5–Yes, Haagen-Dazs is a chain, so I don’t eat there often.  However, they have excellent ice cream.  The Chinatown location has nice looking cakes as well.  Various locations

Holey Cream 3–Great neighborhood ice cream parlor with fun flavors like oatmeal raisin cookie, Long Island raspberry rhapsody, caramel pretzel, red velvet cupcake and more.  It also delivers. Hell’s Kitchen

Holey Cream's oatmeal raisin cookie ice cream

Holey Cream’s oatmeal raisin cookie ice cream

il laboratorio del gelato 3–A very popular gelateria on the Lower East Side with many interesting flavors.  Lower East Side

Itizy 5–Ice cream truck that uses high quality cream and milk (it shows!).  Classic flavors like vanilla (the best vanilla I’ve had in NYC), interesting ones like rosemary lemon and Asian ones like Thai tea and matcha.  Location varies closed

Itizy vanilla ice cream

Itizy vanilla ice cream

Keens Steakhouse 5–OK, Keens is a steakhouse.  However, they have the best homemade butterscotch sundae in the world.  Herald Square

Keens homemade butterscotch

Keens homemade butterscotch

L&B Spumoni Gardens 3–Neighborhood institution serving Italian ices, opened by an Italian immigrant in the 1930s.  The famous flavor is the spumoni.  Brooklyn–Bensonhurst

L&B Spumoni Gardens spumoni Italian ice

L&B Spumoni Gardens spumoni Italian ice

La Lanterna 5–My favorite place in NYC.  A quaint, comfy, cozy Italian cafe and coffee shop with amazing desserts, drinks (a drink list a mile long) and gelato and sorbet.  Noho

La Lanterna gelato

La Lanterna gelato

La Newyorkina 4–Mexican ice pops in great flavors like watermelon, coconut and avocado.  High Line, Various locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn

La Newyorkina lime

La Newyorkina cucumber lime paleta

L’arte del Gelato 5–Delicious gelato and sorbet with interesting flavors like olive oil and rice pudding.  Chelsea Market, High Line and Lincoln Center

L'arte del Gelato gelato and sorbet

L’arte del Gelato gelato and sorbet

Melt Bakery 4–Ice cream sandwiches kicked up a notch with seasonal flavors and local ingredients. Examples include snickerdoodles with cinnamon ice cream.  Lower East Side, High Line

Melt Bakery Belle--peach ice cream

Melt Bakery Belle–peach ice cream and brown butter bourbon shortbread

Mister Softee 5–OK, it’s hard to rate a Mister Softee truck because the ice cream tastes different from different trucks, but I can say that anyone who knows me has heard me say, “There’s Mistah Sawftee.”  (When I say it, it’s like saying “cawfee,” and you know I’m from NYC proper.)  I find it hard to pass up a truck with that smiling ice cream cone on it.  I love a plain vanilla cone.  Various locations

Mo 5–The gelato at Mo is outstanding, pure, clean and fresh.  The limone is a standout, very tart.  Little Italy and Gansevoort Market in Meatpacking District

Mo Italian lemon sorbet

Mo Italian lemon sorbet

Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream 1–Popular Lower East Side ice cream shop with some unusual flavors.  Flavors fall flat for me.  Lower East Side

Morgenstern's angel food vanilla and chocolate oat

Morgenstern’s angel food vanilla and chocolate oat

Paris Baguette 5–A Korean bakery and patisserie that serves delicious shaved ice.  Get it for two–it’s a real treat!  Koreatown, Various locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens

Paris Baguette fruit shaved ice

Paris Baguette fruit shaved ice

popbar 3–For a person who loves ice pops, I really wanted to love popbar more than I did.  The shop sells gelato and sorbet bars.  I think I just prefer getting a cup/cone of gelato or sorbet.  West Village

Quality Meats 4–OK, this is a steakhouse, but it’s on this list because it has really great ice cream for dessert like coffee and doughnuts–coffee ice cream mixed with doughnut pieces.  Also, the ice cream cakes here are something special.  Midtown

Quality Meats ice cream cake

Quality Meats ice cream cake

Serendipity 3 3–Serendipity doesn’t have the best ice cream sundaes–although it does boast the most expensive at $1,000.  But it is a New York must for tourist and local alike.  It has a fun, old-fashioned whimsical atmosphere.  It is also known for its frozen hot chocolate.  Upper East Side

Snowdays 5–Shaved cream combining Taiwanese and Korean shaved ice to form one delicious creamy/icy dessert.  My new favorite frozen dessert!  East Village, West Village, Theater District and Queens

Shaved cream from Snowdays

Shaved cream from Snowdays

Spot Dessert Bar 5–Korean dessert shop with ice cream in flavors like green tea, condensed milk and vanilla.  Great desserts too.  Koreatown, East Village

Spot Dessert Bar condensed milk ice cream

Spot Dessert Bar condensed milk ice cream

Sugar and Plumm 4–Sugar and Plumm is a cafe and candy/dessert shop with a menu of interesting sundaes and milkshakes.  For the adventurous, the earthquake in a fishbowl with cakes, pies, pudding and three flavors of ice cream.  Upper West Side closed

Sugar and Plumm's earthquake in a fishbowl

Sugar and Plumm’s earthquake in a fishbowl

Sundaes and Cones 5–One of my favorites!  Ice cream shop with American flavors like chocolate and vanilla and Asian flavors like wasabi and black sesame and great ice cream cakes.  I love the corn and Thai tea ice creams.  East Village

Sundaes and Cones corn, black sesame and Thai tea ice creams

Tous Les Jours 5–A delightful Korean patisserie and bakery.  I love so many of the delicious items here.  They have a milk bread that’s to die for.  They also have shaved ice and delicious ice candy.  Koreatown and Chinatown

Tous le Jours ice candy

Tous Les Jours ice candy

Uncle Louie G’s 4–Many yummy flavors of Italian ices.  Various locations

Uncle Louie G's spumoni ice

Uncle Louie G’s spumoni ice

Unico Taste of Sicily 3–Sicilian café serving gelato, pastries and quick bites. Gelato in traditional Italian flavors like cassata and lemon.  Soho

Unico lemon gelato

Van Leeuwen 4–Ice cream made with natural ingredients.  Currants and cream is an amazing flavor.  (I should never have written about it because the secret is out and it’s almost never available when I see the truck.)  Various truck locations and East Village, West Village, Brooklyn stores

Van Leeuwen ice creams

Van Leeuwen ice creams

Victory Garden 5–Soft serve made from goat’s milk and local ingredients.  It is fabulous. I’m addicted to the guava cheesecake.  West Village  closed

Victory Garden's guava cheesecake soft serve

Victory Garden’s guava cheesecake soft serve

Vosges 5–Chocolate shop that makes a few soft serve ice creams daily.  They are the same flavors as their amazing chocolates.  The Naga is to die for.  Soho

Vosges Naga soft serve

Vosges Naga soft serve

YoArt 4–Upscale self-serve frozen yogurt with standard flavors and interesting ones like Ghiradelli chocolate, Greek with honey and peach white tea tart and the most gorgeous topping bar you’ll ever see.  The Plaza Food Hall, Midtown

YoArt frozen yogurt

YoArt frozen yogurt




8 responses to “Dina’s Guide to NYC Ice Cream

  1. What a great way to inform people about ice cream shops in New York. I am so looking forward to try some of these spot in our upcoming trip to NY. Thank you so much for sharing. Cheers! Ice

  2. wow this is awesome. I haven’t been to new york in years but when I go I’m gonna check these out!

  3. What a great list here, will be very helpful for whenever I will be in NY..

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