If you haven’t noticed, popsicles have gotten quite the makeover over the past few years. It seems like we went from Push-Up Pops and Good Humor’s choco-dipped vanilla ice cream pops to gussied up, artisanal pops overnight. You may have survived on push-up pops as a child, but let’s be honest: Artificial flavors and colors, and high-fructose corn syrup are about as out as it gets. This new breed of pop is made with natural ingredients, often times locally and sustainably grown. Places like Popbar and People’s Pops have become frozen dessert fixtures in New York, but there’s a new batch of local shops launching their own, innovative twists on this summer staple.
Ever had coffee on a stick? Now’s your chance thanks to Brewla Bars’ frozen espresso pops. There’s Lily Lolly’s amazing all-natural Creamsicles and Boozy pops for grown ups from the Loopy Doopy Bar (and yes, that’s a real shop). Here’s a list of our top popsicles stands around the city this summer…
Loopy Doopy Rooftop Bar
Address: 102 North End Ave., at Vesey St.
Phone: (212) 945-0100
What kind of pops do they serve at a bar? Boozy ones, of course. Alcoholic popsicles and a rooftop view of the Statue of Liberty make this spot an easy sell. Don’t be turned off by the cutesy name, Loopy Doopy Rooftop Bar has concocted some terrific frozen drinks on a stick. And all of their popsicles are made in-house with fresh fruit and spirits, like white peaches with bourbon, strawberries with vodka, and watermelon with rum. One of these adult pops is enough for us, but if you’d like to add a little more alcohol to the mix, you can order one served up in a glass of Prosecco. Factor in a view of sunsets over the Hudson River and this place is the perfect refuge from the hot city streets.
Lily Lolly’s Ice Kitchen
Address: The Highline, btwn. 23rd & 22nd Sts.
Phone: (212) 941-8135
While so many shops and market stalls are serving up experimental popsicles, Lily Lolly’s Ice Kitchen – which is technically a cart, not a kitchen – makes over a few crucial classics. Their signature flavor, the “50’s Orange Lolly,” is an update on the old-fashioned creamsicle. What was once full of artificial orange flavoring (and God only knows what else) is now made with freshly squeezed orange juice and zest with a luscious sweet cream center. Head to the Highline and beeline it over to Lily Lolly’s cart for a unique spectrum of flavors, the likes of orange and ginger, fresh mint, and creamy maple syrup, all flavored with natural, locally-sourced ingredients. They also cater, which means you can have a cartful of these frozen treats at your next summer soiree, graduation party, or rooftop office event.
Address: Columbus GreenFlea Market (Columbus Ave.. btwn. 76th & 77th Sts.)
Phone: (212) 691-3279
Trop Pops are for the popsicle purists because they’re made with only two ingredients: Fruit and Chocolate. And when we say fruit, we mean real fruit, like whole bananas and sliced kiwis, mangoes, and pineapples, skewered, frozen, and dipped in dark chocolate. The pop redefined, Trop Pops are simple, healthy and delicious. The only downfall is that they’re only available through October at the Green Market on Columbus Avenue. So get your chocolate-covered mango pop while you can.
Address: Fulton Market at South St. Seaport, 19 Fulton St.
Phone: No Phone
Sometimes it’s just too hot for coffee and a watered-down iced tea just won’t cut it. Luckily, the ambitious brother-sister duo behind Brewla Bars has come up with an creative alternative: Ice cold popsicles made from freshly brewed coffees and teas. They combine these caffeinated beverages with real fruit and dairy to create unique flavors, like the “Buzz,” a sweetened espresso pop (perfect for an afternoon caffeine pick-me-up), the ambrosial “Lullaby” made with ginger peach and White Tea, and the fruity “Remedy,” a cherry pomegranate red tea frozen bar. The best part is that Brewla Bars’ pops won’t just deliver a jolt of caffeine, they’re also full of antioxidants and nutrients, so they’re beneficial for your health as well. Your morning coffee routine just got a bit more interesting.
Address: Various Summer Locations
The Highline, at 22nd St. & 10th Ave.
Hester Street Fair, at Hester and Essex Sts.
New Amsterdam Market at South St. Seaport
Phone: (917) 669-4591
Talk about a pedigreed pop. Pastry chef Fany Gerson took her training at Eleven Madison Park and Rosa Mexicano took to the streets. Literally. Her mission: To introduce New Yorkers to her native frozen treats. Forget plain old cherry and grape popsicles. These are Mexican-style paletas made with a mix of fresh, local ingredients and authentic Mexican ingredients. The result is a line up of bold and daring flavors, like apricot-guajillo (a slightly spicy Mexican chili pepper), cucumber-lime, kiwi, pineapple-jalapeno corn, mango-chile, and honey-roasted sugar plum. No matter which flavor you choose, you’re guaranteed to get a little taste of Mexico in every bite.
Address: Various Locations
Phone: (850) 322-6071
What started as a one-day experiment back in 2008 has become a New York phenomenon, inspiring imitators and successfully infiltrating street fairs and markets around the city. . The people behind these hand-made pops are obsessed with using only fresh, local ingredients, so whatever seasonal fruits and herbs they can get their hands on determines the current flavor offerings. Right now, they’ve got blueberry-apricot, rhubarb-jasmine, and raspberry-basil. And they don’t stop at pops. They’ve got hand-chipped fruit ices, too. We’re big fans of People’s Pops, so we couldn’t be happier that they’re sold at so many stores and stands around the city, from Park Slope to Chelsea Market to the UWS Whole Foods. The Manhattan Fruitier will even deliver them right to your door.
Address: 5 Carmine St., btwn. 6th Ave. & Minetta Ln.
Phone: (212) 255-4874
It’s hard to resist the call of Popbar on a hot summer’s day, with its colorful, pop art-like display of popsicles. Besides, this isn’t your cut-and-paste pop shop. There’s no frozen fruit juices here, but rather handcrafted gelato, sorbets, and yogurt on a stick. Though we love fruity flavors (check out their line of popSorbetto), we’re more inspired to sample their innovative take on this classic Italian snack. Not to mention that you can get design your own pop on the spot. Try chocolate, banana, coconut or coffee gelato dipped in chocolate and coated in your choice of crushed almonds, dark chocolate, pistachios or granola. Okay, we love the sorbettos, too. Especially the apricot, mandarin or kiwi dipped in dark chocolate.