New Yorkers take everything edible seriously. We're just as passionate about ice cream as we are about burgers and French fries. Ice cream shops come up with inventive, new flavors and combinations every year. With all the ice cream-ologists on wheels, Mister Softee's got competition.
Chickalicious - Best Gourmet Soft Serve Address: 203 East 10th St., btwn 1st &
2nd Aves. Phone: (212)995-9511 Vanilla soft serve is one of
life's simplest & most gratifying pleasures. Mister Softee has lots
of competition these days, but the one we'd watch out for is
Chickalicious. This is a whole new level of vanilla soft serve, specked
& with vanilla bean. I haven't even gotten to the unique
toppings. Forget sprinkles and peanuts. Chickalicious has homemade hot
fudge, shredded kataifi, pistachios, & dark chocolate pearls.
Cream Factory - Best Exotic Flavors
Address: 65 Bayard Street
This is one of the oldest ice creams institutions in the city. Open since 1978, this family-owned shop keeps coming up creative flavors. You don't often find an ice cream parlor with two different menus. Our favorites on the "Regular” menu include Black
Sesame, a funky-smelling Durian (an Asian fruit) that tastes like pineapple custard,) and Zen Butter (peanut butter ice cream with toasted sesame
seeds.)On the “Exotic” menu, there's Coffee Brandy, Coconut Fudge and Wasabi. The flavors
change as the seasonal ingredients do, but the signature flavors stick around.
It all started in a yellow postal truck. Van Leeuwen has quickly grown into a mini empire with three trucks and a flagship in Greenpoint. What's all the fuss about? Organic, all-natural ice cream with the finest ingredients. The pistachios from Puglia, red currants from the Hudson Valley, and local milk from Lewis County, New York. None of this would matter if the ice cream weren't so creamy and fresh. They keep the flavors simple to let ingredients,
like Red Currant, Ginger, Pistachio and Strawberry shine.
It might be a little too good. Some flavors sell
out before the end of the day, so you might consider making it your lunch.
The Big Gay Ice
Cream Truck - Best Toppings
Address: Truck on 17th, & Broadway
How can you not love a truck with this name? The Big Gay Ice Cream Truck roams the streets of Chelsea, but you can easily track it down from the Twitter page. The soft serve is good, but the toppings are the clencher. There's crumbled ginger snaps, wasabi pea dust, large-flake coconut and even cayenne pepper. They also
offer traditional toppings like sprinkles if the spicy stuff isn’t your
thing. If you're feeling adventurous, try the “Choinkwich” with two chocolate
pinwheel cookies, soft-serve of your choice and strips of bacon. Yes, bacon. You never know until you try. (It's actually pretty good.)
Cream Factory - Best Ice Cream with a View
Ferry Landing Pier (Brooklyn)
Phone: (718)246- 3693
This is a New York rite of passage in summertime. With its view of the Brooklyn Bridge and benches along the pier, it’s hard
to find a more picturesque spot to have a cone on a hot day. The Brooklyn Ice
cream factory has only a few flavors and they do them damn well. The menu features Chocolate Chunk, Strawberry, Peaches
& Cream, Butter
Pecan, Coffee and a crazy creamy, Vanilla Maple. You can't beat a double scoop of chocolate dunk and a stroll on the Brooklyn Bridge. Sure, there's a line, but at least its not
as bad as the line at Grimaldi’s.
Cones on Bleecker - Best Flavor Combination
Bleecker St., nr. Sixth Ave.
This is proof you should try everything once. Corn and cinnamon sound like an unlikely match, but it turns out to be an ingenious combination of frozen cream, real kernels, and sweet spice. There's lots more innovation at this West Villageshop owned and run by two Argentinian brothers. Argentina happens to be more than 60% Italian and they take the craft of gelato seriously. Raul & Oscar D’Aloisio have come up with intensely flavored tiramisu, zabayone, dulce de leche, and almond cream.