Cool Off at New York's 10 Best Ice Cream Shops

In a city where fancy desserts can be found at nearly every restaurant, there's something so refreshing about a high-quality scoop of the old-fashioned good stuff: ice cream. Even in the cold tundra of winter, there's comfort and nostalgia to be found in any cone or a cup. And while it'd be nearly impossible to dream up a more perfect treat, that doesn't mean that there isn't any variation in what you can find dotted along New York's streets.

Some proprietors listed below, such as Big Gay Ice Cream Truck and Van Leeuwen, got their starts out of the back of a truck before cashing in enough rave reviews to open brick-and-mortar shops. 

Others, like Ralph's Italian Ices in Staten Island, have called the Big Apple home for almost a century. And still others have cropped up online and in Brooklyn's suburbs, bringing exciting, modern flavors to an industry that dates back to second century B.C.

Where other desserts (cough, Baked Alaska, cough) have trended and gone, ice cream is an old standby. A steady rock. An always there for you friend, whether you're happy, sad or just in the mood for a cool, creamy lick. 

Below, we take you on a sugary journey of the ten best ice cream shops in New York City. 

Ample Hills Creamery
Photo courtesy of Ample Hills

Ample Hills Creamery seemingly popped up out of nowhere, but locals couldn't be happier about it. The husband and wife duo at the helm of Ample Hills opened the first location in 2011 and from there, the rest is sweet, sweet history.

Part of...  Read More

Housed in the Chelsea Market, L'Arte del Gelato got its start in Sicily before crossing the pond to NYC. It's evident in their flavors that they're playing by traditional rules from the homeland, which can only serve to benefit ice cream lovers...  Read More

Weezy's Cultured Cow Creamery
Photo courtesy of Weezy's

Witty Instagram humor, an adorable Aussie proprietor and the best quality ingredients join together under the Weezy's name to create one of our favorite new ice cream companies in the city. This newcomer burst onto the scene after founder Louise...  Read More

Lower East Side

New York's first ice cream sandwich store, Melt Bakery opened on Orchard Street in 2010. Since then, they've been delighting passerby with their creative combinations including malted chocolate rum ice cream with crackly chocolate cookies, or...  Read More

New Yorkers can spot the Van Leeuwen truck from just about anywhere. What started as a pale yellow ice cream truck has now set up permanent shop at five different locations in NYC. Each of them is equally good, though there's something special...  Read More

Crisp, clean and stark white. If such a thing as an ice cream laboratory were commonplace, this is what you'd expect it to look like. Just down the street from Melt Bakery on Orchard Street, il laboratorio del gelato's small batch, hand-made ice...  Read More

A summer staple for nearly a century, Ralph's in Staten Island is a local legend. Though various other Ralph's have popped up all around the tri-state area, the original location holds a certain amount of nostalgic charm that can't be...  Read More

Pure ice cream, no fillers, in flavors that make regulars swoon. That's the name of the game at Brooklyn Bell's The Local, a Crown Heights joint that refers to themselves as a "Ma and Pop operation with big ideas."

The Local sources dairy from...  Read More

East Village

Another shop that started as an ice cream truck, Big Gay Ice Cream now has two permanent locations in New York City. Their ice cream - a collab with Ronnybrook Farm Dairy - is a take on the soft serve custard native New Yorkers grew up on.

Tall...  Read More

Though Grom originated in Italy, this gelatoria has quickly become a fan favorite in the Big Apple. Known by gelato addicts for their Crema di Grom with maize biscuits and Colombian chocolate chips, there's a long list of other flavors to keep...  Read More


Meet Andrea Wien

Andrea Wien was bitten by the travel bug from an early age, and has lived in New York, Seattle, Cleveland and Sydney, Australia since 2007.

When she's not traveling or planning a trip, you'll...  More About Andrea

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