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 rabid fans 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


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 what makes Ample Hills' stuff so great is that it starts with high-quality ingredients like...  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 numerous locations in NYC. Each of them is equally good, though there's something special about...  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 Morgenstern's, il laboratorio del gelato's small batch, hand-made ice creams offer a...  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

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



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

Lower East Side
Photo courtesy of Morgenstern's


Morgenstern's is what ice cream becomes when it grows up, gets a job in New York City and realizes that it needs to up its style game. With a precision focus on texture and taste, this ice cream raises the bar for all others that come after it....  Read More



If you live east of the Mississippi, there's a chance you've spotted Blue Marble in a local grocery, but that doesn't mean you should forgo the chance to try them on their home turf. Launched in 2007 by two enterprising ladies, Blue Marble...  Read More

Brooklyn Farmacy and Soda Fountain
Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Farmacy and Soda Fountain


If you're looking for a nostalgic ice cream experience, Brooklyn Farmacy and Soda Fountain will whisk you back in time when the soda pops cost a nickel and kids twirled around at countertop stools. Housed in an 1920s apothecary, the shop has a...  Read More

Oddfellows Ice Cream
Photo courtesy of Oddfellows


Oddfellows Ice Cream is a local fave that doesn't skimp on ingredients or process. They pasteurize their own locally-sourced, hormone and additive-free dairy for flavors that range from tried-and-true (strawberry jam, German chocolate cake) to...  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