Just in time for National Ice Cream Day (!)
Ok, so I know that a lot of people post exhaustive lists claiming to know *the* best ice cream places in the city. But I’m telling you, you should trust this one. Because ice cream is my thing and I personally went to each and every spot on this list testing cone after cone, totally ignoring the fact that I was trying to be healthy by having Sweetgreen all week. So yeah, I may be a little bit obsessed. Like how, during finals week in college, I would have my all-time favorite ice cream (Jeni’s, by the way) from my hometown shipped to me on dry ice. Not kidding. In the baby book my mother kept for me, “first non-baby food ever tried”…ice cream. But, at least all that has given me the authority to create this very important list for you. Just in time for National Ice Cream Day (!). If you happen to be in the city, stop by one of these tried-and-tested ice cream spots and be sure to send a Snap our way afterwards.
1. Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream
Unfortunately, I’m *that* friend who always forgets that you’re vegan or lactose intolerant and invites you on ice cream dates. If this ever happens to you, 1. I’m so sorry. 2. Instead of politely declining, suggest Van Leeuwen. With yummy flavors like chocolate chip cookie dough and matcha green tea (we have a matcha obsession), even non-vegan friends will forget they’re eating cashews, coconut, and cream butter instead of the real thing.
2. Amorino Gelato Al Naturale
For most, nothing conjures memories of Florence quite like a cone of gelato. When that’s what you’re going for, Amorino is the top pick in the city. Their scooping technique turns your cone into an artful rose, which is good Instagram bait, of course.
3. Big Gay Ice Cream
Admittedly, I’m not a soft serve girl. But there’s something about the creamy smoothness of Big Gay’s flavors and sundae toppings (think: sea salt, dulce de leche, pie crust crumble, bourbon butterscotch, maple syrup, toasted curry coconut) that has me singing a different tune. What really bumps this East & West Village establishment up on our list is their Nutella lined cones. Don’t underestimate the power of the cone, guys.
Waiting in a line that twists out the door and around the block at all hours of the day, I couldn’t help but question whether or not Morgenstern’s was going to be worth it. But it was definitely worth it. Szechuan Peppercorn Chocolate and Cardamom Lemon Jam = the silkiest, creamiest scoop of your life, rich with tons of flavor. Instead of plain vanilla, try Burnt Honey. Banana Agave is wonderful, Rockiest Road has little tiny marshmallows in it, but the mix of salty and sweet in the simple Salted Chocolate was a dream.
5. Ample Hills
Clearly, you can tell that my lifestyle includes consuming a lot of ice cream. But of the hundreds of places I’ve had to have tried throughout my life, hands down, Ample Hills is the best. I’m the type that likes my ice cream packed with other yummy things, so flavors like Ooey Gooey Butter Cake, Snap Mallow Pop (fluffy marshmallow ice cream with toasted rice crispy clusters!), The Munchies (pretzel infused ice cream with clusters of potato chips, pretzels, Ritz crackers, and mini M&Ms!), you really can’t go wrong. Try their famous pretzel cones for a touch of salty with your sweet. And if all these crazy flavors are too overwhelming for you, enjoy the classic Chocolate Milk & Cookies (with the biggest chunks of Oreo you’ll ever find in cookies n’ cream). At their Gowanus location near my place, the scoopers know me probably because I’ve been more than once per day before. I won’t say how many times per day though...
Bonus Pick: Serendipity
Mostly because I’m nostalgic for the early 2000’s, and because I’ll be forever crushing on John Cusack, but also because their frozen hot chocolate is legitimately amazing.