10 Best Ice Cream Shops in NYC: A 2024 Guide

10 Best Ice Cream Shops in NYC: A 2024 Guide for Creamery and Sweet Shops in New York City

Ice Cream Shops in NYC

Ice Cream Shops in NYC and New Chinatown’s Ice Cream Scene

New York City boasts a vibrant and diverse ice cream scene, with a variety of parlors offering innovative flavors and unique experiences. In particular, the ice cream scene in New Chinatown has become a deliciously exciting part of the city’s frozen dessert landscape. Dive into a world of flavor exploration with ice cream shops like Taiyaki NYC, known for its Japanese-inspired fish-shaped cones filled with swirls of soft serve and topped with colorful and delightful treats.

Additionally, the vibrant Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream, located in the Lower East Side, is a must-visit destination for ice cream enthusiasts. This parlor is celebrated for its inventive and premium flavors, ranging from Black Coconut Ash to Burnt Sage. Whether you’re strolling through the traditional neighborhoods or exploring the newer Chinatown, New York City offers a delightful array of ice cream shops that cater to every palate and craving.

Exploring the Ice Cream Shops in NYC Neighborhood

Embark on a delectable adventure through the diverse neighborhoods of New York City, where each corner reveals a new and exciting ice cream experience. In the East Village, visit Van Leeuwen for their artisanal and velvety-textured ice creams, with unique flavors such as Honeycomb and Earl Grey.

Head to the West Village to indulge in the inventive creations at Ample Hills Creamery, offering delights like Ooey Gooey Butter Cake and Snap Mallow Pop. For an exotic twist, explore Chinatown’s ice cream scene, where shops like Taiyaki NYC tempt with matcha-infused soft serves and sesame-seed-studded treats. Whether you’re in Williamsburg enjoying an unconventional flavor like Olive Oil Plum at OddFellows Ice Cream Co. or on the Upper West Side savoring the classics at Emack & Bolio’s, NYC’s neighborhoods are a treasure trove for ice cream enthusiasts seeking a symphony of flavors. However, some seasonal ice cream shops are close during winter.

NYC Ice Cream Shops History and Culture

The history and culture of ice cream shops in New York City are as rich and diverse as the flavors they offer. Dating back to the early 19th century, when Italian immigrants introduced their gelato traditions, the city’s ice cream scene has evolved into a melting pot of cultures and influences.

During the 20th century, iconic establishments like Serendipity 3 in the Upper East Side gained fame for their extravagant ice cream sundaes, creating a culture of indulgence and luxury. As the city’s culinary landscape expanded, artisanal ice cream shops began to flourish, each with its unique spin on flavors and textures.

In recent years, neighborhoods like Williamsburg and the Lower East Side have become epicenters for experimental ice cream creations. Shops like Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream and OddFellows Ice Cream Co. have elevated the craft, introducing patrons to daring flavor combinations and high-quality, locally sourced ingredients.

Moreover, the cultural diversity of the city is reflected in the ice cream offerings, with Chinatown’s Taiyaki NYC infusing Japanese influences into its treats, and Ample Hills Creamery in Brooklyn drawing inspiration from the borough’s artistic and eclectic community.

In essence, the history and culture of NYC’s ice cream shops mirror the city’s dynamic spirit, blending tradition with innovation, and creating a frozen dessert landscape that continues to captivate locals and visitors alike. Each scoop is a taste of the city’s ever-evolving culinary narrative, where the love for ice cream is a cultural celebration in its own right.

Best Ice Cream Shops in NYC

Anytime is a good time for ice cream and you’ll find the best ice cream parlor in NYC. There are tons of ice cream shops in the city that cater to various tastebuds, including classic flavors like chocolate, caramel, cookies and cream, pistachio, matcha, peanut butter, rocky road, coffee, raspberry, cotton candy, eggnog, and vanilla ice creams. Some stores offer unusual flavors, you won’t find in just any ice cream shops like pandan, durian, and wasabi to name a few. But don’t worry, some ice cream shops also have your favorites like mango sorbets, butter pecan, dulce de leche,  ice cream sandwiches, floats, milk shakes, frozen yogurts and more.

A number of these ice creams hops use all-natural ingredients and they designed homemade flavors to cater the tastebuds of local New Yorkers. Ice cream is everywhere in the Big Apple, you can even spot ice cream trucks, but the best dessert are from the following shops.

1. Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory


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Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory stands as a beloved institution, offering a delightful fusion of traditional and innovative flavors that captivate the taste buds. Renowned for its rich history in the heart of Manhattan’s Chinatown, this iconic ice cream parlor boasts a unique array of best-seller flavors. From the exotic lychee to the classic green tea, people are drawn to the shop for its commitment to quality ingredients, authentic flavors, and the warm nostalgia it brings, making it a cherished destination for both locals and visitors exploring the diverse culinary offerings of New York City.

Address: 65 BAYARD ST NEW YORK, NY, 10013 

Contact No: (212) 608-4170 / (757) 752-8696

Website: https://www.flushingicecreamfactory.com/contact

2. Sugar Hill Creamery

Sugar Hill Creamery, founded by co-owners Nick Larsen and Petrushka Bazin in Hamilton Heights, has become a Harlem gem celebrated for its commitment to artisanal craftsmanship and community engagement. With a passion for quality ingredients and a dedication to serving delicious homemade ice creams with flavors that reflect the neighborhood’s cultural richness, Sugar Hill Creamery has gained a devoted following.

Some of their bestseller are the velvety Brownstone Blackout and the sweet and spicy Harlem Sweeties, which showcase a creative blend of traditional and contemporary influences. The locals also love its ice cream roasted marshmallow, peach cobbler, and Brown Bombshell. Beyond its delectable offerings, the creamery is also recognized for its emphasis on fostering a sense of community, making it a place where locals and visitors alike can savor both exceptional ice cream and the spirit of Harlem.

Address: 55 Water St Brooklyn, NY 11201

Contact No: (212) 634-9004

Website: sugarhillcreamery.com/visit

3. Ample Hills Creamery


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Ample Hills Creamery has earned its popularity as a Brooklyn-based ice cream destination, renowned for its whimsical flavors and commitment to quality ingredients. They allow each person to sample two ice cream flavors to help you decide which to get. The texture isn’t smooth because it contains rice krispies but you will surely love it. The creamery’s success can be attributed to its dedication to creating imaginative and indulgent ice creams that resonate with a diverse audience. For instance, it offers ice creams with baked clusters of Ritz crackers, potato chips, butter-soaked pretzels and mini M&M served in a pretzel cone.

Among their bestseller flavors is the “Salted Crack Caramel,” a delightful combination of sweet and salty, and the playful “Ooey Gooey Butter Cake,” capturing the essence of a beloved Southern treat. Snap Mallow Pop and It Came From Gowanus are also popular. Its success extends beyond its creative concoctions, with a commitment to sustainability and community engagement, making it a beloved establishment that not only delights taste buds but also connects with its patrons on a deeper level.

Address: 1 Water St Brooklyn, NY 11201

Contact No: (718) 852-0301

Website: amplehills.com

4. Eddie’s Sweet Shop 

Eddie’s Sweet Shop, established in 1909, holds the prestigious title of being the oldest ice cream parlor in New York City, offering a nostalgic journey through time with its charming decor and classic treats. Renowned for its old-fashioned charm, Eddie’s Sweet Shop is best known for its delectable ice cream creations, with the banana split and classic sundaes ranking among its bestsellers.

Patrons also flock to the soda fountain for its authentic egg creams, timeless floats, rich milkshakes, and comforting hot chocolates. With a commitment to preserving tradition and serving up timeless delights, this ice cream parlor stands as a cherished institution in the heart of Queens.

Address: 105-29 Metropolitan Ave Forest hills, NY 11375

Contact No: (718) 520-8514

5. Oddfellows 


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OddFellows Ice Cream Shop has captured the hearts of ice cream enthusiasts with its inventive flavors and commitment to pushing the boundaries of frozen desserts. Located in Brooklyn and founded by former pastry chef Sam Mason, the shop’s popularity stems from its creative concoctions, such as the signature Olive Oil Plum and Miso Cherry, which showcase a perfect blend of sweet and savory. The shop’s dedication to using high-quality, locally sourced ingredients further elevates its offerings. With a rotating menu that features both classic and avant-garde flavors, OddFellows continues to be a destination for those seeking unique and delicious ice cream experiences in the vibrant culinary landscape of Brooklyn.

Address: 776 Lorimer St Brooklyn, NY 11222

6. Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream

Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream in NYC is a haven for ice cream aficionados, offering a diverse range of flavors crafted with meticulous attention to detail. Renowned for its commitment to using top-quality ingredients, the shop’s bestsellers include the Black Coconut Ash, a striking and flavorful creation, and the Burnt Sage, which blends herbaceous notes with a rich creaminess.

They offer vegan and non-dairy options and their sorbets are amazing. For vegan customers, among the popular selection is the Midnight Choc Crunch. If you want to try unique flavors, pastachio matcha is highly recommended. If you love strawberries, their strawberry sundae is a great deal as it has two scoops of ice cream with whipped cream, strawberry compote and wafer crunch.

Morgenstern’s prides itself on its dedication to traditional ice cream-making methods, resulting in a smooth and velvety texture that sets it apart. With a rotating menu that includes both classic and adventurous flavors, Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream continues to attract visitors seeking a taste of innovation in the heart of New York City.

Address: 88 W Houston St New York, NY 10012

Contact No: (212) 209-7684

Website: morgensternsnyc.com

7. Taiyaki NYC

Taiyaki NYC has carved a niche in the ice cream scene by combining Asian flavors with a creative twist. Renowned for their fish-shaped cones, reminiscent of the Japanese taiyaki pastry, the shop adds a unique touch to the ice cream experience. The bestseller flavors, such as Matcha, Red Bean and Black Sesame, showcase a delightful fusion of traditional and innovative tastes. With warm homemade waffle cones complementing the Asian-inspired ice creams, Taiyaki NYC has become a popular destination for those seeking a delightful and visually appealing treat. You can find their locations in various cities, including a prominent spot in the Chinatown neighborhood of New York City.

Address: 119 Baxter St New York, NY 10013

Contact No: (212) 966-2882

Website: taiyakinyc.com

8. Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream

Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream in NYC has gained immense popularity for its high-quality, artisanal approach to ice cream. Among its bestseller flavors are classics like Honeycomb and Earl Grey Tea and Kraft Mac and Cheese Ice Cream which known for their rich and unique taste profiles. Its luscious Michel Cluizel hot fudge is also a hit. The appeal of Van Leeuwen lies not only in its traditional ice cream offerings but also in its commitment to inclusivity, offering both vegan alternatives and decadent shakes for a diverse range of preferences.

With several locations throughout the city, including popular spots in SoHo and Williamsburg, Van Leeuwen has become a go-to destination for those seeking premium ice cream experiences. The creative flavor pairings are served with warm homemade waffle cones, further contributing to the shop’s reputation for indulgence and innovation.

Address: 432 3rd Ave New York, NY 10016

Contact No: (646) 719-1998

Website: vanleeuwenicecream.com

9. Malai Ice Cream


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Malai Ice Cream in NYC, located in the charming Cobble Hill neighborhood, is known for its distinctive offerings of egg-free ice creams with Southeast Asian flavors. The scoop shop, which began as a stand at Manhattan’s Hester Street Fair in 2015, has gained popularity for its unique and exotic flavor profiles. Among the dozen or so flavors, Masala Chai, Turkish Coffee, Rose, and Baklava stand out, showcasing a blend of traditional and innovative taste experiences. Notably, these delectable creations can be enjoyed at the shop or ordered online, expanding the accessibility of Malai’s enticing ice cream offerings to a wider audience across the city.

Address: 268 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Contact No: (347) 889-5789

Website: https://www.malai.co/

10. Il Laboratorio del Gelato

Il Laboratorio del Gelato, located in the Lower East Side of NYC, has become a beloved destination for gelato enthusiasts. Renowned for its extensive flavor selection, including classics like Rum Raisin and unique offerings like Basil, the shop’s bestsellers often include a delightful array of both traditional and inventive tastes. What sets them apart is their commitment to using high-quality ingredients and a meticulous crafting process, resulting in a velvety, rich texture that captures the essence of authentic Italian gelato. Visitors love Il Laboratorio del Gelato’s hand-crafted ice cream not only for its diverse flavor options but also for the shop’s dedication to artisanal excellence, making it a go-to spot for those seeking a true taste of the artistry behind exceptional gelato.

Address: 188 Ludlow St New York, NY 10002

Contact No: (212) 343-9922

Website: laboratoriodelgelato.com

Unique Ice Cream Flavors in NYC

Indulging in ice cream is not just a treat for the taste buds but an adventure in flavor exploration. Beyond the traditional vanilla and chocolate, a world of unique and inventive ice cream flavors awaits, tantalizing the senses with unexpected combinations and exotic ingredients. From the whimsical to the daring, these frozen delights promise a journey into a realm where creativity knows no bounds. Join us as we delve into the realm of unique ice cream flavors, where each scoop tells a story of innovation and culinary artistry.

  • Wasabi Honeycomb at Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream: A daring blend of spicy wasabi and sweet honeycomb.
  • Turkish Coffee at Malai Ice Cream: Rich coffee flavor with a hint of cardamom, inspired by Turkish coffee.
  • Basil at Il Laboratorio del Gelato: A refreshing and herbaceous twist on traditional ice cream.
  • Black Sesame at Taiyaki NYC: A nutty and savory option in their iconic fish-shaped cones.
  • Olive Oil Plum at OddFellows Ice Cream Co.: A sophisticated combination of fruity sweetness and savory olive oil.
  • Rose at Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream: Delicate and floral, capturing the essence of fresh roses.
  • Burnt Sage at Ample Hills Creamery: An earthy and aromatic flavor, balancing burnt sage with creamy sweetness.
  • Masala Chai at Malai Ice Cream: A warm and spiced experience inspired by the classic Indian tea blend.
  • Salted Crack Caramel at Ample Hills Creamery: A sweet and salty masterpiece that has become a crowd favorite.
  • Black Coconut Ash at Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream: A visually striking flavor with a dark charcoal hue and a rich coconut taste.

Gelato and Sorbet

In the bustling ice cream scene of NYC, gelato and sorbet have emerged as delightful alternatives, offering a lighter and often dairy-free experience. Gelato, with its smoother texture and intense flavors, can be found in specialty shops like Il Laboratorio del Gelato, where artisanal craftsmanship takes center stage. On the other hand, sorbets, with their fruit-forward profiles and refreshing qualities, are embraced for their vibrant taste at various establishments such as Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream. These frozen treats provide a diverse range of options for those seeking a cool and satisfying dessert, whether it’s the richness of a creamy gelato or the pure fruit essence of a sorbet.

Classic Favorites Ice Cream

Classic favorites in the world of ice cream evoke a sense of nostalgia, transporting us to moments of pure joy with each delectable scoop. From the timeless allure of vanilla to the comforting embrace of chocolate, these traditional flavors are a sweet reminder of the simple pleasures that ice cream brings.

Classic flavors include the following:

  • Vanilla: A timeless and versatile favorite that serves as the perfect canvas for countless toppings.
  • Chocolate: Rich, velvety, and universally loved, chocolate ice cream remains a classic indulgence.
  • Strawberry: The sweet and fruity delight of strawberry ice cream captures the essence of summer.
  • Mint Chocolate Chip: The refreshing taste of mint paired with crunchy chocolate chips is a perennial favorite.
  • Cookies and Cream: A delightful combination of creamy vanilla ice cream and chunks of chocolate cookies.
  • Butter Pecan: The buttery richness of pecans adds a delightful crunch to this classic flavor.
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough: A playful twist featuring chunks of raw cookie dough folded into creamy ice cream.
  • Rocky Road: A satisfying blend of chocolate ice cream, marshmallows, and nuts for a delightful texture.
  • Neapolitan: A nostalgic trio of vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry in one scoop, offering a taste of everything.
  • Pistachio: A nutty and subtly sweet option that stands out for its unique and sophisticated flavor.

Wrap Up

In the vibrant tapestry of New York City, the array of ice cream shops stands as a testament to the city’s culinary diversity and creativity. With a spectrum ranging from classic favorites to daring and inventive flavors, NYC’s ice cream scene caters to every palate.

Embark on a delectable journey through the city’s neighborhoods, and you’ll discover why New York has earned its reputation for serving some of the best ice cream in the world. For both locals and tourists, indulging in these frozen delights isn’t just a treat; it’s a quintessential experience that captures the essence of NYC’s vibrant and ever-evolving culinary landscape. Not to mention, these sweet treats will make you feel out of this world!

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