For information specifically on ice cream sandwiches, check out this post, here.
So, it goes without saying there’s lots of good ice cream in New York. And although I crammed in as many old favourites and new tastes as two days in the city allows, I didn’t get to them all. That’s good, though – something to look forward to next time.
Laboratorio del Gelato
188 Ludlow Street, NY
Laboratorio is one of the most respected, and in my opinion, tastiest, gelato options in the Big Apple. They offer a ridiculous number of flavours each day (40+), which constantly change. Every flavour is perfect, both in terms of texture and flavour, and they offer both classics and unusual flavours. Aside from their somewhat clinical concrete shopfront (which admittedly is more like a take-out factory shop than a parlour), I love everything about this company.
We tried as many tastes as we could, including butternut, rootbeer, grapefruit, peach, tarragon pink pepper, basil and malted milk chocolate, before settling on our flavours. My mother got lemon rosemary sorbet and grapefruit gelato, and I chose Braeburn apple sorbet, with pistachio ice cream. I almost never eat sorbet, but I couldn’t pass this one up, it was so fresh and vibrant.
Lab’s containers, both take home and eat out, are unusually rectangular, but as you can see from the photos, this works pretty well. I like that, when a company makes you rethink something you’ve never really examined, like why most ice cream containers are round. I also like the fact that their kitchen is glassed in from the street, so you can watch them make ice cream. My jealousy for their set up (the freezers! the churns! The robot coupe food processors!), as well as the flawless quality of their gelato, is massive and unending.
Don’t miss this one.
186 Underhill Ave, Brooklyn
Blue Marble is a small neighbourhood ice cream parlour in Brooklyn. It was one of the last parlours we visited on our two-day whirlwind tour of NYC, and we almost didn’t have time to go. I’m really glad we did though. Despite ice cream fatigue, after a couple tastes of their flavours (green tea matcha! root beer! Malted chocolate!) we made room for a small scoop of raspberry chocolate chip, which was fruity and refreshing.
228 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn
I’ve read a lot about this grocer-deli-producer business online, and was totally charmed in person by the light, wood-accented space, friendly staff, range of specialty products, and their gelato. They stock local and imported artisanal food ingredients (think: Brooklyn-made caramels, Italian pasta), and also make their own gelato and other food products. The don’t have a scoop counter, but we did buy both an ice cream sandwich (reviewed here) and a small cup of their mascarpone honey gelato, which was wonderful.
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
Available at Dean and Deluca’s, and certain Wholefoods Stores
OK, Jeni’s ice cream doesn’t really count as ‘NYC ice cream’, but since I have little chance of getting Ohio any time soon to visit one of their parlours, I was excited to buy a pint of their famed ice cream at NY retail food mecca Dean and Deluca’s. Jeni’s is one of our biggest overseas inspirations, we borrow flavours and ideas regularly from their wonderful cookbook, and love their local ingredient, natural product ethos. It helps that they have an awesome social media campaign too.
We chose to try their brown butter almond brittle ice cream, and despite concerns that we would not be able to finish a pint between three over-ice-cream’d visitors, we ate about three quarters of it in the cab on the way to lunch (!). It lived up to the hype (and its $12 price tag): really lovely creamy-but-not-greasy texture, and clean, not overly sweet flavours.