The 11 Best Ice Cream Shops in NYC

Addison Aloian | December 10, 2020 | Food & Drink

Ice Cream New York City

Ice cream is maybe one of the best desserts ever invented. There are so many flavors from fruity to coffee and chocolate swirls. It comes in pops and cakes, covered in hot fudge, smasked between two bananas, crunched up with nuts or pieces of candy bars. The topping combos are truly endless. You can even have it as a shake!

In New York City, there are just as many options for where to get it. If you’re craving a cold treat, try one of these premiere ice creameries across the five boroughs.

Whether you’re a proud vegan and need to try that new Van Leeuwen flavor, or a die-hard cereal fan who just discovered the Milk & Cream Cereal Bar, we guarantee our list has your ice cream fix and then some.

See also: Top 10 Pie Shops in NYC

Morganstern’s Finest Ice Cream

2 Rivington St. | Website

Morganstern’s has perhaps some of the most unique ice cream flavors in the entire city. While they carry traditional flavors such as Cookies N’ Cream and Rockiest Road, they also reinvented the concept of ice cream through their nonconventional flavors of Olive Oil Chocolate Orange, Sour Cream & Brown Sugar Strawberry, and French Fry.

Van Leeuwen

Locations in the Financial District, East Village, West Village, Midtown, Upper East Side & Upper West Side | Website

Van Leeuwen started in NYC in 2008 with a mission to make ice cream that makes you feel good. They focus on natural ingredients in both their dairy and vegan flavors. While it can be shipped to your doorstep nationwide and bought in local grocery stores, you’ll likely find a location down the street from your NYC apartment. With flavors like Honeycomb, Brooklyn Brown Sugar Chunk and Mocha Cookie Crumble, it's a source of local pride.

Frozen Sweet

184 Mulberry St. | Website

If you’ve always wanted to try rolled ice cream, now’s your chance! At Frozen Sweet, you can either order an ice cream bowl off the menu or create your own custom bowl by picking an ice cream base, such as vanilla or matcha green tea, two mixers like banana and Nutella, then your toppings and syrup, which range from fresh fruits to Teddy Grams and Oreos.

Big Gay Ice Cream Shop

Locations in the Financial District, East Village, West, Village & Upper West Side | Website

Starting as a seasonal food truck in 2009, Big Gay Ice Cream has developed into a creamy empire. Some of their flavors include Shortberry Strawcake, Salty Pimp and Monday Sundae. Yum!


119 Baxter St.; 294 Bedford Ave. | Website

The goal of Taiyaki is to help bring Japanese culture to the Big Apple by serving fish-shaped ice cream cones. These picturesque cones have blown up on social media and come in flavors like strawberry & mango, matcha green tea, chocolate and more. You can either create your own cone, or order one of their signature cones.

Milk & Cream Cereal Bar

159 Mott St. | Website

Revisit childhood by dropping into SoHo and exploring the Milk & Cream Cereal Bar! Offering an ice cream swirl, cereal bowl or ice cream milkshake, there are plenty of options to mix your dairy cravings with your favorite cereals. They've got Apple Jacks, Cap’n Crunch, Cookie Crisp and more. With toppings like cookie dough, fruity pebbles and toasted coconut flakes, you'll swear dessert is for breakfast.

See also: The 10 Best Bakeries in NYC

Sugar Hill Creamery

184 Malcolm X Blvd. | Website

Sugar Hill Creamery claims to be a “love affair between community and food." Located in the heart of Harlem, they pride themselves on creative ice cream names. "Jet Lag" is a combination of ginger ice cream and peanut brittle. "I Love Lucy" is a gingersnap cookie dough ice cream, and "Don Cartagena" has a cream cheese ice cream base with croissants and guava sauce. That's about as original as it gets!

Sam’s Fried Ice Cream

37B Orchard St. | Website

This shop serves sweets as delicious as its name. At Sam’s, you can create your own ice cream confection by choosing from a variety of ice cream flavors, a fried crust and drizzles or toppings. Some of their flavors include chocolate, cappuccino crunch and red velvet, while their crusts include bread crumbs, oreos and more.

Mikey Likes It

199 Avenue A | Website

New York City’s one and only pop-culture inspired ice cream shop, Mikey Likes It has created custom ice cream flavors influenced by Hillary Clinton, Jay-Z and many more. Flavors like Pink Floyd, Brady Bunch and Foxy Brown combine the finest locally-sourced ingredients for a tip-tier ice cream experience. Get on over there, because this pop culture won't eat itself!

Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain

513 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY 11231 | Website

For a classic diner ice cream dish, check out Brooklyn Farmacy. This place serves a variety of ice cream treats, from sundaes to cones, floats and more. Some of their sundaes include the Cookie Monster and Sir Twix-A-Lot, while they also serve ice cream sandwiches and milkshakes. Satisfy your dairy cravings in a laid-back setting, sort of just like the old days.

Davey’s Ice Cream

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137 1st Ave., 74 Meserole Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222, 201 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211 | Website

With three NYC locations, Davey’s proudly serves a variety of ice cream flavors as well as sundaes and signature treats, such as the Pie Milkshake. While every item on the menu sounds fantastic, we encourage you to try the Speculoos Chocolate Chip and Roasted Pistachio ice cream flavors first.

Photography by: DEA / STECIA


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