New York may be enjoying temporary relief from this summer’s nonstop heat wave, but with the dog days still before us there’s never been a better excuse to rank the city’s top ice cream and gelato dispensers.
186 Underhill Ave., Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
This thoroughly Brooklyn shop falls in line with the borough's insistence on seasonal, local ingredients. All the milk comes from New York state farms, which inspires big crowds of drooling locals at the bricks and mortar outpost (summer welcomes alfresco locations). Our top pick is the root beer ice cream, which has the Proustian ability to transport you back to childhood summers of malt shop floats.
188 Ludlow St., New York, NY 10002
Il Laboratorio del Gelato
As the name suggests, this lilliputian Lower East Sider takes itself and its Italian gelato seriously. The lab coat-clad servers may push the conceit over the edge, but the slavish attention to small-batch detail that results in creamy delights in flavors like pink peppercorn, wasabi and sweet potato more than makes up for the pompous vibe.
Momofuku Milk Bar
Rogue pastry chef Christina Tosi's crack pie and compost cookie steal some of her ice cream's thunder. But the cereal milk (milk plus brown sugar plus cereal) at the chain of unorthodox dessert shops (which sprung from David Chang's idiosyncratic Korean empire, Momofuku), might be Tosi's most enduring and accessible creation.
95 East 10th St., East Village
Sundaes and Cones
Fans of this shop tucked away on a quiet East Village side street include ice cream freaks no less sophisticated than Suri Cruise. Portions are on the small end, but fresh ingredients like mango, ginger and black sesame still pack a wallop.
What started as a roving dessert truck now has three proper locations in two boroughs. The artsy and artisnal flavors might be out there enough to make you yearn for Baskin Robbins, at least until you try delicately scooped creations in palm sugar and early grey varieties. The trucks still make their rounds, providing lifesaving sidewalk relief during heat waves.