Small spoons and seriously Italian spirit are the name of the game at this West Village staple. With roots in Torrino, over 35 shops both here and overseas, and ingredients sourced from their very own Mura Mura farm in the heart of the Italian countryside, flavors are full-bodied, rich and extremely authentic. Favorites such as Stracciatella and Marron Glacé meet seasonal specials and even granitas, perfect to beat the summertime heat.
233 Bleecker Street at Carmine Street
2 Big Gay Ice Cream Store
These guys came rolling into town, literally, several years ago, serving up inventive flavor pairings with unparalleled flair from a brightly colored truck. Lauded by critics as “a cross between Mister Softee and Mario Batali” the Big Gay team opened two brick and mortar outposts from which to please adoring fans with traditional soft serve loaded up with fun, eclectic toppers--wasabi pea dust, ‘Nilla wafers, olive oil, or Nutella, anyone? Lines form early to indulge in their “American Globs”: a salty-meets-sweet, smooth-meets-crunchy mix of chocolate dipped vanilla ice cream, pretzels and sea salt.
3 Momofuku Milk Bar
A proud member of David Chang’s veritable restaurant empire, a tour de force of whole duck dinners, uncommon tasting menus and fire-blazing cocktails to boot, this bar raises the bar--on desserts that is. Sweet tooths rejoice with their uber-famous (now trademarked) cereal-milk soft serve which tastes exactly as it sounds, and now even travels with its own trademark. Yes, it’s that good. And yes, that wistful image of remaining bits of cereal idling atop the last sips of milk of childhood days gone by? Spot. On. Other creamy indulgences, with uniquely Asian-inspired flavors like yuzu cherrysicle and miso butterscotch are worthy of return trips, especially when paired with their famed Crack Pie. Yet again, exactly as enticing as it sounds.
4 Francois Payard Patisserie
In a marriage made in gourmet heaven, Payard has once again introduced his critically acclaimed macaron ice cream sandwiches to his patisseries around the city. Upping their cool factor even more this summer is this brand new brain-freezing flavor: strawberry cheesecake. The meringue-like macarons as well as the ice cream and sorbet are made in house and are nothing short of ethereal when they come together as one. It’s impossible to go wrong with the aforementioned slightly tangy newbie, or any of the other bespoke flavor pairings: raspberry-pistachio, chocolate-chocolate or coconut-mango.
5 People's Pops
The people behind People’s Pops may have a cult following, but that’s no reason to give these creative visionaries the cold shoulder. In fact, that’s their job, and when it comes to typical frozen treats, they’ve been reinventing the wheel over and over again. With ice pops and even boozy pops locked down, they’ve now added an artisanal twist to shaved ice proving that such things are not only possible, but seriously delicious. After hand-shaving ice blocks with a microplane, seasonal, bespoke syrups such as rhubarb-lemongrass are infused and served up with a ballpark-worthy wooden spoon. It’s one part scoopable, one part sippable and all parts delectable.