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15 New York City Ice Cream Shops to Enjoy by Summer’s End

Best ice cream New York City, Morgenstern's Finest Ice Cream

Every year foodies from all over the world come to New York City in search of tantalizing bites, but if you’re anything like me, you have to finish with something sweet. That’s why I’ve become such an expert in finding the best ice cream in New York City. Last summer I tried more than 30+ NYC ice cream shops, here’s the cream of the crop.

Visiting New York City? If you haven’t decided where to stay (yet) check out our helpful guide on Where to Stay in New York City (The best neighborhoods for first timers +3 to avoid). Don’t have time? Here’s my favorite hotel in NYC, hands down.

The Best Ice Cream in New York City

Table of Contents: New York City Ice Cream Guide

Best Ice Cream New York City, Van Leeuwen's Blue Planet and Chocolate in Waffle Cones

Van Leeuwen Ice Cream

Website: Van Leeuwen Ice Cream
Locations: 30+ locations in town
Known for: Not using artificial flavors and great vegan options.

Van Leeuwen started serving great ice cream in NYC from a food truck. It didn’t take long for word to spread, and they quickly expanded into brick-and-mortar stores across several states. Heck, they have nearly 30 ice cream shops in New York City alone!

But the best part about this beloved NYC ice cream shop is their adamant refusal to use artificial flavors or colors, keeping the ice cream as natural as possible. Oh, and did I mention that they also churn out some of the best vegan ice cream in NYC as well?

Fruity Pebbles Ice Cream Cone from Emack and Bolio, Best Ice Cream in NYC

Emack & Bolio’s

Website: Emack & Bolio’s
Locations: Five ice cream shops in New York City
Best For: Fun flavors with creative toppings

Founded in Boston by a lawyer trying to get around Massachusett’s Blue Laws, Emack & Bolio’s is all about upsetting the apple cart. The owner’s rebellious spirit is reflected in over-the-top flavors and toppings. You can get the ice cream dipped in fruity pebbles, topped with toasted marshmallows or smothered in Reese’s peanut butter cups.

The small-batch ice cream is made with high-quality ingredients and the menu boasts vegan and kosher options, too. They’ve spread to a few more locations, serving some of the best ice cream in New York City in three boroughs.

New York City Best Ice Cream, Sundaes and Cones

Sundaes and Cones

Website: Sundaes and Cones
Neighborhood: East Village
Best For: Asian-inspired flavors

Sundaes and Cones is a popular ice cream shop in the East Village. Founded in 2006, this is the place to go if you’re looking for some of the most unique ice cream in New York City. Adventurous Asian-inspired flavors include wasabi, taro, and black sesame, but the most popular item on their menu is the green tea flavor.

A scoop of ice cream from Morgenstern's Finest, one of the best In NYC

Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream

Website: Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream
Neighborhood: Greenwich Village
Address: 88 W Houston St, New York, NY 10012
Known for: Seasonal flavors

Morgenstern’s is reminiscent of an old-school neighborhood ice cream parlor. From the black-and-white tiled floors to the friendly apron donning team members, the place couldn’t be more endearing. Home to 88 flavors crafted in small-batches with locally-sourced ingredients, this is some of the best ice cream in New York City.

The most popular item on their menu is the Burnt Honey Vanilla, which is a perfect blend of smoky sweetness. If you’re craving something very sweet, opt for the famous ice cream burger (Neapolitan ice cream sandwiched between hamburger buns, served with a side of fries).

Morgenstern’s Bananas

Website: Morgenstern’s Bananas
Neighborhood: Lower East Side
Address: 2 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002
Best For: Dairy free soft-serve

Morgenstern’s Bananas is a sister-shop to Morgenstern’s, the twist? This ice cream shop is completely dairy free and specializes in soft-serve exclusively. Everything is made from scratch in-house, from the soft-serve bases to boba and toppings. Keen to keep the flavors clean and fresh, Morgenstern’s Bananas doesn’t use preservatives or stabilizers.

Supermoon Bakehouse

Website: Supermoon Bakehouse
Neighborhood: Lower East Side
Address: 120 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002
Known for: Croissant butter soft serve

Supermoon Bakehouse (one of the best bakeries in NYC) has ventured into the world of soft-serve, offering the most elusive flavor in town: the croissant butter soft serve. Yep, you read that correctly. Salty and sweet, it’s the perfect combination. Topped with dehydrated crunch croissant crumbs and a twice-baked slice of their world-famous croissant. Sheer perfection.

Best Ice Cream in NYC, an orange scoop of Oddfellows in Brooklyn on a sunny day

Oddfellows Ice Cream Co.

Website: Oddfellows Ice Cream Co.
Neighborhood: Five ice cream shops in NYC
Best For: Unique and innovative flavors

Boasting an impressive list of 500 flavors since inception, OddFellows Ice Cream is known for making New York City’s most creative ice cream. This innovative ice cream shop is beloved by locals for pushing the boundaries of traditions by incorporating unusual ingredients to make outlandish flavors.

From miso cherry (a balanced blent of salty umami with tart cherries) to the vegan grasshopper (cashew-based chocolate ice cream made with chocolate & crème sandwich cookies), there’s something here for every palate. All told, OddFellows’ commitment to quality, using hormone-free milk and using locally0sourced ingredients has earned them a spot on our list of the best ice cream in NYC.

Best NYC Ice Cream, Ample Hills

Ample Hills Creamery

Website: Ample Hills Creamery
Locations: Five ice cream shops in New York City

Home to the largest ice cream production facility in New York City (with pasteurization occurring on-site), you couldn’t find fresher ice cream in NYC if you tried. Ample Hills offers a rotating menu of over 24 flavors, all churned in small batches. I’m partial to the Ooey Gooey Butter Cake (thick chunks of St. Louis-style butter cake folded into creamy vanilla ice cream). The friendly atmosphere and indulgent flavors make Ample Hill a must-visit destination for ice cream enthusiasts.

La Newyorkina

Website: La Newyorkina
Neighborhood: Red Hook
Address: 61 Commerce St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Known for: Mexican ice cream bars, regular pop-up at the High Line

La Newyorkina in NYC is a beloved artisanal ice cream and sweets shop, celebrated for its Mexican-inspired frozen treats. Founded by Fany Gerson, La Newyorkina offers a delightful array of paletas (popsicles), aguas frescas (refreshing beverages), and other Mexican confections.

And before you make the trek to Red Hook, Brooklyn (which can be a doozy) consider swinging by the Mexican ice cream shop’s cart on the High Line instead. Every Thursday & Sunday (on the High Line near 30th Street) La Newyorkina sets up shop at the beloved park, selling ice cream from 12-6PM.

Sugar Hill Creamery

Website: Sugar Hill Creamery
Known for: Small-batch homemade ice cream

Located in the vibrant Sugar Hill neighborhood in Harlem, Sugar Hill Creamery has carved its niche in New York City by serving mouthwatering, handmade ice cream. From classics like vanilla bean to innovative concoctions like lavender honey, each scoop is a testament to the family owned parlor’s dedication to flavor diversity and culinary excellence. Beyond the delightful treats, Sugar Hill Creamery’s cozy ambiance and community-centric approach create a welcoming, familial atmosphere.

Caffè Panna

Website: Caffè Panna
Neighborhood: Gramercy Park
Address: 77 Irving Pl, New York, NY 10003

Caffe Panna is an Italian-inspired ice cream shop in New York City, the word “panna” translates to “cream” in Italian. The popular parlor sells seven house-made traditional flavors (like chocolate, strawberry, vanilla) in addition to five weekly, rotating flavors (which are displayed on Instagram). Besides ice cream Caffè Panna also sells sorbets, sundaes, and my favorite – affogatos. The delicacy consists of ice cream doused in espresso.

NYC best ice cream

Milk Bar

Website: Milk Bar
Neighborhood: Eight Ice Cream Shops in New York City
Known for: Cereal milk ice cream

Renowned for its innovative and playful approach to desserts, Milk Bar has redefined the ice cream experience in New York City with its signature creations. Led by award-winning chef Christina Tosi, Milk Bar gained a cult following for its irresistible and inventive flavors, including the famous Cereal Milk soft serve that captures the nostalgic essence of breakfast in a super sweet, creamy concoction.

The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory

Website: The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory
Neighborhood: Chinatown
Address: 65 Bayard St, New York, NY 10013
Known for: Asian-inspired ice cream flavors

Forget chocolate and vanilla, at The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory exciting Asian-inspired flavors (like lychee, black sesame, and ube) reign supreme. Scoop up swirls of red bean or indulge in the creamy comfort of don tot (Chinese egg custard). Every flavor is made in small batches daily, and crafted with fresh ingredients.

But the magic doesn’t stop there. This isn’t just a typical NYC ice cream shop, this family-run business offers a sense of community that’s been a staple in Chinatown for 40 years. This is a business you can feel good about supporting!

Gelateria Gentile

Website: Gelateria Gentile
Neighborhood: Four Ice Cream Shops in NYC
Known for: Authentic Italian Gelato

The best gelato I’ve had since I spent a month in Rome is at Gelateria Gentile. Their four ice cream shops in New York City are small, and the selections are limited. But what they lack in options they make up for in quality. Every flavor is creamy and soft, which makes sense considering they make their gelato every morning in house with ingredients imported from Italy.

List of New York City’s Best Ice Cream (Post Summary)

In summary, here’s the best ice cream in New York City:

  1. Van Leeuwen Ice Cream
  2. Emack & Bolio’s
  3. Sundaes and Cones
  4. Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream
  5. Oddfellows Ice Cream Co.
  6. Ample Hills Creamery
  7. La Newyorkina
  8. Sugar Hill Creamery
  9. Caffè Panna
  10. Milk Bar
  11. L’Arte Del Gelato
  12. Venchi 1878
  13. The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory
  14. Supermoon Bakehouse
  15. Gelateria Gentile
Frequently Asked Questions: Best Ice Cream Shops in NYC
What’s the best gelato in New York City?

In brief, the best gelato shops in New York City include Gelateria Gentile, Venchi 1878 and L’Arte del Gelato.

What’s the best soft-serve ice cream in New York City?

The newly opened Morgenstern’s Bananas is where I send anyone looking for the best soft-serve ice cream in New York City.

How much is an ice cream in New York?

Expect to pay anywhere from $3-$10 for ice cream in New York City, depending on the popularity of the place you’re visiting. Local favorites like The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory are charging up to $8 for a single scoop.

What’s the oldest ice cream shop in New York City?

Eddie’s Sweet Shop in Forest Hills, Queens is the oldest ice cream shop in New York City. Serving customers since 1925, we’re only a year removed from their 100th anniversary!

Map of the Best Ice Cream in NYC

Other Things to Do When it’s Hot:

I hope this roundup of the best ice cream shops in NYC helps keep you cool! Try not to get a brain freeze. Cheers!


Sabrina van Oren

Friday 12th of January 2024

I love La Newyorkina, I just wish they had a year round location in Manhattan