New Ice Cream in NYC: 6 Fresh Parlors Serving Cool Treats
One of the many great things about living in New York City is that we can introduce our kids to all kinds of exotic cuisines, and the same holds true for dessert. While my son likes Mister Softee as much as the next kid, he also appreciates artisanal ice cream and customized fro-yo thanks to frequent trips to places like Ample Hills Creamery and 16 Handles. So to celebrate the beginning of summer, my son and I decided to try to sample the goods at six brand-new NYC spots serving up cool summer treats. We're not talking about simple scoops. At these dessert places, you'll find offbeat ice cream flavors like PBJ toast and maple bacon pecan, plus outrageous sundaes, made-to-order ice-cream sandwiches and frozen yogurt with a multitude of toppings.
Magnum Ice Cream Pop-up Shop – Midtown West
Bryant Park, 40th Street near Sixth Avenue
The decadent Belgian brand of chocolate-covered ice-cream bars has opened a temporary kiosk on the south side of Bryant Park through September 30. Choose one of the signature Magnum bars like gold, double caramel, almond or classic, or customize your own with a Make My Magnum. The staff will dip your vanilla ice-cream bar in melted dark or Belgian milk chocolate and cover it with your choice of three toppings. I had a delicious combo of sea salt, candied ginger and caramel pieces but more kid-friendly options include chocolate and peanut butter cookie crumbs, and vanilla rice crisps. Signature bars cost $3; Make My Magnum is $5.
OddFellows Ice Cream Co. – Williamsburg
175 Kent Avenue between North 3rd and 4th Streets
Well-known pastry chef Sam Mason just opened a cool retro-style ice-cream shop that dishes out high-quality homemade scoops, shakes, sodas and sundaes. You can even watch him in action through the large kitchen window. In addition to having a large seating area (rare for most NYC ice-cream places), OddFellows has an amazing variety of rotating original flavors, like toasted sesame kumquat pumpernickel, manchego pineapple and chorizo caramel. If those sound too out there for your kids (or you), don't worry: Tamer options include PBJ toast (which my son loved), oatmeal cookie dough or my new favorite: maple bacon pecan. Splurge on the waffle cone—it's the best I've ever tasted. Single scoop is $3.25.
Smush – Union Square
44 Union Square East between 17th and 18th Streets
Last fall, my family and I discovered Smush, the New York Deli of Desserts, at its old pop-up Midtown West location and were disappointed to learn that it closed soon after our visit. So we were thrilled to hear about its new permanent shop inside a Union Square pizza parlor. Smush's signature treat is made-to-order ice-cream sandwiches. Choose from a wonderful assortment of sliced bread-shaped cookies, pick a spread, add a slab of ice cream and finish off with toppings and sauce. Can't decide? The menu has great combos, too. Ice-cream sandwiches are $6.40
Yooglers – Greenwich Village
791 Broadway between 10th and 11th Streets
The first U.S. location of this Spanish chain of self-serve frozen yogurt parlors, Yooglers (like 16 Handles) is sleek and colorful, and features a wall of 20 flavors and an overwhelming variety of toppings—nearly 100 of them, including Pop-Tart pieces, sugary breakfast cereals, gummy bears and mini peanut butter cups. The shop has a special area for kids with a chalkboard wall to doodle on and seats covered in fake grass. Bonus: Get 20% off every day during the 11am to 12:30pm happy hour. Yogurt and toppings are .52 cents per ounce.
Scoop Ice Cream Shop – Upper West Side
2442 Broadway between 90th and 91st Streets
Brooklyn's beloved Blue Marble Ice Cream finally comes to the Upper West Side! Though not an official outpost, Scoops only serves Blue Marble's locally produced, organic ice cream in a sweet and cozy environment. A dozen delicious flavors like sea salt caramel, strawberry and coconut can be scooped into a cup or a cone. Caffeinated beverages, smoothies and shakes will be added in the months to come.
Sugar and Plumm – Greenwich Village
257 Bleecker Street at Cornelia Street
The local homemade candy chain recently opened its Greenwich Village location, which includes a backroom parlor serving seven over-the-top sundaes like the Mish Mosh (chocolate ice cream, Oreo crumbs, blondie bits, potato chips and gummy bears topped with fudge sauce) and the Jack Tripper (chocolate ice cream, fudge and salted caramel sauce, blondie and brownie bits, and peanuts). There are outrageous milk shakes, too. Be sure to check the hours before heading out—the shop is closed Mondays, which I sadly found out after trekking there in the rain with my son. We'll have to come back another time! Sundaes are $9-$10.
Find out about other great places to eat and play in our Summer Fun Guide.