What makes a milkshake gourmet? Well, for starters, the ingredients have to be top-notch. And, of course, the flavors should go beyond basic vanilla and simple strawberry. The five places listed below turn milk + ice cream into something truly and completely extraordinary. By Jessica Allen.
Big Daddy’s doesn’t scream gourmet. Indeed, the retro vibe (the interior is designed to resemble a 1950s-era diner), the worn Trivial Pursuit cards on the tables, all-day breakfast options, and even the ginormous plastic menu send very different signals than some of the other spots on this list. Nevertheless, the milkshakes here are must-drinks for the serious connoisseur. We like the Bacon Milky Way, a chocolate shake with bacon and salted caramel. Weekdays from 3 to 5 pm, all shakes are half off.
Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain
Brooklyn Farmacy seeks to bring back the soda fountains of yore, and totally succeeds. Staff wear paper hats and t-shirts that say “soda jerk.” They work behind a counter dating to the 1920s. You can order a soda with one of the house-made syrups, or you can sip an egg cream, or you can try a sundae featuring Adirondack Creamery ice cream blended into a milkshake, including the Sundae of Broken Dreams (pictured), vanilla ice cream covered in caramel sauce, crushed pretzels, and whipped cream.
Momofuku Milk Bar
At the Williamsburg location of Momofuku Milk Bar, you can get so-called fancy shakes. These yummy concoctions blend soft-serve ice cream with various mix-ins. Try the Fruit Cereal Milkshake (white rum mixed with fruit cereal ice cream). Just remember to bring your ID. Or you can get an ordinary milkshake: soft serve blended with milk. But, with flavors like cranberry limeade (pictured) and mandarin creamsicle, there’s really nothing ordinary about it.
A great milkshake starts with great ice cream, and the ice cream at OddFellows has few rivals in terms of unique, and delicious, tastes. Among the flavors we’ve seen and/or sampled at the Williamsburg flagship location: olive oil, lemon meringue, burnt marshmallow, chorizo caramel swirl, Thai iced cream, and tobacco leaf smoked chili huckleberry. Go ahead and order multiple milkshakes: OddFellows donates five cents to the Food Bank for New York City for every scoop of ice cream sold.
Sugar & Plumm
While this restaurant boasts a full menu of creative bistro staples like house-smoked salmon panini and pulled pork and waffles, as well as a huge counter of chocolate and candy confections, we’re most fond of the incredibly thick milkshakes. Specials of the house include the Fluffernutter (pictured), which blends vanilla ice cream with peanuts, marshmallows, peanut butter, and whipped cream, and the Candy Shoppe, with strawberry ice cream, rainbow sprinkles, and the milkshake maker’s choice of candy.