Ice cream is an excellent source of vitamin D, which we’re all sadly in need of—after all, these days the sun tends to hide beneath cloud cover and wintry mix. So here’s where to go to get your winter fix and delicious licks. By Jessica Allen.
Ample Hills is a beloved ice cream shop in Brooklyn whose name comes from a Walt Whitman poem. Available this winter for your eating / gawking pleasure is “The Trough,” a ginormous sundae. Sized for at least six people, it consists of a homemade malted pretzel ooey gooey pie on which rests eight scoops of ice cream, themselves dotted with cookie dough and “The Munchies” (another housemade concoction, a mixture of M&Ms, Ritz crackers, and pretzels). On top of that goes whipped cream, rainbow and chocolate sprinkles, salted butter caramel, hot fudge, and a gummy cow.
While Blue Marble has a core list of regular flavors, its various scoop shops also serve seasonally appropriate ice cream, such as pumpkin, popcorn maple toffee, apple cider sorbet, peppermint stick, milk chocolate hazelnut, and egg nog. Offering the only certified organic ice cream native to New York, Blue Marble sources its dairy products from two local dairy cooperatives, and makes sure that its serveware is biodegradable and that its shops use reclaimed materials. This ethos comes through in the pure, honest taste of its ice cream.
Unlike some of the other places on this list, Chinatown Ice Cream Factory doesn’t necessarily change its flavors with the season. What they offer, however, will instantly transport you to a different climate—and who doesn’t wish for that when the snow starts to fall and the wind starts to blow? For more than 35 years, this family-run establishment has served scoops to hungry hordes looking for flavors from the ordinary, such as vanilla, chocolate, and peach, to the more exotic, such as durian, red bean, Chinese egg custard, and taro (ube).
Culture’s seasonal flavors include spiced hot chocolate and eggnog. (For the most up-to-date info about what’s being served at either location, follow Culture on Twitter.) Other flavors from this innovative yogurt shop include strawberry, banana, and mint, and all yogurt, whether fresh or frozen, is made on site from real local milk and live probiotic cultures. Want something great to be even better? Who doesn’t? Try ordering a topping like granola or strawberry rhubarb pie, crafted by one of Culture’s owners who also happens to be a trained pastry chef.
OddFellows seeks to help its patrons “fall even more in love” with ice cream by offering “super premium” small batches of flavors like tobacco leaf smoked chili huckleberry, beet pistachio honey goat cheese, and sesame kumquat pumpernickel, all hearty and unusual enough to banish any winter blues (or hunger pains). If you’re looking for vanilla with hot fudge, best keep walking. But if you’re looking for that salty-sweet-savory something, look no further. Note too that five cents is donated to the Food Bank for New York City for every serving of ice cream sold.