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The 8 Best Ice Cream Shops In Manhattan

July 18, 2011 1:43 PM

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When it’s hot outside, indulging in a little taste of ice cream seems a bit easier. Here’s where to find the best frozen treats in New York City.

By Anna Van Lenten

benandjerrys The 8 Best Ice Cream Shops In Manhattan

Ben & Jerry's will have you feeling like a kid again. (credit:

Ben & Jerry’s

Multiple locations, for more information see their website:

Reviews & more info

While Ben & Jerry’s might seem so five minutes ago, the truth is, their ice cream is the richest, densest, most indulgent you’ll find in town. Good to know then that they’ve phased out trans fat and the dairy is from hormone-free cows. Where else in the city can one find such flavors as cinnamon buns, creme brulee, coffee coffee buzz buzz, pumpkin cheesecake, dublin mudslide, and—drum roll—Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough? Only here.

biggayicecreamtruck The 8 Best Ice Cream Shops In Manhattan

Crowds line up at the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck. (Image from

Big Gay Ice Cream Truck

Usually parked at Broadway & 17th Street, Twitter

Soft serve, but light years better than Mister Softee, due mainly to the wild toppings on offer. Delicious choices from this truck include toppings like curried coconut, ginger syrup, cardamom, wasabi pea dust, and—yes: sea salt and extra virgin olive oil (fabulous). A nutella-lined cone makes you wonder, What took so long to come up with this?

bluemarble The 8 Best Ice Cream Shops In Manhattan

Get the scoop at Blue Marble. (Image from

Blue Marble

186 Underhill Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11238
(718) 399-6926

420 Atlantic Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11217
(718) 858-1100

Blue Marble’s taffy-like texture and fresh creaminess garners awards and prompts repeat trips. Maybe it’s because the milk is from grass-fed cows. At any rate, pair up the strawberry with mint chip for an ace sensation. The ginger is super sophisticated, and the butter stick pecan is where it’s at.

ciaobella The 8 Best Ice Cream Shops In Manhattan

A closeup of some gelato at Ciao Bella. (Image from

Ciao Bella

Multiple locations, for more information see their website:

Satin smooth texture hits the mark. When your ice cream manages to suspend each of the critical flavors of a key lime pie in a seamless consistency, you’re grand. A tinge of lime, fresh creaminess, and graham cracker nuttiness all stay magically, respectfully, front and center. The Maple Ginger Snap is tight: a slight burned sugar taste with pinch of ginger cookie all delivered via cream.

grom The 8 Best Ice Cream Shops In Manhattan

Some of the items featured on Grom's website. (Image from


Multiple locations, for more information see their website:

Reviews & more info

Hailing directly from Italy, Grom’s strength is its very intense concentration of flavor, which delivers phenomenally superior taste without stultifying sweetness. The Chocolate Hazlenut is a dream. And the Fragola Limone–the way strawberry and lemon hit each other within the cream—overwhelmingly fine.

illaboratoriodelgelato The 8 Best Ice Cream Shops In Manhattan

Some scoops from Il Laboratorio Del Gelato. (Image from

Il Laboratorio del Gelato

95 Orchard Street
New York, NY 10002
(212) 343-9922

With over 94 flavors for your curious pleasure, we’ll focus here on why they’re amazing: Not heavily creamy—more like cream at first blush which then allows distinct flavors within to sing through beautifully. A superlative choice for us these days is the Avocado—but don’t let that limit you; an all-consuming goal would be to try them all. Note that they rotate specials.

lartedelgelato2 The 8 Best Ice Cream Shops In Manhattan

A sampling of the flavors at L'Arte del Gelato. (Image from

L’Arte del Gelato

5 Seventh Avenue
New York, NY 10011
(212) 924-0803

Reviews & more info

L’Arte’s delights will make you wish you hadn’t tried them in order that you’d still have them to look forward to. Classic flavors like strawberry and chocolate hit the Platonic ideal.

vanleeuwenicecream The 8 Best Ice Cream Shops In Manhattan

The Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream truck. (Image from

Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream

632 Manhattan Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11222
(718) 701-1630

Their trucks have multiple locations, for more information see their website:

Four standouts include pistachio, which is worlds away from the bright green fakery of the past (real pistachios are crunched and set in a humbly sweet, satisfying creaminess). Mint Chip is redolent of real mint with a cut of dark chocolate. And, purists, the vanilla is spot on: just shy of subtle, not too cloying, it tastes like the cream was churned nine minutes prior. A final fave is from the Van Leeuwen truck: strawberry with hot fudge.

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