MR’s Guide to the Best Ice Cream in NYC

Not sure what psychopath declared only ONE national day for ice cream. It’s our summer dietary staple.


All this talk about “I can’t believe it’s almost August” has got to stop. It’s still July. We’re still in shorts. And when the clock strikes 3 p.m. — you know what, make that 11 a.m. — it is not just high time to consider where in the world Happy Hour has been in progress beyond its allocated 60 minutes, but it is the national, time-stamped signal that you should get a snack. And not just any snack — the snack! Ice cream!

In the thick of New York’s muggy sun and the thin of elsewhere’s heat, nothing says we’ve still got a whole month and change ahead of us, pal, like a scoop (or eight) of frozen cream making contact with your mouth. As such, here is Man Repeller’s definitive guide to the best ice cream in New York south of 17th Street.

Try them all today. Why not?

L’Arte Del Gelato, Chelsea Market (more locations here), Amelia’s pick

I legally can’t eat ice cream, but for some reason small rations of gelato doesn’t make me sick. Small rations suck, yes, but my favorite flavor is olive oil (just try it) which probably only works in one-scoop quantities, anyway.

Lafayette, 380 Lafayette St, Amelia’s pick

This is a restaurant, but out front by the bakery they sell tutti-frutti sorbet push pops with crushed macarons inside that taste a lot like the Flintstones push pop from childhood. Insane.

Morgenstern’s, 2 Rivington Street, Leandra’s pick

Because this kooky guy works behind the counter and wears one of those neat diner hats and when you walk in he says, “Hi toots! What can I get for ya?”

The selection of ice creams is so artisanal, you’d think they’re hipster-made mustards (Cardamom Lemon Jam, Fernet Black Walnut, Szechuan Peppercorn Chocolate). If you find that overwhelming, know you can’t go wrong with Sesame Caramel. It will make you feel like you are a) providing your body with important nutrients by way of seeds b) eating a Turkish passover treat.

There is also a flavor called Raw Milk, which I won’t try because I’m afraid it might remind me of being breastfed.

Victory Gardens, 31 Carmine Street, Leandra’s pick

All the ice cream is goat milk based which can be digested by those plagued with lactose intolerance. The flavors are niche; they include such titles as Apricot Saffron Yogurt and Thyme for Victory — which is, you guessed it — thyme-flavored ice cream. My favorites are Date Yogurt and Persian Princess. I think they taste like the Middle East on a good day.

Fun fact: I consumed 4 pints in 48 hours after I had my wisdom teeth removed. I have no regrets.

Ample Hills Creamery, 623 Vanderbilt Ave in Prospect Height (more locations here), Krista’s pick

The store brings me back to childhood summers spent in Minnesotan humidity. Their flavors change regularly so be prepared to adventure into unknown territory and come with an empty stomach. These guys know how to make it creamy.

Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, 65 Bayard, Krista’s pick

This is for everyone sick of vanilla and into Chinese desserts. Try the black sesame; it’s a good balance between sweet and cake-y. But the best part is really meandering through Chinatown to get there.

Sundaes and Cones, 95 E 10th St, Hadley’s pick

Be brave and try the taro or corn flavors. They are weird and excellent, perfect if you’re loyal to a specific flavor at a favorite ice cream shop back home but craving freedom.

Chloe’s Fruit Soft Serve, 25 E 17th St, Ella’s pick

Chloe’s is conveniently — scratch that, dangerously — located a few blocks away from the apartment Ella’s living in this summer. Their soft serve is made with only fruit, water and cane sugar so it’s perfect for the dairy-free. The mango is awesome.

Snowdays, 241 East 10th St., Cristina’s pick

The cornbread is Cristina’s favorite, but it’s a secret flavor and not on the menu, so if it’s sold out, she’ll come after you. And, the spoons change color — you’ll feel like a modern day Violet Beauregarde.

​Milk & Cookies, 19 Commerce St., Cristina’s pick

It’s the perfect antidote to the Sunday Scaries because you can build your own ice cream sandwiches.

Go for the Over The Rainbow Ice Cream Sandwich which consists of two M&M sugar cookies with vanilla gelato sandwiched in between. And why not — make it a double.



McDonald’s, available on a corner near you, Emma’s pick

McDonald’s soft-serve dollar cone is cheap and predictable and good. It gets the job done, and should you feel like a cone in any part of the city, you’re sure to find one.

Go with classic vanilla, always.

What’d we leave off? We’re on a week-long, square-picture-perfect ice cream tour and refuse to quit until we’ve tried (and documented) them all. Join da fun on Instagram using the hashtag #MRBestLicks.

Carousel Image by Hannah Kellner.


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  • AlexaJuno

    OddFellow’s, East 4th between Bowery and 2nd Ave. Super small selection but different artisanal flavors multiple times a week.

  • Mmm, They all sound so good! Shame I’m so far away from NY! Such a great post. Made me smile. Gemma x

  • Morgan


  • This makes me joyful. Saving this for a rainy NY day…
    Happy Still Summer!
    xx Lane

  • Krista Anna Lewis

    WAIT I forgot: Ray’s on 7th and A. It’s better than Mr. Softee and his beignets are AMAZING. They compare to New Orleans. Ray’s a sweetie and gives so much ice cream for so little cash.

  • Colleen

    Emack and Bolio’s will always be my number 1, as well as Holey Cream…doughnuts and ice cream are a match made in heaven/hell

  • Amanda

    Big gay ice cream in either East or West Village! I could go for a salty pimp any day of the week

    • yesss big gay all the way.

  • Rosie

    These all sound awesome.. One day I will come across the pond to NYC and feast on the ice cream from this list until I am sick! #Lifegoals


  • Adeline Longer

    What an enjoyable post. I liked it so much and I laughed so much too!

  • Mlle Coconath

    Makes me crave ice cream right now, so bad. Great post! Thanks for sharing!


    Mademoiselle Coconath

  • Evalyn Jake

    Perfect! I’m visiting for a few weeks and I plan to try a few while I’m here ? ty

  • Mariana

    It’s somewhere around 55ºF in São Paulo right now and I want ice cream…

  • Sprinkles Ice Cream on 61st and Lexington TO DIE FOR!!! I strongly encourage everyone to try it.

  • tung

    This makes me joyful. Saving this for a rainy NY day…
    Happy Still Summer!

  • Dilya Fedorova

    I think its time for you guys to get Man Repellers in London and Paris too 🙂

  • mollie blackwood

    I consider myself to be an ice cream connoisseur of sorts. Actually I was eating ice cream when I read this post (seriously!). Last time I was in New York I had goat milk ice cream in Greenwich at a place that starts with “Grom” because that’s all of it I Instagrammed for posterity. It’s superlative would be “most farm-like.”

  • Van Leeuwen all the way ladies! One in the East Village, one in the West Village, a few in Brooklyn plus tons of mobile trucks!! Incredible flavors and THE BEST vegan ice cream for the lactose folk. Enjoy ?

    • I love Van Leeuwen. I’ve been to most of their locations. I checked into the East Village one on Foursquare over 30 times. (I live nearby)

      I will say, that the customer service is very mixed

      • Yes! The trucks definitely have more joyous customer service. Which store location do you think is the most photogenic?? Thinking about doing a blog post over on 🙂

        • I’ve been to East Village, Bergen Street, and Greenpoint. Greenpoint is tiny, barely any seats. Bergen Street has a really nice exterior. East Village is the largest

  • Kristin Bungart

    The next time you are in Los Angeles, you MUST try Carvels ice cream (for that old fashioned tasting soft serve). It is to die for. But, you must promise to let me know so I can tag along. I can’t have enough excuses to go there!!

    As a matter of fact I gotta run before it closes.


  • Parisbreakfast
  • I love chocolate ice cream and gelato. Only chocolate, or hazelnut chocolate. I went through a phase where I ate it most weeks and have tried several locations in NYC.

    I highly recommend the gelato in Eatly. The flavor is truly on a different level

  • Summer is the season for ice cream so we need many more ice cream days during the summer season

  • Ariane

    Fresco is the place to go !

  • And Van Leeuwen???

  • Sibyle Driesnack

    Black Tap for milkshakes!