new york city ice-cream round-up

thanks jessie for the pic from sundaes and cones

it's daffodil time now, which is a sure sign that summer is around the corner. i'm looking forward to the hot summer days, when eating ice-cream at all hours is socially acceptable again. i'm not looking forward to getting fat, but hey, i'll walk around a lot, right? here's my round-up of ice-cream places in new york city, plus a little fun for my buddies in the bay.

1. brooklyn ice cream factory
a tourist destination since brooklyn became a new hot spot, it's still worth braving the bus loads of people for fluffy, creamy, ice cream in homey seasonal flavors. the peach is studded with real peaches and the blueberry is rightfully a light blue. the waterfront view of lower manhattan and the brooklyn bridge, plus walt whitman's words inscribed in the railing of the promenade (it's from "crossing brooklyn ferry" and always makes me teary eyed) makes it a must-visit on a warm summer night. you'll be glad you live in new york and the other's are just visiting.
brooklyn ice cream factory
1 Water Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

2. sundaes and cones
if you, like me, are a fan of banana ice cream, this is the place to go. while the more traditional flavors are good, it's the unique flavors that make this stand out as a worthwhile ice-cream destination. the lychee is superb- bright yet creamy, as is the banana. and i can't wait to try the black sesame, wasabi and corn. also a favorite is the fun purple taro flavor, which is almost mousse-like in its texture and a great balance of sweet and starchy that is hard to come by in taro-flavored foods. (taro is a purple yam, also called ube, and is similar to a sweet potato in taste)
sundaes and cones
95 East 10th Street, between 3rd and 4th
New York, NY 10003

3. uncle louie g
if you grew up on long island, you're probably well-acquainted with the uncannily creamy uncle louie g's ice. ice's aren't popular on the west coast, so for those of you confused: ice's are similar to sorbets, but can be made to resemble almost any ice-cream flavor in a low-fat way, peanut butter chocolate is one of their best. i had a chance to speak to the owner (who isn't louie g, btw, but who had an uncle named louie g) about his success and he expressed the most pride over how similar his ice's were to regular ice cream. i also asked him what his favorite flavor of ice cream (uncle louie g's also serves regular ice cream) is and he responded with chocolate fudge brownie, which i promptly ordered. if you're looking for a "takes me back to childhood" treat, complete with the sticky hands and messy mouth, this is it.
uncle louie g
various locations

4. il laboratorio del gelato
ciao bella's gelatos and sorbets are all over grocery store shelves now, but the original founder (who sold ciao bella when he was 19!) decided he was unhappy with the quality and opened his second ice-cream endeavor, called il laboratorio del gelato in 2002. they are open very odd hours (basically business hours) and operate out of a very small storefront, so it is challenging to actually try the ice cream. but with flavors like lemon basil sorbet and honey lavender gelato, it is worth the effort. extra bonus for the tenement museum around the corner, which i highly recommended.
il laboratorio del gelato
95 Orchard Street, b/t Broome and Delancey
New York, NY 10002

6. shake shack
not a typical ice-cream only destination, danny meyer's ridiculously popular burger stand in madison square park also serves up some of the best frozen treats in the city. the concretes, which are a take-off on DQ's blizzard, give you the option of adding in valrhona chocolate chunks, a definite departure from the DQ options. in addition to the everyday frozen custard options (just like soft serve ice-cream) there is also a cast of various rotating flavors through the summer months. this april, passion fruit pineapple, salted caramel, and lemon verbena are among the offerings.
shake shack
Madison Sq. Park and 23rd Street
New York, NY

for my friends by the bay, check out these ice-cream parlors, which i frequented when living/visiting there.

1. mitchell's ice cream
a long line outside a tiny storefront almost always means good things inside, and the long, long, long lines outside mitchell's are no exception. but flavors like buko (young coconut), passion fruit, and mango are rare, and standard flavors, like chocolate caramel crackle, are done right. a fun adventure for a lazy afternoon.
mitchell's ice cream
688 San Jose Avenue (right after it changes from Guerrero) and 29th Street
San Fransisco, CA

2. fenton's creamery
my brother took me here for a christmas present and one look at the old-fashioned seats, the homemade ice-cream and the over-sized toppings bar, told me my brother knows me very well and loves me very much. we split a banana split half the size of my body and i have photographic evidence to prove that we indeed finished the entire thing. i hope to make fenton's a yearly tradition, although maybe we need to order more manageable portions?
fenton's creamery
4226 Piedmont Ave.
Oakland, CA 94611
johnnn said...

I also love banana flavored ice cream

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