A natural when it’s hot out—but even before the summer starts, dessert fans flock to these way-outside-the-cone iced treat venues in NYC. Far from ordinary, these sweets are artisanal and highly Instagrammable, which helps explain their popularity. No need to hang around waiting for Mr. Softee to turn up; these spots are just what makes us all scream for the sweet stuff any and every day.
NYC's Unique Ice Cream Stops: Snowdays
Scoring a ten on the trendometer, Snowdays offers Taiwanese shaved ice pairing the fluffy texture of snow with the creamy mouthfeel of ice cream. Pick a base flavor, anything from Yetitraks, a combo of blueberries and Oreo cookies, to New York Cheesecake, coconut or strawberry (these both vegan); add a topping like one of many sugary cereals, Pocky sticks, or various nuts, and then add a drizzle of blueberry puree, condensed milk, or honey. Wildly weird, fun, and pretty tasty. About $5 a serving. 241 East 10th St., snowdaysnyc.com
NYC's Unique Ice Cream Stops: Aunt Jake's
The homemade pasta at Aunt Jake’s is hard to resist, but make sure to leave room for their Julian Sundae masterpiece. One of the biggest sundaes around, the colossal dessert features lots of chocolate or vanilla ice cream and a soft bubble waffle topped with Oreo crumbles, Fruity Pebbles, and whipped cream. This whopper goes for a substantial $16 but is easily sharable by two or three eaters. Enjoy! 149 Mulberry St. or 47 W. 8th St., auntjakesnyc.com
NYC's Unique Ice Cream Stops: Davey's Ice Cream
Davey's Ice Cream is made on-site from Hudson Valley fresh milk. Customers rave about the strong coffee flavor but the roasted pistachio and salted caramel also have legions of fans. With their ice cream sandwich featuring two homemade chocolate chip cookies, have your choice of flavors nestled in the middle and a dry topping—rainbow sprinkles, toasted coconut and chopped peanuts among others. Runs $8.45. 137 First Ave., with additional locations on Canal Street and in Williamsburg and Greenpoint, Brooklyn, daveysicecream.com
NYC's Unique Ice Cream Stops: Bive
Ice cream’s answer to the juice bar, Bive (rhymes with “hive”) is totally lactose-free with flavors crafted from non-dairy “milk”—think oat, coconut, or almond. Even the flavor names are healing: Boost Me Up has passionfruit, collagen, chia seeds, coconut water, and amaranth to provide protein for skin, joint, and gastrointestinal health while adding hydration via electrolytes. Keep Me Balanced mixes strawberries, goji berries, and Vitamin C for general wellbeing, stress reduction, vitamins, fiber, zinc. and antioxidants. A single scoop in a cup is $5; double is $6.50; if you want your healthy treat in a cone add $1.50. 95 Orchard St. at Delancey St.
NYC's Unique Ice Cream Stops: Ice & Vice
Basics at Ice & Vice are anything but…unless Milk Money (toasted milk, sea salt, chocolate ganache); Opium Den (white sesame, toasted poppyseed, lemon bread crouton) and 9AM (Vietnamese coffee, donut truffle) are your idea of standard. Flavors change every season, based on a theme. Currently, it’s cookies ‘n cream featuring yumminess like biscuits ’n cream with sorghum caramel and pumpkin snickerdoodle. A single scoop in a cup or regular cone is $4.75; the Konery-flavored waffle cone adds $1.75. 221 E. Broadway at Clinton Street, iceandvice.com