Summer is prime time for ice cream — and the newest frozen desserts to infiltrate New York City shops are far from your average scoops.
From a brand new innovation from Cronut creator Dominique Ansel to a carnival-themed pop-up by OddFellows Ice Cream Co., here are the treats worth seeking out this season and posting on Instagram. And they’ve all arrived just in time for National Ice Cream Day on July 16.
Kiwi Sorbet Bar at Dominique Ansel Bakery (189 Spring St.; dominiqueansel.com)
New York City’s most innovative pastry chef keeps on churning out creative frozen desserts. Along with the next-level soft serve at his West Village outpost Dominique Ansel Kitchen (now available in a caffeinated cold brew flavor), there’s a cool new kiwi sorbet bar at his Soho bakery that looks just like its namesake fruit, “fuzzy” skin included. One bite into the milk chocolate-dipped square reveals a refreshing green sorbet and Tahitian vanilla center studded with poppy seeds to resemble a kiwi’s inner flesh.
Taste the Rainbow Series at Ice & Vice (221 East Broadway; iceandvice.com)
Ken Lo and Paul Kim — the makers behind some of the city’s most whimsical scoops — are at it again with their latest seasonal series. The colorful collection launched in June, drawing inspiration from the rainbow. Each flavor gets its muted hue not from food dyes, but an eclectic mix of ingredients. Red, for example, is a candy-lover’s mix of hibiscus, rose and Swedish Fish fluff, while the Blue Purple goes a more natural route thanks to a periwinkle bloom called butterfly pea flower.
Chinatown is a bonafide ice cream destination thanks to the arrival of multiple icy treats in recent years (Thai ice cream rolls at 10Below, pineapple Dole Whip at Chikarashi). The newest of the bunch tugs at our childhood heartstrings with a swirled confection that blends together cereal and ice cream at this recently-opened shop. Customize your own special flavor by choosing from more than a dozen cereal mix-ins, toppings like fresh fruit and nuts, plus multiple finishing drizzles — or choose from pre-prepared specials like Froot Berry Bliss or The Big Apple Pie.
Ice Cream Cupcakes from Silk Cakes
(98-14 Metropolitan Ave., Forest Hills, NY; silkcakes.com)
Don’t be fooled — the giant heaping mound on top of these cupcakes isn’t frosting. As temperatures rose, pastry chef Judy Lai decided to give her treats a summer makeover, swapping out frosting for ice cream. True to the concept of her Queens bakery, they each come with an Asian twist. There’s vanilla cake topped with a bright green scoop of coconut-pandan (a tropical plant native to Southeast Asia); chocolate finished with Japanese nama cocoa; and yuzu (a citrus fruit) cake that’s cloaked in lychee and calamansi (Filipino lime) glaze. (Note: The shop is closed through Monday for vacation.)
The Carnival Collection at OddFellows Ice Cream Co.
(62 Spring St.; oddfellowsnyc.com)
Step right up! For its summer-long pop-up at the Chefs Club Counter in the Nolita section of Manhattan, the Williamsburg ice cream shop went with an all-American theme: The carnival. “The OddFellows Carnival is rooted in nostalgia,” says OddFellows’ ice cream whiz Sam Mason. “I’ve always loved carnival treats like cotton candy and caramel popcorn and wanted to celebrate them with these new soft serve creations.”
Riffs on the classic fairground eats include The Concession Stand (caramel popcorn soft serve topped with popped kernels and chocolate pearls); The Pink Dip (raspberry sherbet dipped in pink chocolate and garnished with Pop Rocks); and the standout Cotton Candy Creamsicle (a tangerine-vanilla twist wrapped in a cloud of pastel orange fairy floss).
For its summer-long pop-up at the Chefs Club Counter in Nolita, OddFellows Ice Cream Co. went with a carnival theme
Milk N Chips at 375°
(124 Ludlow St., 375fries.com)
Honey butter chips are one of Korea’s most beloved snacks (a shortage even created a black market a few years back). But the sweet-savory dish didn’t pop up in New York City until 2015, when East Village restaurant Oiji began to make them in-house. Now, it’s the star of an ice cream sundae at French fry shop, 375°. “We love anything creamy, crunchy, sweet and slightly salty, so it was just a question of putting it all together in a cup,” says chef Stephane Lemagnen, who tops vanilla soft serve with apple crumbs, honey butter syrup and a giant handful of the crispy glazed potato chips.
At 375 Degrees, you can get vanilla soft serve topped with apple crumbs, honey butter syrup and a giant handful of crispy glazed potato chips. (375 DEGREES)
MilkQuakes at Milk Bar
(Multiple locations, milkbarstore.com)
Christina Tosi’s cereal milk soft serve has reached legend status when it comes to ice cream in New York, but the James Beard-nominated pastry chef isn’t resting on her sugar-fueled laurels. Milk Bar recently debuted a new way to enjoy her beloved ice cream: MilkQuakes, cups of soft serve blended with customized mix-ins like berries and corn cookies (Strawberry & Corn), birthday cake truffles and sprinkles (B’Day), or an entire slice of the shop’s famous Crack Pie. They’re basically fancier, tastier versions of a McDonald’s McFlurry.
Milk Bar recently debuted a new way to enjoy the shop’s beloved cereal milk soft serve: MilkQuakes, cups of soft serve blended with customized mix-ins. (MILK BAR)