Grab a Lactaid and Hit All These NYC Spots on National Ice Cream Day

Photo: Ample Hills (Credit: Stu Spivack)

It’s pie’s best friend, an excellent bad breakup therapist, the sweetest remedy for a midsummer swelter, or just a perfect reason to treat yourself. But for National Ice Cream Day, no excuses are needed to indulge in America’s quintessential dessert (or breakfast or lunch, whatever – it’s chill). Celebrate the holiday in style all over the city – bonus points if you go to every place in our list. For more places to eat and drink right now, check out the BlackBook city guides.

Big Gay Ice Cream

“Throughout their years living in New York City, Douglas Quint and Bryan Petroff had always focused on their respective careers – until they got themselves a Big Gay Ice Cream truck.” Big Gay Ice Cream is a playful shop serving up out-there treats (see: The Salty Pimp, Mermaid, and Gobbler) to crowds who line up down the block. You can also ditch the boring cherry on top with cayenne pepper, wasabi pea dust, or elderberry syrup.

Locations: East Village (125 E. 7th St.) and West Village (61 Grove St.)

What to order: Monday Sunday, chai milkshake


As one of the more DIY ice cream joints in the city, OddFellows pasteurizes their own ice cream daily using only local dairy, and keeps eight to 12 flavors on rotation. While the flavor variety changes quite often, some unique flavors you can find are miso cherry, saffron passion fruit, and ants on a log sorbet.

Locations: Williamsburg (175 Kent Ave.) and East Village (75 E. 4th St.)

What to order: The Cotton Candy Cone


Photo: OddFellows

Sundaes and Cones

This small, stark-white shop takes all your generic ice cream flavors and pushes them in an Asian-fusion direction with selections like black sesame, lychee, red bean, and wasabi. Feeling a little more old-fashioned? Try a scoopful of pistachio-almond or salted caramel on the outdoor wooden benches.

Locations: East Village (95 E. 10th St)

What to order: Salted caramel, red bean, and black sesame cone


Nicholas Morgenstern, the brains behind Morgenstern’s, riddles the ice cream lover’s palate. Combinations that should sound so wrong, like a coconut fennel and pickled mango soft serve swirl, are just somehow so right, and there’s no shortage of options to excite every taste and craving.

Locations: Lower East Side (2 Rivington St.)

What to order: Avocado Ice Cream Toast, King Kong Banana Split


Photo: Morgenstern’s

Van Leeuwen

Maybe you’ve seen that pastel yellow truck posted up along Bedford Ave. or University Place, or maybe you’ve stumbled into one of their five shops littered about the city. As one of the few vegan ice cream vendors around, Van Leeuwen definitely seems to be a niche for the more cow-friendly ice cream eaters. Or try their traditional flavors, like salted caramel, earl grey tea, Sicilian pistachio and ginger.

Locations: East Village (48 7th St.), Williamsburg (152 W.10 St.) and more NYC locations

What to order: The New Yorker, Ginger Caramel Crunch


Coolhaus was founded on the concept of “Farchitecture” (farming and architecture) in attempt to deconstruct customers’ palates and build upon traditional ice cream flavors. The selections are adventurous and vast, and you can even select from their cookie, to-go, and beverage menu – or grab an affogato for an indulgent midday pick-me-up.

Locations: Find the trucks around NY here.

What to order: ice cream sandwich, White Russian, goat’s milk caramel mascarpone rosemary


Photo: Coolhaus (Credit: Ernesto Andrade)

Ample Hills

This iconic Brooklyn ice creamery closed its doors just four days after its opening due to selling out of all 130 gallons of ice cream. Now, the supply remains ample as ever. Feed your sweet tooth craving with one of their constantly rotating flavors, or with a house made ice cream cake for the extra festive folks.

Location: Prospect Park (623 Vanderbilt Ave.) and Gowanus (305 Nevins St.)


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