The days of summer may be ticking down, but there is plenty of time to indulge in fantastic frozen treats — especially on the hot streets of New York City. From epic sundaes, unbelievably creamy vegan ice cream and alcohol-filled milkshakes, here are 10 amazing cold desserts to chill out with in the Big Apple:
1. Housemade gelato at Stellina. Sarah Krathen and Emma Hearst, the team behind this quaint gelato shop in the Bowery, were inspired by American ice cream and a trip they took around Italy. Now, they serve gelato and sorbet (in addition to snacks, sandwiches, salads and more) that meld the two cultures together, offering flavors such as coconut stracciatella (coconut with chocolate bits), blueberry yogurt and raspberry buttermilk. Pick up a cone to go, or have it for dessert next door at sister restaurant Sorella. 95 Allen St.
2. Fernet ice cream sandwich at Pearl & Ash. If you have ever had the digestive Fernet, you know it has an herbal, anise flavor that cools and warms at the same time. Over at Pearl & Ash, chef Richard Kuo has captured that sensation in ice cream form and sandwiched it between two soft chocolate cookies. The result is not only a refreshing dessert, but also a treat worth traveling for. 220 Bowery.
3. Key lime vegan ice cream at Clementine Bakery. Normally, when you think of amazing ice cream, dairy free doesn’t come to mind. But at this quaint Brooklyn bakery and sweets shop, everything is vegan. That doesn’t mean the DF Mavens key lime “ice cream” it carries isn’t worth the trek, however; this concoction has the perfect balance of sweet and tangy and, somehow, the texture proves creamy despite the lack of milk. 299 Greene Ave.
4. Apricot-verbena sorbet at Daniel. At the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star restaurant Daniel, its new pastry chef Ghaya Oliveira is whipping up a decadent, cold dessert by filling meringues with apricot and lemon verbena sorbet. This pristine dish comes atop a layer of fresh apricot, apricot gelée and a honey-spice sauce by Daniel alum Lior Lev Sercarz. It’s frosty, chic and shines even after a luxurious meal at this acclaimed restaurant. 60 E. 65th St.
5. Sno-balls at Imperial Woodpecker Sno-Balls. Neesa Peterson brings the bright, fun concoctions of her childhood in New Orleans to this NYC pop-up sno-ball shop in the West Village. With a special machine making the oddly creamy shaved ice, Peterson tops her creations with various flavors, including root beer, wild strawberry, birthday cake and nectar cream, a NOLA classic. 55 Gansevoort St.
6. Bea Arthur cone at Big Gay Ice Cream. Nothing screams ice cream and New York like Doug Quint and Bryan Petroff’s happy shop, which stemmed from a popular food truck parked by Union Square. For now, the wheels are out of commission, but you can revel in the Bea Arthur, a cone of soft serve vanilla with dulce de leche and crushed vanilla wafers, at the brick-and-mortar outposts in the East and West Village. With a rainbow of unique flavors (as well as shakes and floats made with horchata, chai and chocolate-peanut butter), every visit here is a bona fide adventure. 125 E. Seventh St., 61 Grove St.
7. Boozy milkshakes at Slide. Though this joint specializes in sliders (with unusual ingredients such as fried Brussels sprouts, pink peppercorn tuna and more), the real reason to visit is to sip a boozy milkshake in its plant-filled backyard. Pretend you are in the tropics with the Chillaxin’, which, despite the silly name, is a serious blend of banana ice cream, blueberries, lime and Malibu coconut rum. If savory is your thing, the Mmmm Bacon comes with maple ice cream, bacon fat, Bulleit bourbon and cinnamon sugar. Chocolate lovers must sample the “Hot” Chocolate, a rich mixture of chocolate ice cream, chili powder, hot sauce and smoky Sombra mezcal. 174 Bleecker St.
8. Stellar sundaes at ABC Kitchen. The folks at Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s well-known ABC Kitchen have been churning out some incredible sundaes this summer. The only drawback? The lineup changes all the time, so we can’t promise you will get the current special — burnt sugar ice cream with candied peanuts and caramel popcorn all drenched in hot fudge sauce — when you visit. But whatever they are serving, it will be worth it. 35 E. 18th St.
9. Handcrafted gelato on a stick from Pop Bar. Who doesn’t remember licking ice pops on hot summer days with the sticky-sweet concentrate running down your arm as you desperately tried to consume the sugary treat before it melted? Luckily, the gluten-free gelato on a stick at this West Village shop doesn’t succumb to the heat that fast, and instead of the artificial cherry flavor of childhood, all the options here are made with whole ingredients. Try the coffee dipped in dark chocolate, or go for a bright, summery flavor, such as lemon, apricot or kiwi. 5 Carmine St.
10. Savory ice cream at OddFellows Ice Cream Co. If you have ever wanted to have your dessert for dinner, the savory ice cream choices at chef Sam Mason’s new shop in Brooklyn (it just opened in June) are a good bet. Mason (formerly the pastry chef at avant-garde wd-50), along with his partners, the husband-and-wife duo of Mohan and Holiday Kumar, serves up flavors such as cornbread, chorizo caramel swirl and sesame kumquat pumpernickel. Of course, they have sweeter treats, too, including strawberry-lavender sorbet and mint chocolate chunk. After all, what better way to follow a dish of frozen PBJ ice cream (complete with toast chunks) than with dessert? 175 Kent Ave.
Photos Courtesy of Stellina and ABC Kitchen