15 Best Ice Cream Shops in NYC for the Perfect Scoop

If there’s one thing New Yorkers look forward to year-round, it’s summer—the block parties, the beach days, Summer Fridays—what’s not to love? Well, one thing: the heat (OK, and the humidity). But trust us, it’s nothing a chilly treat can’t fix. We’ve rounded up the best ice cream shops in New York—from soft serve specialists to old-school ice cream parlors, you can’t go wrong with any of these sweet spots.

The Best Ice Cream Shops in NYC at a Glance:

The Ultimate Guide to the 21 Best Pizza Spots in Manhattan

ice cream shops in nyc sugar hill creamery
Evi Abeler

1. Sugar Hill Creamery

Best Overall

First on our list has to go to Sugar Hill Creamery, the husband-and-wife-owned shop that’s served locally sourced, small-batch, handmade scoops since 2017. In addition to scoops in several sizes—kids’, single, split, double and triple—they also sell malted shakes, brownie sundaes, ice cream sandwiches (a new one each month!) and ice cream cakes. Are Harlem and DUMBO too far from you? No worries, the cakes and pints are available for purchase online, for in-store pick-up, NYC local delivery and on Goldbelly.

Multiple locations; (212) 634-9004

ice cream shops in nyc morgenstern s
Courtesy of Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream

2. Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream

Largest Flavor Selection

If you’ve seen a line halfway around the block and kiddos trying to lick up melted drips before they hit the ground, it was probably Morgenstern’s. With a whopping 55 available flavors—including 40 new flavors that were just introduced this spring—this is the spot if you’re looking for an eclectic array of avant garde flavors, like pineapple salted egg yolk, olive oil chocolate eggplant, tahini and jelly, toasted rice yuzu swirl and cardamom lemon jam, just to name a few. But that’s not all. They also serve Smashburgers, fried chicken sandwiches, ice cream sandwiches and bars, shakes, floats, boozy shakes and floats, pies, sundaes and ice cream cakes.

Multiple locations; (212) 209-7684

ice cream shops in nyc soft swerve
Courtesy of Soft Swerve

3. Soft Swerve

Best Soft Serve

Looking for premium soft serve ice cream in specialty flavors? Look no further. With locations in Chinatown and Kips Bay, Manhattan locals can try Asian-inspired flavors like ube purple yam, Thai tea, matcha and black sesame, or keep it simple with classics like vanilla or frozen hot chocolate. With 14 yummy toppings like toasted coconut and crushed vanilla cookies, plus six drizzles, there’s something for everyone. All of the flavors and toppings can also be made into sundaes or shakes.

Multiple locations; (646) 476-6311

ice cream shops in nyc ample hills
Liz Clayman

4. Ample Hills Creamery

Most Unique Flavor Selection

Open for just over a decade, Ample Hills grew rapidly from its first cart, boasting storefronts on both coasts, and is sold in supermarkets nationwide. All of their pints and ice cream cakes are made from scratch by hand in their 15,000-square-foot factory in Red Hook, earning them the nickname, “Brooklyn’s Freshest.” Ice cream enthusiasts will enjoy the pizzazz in their fun flavors, like ooey gooey butter cake (cream cheese ice cream with pieces of homemade butter cake), breakfast trash (Cap’n Crunch, Frosted Flakes and Corn Pops-infused ice cream with Fruity Pebbles and Froot Loops), and the munchies (pretzel-infused ice cream with Ritz crackers, potato chips, pretzels and crushed M&M’s).

Multiple locations; (718) 483-8199

ice cream shops in nyc tipsy scoop
Courtesy of Tipsy Scoop

5. Tipsy Scoop

Best Boozy Ice Cream

You heard that right: boozy ice cream! You do have to be 21 to visit or order from Tipsy Scoop, so you’ll have to leave the kids at home, but trust us, it’s well worth it. Their liquor-infused ice cream flavors are all inspired by classic and contemporary cocktails and are made with local and seasonal ingredients right here in the Big Apple. They offer pints, scoops, sundaes, cakes, sandwiches, pies, ice cream flights and even vegan and dairy-free flavors—all with just the slightest amount of booze. If you’re not close enough to taste their collabs with your favorite liquor brands in-store, they offer 30-minute delivery in select zip codes nationwide.

Multiple locations; (917) 388-2862

ice cream shops in nyc sant ambroeus
Nicole Franzen

6. Sant Ambroeus Gelateria

Best Gelato

We know it’s technically a gelateria and not an ice cream shop, but it definitely fits the bill. If you can’t swing a trip to Italy this summer, Sant Ambroeus is the next best thing. Next to their Soho Italian fine-dining establishment lives the sweetest little slice of the city, serving up all of your classic gelato and sorbet flavors, as well as toppings like shaved milk chocolate and salted caramel hazelnuts. They also serve affogatos (coffee with ice cream), coffee, small savory bites and more.

267 Lafayette Street; (212) 203-8176

ice cream shops in nyc odd fellows
Courtesy of OddFellows Ice Cream Co.

7. Oddfellows Ice Cream Co.

Best Sundaes

If you’re in Williamsburg, DUMBO, Brooklyn Bridge Park or Rockaway Beach, you’ve got to check out OddFellows. Since opening in 2013, they’ve concocted over 500 wacky, weird (and mostly delicious) flavors—which happen to make for the wildest, yummiest sundaes when topped with offerings like peanut butter brownie bites, chili crisp, hazelnut butter, pecan sticky buns, freeze-dried strawberry cheesecake… and pretty much anything else you can dream of.

Multiple locations; (718) 683-5755

8. Malai Ice Cream

Best Popsicles

Small but mighty, this Brooklyn scoop shop was founded in 2015 by Pooja Bavishi as an homage to the nostalgic, aromatic spices and flavors of her childhood. Malai, meaning “cream of the crop,” serves up egg-free, super creamy, hand-churned pints and scoops in South Asian-inspired flavors like golden turmeric, pumpkin garam masala crumble, saffron pistachio, sweet roti and ghee and more, including non-dairy and sorbet flavors. While they serve up scoops, soft serve and ice cream cakes and sandwiches, the real star is their brand-new Kulfi pop: Pooja's take on a traditional Indian dessert that's similar to ice cream, but made without air, making it extra dense, chewy and rich. Malai can also be shipped nationwide or bought in select grocery stores.

268 Smith Street, Brooklyn; (347) 889-5789

9. Ollie’s Ice Cream + Stuff

Best for Pet Owners

Yep, it sounds weird, but it’s true: Ollie’s is the best spot for pup parents because they serve frozen treats specifically for dogs—the pup cup! Nestled on a tree-lined street in Bushwick, they have amazing ice cream for humans too. Stop by the shop to try the soft serve, shakes, ice cream sandwiches or tasty vegan flavors. Not in an ice cream mood? Get a frozen chocolate banana, a sweet treat like a Dunkaroo or even a pickle. Because, why not?

158 Irving Avenue, Brooklyn; (718) 208-6825

10. Eddie’s Sweet Shop

Best Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor

Sometimes it’s best to stick with the classics. For Queens natives, you’ve likely tried Eddie’s Sweet Shop, which has been open for more than a century, serving up soda pop, fresh, homemade ice cream sundaes, malts, shakes, floats, egg creams, whipped hot chocolates and more. Sit at the counter stools and take a trip back in time—just make sure you bring cash and an empty stomach.

105-29 Metropolitan Avenue, #1, Queens; (718) 520-8514

ice cream shops in nyc alamode
Michelle Rose Photo

11. A La Mode Shoppe

Best Allergen-Free Ice Cream

If someone in your family has a severe food allergy, you know how important it is to be cautious about ingredients—that’s where A La Mode comes in. All of their products exclude major allergens (such as nuts, sesame seeds and eggs), without sacrificing flavor. They also sell dairy-free and gluten-free options, as well as creating all options to be both Kosher and Halal. The storefront even offers kids’ classes and includes a kids’ boutique with toys and clothes. Talk about one-stop shopping.

360 E 55th Street; (917) 639-3401

ice cream shops in nyc chinatown
Courtesy of Chinatown Ice Cream Factory

12. Chinatown Ice Cream Factory

Best Ice Cream Cakes

This family-run ice cream shop has been scooping and serving ice cream to New Yorkers for four generations (they’ve been around since 1978). Though their unique flavors, like red bean, coconut fudge, sweet ginger, chocolate bacon and jelly doughnut, are all delicious, we have to highlight their three-layer ice cream cakes. Choose from lychee, red bean and mango; lychee, green tea and mango; and lychee, red bean and green tea; or go for Neapolitan with a chocolate cookie crunch layer. While this is technically the only Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, they also have locations in LES and Flushing, Queens.

65 Bayard St.; (212) 608-4170

ice cream shops in nyc milk bar
Courtesy of Milk Bar

13. Milk Bar

Best Ice Cream Sandwich

Yes, Milk Bar is worth all the hype. What happens when you mix world-renowned cookies with the most decadent, flavorful ice cream that has all the tastiest mix-ins? The best ice cream sammies of all time. Stop by a flagship shop or a bakery throughout the U.S. and Canada, or get a build-your-own kit sent straight to your door. Our personal favorite? Birthday cake ice cream sandwiched between a cornflake chocolate chip marshmallow cookie and a compost cookie (a chocolate chip cookie with pretzels, potato chips, graham crackers, coffee, oats and butterscotch).

Multiple locations; (347) 974-4975

14. Ralph’s Famous Italian Ices

Best Italian Ice

If you’re from the tri-state area, you know Ralph’s. Though they serve ice cream, edible cookie dough, drinks and eclectic toppings, the real star is the Italian ice. For those not familiar, Italian ice is similar to sorbet or snow cones, but is generally a frozen or semi-frozen sweetened treat made with fruit or other natural or artificial flavorings. It’s somewhat healthier than traditional ice cream and Ralph’s offers fat-free, cholesterol-free and dairy-free options out of all 80-plus locations. New Yorkers love Ralph’s, which started out of Ralph Silvestro’s Staten Island truck when he immigrated from Italy in 1928. His ices have been cooling us off ever since.

Multiple locations

15. Egger’s Ice Cream Parlor

Best Rotating Flavors

You didn’t think we’d forget Staten Island, did you? Egger’s is known far and wide for being “a scoop above the rest since 1932.” With three locations in the borough of parks, Egger’s features rotating flavors of the month that are sure to speak to everyone. From vegan and dairy-free options to chocolatey and fruity combinations, they sure do hit the spot. Try a float, sundae, an egg cream, an ice cream sandwich, an ice cream cake or a fountain drink next time you’re in the area.

Multiple locations; (718) 981-2110

purewow author

Freelance PureWow Editor

Quinn Fish is a Brooklyn-based freelance writer covering all things New York City, from the tastiest espresso martinis to the best amusement parks to the perfect weekend getaways...