The Polar Vortex is long gone and it’s almost time to crave yet another cold swell in the sweltering heat of a New York summer. June through September can be some of the most uncomfortable months, but they can dish out some of the year’s tastiest delights. Cool off with some of Brooklyn’s best ice cream, and try to enjoy it all before it melts on the sidewalk!
If the name doesn’t say it all, don’t be surprised to find foods like chorizo, beets, celery, pumpernickel, manchego, or olive oil in your fresh scoops of this small-batch ice cream. Popular not only for shock value but for its absolutely delectability, OddFellows is a Brooklyn favorite (and they recently opened an East Village location!), with up to 10 ice cream flavors and up to four sorbets made in-house daily, so you never know what crazy delicious creation will end up in your cone.
[175 Kent Ave in Williamsburg, (347) 599–0556, www.oddfellowsnyc.com/].
The iconic soft serve swirl is served at an old-time scoop shop in Sheepshead Bay, where the franchise has been family-run for more than 60 years! “There’s vanilla syrup running through my veins,” says Pat Aceto, who took over operations from his father. Known as the Coney Island Carvel, this shop is just steps from the beach, and a perfect detour after a ride on the Cyclone. The brightly colored corner building at the corner of Avenues X and Y will welcome you with festive cheer and scents of chocolate syrup.
[2744 Coney Island Avenue in Sheepshead Bay, (718) 934–8173, www.coneyislandcarvel.com/].
Right on a busy stretch of Bedford packed with strollers and tourists on a hot weekend afternoon, this creamery is a great stop for a scoop to cool down. It was put on the map by its wine-flavored ice cream (Chocolate Cabernet, Red Raspberry Chardonnay, 21+), but its rich, sweet, kid-friendly flavors are also worth exploring — savor the chocolate peanut butter Oreo or blueberry cheesecake. Organic frozen yogurt and ice cream sandwiches are also served. The creamery offers delivery and online ordering for those who prefer not to leave the air-conditioning.
[201 Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg, (347) 762–1827, https://williamsburgcreameryny.com ]
B’klyn Ice Cream Factory
The original location of this handmade ice cream shop right by the Brooklyn Bridge was so popular that they branched off and opened a Greenpoint location in 2007. Go for the classic flavors here, like chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry, which can be enhanced with syrups, or as shakes or banana splits.
[Corners of Old Fulton and Water St and 97 Commercial Street at Manhattan Ave in Greenpoint, (718) 246–3963 and (718) 349–2506, www.brooklynicecreamfactory.com/].
Ample Hills Creamery
This family-owned Prospect Heights scoop shop recently came out with a cookbook for their funky, creative flavors loaded with mix-ins like potato chips, pretzels, cotton candy, and more. New flavors appear daily, based on staff inspiration, fan suggestions, and toppings from local food vendors, like Liddabit Sweets and Brooklyn Roasting Company. Floats made with root beer or grape soda are also a highlight. The shop teems with kids after school or during camp hours. There’s a play area in the back, so plan accordingly.
[623 Vanderbilt Ave in Prospect Heights, (347) 240–3926, www.amplehills.com/].
The pale yellow truck attracts lines all summer for $7 scoops, but cool down inside at the Boerum Hill or Greenpoint shops of this artisan ice cream vendor. Since 2008, Van Leeuwen has been making ice cream from scratch in Greenpoint using only fresh hormone and antibiotic free milk and cream. The store also sources ingredients like chocolate, fruit, and nuts from small producers internationally. Simple flavors like vanilla, pistachio, and mint chip surely stand out for their high quality.
[81 Bergen St at Smith St in Boerum Hill and 632 Manhattan Ave in Greenpoint, (718)701–1630, www.vanleeuwenicecream.com/].
Uncle Louie G’s
This ice cream and Italian ice vendor boasts “flavors so good they’ll make you feel like a kid again,” but this decades-old Brooklyn business is truly good for any age or state of mind. With 11 outposts in Brooklyn (along with many expansions to other cities and states), cooling down with a cup of their frozen treats is pretty much a borough staple. Creamy ices like cake batter or mint chocolate chip will trick you into thinking you’re eating real ice cream! But if you don’t like to feel tricked, their ice cream is just as high quality — try the Brooklyn Cheesecake, Peanut Butter Cookie Dough, and Soprano Spumoni. Prices are low and servings are large, and it doesn’t get much better than that.
[1272 Bayridge Parkway at 13th Avenue in Dyker Heights, (718) 748–3494, www.unclelouiegee.com/].
Anapoli Ice Cream Parlor
Now in its 117th summer of serving extravagant sundaes and treats, there’s no question that the centenarian ice cream parlor has an established place in Brooklyn history. The double old-fashioned “Sunday” comes with classic toppings like whipped cream, hot fudge, butterscotch, walnuts, strawberries, and more. Banana splits, shakes, and floats are also all available at this nostalgic dessert shop.
[6920 Third Ave. between Ovington Avenue and 69th Street in Bay Ridge, (718) 748–3863], https://anopolifamilyrestaurant.com].
This Asian Ice Cream parlor in Brooklyn’s Chinatown specializes in Eastern flavors like sesame, lychee, taro, and green tea. Daring diners can opt for durian, which is notorious as the only food Bizarre Foods’ host Andrew Zimmern truly hates. This popular and creative shop is certainly at the top of many lists!
[6410 8th Ave at 64th Street in Dyker Heights, (718) 765–1668, https://www.facebook.com/No1IceCream].