We all scream for ice cream in the summer, but by the time July rolls around, we’re already over hum-drum soft serve and anything on a stick. Luckily, the unique treats at these Brooklyn scoop shops will keep your taste buds tingling all season long.
Little Cupcake Bakeshop
This eco-friendly Bay Ridge bakery draws plenty of acolytes for its namesake cakes, but a recently launched ice cream line will delight anyone with a frozen sweet tooth. Every icy flavor is inspired by one of the bakeshop’s popular baked treats, such as Red Velvet Cupcake, Lucky Charm Rice Krispie, or, our personal favorite, Banana Pudding, with its hunks of Nilla wafer.
“We’re selling out every day,” said co-owner Louie Lobuglio. “Customers are really appreciating how thick and rich the ice cream is. It’s because we make it ourselves with no additives — and it’s not pumped full of air like so many other places.”
It’s also hard not be charmed by the dainty, pink pushcarts that sell the scoops in front of the store, manned by perennially perky waitresses.
Little Cupcake Bakeshop [9102 Third Ave. at 91st Street in Bay Ridge, (718) 680-4465].
Ample Hills Creamery
This Prospect Heights ice cream parlor also won friends right out of the gate — it sold out of stock after only four days in business. Believe the hype — fun flavors like Breakfast Trash (with Frosted Flakes, Corn Pops and Cap’n Crunch), Salted Crack Caramel (with chocolate/saltine cookies) and Otis Stout Pretzel (made with Six Point Otis Stout), are made entirely from scratch, using all-natural and organic ingredients. Plus, the ice cream’s churned by the bicycle-powered hand-crank mixer parked inside for a fun touch.
Ample Hills Creamery [623 Vanderbilt Ave. near St. Marks Avenue in Prospect Heights, (347) 240-3926].
The scoops are definitely delicious (think Lavender, Lime, or Cappuccino Kalhua Calypso, sourced from Jane’s ice cream in the Hudson Valley), but it’s the restaurant’s superior delivery system that sets Karloff apart from the creamery crowd. Forgot waffle cones or (god forbid!) those Styrofoam cups. Two extra dollars buys you a homemade cone studded with chocolate chips or M&M’s, or, best of all, a pretzel cone, which is fabulously crunchy, delightfully salty and — owing to how thick it is — practically drip free in the summer heat.
Karloff [254 Court St. between Butler and Baltic Streets in Cobble Hill, (347) 689-4279].
The jewel-like bakery in Bensonhurst reverberates with color — cheesecakes and pastries glowing with lacquered fruit, towering cakes covered with marzipan, and, when the weather is right, cases of smooth and creamy gelato. They’ve got all the Italian classics — Bacio, Cremolata, Cassata, and Zuppe Inglese — which, when you order “Con Panne e Brioche,” are deliciously deposited in a sweet, eggy roll. Admittedly, there’s nothing too crazy going on here, just delicious desserts.
Villabate-Alba Pasticceria [7001 18th Ave. at 70th Street in Bensonhurst, (718-331-8430].
This Carroll Gardens tribute to the classic soda fountain has all of the trimmings — high counters with bar stools, shelves lined with old timey salves, ointments and pharmaceuticals, jolly soda jerks with peaked caps — and, oh yeah, more egg creams, floats and sundaes than you can shake a popsicle stick at, made with appropriately pedigreed, additive free-scoops from the Adirondack Creamery in the Hudson Valley.
“We really have a cross-generational appeal,” said co-owner Gia Giasullo. “On any given day we have grandparents, young couples, fathers and sons. There’s something for everyone here.”
Unfortunately, you’ll have to shell out more than a nickel for a seasonal blueberry soda ($3.25) or bacon-peanut brittle topped Hog on a Hot Tin Roof sundae ($6.50) but that’s the going price on nostalgia nowadays.
Brooklyn Farmacy [513 Henry St. at Sackett Street in Carroll Gardens, (718) 522-6260].
Taste the Tropics
Take the trip to Nostrand Avenue in Flatbush for an authentically Caribbean ice cream experience you’re not likely to find at your local Baskin Robbins or Haagan Daaz. The more than 30-year-old independent ice cream maker churns out intriguing flavors like Soursop — a sweet and creamy fruit — and Great Nut — with roasted barley, malted wheat and butterscotch — that can be enjoyed as either an exotic novelty or a reminder of home.
Taste the Tropics [1839 Nostrand Ave. between Avenue D and Newkirk Avenue in Flatbush, (718) 629-3582].
This new kid on the block wins serious points for audacious originality. The Thai-inspired sweet shop excels at gorgeously presented frozen treats in dare-you-to-try it flavors, like black-sesame seaweed, mixed vegetable with broccoli, avocado and yam, and yes, even durian, the intensely odorous South-Asian fruit.
“People are really interested in coming here to try it,” said co-owner Sutheera Denprapa. “You either love it or hate it.”
Can’t decide between the Durian, the Jasmine Brown Rice sorbet or the Cucumber Lime ice cream? For $6.50, you can buy five mini, wildly adventurous scoops.
Sky Ice [63 Fifth Ave. at St. Marks Avenue in Park Slope, (718) 230-0910].