NYC’s Best New Ice Cream, Soft Serve Ice Cream Treats This Summer

But Morgenstern isn’t entirely out of the ice cream game: He’s also teaming up with the team at downtown Spanish restaurant Ernesto’s on a cart that will be parked outside the restaurant and sampling intriguing flavors like basque cheesecake ice cream.

And that’s just the tip of the ice cream iceberg. Ingenious new frozen desserts are also hitting stores across the city, including a colorful tribute to Keith Haring to celebrate Pride Month in June. Here is a taste of what awaits you this summer.

New Shops and Stands

This little black-and-white shop that sells scoops by day and natural wine by night is the brainchild of Bad Habit ice cream founders Jesse and Javier Zuniga. After launching their ingredient-based ice cream during the pandemic, they launched Caleta in January with weekly changing flavors like toasted milk with hot honey and pomegranate-lime sorbet. There are no cones or toppings, says Jesse: “Our ice creams and sorbets are meant to be presented to the guest already perfectly balanced.”

Ice cream hero Morgenstern has transformed his destination storefront on Rivington St. into a non-dairy spot, Bananas. It uses a Carpigiani machine to refine the old-school staple with eight rotating flavors, in somewhat classic options, like super chocolate and coconut vanilla. The toppings are more innovative: chocolate fudge jelly, pickled mango tapioca, and a matcha and grilled rice shell. Cuts range from $5 to $10.

The illuminated purple neon sign inside Brix Haus, the five-month-old Prospect Lefferts Gardens ice cream shop of former pastry chef Maialino Tara Glick, declares that ‘ice cream solves everything’. Its hybrid balls — Italian-style gelato made with upstate dairy — come in weekly rotating flavors like mint chip and buttery popcorn. Glick also bends the latter into a crackerjack sundae, accented with caramel corn and peanut brittle, topped with whipped cream and caramel sauce.

Sasha Zabar, son of legendary New York grocer Eli Zabar, is getting into the ice cream business at this French scoop store opening in late May on the Upper East Side. Using a Carpigiani machine, known for producing extra rich, creamy and even fluffy ice cream, and a 50% whole milk, 50% cream base, Zabar will offer twenty flavors, from classic vanilla to nugget of salted chocolate. There are also seasonal soft serve options and toppings like fresh raspberry sauce and hazelnut praline.

The ice creams come in gluten-free cups or cones made with oatmeal and sweetened with maple syrup, and can be made into a sundae; Take one of the four counter seats inside the pink-hued lounge. Don’t miss the Eton Mess Strawberry Ice Cream, topped with fresh fruit from California’s famous Harry’s Berries Farm, as well as strawberry jam and meringues.

Egg cream, cinnamon walnuts and, more ingeniously, Basque cheesecake are some of the flavors that will be offered at Heladeria. Chef Ryan Bartlow and Morgenstern’s ice cream cart (whose banana shop is above) will be parked outside Bartlow Ernesto’s restaurant starting Memorial Day weekend, serving cups and cones, no frills; no toppings will be offered.

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