Take the Cake: Bite-sized Inspiration for the Savvy Baker

New York’s Best: Ice Cream

You can’t buy happiness but you can buy ice cream and that’s kind of the same thing.

On this dessert tour, we went searching for the best ice cream around the city so we could keep cool in those dog days of summer!

Where we went: I-CE-NY (Greenwich Village)
What we ate: Go Green Tea
Why we love it:

If you’re craving Thai-style rolled ice cream but don’t feel like waiting in line down at 10 Below, then take a look at I-CE-NY, a Greenwich Village ice cream shop that makes the same great ice cream but with shorter lines – sounds like a win-win to us! At I-CE-NY, you can either build your own rolled ice cream sundae, or order one the shop’s specialty sundaes. We went for the second option, ordering the Go Green Tea, a sundae featuring green tea ice cream rolled with corn flakes, and then topped with marshmallows, caramel sauce, and chocolate Pocky sticks.

The Go Green Tea is a great choice for all you green tea lovers, especially with the added crunch from the corn flakes and the unique addition of the Pocky sticks. And the green tea flavor of the ice cream reminded us of our own Green Tea Matcha cupcakes. It was a match-a made in heaven!

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Where we went: Snowdays NYC (East Village)
What we ate: Yeti Food
Why we love it:

Snowdays NYC is a truly unique ice cream experience. You may have heard of Hawaiian or Korean shaved ice, but have you ever heard of shaved ice cream? According to the store website, the shaved ice cream “pairs the fluffy texture of snow with the taste and creaminess of ice cream.” And based on our experience, that’s definitely the case. The ice cream at Snowdays is super light and fluffy, but it melts in your mouth like traditional ice cream!

In addition to the shaved ice cream, Snowdays also offers some cool topping choices, including cereal, fresh fruit, and mochi. And like I-CE-NY, you can either build your own sundae or get one of the signature creations, which is what we chose to do. We got to try the Yeti Food sundae, made with their original Yetitracks ice cream and topped with blueberry purée, sugar cone bits, and fresh bananas. The Yetitracks ice cream tasted just like cookies and cream ice cream, with tiny Oreo bits inside, but the best part was its bright blue color! The toppings were a great addition, as well, with the sugar cone bits being our favorite part. This is definitely a one of a kind place!

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Where we went: Big Gay Ice Cream (East Village)
What we ate: Bea Arthur
Why we love it:

Big Gay Ice Cream is an NYC institution. This beloved sweet shop got its start as an ice cream truck back in 2009, and now it has TWO storefronts right in the city! We decided to visit the original East Village location, where we got a taste of one of their signature cones, the Bea Arthur, named in honor of the actress who played Dorothy on Golden Girls.

The Bea Arthur features a dulce de leche-lined cone, topped with vanilla soft serve and a drizzle of dulce de leche, which is then rolled in crushed Nilla wafers. And believe us, it tastes just as good as the description sounds! Perfectly sweet, with just a little bit of salt from the caramel, the Bea Arthur is definitely worth the trek to Tompkins Square Park. Other Big Gay specialties include the Salty Pimp and American Globs, as well as some amazing sundaes, cones, and milkshakes. YUM.

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Where we went: Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream (East Village)
What we ate: Honeycomb + Vegan Coffee
Why we love it:

Van Leeuwen is one of the most well-known ice cream shops in the city, with both a storefront and an ice cream truck – and they even sell their ice cream by the pint at many gourmet grocery stores! Van Leeuwen is a unique contender among ice cream companies, being particularly famous for their large variety of vegan ice cream flavors.

On our trip to Van Leeuwen, we tried two of their specialty flavors, one vegan and one non vegan. The non vegan flavor we chose was Honeycomb, a honey-flavored ice cream with crunchy bits that tasted like a real honeycomb. It was fantastic! For the vegan flavor, we went with Coffee, which had an almost identical texture to the regular ice cream. The coffee flavor may be a bit strong for some, but overall we really enjoyed it.



Where we went: Il Laboratorio del Gelato (Lower East Side)
What we ate: Lemon Rosemary + Strawberry Sorbet, Yuzu Mint + Thai Tea gelato
Why we love it:

Il Laboratorio del Gelato is one of our favorite places to get gelato and sorbet in the city. Located next to the famous Katz’s Deli on Houston and Ludlow, this cool gelato shop is designed to look just like a real chemistry lab, with employees in lab coats and a large variety of unique flavors that rotates daily. We decided to try both the gelato and the sorbet, and we were definitely impressed with the results.

The first thing we sampled was the Lemon Rosemary sorbet, which had an authentic Italian taste and a smooth texture. We also tried the Strawberry sorbet, which is made with real strawberries – and it sure tasted great! The two gelato flavors we tasted were both Asian-inspired. First was the Yuzu Mint, which tasted very cool and refreshing. Then we had the Thai tea, a delicious gelato version of sweet Thai iced tea – we could even taste some hints of sweetened condensed milk! All in all, this stop on our tour was a good one.


Where we went: Ice & Vice (Lower East Side)
What we ate: American Beauty ice cream + Vanilla Funfetti cone + Ice Cream Sandwich topping
Why we love it:

Ice & Vice is the place to go when you’re craving something that’s both over the top and highly customizable. Located in a small and somewhat hidden East Broadway storefront, the ice cream that awaits inside is anything but subtle. Choose from an assortment of artisan ice cream flavors, including both seasonal and blogger-inspired recipes, and then take your pick at one of their premium cone flavors, as well as a selection of unbelievable toppings. They even serve ice cream sandwiches and pies by the slice!

On our visit to Ice & Vice, we decided to order one of their seasonal flavors, the American Beauty, made with crème fraîche and rose petal jam. To make the experience even better, we added a Vanilla Funfetti premium cone, and an ice cream sandwich stacked right on top of the ice cream! The ice cream itself had a great flavor, with the rose petal jam really complementing the crème fraîche. The Vanilla Funfetti cone tasted just like one of our own Celebration Cupcakes, and the ice cream sandwich on top, made from a sprinkled doughnut instead of the traditional cookie, was a unique and delicious touch.



Photo Credit: Gifrific

Photo Credit: Gifrific

So, what’s the first stop on YOUR list? 😉

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