Nothing says Summer like ice cream. Truth be told my favorite surprise is turning the corner and seeing a Mister Softee truck. “I’ll have a twist with chocolate sprinkles” for $3 and the world is a better place. When I’m in the mood for hard ice cream, beyond turning to a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, there are a few places that win me over with original flavors and creative presentations. Ice cream gives New Yorkers everything they need in summer; it’s quick, cooling and affordable.
Chinatown Ice Cream Factory (65 Bayard Street) As you weave through the narrow streets of Chinatown you will soon come across a line of people on the sidewalk in front of the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory. It is absolutely worth the wait. Chinatown offers regular flavors like coffee and vanilla, but the real stars are the exotic, homemade flavors. Stretch your taste buds with flavors of black sesame, red bean or lychee. They are outstanding and silky smooth. One scoop is $3.75 and two scoops $5.75.
Coolhaus (Various Locations) You have likely seen the truck roaming Manhattan. Feel free to chase it because these ice cream sandwiches are that good. You’ll also find Coolhaus at various stores including Whole Foods throughout the city. The combination of interesting ice cream flavors like beer & pretzels or balsamic fig & mascarpone will leave your tongue tingling. But wait! It gets better. Put your cream in between a potato chip & butterscotch or a maple flapjack cookie and call it a day. The possibilities are endless. Cookies are only $1 but add the cream for $5 sandwich heaven.
Emack & Bolio’s (3 NYC Locations)www.emackandbolios.com They have the most creative cones in the business. Try a marshmallow dipped cone with rice krispies or fruit loops ($3.00) to make your treat really crunchy and unique. They also make fun ice cream flavors like chuck o’ funk with oreos and chocolate covered pretzels and bananas foster with butter and dark rum. I love the Beantown buzz full of espresso beans. Small cones start at $4.75.
Monica DiNatale is a deals expert, food host and author of "365 Guide New York City," a treasure trove of restaurant deals and bar specials in New York. Monica has hosted segments for The New York Chocolate Show and Craft Beer Week Festivals. She dines out 8 days a week in search of the best deals in The Big Apple. "365 Guide New York City" is available in paperback and ebook.