The July heat can be miserable in the city. How do New Yorkers cool off? By hitting up their favorite independently-owned local ice cream shops.
Fortunately National Ice Cream Month starts tomorrow, which makes justifying indulging that sweet tooth even easier to do. And if you’re supporting one of local small businesses that are facing an especially tough time right now, then no need to feel guilty — in fact, you shoikd feel downright good about ordering a creamy cone. Here’s a few great spots to do so.
Stuffed Ice Cream (139 1st Avenue)
Stuffed Ice Cream isn’t your typical dessert shop. They add a twist on the traditional summer treat. Try their “cruff,” which is a “perfectly toasted, glazed donut stuffed with your ice cream flavor & toppings of choice.” If you are feeling adventurous, you can also try their 7 scoop cone! The options are limitless here.
Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream (88 West Houston Street)
Nicholas Morgenstern is a self-made restaurateur, with extensive pastry experience in some of New York’s finest establishments. In 2014, Nicholas opened Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream, and now has two locations in New York on the Lower East Side and NoHo, in addition to the West Houston Street location. The black and white decor gives a nice ’50s ambiance of a traditional ice cream shop. They focus on texture-driven small-batch ice creams, with over 88 different flavors to try.
Big Gay Ice Cream Shop (125 East 7th Street & 61 Grove Street)
Big Gay officially launched in June of 2009 as an ice cream truck selling regular soft-serve with inventive toppings and fun names. Now, partners (in life and in business) Douglas Quint and Bryan Petroff have multiple Big Gay Ice Cream shops – including one in the East Village (125 East 7th Street) and one in the West (61 Grove Street.) Big Gay Ice Cream was our June 2019 Business of the Month. What special small business would you like to see featured next? Just click here to nominate our next one. Thank you! #shoplocalnyc
Ray’s Candy Shop, 113 Avenue A
Ray’s Candy Shop has been a staple of East Village life since 1974, and Ray Alvarez, who works every night shift at the store, is at its helm. It’s not only one of the few 24-hour places in the neighborhood, it’s also an ad hoc community center where locals come to chat with Ray and learn the local news. A minute or two with Ray and it’s clear that he cares deeply about the community and his customers. This gritty, delicious, sweet shop has amazing beignets, donuts, soft-serve ice cream, and a friendly, old-school vibe that brings so much joy to customers. Ray’s was one of our 2020 Village Awardees.
Alphabet Scoop (543 East 11th Street)
Alphabet Scoop is a job-training program for community youth as well as a great place to buy ice cream. They make their own preservative-free, artisanal ice cream while teaching valuable life skills. The Father’s Heart Ministries opened Alphabet Scoop in 2005 to provide job training to community youth, while also helping the organization to become self-sufficient through the sale of ice cream. This is truly a place where you can indulge guilt-free by supporting a wonderful cause.
La Newyorkina (240 Sullivan Street)
La Newyorkina was started in 2010 by Fany Gerson, a native of Mexico. Her mission is to share the sweetness of her native country south of the border. They offer an assortment of delicious artisan Mexican ice cream flavors, frozen treats and sweets. Everything they make is handmade from scratch in small batches, using the best ingredients carefully sourced from local farmers in NY and nearby.
Mikey Likes It Ice Cream (199 Avenue A)
Michael “Mikey” Cole is the founder and owner of Mikey Likes It Ice Cream, the pop-cultured inspired ice cream shop located in the East Village since 2013. A downtown local, Mikey’s love for making food only parallels his love for people. According to their website, “Mikey has created custom ice cream flavors for notables like Hillary Clinton and Jay-Z, and garnered national coverage from leading publications including The New York Times, O, The Oprah Magazine, Essence and New York Magazine.” Mikey Likes It Ice Cream was our August 2019 Business of the Month.