NYC Ice Cream Shop Hop

July 16th, 2018

Whoa, summer really is here!  In this muggy, extreme heat the best and only way to spend your time is by consuming endless amounts of delicious ice cream. We’re here to guide you to the choicest merchants of sweetened, frozen, delectable dairy treats. Join us on our Stonehenge Summer Ice Cream Shop Hop! Big Gay Ice Cream:   shutterstock_294770444 Great ice cream is like a dream, and boy did Douglas Quint and Bryan Petroff have a dream. A dream which became an ice cream truck. An ice cream truck that  gave birth to an ice cream shop. An ice cream shop which is now a New York legend. The original Big Gay Ice Cream Truck started rolling the streets of Manhattan way back in 2009, with the goal of enhancing the humdrum experience of soft serve ice cream. They weren’t trying to start a serious business; they just wanted something fun to do for the summer. It was their  whimsical attitude, unique name and their excellent ice cream that led to unexpected success. In 2011 they set down roots and opened a proper ice cream shop in the East Village. Their experimental ingredients and top-notch service led to even greater success, allowing them to open a West Village location only a year later. Now there’s even a Big Gay Ice Cream Shop in Philadelphia! Big Gay Ice Cream was so named because the founders thought the whole idea of two middle-aged gay men driving around an ice cream truck was “kind of gay.” Their unique sense of humor has infected even the names of their dishes. These days you can order a Bea Arthur or an American Glob. Their unbeatable ice cream and all-inclusive attitude makes them an absolute must on your summer ice cream shop hop. 10 Below Ice Cream: shutterstock_716617066 We get it: American style soft serve isn’t always what you’re craving. Fortunately, New York is home to a totally unique Thai inspired ice cream joint: 10 Below where your ice cream is made to order, much like a drink at a bar. 10 Below’s ice cream is created on the spot in a technique that was developed on the streets of Thailand. Using a high-tech cold plate that reaches temperatures well below -10°F, fresh cream is poured out and flash frozen on the spot, along with your ingredients of choice. From there, this ultra-fresh ice cream is scraped and spun into a series of artisanal rolls and then served along with marshmallows, graham crackers, sprinkles or just about anything else you can imagine. This swift freezing process produces smaller ice molecules to make a naturally creamy and surprisingly smooth ice cream experience. It’s also healthier than traditional ice cream because it eliminates the need for preservatives and emulsifiers. The whole process takes only two minutes and is a fun show in it’s own way. So, don’t just settle for whatever happens to be on the menu at your local ice cream joint--head on down to Chinatown and get your ice cream custom made. Oddfellows Ice Cream Co: shutterstock_43660171   There are innumerable sandwich shops in New York city, but only one of them specializes in ice cream sandwiches. Oddfellows doesn’t serve any old ice cream sandwich either, theirs are oddly artisanal. Their ingredients are locally sourced, and the dairy products are hormone-and additive-free. Working with these ingredients is more time consuming and expensive, but it yields a superior and more nuanced ice cream sandwich. And it is so, so worth it. The ice cream geniuses at Oddfellows have created some truly unconventional dishes, foremost amongst them being the Oddpocket, “a warmed-up version of an ice cream sandwich using brioche bread that's stuffed with ice cream and toppings then heated on a panini press.” Oddfellows also allows you to create your own masterpiece by selecting freshly-baked cookies for the “bread” part of the sandwich. Fill it with your favorite ice cream and you’ve got a custom ice cream sandwich. If that’s not indulgent enough, they’ll even dip the edges in sprinkles, cornflakes or a wide selection of crunchy and gooey options. You’ll find Oddfellows in Williamsburg and Manhattan, where they serve milkshakes and ice cream floats alongside their iconic ice cream sandwiches. Their Williamsburg location takes the experiment even further, allowing you to sample unique dessert innovations like the Cotton Candy Cone, Foie Gras OddStick, and even boozy popsicles. It’s a true adventure for your taste buds! Ample Hills Creamery: shutterstock_642062308 Long ago, Brooklyn was nothing but farmland. As time marched on, the area urbanized and filled with brownstones, parks and residential buildings. Walt Whitman lamented this transformation in his poem Crossing Brooklyn Ferry, saying: “I too lived-Brooklyn of Ample Hills...” It was these lines that inspired Brian and Jackie when they founded their ice cream shop in Brooklyn in 2011. They decided to bring a bit of the farmland back to Brooklyn, particularly the cows and the dairy products that they produced. In fact, they’re not just an ice cream shop. Ample Hills is a registered dairy plant. They pasteurize their dairy on-site to produce ice cream using hormone-free milk from grass fed cows and organic cane sugar. Their signature Salted Crack Caramel, Ooey Gooey Butter Cake, and Snap Mallow Pop are all made the old fashioned way--by hand. This method requires a lot more skill and dedication than factory produced ice cream, but the financial success of Ample Hills speaks for itself. Brain and Jackie’s dedication to their craft, as well as to their “Amployees” has allowed them to create something truly special. Amployees who start out as low-level “scoopers” often work their way up to chefs, managers and artists. They’re encouraged to connect with their customers and they boast that once they get to know you, they’ll be able to create a specialized frozen dish just for you that will truly satisfy your sweet tooth. They’ve got multiple locations throughout the city (including a brand new one in Queens), so find the one nearest to you right away!