If you can’t get to the beach, there are other ways to cool off in the New York City sun. From bingsu in Koreatown to the newest Australian soft serve spot in the Lower East Side, here are some refreshing frozen treats to chill out with this summer.
Thanks to TikTok and Instagram, Caffé Panna easily became one of the trendiest spots in Manhattan. The ice creamery serves up Instagram-worthy desserts, sometimes topped with “crunch” or the imported Italian cream called panna, which the spot is appropriately named after.
Sweet tooths in Gramercy can try a “Minty Junior Affogato” or a new pint “that tastes exactly like a Chipwich but with a very nice little chip switch,” according to social media. Be prepared to wait outside in line, though.
Caffé Panna, 77 Irving Place (corner of 19th Street), Gramercy
One of the newest additions to the Lower East Side, Dudley’s Deli is serving up cool ice cream through their takeout window to help New Yorkers beat the heat. The options are limited to chocolate and vanilla soft serve but boast uniquely Australian toppings like Milo Maltesers, potato chips, and magic shells.
The ice cream window also offers specialty rotating sundaes and off-menu items (at the moment, that includes an “epic” truffle fry vanilla soft serve.) Dudley’s Deli, separate from Dudley’s full-service restaurant, officially opened in the summer of 2023.
Dudley’s Deli, 85 Orchard Street, (corner of Broome Street), Lower East Side
From the South of Italy to Manhattan, this homemade gelateria dates back to 1880 and boasts fresh, “real” Italian gelato. This location is small but mighty, with a little cone on top and flavors like apricot and pistachio. There are also locations in Brooklyn and University Place.
Gelateria Gentile, 43 8th Ave, (betw Jane Street and Horatio Street), West Village
The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory
It’s small and unassuming, but the Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory is a beloved addition to New York. Since the 1970s, this ice cream parlor has been serving up Asian-inspired sweet treats in Chinatown. There’s padan (an extract adjacent to vanilla) and there’s black sesame (a flavor similar to peanut butter.)
There are also flavors inspired by drinks like Thai iced tea and green tea. According to their website, the restaurant is always testing new combinations including banana durian, cherry pistachio, German chocolate cake, caramel bacon swirl, and more.
The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, 65 Bayard Street, (betw Mott Street and Elizabeth Street), Chinatown
Another social media favorite, Taiyaki NYC is a Japanese ice cream shop featuring inventive flavors in fish-shaped waffle cones. Yup, fish-shaped waffle cones. There are locations in Chinatown and Little Italy, both of which have fun toppings like chocolate unicorn horns and Pocky.
If you’re ice cream-ed out, there are also fluffy “soufflé” pancakes covered in whipped cream and flavored with red bean and/or matcha.
Taiyaki NYC, 119 Baxter Street, (betw Hester Street and Canal Street), Chinatown
Grace Street Coffee & Desserts
It’s labeled as a coffeehouse. However, this Koreatown staple has Asian donuts, burnt cheesecake, boba milk tea, and, of course, bingsu — a Korean milk-based dessert of shaved ice, also known as shaved snow, made in a shareable size.
The perfect amount of sweetness, bingsu comes in different flavors, topped with fruits and syrups. There’s the “mango madness,” complete with sweet milk snow and chunks of mango and banana. The Elixir features matcha shaved ice with lychee jelly, taro, and red bean.
Grace Street Coffee & Desserts, 17 W 32nd St, (betw 6th Ave and 5th Ave), Koreatown