Though Lick obviously situates itself solidly within the state of Texas and its culinary traditions, it could be just as easily argued that we owe part of our heritage to a place almost two thousand miles away: New York City. Our company’s founders, Chad and Anthony, first met in New York while in February of 2005. Without that intersection, Lick Honest Ice Creams could not have ever existed like it does today.
On a recent vacation to New York to visit family and friends, I thought it would be fun to explore what ice cream New York has to offer. Of course, I was also going to visit the classics like the MoMA and Times Square, but turning the trip into a scavenger hunt for truly delicious frozen desserts was exactly my kind of fun. So I turned to my friends and co-workers. More than one Lick employee has spent time living in the big apple and each of them had great suggestions for where I should stop.
Of course, there were so many wonderful and unique ice cream shops throughout the city and I was given so many more recommendations than I could have ever used. But the ones I did make it to certainly didn’t disappoint!
Ice & Vice
Where it is: 221 East Broadway
We recommend: The Figgin’ Toasted in a Dark Chocolate Chai Spiced cone
Ice & Vice certainly live up to their promise to serve experimental ice cream. This Lower East Side shop serves up flavors like Bath Salts, a lavender and pine stracciatella, and Tea Dance, a riff on salted caramel that also contains nilgiri tea leaves and lemon charcoal. After becoming famous as a food market staple in the city, Ice & Vice built opened their first brick and mortar last fall. Though the company has expanded quite a bit since their market days, they still make their ice cream in small batches and continue to source many of their ingredients from the same food vendors they worked with at the market.
Where it is: 48 E 7th St
We recommend: Honeycomb, Chocolate, or Ginger
Even late at night, Van Leeuwen’s shop interior is bright and warm. The entire time I was there, there was a comfortable line and the ample table space made for a lively shop overall. I was specifically told to get their ginger ice cream and I was NOT disappointed! The base of the ice cream was extremely creamy but contained the occasional sharp, sudden bite of spice from the candied ginger chunks inside. My personal favorite though was the decadent and dense scoop of Chocolate I got, made with Infini Noir 99% dark chocolate.
Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream
Where it is: 2 Rivington St
We recommend: Szechuan Peppercorn Chocolate (yes that’s all one flavor)
Morgenstern’s shop on the Lower East Side sticks to a classic ice cream parlor aesthetic, with bright, white walls and employees in classic soda jerk hats. I’m a sucker for any ice cream that has pepper in it, so I had to try the Szechuan Peppercorn Chocolate and lemme tell ya, that stuff blew my mind. I’m not one to pick favorites, but that scoop was definitely up there in my all-time favorite ice cream experiences. The parlor is just a block away from a beautiful neighborhood park, so if the interior is too crowded and the weather is right, you can take your ice cream out for a stroll.
Where it is: 31 Carmine St
We recommend: Chocolate Victory with the housemade raspberry sauce
Victory Garden’s ice cream and soft serves are all made entirely with goat’s milk, and the folks there are more than happy to tell you why that is. Full of minerals and healthy fats, goat’s milk is better for the body than traditional cow’s milk, and it’s delicious too! The goat dairy they source all their milk from is in nearby upstate New York. The shop has two soft serve machines, each with two flavors that can be swirled if you so choose. They also offer up a variety of made in house toppings, like seasonal fruit sauces and cookie crumbles. The soft serve is delightfully light while remaining satisfying, and we highly recommend you check out this awesome shop!
Where it is: 305 Nevins St
We recommend: Ooey Gooey Butter Cake
Given the serious name they’ve made for themselves in the ice cream world, I knew I had to try out Ample Hills, and it’s clear how they’ve earned their name: with an excellent and accessible product. Though they have locations all across the city now, Ample Hills started in Brooklyn and lifted their name from a line in Walt Whitman’s poem, Crossing Brooklyn Ferry. The location I went to, smack in the middle of Brooklyn, not only has an ice cream shop with a large window overlooking the production kitchen, it also features a rooftop deck and second floor for private parties.
Suffice to say, every one of these shops really impressed me, but this is just the beginning of a long list of truly amazing ice cream spots across New York City! Make sure you check them out next time you’re there!