The Most Instagrammed Ice Cream In New York City

Photo via @philaaron.
Quietly, New York may be becoming the greatest ice cream city in the world. We're in on the secret, because we follow the profiles of Instagram's biggest celebrities kind of obsessively. (We'll let you in on a little intel: Kim and Bey have got nothing on a scoop from Van Leeuwen or Blue Marble!)

Ahead, we've rounded up the very most delicious, most Instagram-worthy frozen treats in all of NYC. Take note: These are the VIPs — very important paletas, that is — the chicest scoops, and the most tremendously trendy toppings. There are city staples like Big Gay swirls, new kids on the block like the ever-eccentric OddFellows, and statement-makers like cheese-flavored ice cream from Dominique Ansel. Dear Instagram: How sweet it is, to be loved by you.
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What: Pop Culture-Inspired Hard Serve
Where: Mikey Likes It Ice Cream

Organic, delicious, and philanthropic, Mikey Likes It Ice Cream is making a difference one scoop at a time. The money you spend on Ice Ice Baby (triple vanilla ice cream made with Madagascan, Mexican, and Tahitian vanilla beans) or Cool Runnings (coconut ice cream with coconut and dark chocolate shavings with toasted almonds) helps provide scholarships for local students and catering kids events — while also catering to your sweet tooth.

Mikey Likes It Ice Cream, 199 Avenue A (between East 12th and 13th streets); 646-896-1836.
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Photo via @snowdaysnyc.
What: Shaved Ice with Tons of Toppings
Where: Snowdays

Located in the East Village, Snowdays will make you want icy sweets even during those bleak winter months. Here, you will find Asian-style shaved cream, a dessert with the icy texture of snow that also keeps the "cream" in ice cream. With so many interesting options and topping to choose from, your tastebuds (and Instagram feeds) will go crazy!

Snowdays, 241 East 10th Street (between First and Second avenues); 212-982-8881.
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Photo: Courtesy of @mwatsonnyc.
What: Homemade Hard Serve
Where: Davey's Ice Cream

Slow-food maestro Alice Waters would approve of Davey's protocol for ice cream, which includes starting only with raw ingredients and taking four days to turn it into dessert. At the East Village shop, try the black sesame, roasted pistachio, or Mexican vanilla. Just try not to go nuts.

Davey's Ice Cream, 137 First Avenue (between St. Mark's Place and East 9th Street); 212-228-8032.
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Photo via @abbiagi.
What: Authentic Gelato
Where: A.B. Biagi

With a name that chic, A.B. Biagi had no choice but to deliver gelato that would make even the smoothest Italian swoon. The artisanal goodies here are inspired by the kind Antonio Barros Biagi, the owner, tried in his grandmother's São Paulo home as a child.

A.B. Biagi, 235 Elizabeth Street (between Prince and East Houston streets); 212-219-8094.
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Photo via @dianawfu.
What: Asian-Inspired Hard Serve Flavors
Where: Sundaes and Cones

This isn't your average vanilla ice cream spot. The Asian-inspired house-made scoops come in Eastern-inflused flavors such as lychee, ginger, and red bean, catering to the dessert daredevil in you. For especially-inquiring minds, we suggest the wasabi flavor. Don't judge it right away though, as the punch takes a few seconds to kick in.

Sundaes and Cones, 95 East 10th Street (between Third and Fourth avenues); 212-979-9398.
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Photo via @theyummytummy.
What: Soft-Serve Creations
Where: Big Gay Ice Cream

The city's favorite riff on the standard ice-cream-truck swirl will never get old. Neither will the shop's eccentricity — long lines are infinitely more fun when you're ushered in by a gregarious drag queen.

Big Gay Ice Cream, multiple locations.
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Photo via @donna.fung.
What: "Cereal Milk" Soft Serve
Where: Milk Bar

Everyone loves Milk Bar (of the Momofuku family), in large part because of "Cereal Milk," which is the best idea you've never had. You'll remember it from childhood — getting to the bottom of your Lucky Charms and slurping down the dyed milk. Delicious, no? Milk Bar does their famed, super-nostalgic soft serve two ways — straight up, or in a milkshake.

Milk Bar, multiple locations.
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Photo via @philaaron.
What: Small-batch Hard Serve
Where: Morgenstern's Finest Ice Cream

Banana curry. Blueberry labne. Fernet black walnut. The list goes on and on at Morgenstern's, whose perfect, picturesque tubs of inventive ice cream are beloved by the Lower East Side and, slowly, all of New York City. Texture is the focus of this shop's offerings, which means with every bite, you're in for a surprise.

Morgenstern's Finest Ice Cream, 2 Rivington Street (between Chrystie Street and Bowery); 212-209-7684.
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Photo via @amplehills.
What: Homemade Hard Serve
Where: Ample Hills Creamery

Ample Hills is named for the Walt Whitman poem "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry," which makes sense, because verses on verses could be written about its ice cream. Signature flavors like "Salted Crack Caramel" reign supreme, but newcomers are frequently added and are equally fab.

Ample Hills Creamery, multiple locations.
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Photo via @anushaponduri.
What: Doughnut Ice Cream Sandwiches
Where: Holey Cream

Let's face it: Instagram is to thank for the inception of desserts like Holey's, which are so sensational it would be a sin not to photograph them. If you can't tell from the #foodporn shots, Holey Cream does not hold back. That is, in fact, a chocolate-frosted, sprinkled doughnut overflowing with two enormous scoops.

Holey Cream, 796 Ninth Avenue (at West 53rd Street); 212-247-8400.
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Photo via @victorygardennyc.
What: Goat's-Milk Soft Serve
Where: Victory Garden

Less sweet than regular milk, goat milk has been all the rage in the health world these days since it's reportedly easier to digest. At Victory Garden, you'll notice the difference, but only because you'll be so amazed that something so seemingly odd could taste so delectably on point. Salted caramel is the big winner here.

Victory Garden, 31 Carmine Street (between Bleecker and Bedford streets); 212-206-7273.
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Photo via @lanewyorkina.
What: Paletas
Where: La Newyorkina

There are two chief reasons to love paletas (frozen fruit bars) from La Newyorkina. 1) They're a lightweight antidote to heavy heat, and 2) Proceeds from the pops go to Crea, an organization that helps low-income women in Mexico. With the exception of a few lovingly selected imports, all of the ingredients in La Newyorkina's sweets are local (and organic!), so they're always as fresh as they look.

La Newyorkina, multiple locations.
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Photo via @coolhaus.
What: Ice Cream Sammies
Where: Coolhaus

The owners of Coolhaus are L.A. natives, so treats for warm weather are their expertise. They take the traditional ice cream sandwich and make it way more rad by smooshing funky flavors between chewy, creative cookies and naming each shebang after an architectural trend (think: "Mintamalism").

Coolhaus, multiple locations.
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What: Artisanal Hard Serve
Where: Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream

Here at Refinery29, we're firm believers that the coolest companies start in NYC apartments. That's what happened with Van Leeuwen, the city's beloved creator of unrivaled frozen treats. From their storefronts to their signature yellow trucks, the people behind Van Leeuwen are all about transparency. As they put it, their ice creams are "nothing more than fresh milk and cream, cane sugar, and egg yolks," unless you're after the vegan variety, which is awesome, too.

Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream, multiple locations.
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What: Homemade Hard Serve
Where: Chinatown Ice Cream Factory

If you aren't in the know, you're likely unaware that Chinatown Ice Cream Factory exists. And that is a very sad thing, because it is the only place in New York you can order the "Almond Cookie," and get Fung Wong Bakery crumbles blended into your scoops.

Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, 65 Bayard Street (between Bowery and Mott Street); 212-608-4170.
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Photo via @maxandminas.
What: Gourmet Hard Serve
Where: Max and Mina's Ice Cream

The brothers who started Max and Mina's are open to your flavor suggestions. Creativity is their goal, and by being playful, they're pulling it off famously. So far, they've tested concepts like babka and merlot from their Flushing, Queens, shop. Got an idea? Just call. Or stop by, salivate, and sample.

Max and Mina's Ice Cream, 71-26 Main Street (at 71st Road), Queens; 718-793-8629.
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Photo via @lindsaysb.
What: Authentic Italian Gelato
Where: Grom

From: It's where the Italians go for gelato and ice cream. The shop boasts a unique selection of seasonal flavors (alongside other Italian classics all year long), like Stracciatella, Crema di Grom, and Nocciola. While the names might not sound familiar, they're well worth exploring. It's like a taste of Florence in the middle of New York City.

Grom, Multiple locations.
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What: Gelato Popsicles
Where: Popbar

Take popsicle practicality, save no indulgence — just put ice cream on a stick. This is Popbar's credo. Basically, they're problem-solvers, and as New Yorkers, we like that. It is actually possible to have it all.

Popbar, 5 Carmine Street (at Sixth Avenue); 212-255-4874.
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Photo via @theelainejeu.
What: Over-the-top Sundaes
Where: Eddie's Sweet Shop

This longtime Queens creamery offers sundaes, malts, shakes, and egg creams. With a wide variety of options, there are opportunities to mix and match chocolates, and syrups, and flavors galore! It's a New York institution at its finest.

Eddie's Sweet Shop, 105-29 Metropolitan Avenue, #1, Queens; 718-520-8514.
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Photo via
What: Farm-to-stick Popsicles
Where: People's Pops

Every fruit that goes into a People's Pop comes from New York Greenmarket Farms. Is that not the most glorious declaration? The point is to support local agriculture while quenching our cravings come summertime. Flavors change constantly. The ability to satisfy stays the same. Just ask Rachael Ray. They're her favorite.

People's Pops, multiple locations.
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Photo via @dominiqueansel.
What: Boundary-pushing Soft Serve
Where: Dominique Ansel Kitchen

Anytime French pastry chef and recent restaurateur Dominique Ansel does anything, it's bound to be a little bit weird; the world will never forget the Cronut, will it? Head to his newly launched West Village ice cream window to try his rendition of the summer staple in flavors like gianduja (a.k.a. chocolate hazelnut) and...wait for it...burrata.

Dominique Ansel Kitchen, 137 Seventh Avenue South (between West 10th and Charles streets); 212-242-5111.
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Photo via @dfmavens.
What: Dairy-free Dessert
Where: DF Mavens

There is absolutely no reason why the pleasure of eating ice cream should be reserved only for those with iron stomachs. In soy, coconut-milk, no-sugar-added, and almond-milk varieties, DF Mavens' treats are New York's most amazing answer to the no-cow conundrum. You can find this delectable indulgence at high-end bodegas and supermarkets and at their East Village shop.

DF Mavens, 37 St. Mark's Place (near Second Avenue); 212-260-9800.
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Photo via @iceandvice.
What: Handcrafted Hard Serve, Sorbet, and Frozen Yogurt
Where: Ice & Vice

A 2014 Vendy Awards winner, Ice & Vice has proclaimed itself an "experimental ice cream shop." Sounds trippy — trippy enough to inspire a run for the "9 A.M.", which is coffee, chicory, cinnamon, condensed milk, and doughnut truffle.

Ice & Vice, 221 East Broadway (at Clinton Street); 646-678-3687.
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What: "Meltcake" and Cookie Sandwiches
Where: Melt Bakery

"Lovelet," Melt's red-velvet-cake-and-cream-cheese ice cream sandwich, is the Louboutin heel of the frozen-food world. You see one and you can only think, How on Earth do I get my hands on that? There are many ways. Shop at Melt's Lower East Side store and kitchen, pick something up at the High Line, or jump on the bandwagon at practically every awesome food fair the city has to offer.

Melt Bakery, 132 Orchard Street (between Rivington and Delancey streets); 646-535-6358.
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Photo via @brooklynfarmacy.
What: Specialty Sundaes
Where: Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain

This old-school soda shop is known not just for its classic and cool decor, but also its servings of cold sweets, fancy milkshakes, floats, and savory snacks. We'll have the Flyin' Hawaiian sundae please, to stay.

Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain, 513 Henry Street (at Sackett Street), Brooklyn; 718-522-6260.
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Photo via @paperm31307.
What: Fine Ice Cream and Sorbet
Where: Il Laboratorio Del Gelato

This Houston Street staple looks like a futuristic Willy Wonka's factory, reserved exclusively for ice cream, or, as the Italians call it, gelato. You might know Il Laboratorio by its adorable, functional, rectangular cups. Obviously, these look a lot better as host to one of the shop's gazillion gorgeous flavors.

Il Laboratorio Del Gelato, 188 Ludlow Street (at East Houston Street); 212-343-9922.
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Photo via @kelvinslush.
What: Organic Slushies
Where: Kelvin Slush

Like all eighth graders, we were sad when the powers that be put a ban on our consumption of 7-Eleven Slurpees. Behold the solution: Vendy Award-winning Kelvin. The premium slushie company is organic, gluten-free, vegan, all-natural, GMO-free, and kosher. Music to your ears, merry in your mouth.

Kelvin Slush, multiple locations.
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Photo via @made_of_moxie.
What: Ice Cream on Waffles
Where: Wafels & Dinges

The waffles of Wafels & Dinges are now ubiquitous in New York — like second-millennium upgrades from dirty water dogs and stale pretzels. The best ones come topped with ice cream, which Wafels makes in four flavors — vanilla, raspberry, beer (they're Belgian!), and speculoos.

Wafels & Dinges, multiple locations.
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Photo via @beauallencollins.
What: Homemade Hard Serve
Where: OddFellows Ice Cream Co.

Take a peek into OddFellows' Flavor Archive. Just do it. In less than two years, the ice creamery has concocted more than 130 flavors, including "Peach Melba Buttermilk Biscuit," "Yogurt Honey Hibiscus," and "Cornbread." You're thinking Baskin-Robbins, but the two don't compare. OddFellows is constantly adding new ideas to its arsenal, with 12 rotating flavors at its Williamsburg location and eight in the East Village, made exclusively with local dairy. Bonus: For every serving bought, they give $0.05 to the Food Bank for New York City.

OddFellows Ice Cream Co., multiple locations.
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Photo via @shakeshack.
What: Frozen Custard
Where: Shake Shack

New Yorkers know, the burgers at Shake Shack are king of the meat-iverse. Frozen custard is their creamy corollary, the secret weapon of the institution that now graces nearly every New York 'hood. To get up to speed on flavors, you'll have to check the Shack's custard calendar, available monthly online.

Shake Shack, multiple locations.