Gelato at Otto
While there are any number of serious gelato shops in the city, we just can't get over Otto. Meredith Kurtzman's gelatos and sorbets are silky smooth with balanced flavors that are enhanced by sweetness, not dominated by it. We've loved just about everything we've tried, from the summer fruit sorbets to the always-delicious olive oil and salted caramel. Her sundaes rotate with the seasons, and though they're pricy, they are so worth it.
Ice Cream and Sorbet at Kin Shop
While we didn't love the texture of the ice creams at Thai restaurant Kin Shop when we first visited, they've markedly improved since their opening—such that they're now memorably delicious. I like the chocolate Thai coffee and the Calamansi sorbet—which, like the best limes, was not just tart, but a little spicy.
Swingles at Steve's Authentic Key Lime Pies
What's better than a good key lime pie? A frozen chocolate-covered mini-key lime pie on a stick. The spicy tartness of the key lime pie filling, the crunch of the graham cracker crust, and the perfectly balanced bittersweet chocolate come together in a magical way. Worth the trek out to Red Hook from wherever you are.
Frozen Black Sesame Mousse at Zenkichi
Salty Pimp at the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck
What makes the combination of vanilla soft serve drizzled with thick dulce de leche, sprinkled with crunchy sea salt, and dipped in chocolate so good? We shouldn't even have to explain why—it's salty, sweet, creamy, and crunchy all at once. The ice cream is nothing special, but this combination most assuredly is.
The Big Gay Ice Cream Truck (Twitter)
Most Popsicles don't make you think of the fruit that went into them. But People's Pops starts with seasonal fruits and herbs to make knockout flavors like Strawberry-Basil, Plum, Yogurt & Tarragon, and Rhubarb & Ginger. They're sweet in the way of good summer fruit, not loaded down with extra sugar, and preserve the flavors of whatever tasty ingredients they harness.
Soft-Serve at ChikaLicious
Some of the best vanilla soft-serve in New York. We like it in any form, but especially as a superb sundae made with chocolate sauce (called hot fudge on the menu), pistachio, toasted phyllo dough shavings called kataifi, and brownie chunks; and an "Espresso Ice Shot" made with the same soft-serve ice cream, a shot of espresso, and chocolate pearls. But the cookie éclair ice cream sandwich is pretty incredible, too.
Hot Fudge Sundae at Fairway Cafe
Creamy Häagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream smothered in Hershey's thick, gooey hot chocolate fudge and topped with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry—it's a classic, but the very best version of it. Artisanal? No. Perfect? Yes.
Fairway Cafe: 2127 Broadway, New York NY 10023 (map); 212-595-1888
Coffee Malt at the Shake Shack
Shake Shack will have you know that their coffee shakes are made with 100% Fair Trade organic Arabica coffee. All I know is that they're seriously delicious. Coffee flavor and malt come together so well; ask them for extra malt to make this a truly excellent concoction.