One Girl Cookie
The sandwiches at this charming BoCoCa bakery are lilliputian to say the least. Combine One Girl Cookie's popular whoopie pies—a meltingly tender half-cookie, half-cake creation in your choice of pumpkin or chocolate—with a tidy scoop of Il Laboratorio's ricotta gelato is one of the most unusual and surprisingly delicious combinations we've had. Bonus points for the adorable parchment wrapper—every little thought counts.
At Coppelia, Pichet Ong's "Alfajores" Ice Cream Sandwich is reason alone to pay the restaurant a visit. Two rounds of a silky, full-bodied dulce de leche gelato are accompanied by buttery-crisp alfajores. The gelato has just a tinge of saltiness, a balance for the cushions of whipped cream and raspberries tucked right beneath the top cookie. A fork-and-knife affair for sure.
They aim to please at Ronnybrook Dairy in the Chelsea Market, eagerly offering samples of their "farm fresh" ice cream—ginger crème brulee and hazelnut are your best bets. Cookie options range from peanut butter to chocolate chip to a notable raisin oatmeal. Assembled on the spot, the sandwiches have the perfect cookie-to-ice cream ratio that's so easy to do, yet rarely happens: a perfect 50:50. The real success, though, is that the ice cream is frozen at the right temperature, and the cookie manages to be crisp, but not hard—and thus easy to bite, without fear that ice cream will gush out the other end.
The Meatball Shop
Mix and match between six types of ice cream and five cookies at The Meatball Shop. How to decide between cookie flavors like brownie, peanut butter, and gingersnap? And then ice cream running from espresso to caramel to the daily special? We never said it was easy. But you can't go wrong with two dark chocolate brownie cookies, crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, with a chubby ball of fresh mint ice cream in the middle.
ChikaLicious Dessert Club
ChikaLicious takes a cookie éclair—so named because of that cookie-like crunch over the shell surface—slices it open horizontally, and fills it with vanilla bean soft serve and a pour of hot fudge. Fork and knife required. Messy, but wonderful, with soft-serve and dark fudge melting into the hollows of the choux pastry.
Cafe 2 at MoMA
At Cafe 2 inside MoMA, the brownie and vanilla ice cream sandwich is a work of simplicity. Cristina Nasatasi is the woman behind this ice cream sandwiches as well as the killer ice cream sundaes at Terrace 5 upstairs. Two thin slices of dark, perfectly moist brownie, with vanilla ice cream tucked in the center—classic and very rewarding. With a 90:10 ratio of ice cream to brownie, this one is for people who love more ice cream than "bun" in their sandwiches.
Come for the beer (both by the bottle and on tap) but don't leave without gelato sandwiches made from Il Laboratorio gelato and Bierkraft's own fudgy chocolate brownies. Come on a good day and you might find a few of the cherry blondies with dark chocolate gelato or brownies with peanut butter gelato, alongside the classic vanilla chocolate chunk gelato on brownies. Don't say you weren't warned in advance; the sandwich is large, and to eat one alone will leave you uncomfortably full. All in moderation... including moderation, right?
Those who must stay in Manhattan can grab an ice cream sandwich from Jacques Torres on King Street, but it's worth making a trip to the original DUMBO location—that way, you can follow up with more sweets from Almondine and Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory. The ice cream flavors rotate, including chocolate, strawberry, and a particularly sumptuous roasted banana ice cream. All the preassembled ice cream sandwiches are made with his signature chocolate chip cookie, which is crunchy with an abundance of chocolate shards; it's a bit too crisp to eat without ice cream oozing out the sides, but is terrific on its own.
Melt Bakery is best known for their creative, quirky, and always delicious ice cream sandwich combinations. Flavors change frequently; they include creations like Thick Mint, a pairing of peppermint ice cream with crackly chocolate cookies; Elvis, with peanut butter cookies and a truly excellent banana ice cream; and Cinnamax, with cinnamon ice cream and snickerdoodle cookies. My favorite, however, has to be the Lovelet, with plush red velvet whoopie pies sandwiching a velvety cream cheese ice cream.
François Payard Bakery
It was only a matter of time before François Payard started doing macaron ice cream sandwiches; we're just happy that he is. Sandwiches come in four flavors: three with a macaron shell, and one that's a brownie sandwich with vanilla ice cream. It's not easy deciding when options include pistachio macarons with raspberry ice cream, and a coconut macaron with mango sorbet, but our favorite has got to be the berry macaron with a strawberry cheesecake filling, in the form of fresh strawberry sorbet and cream cheese ice cream. Heaven.