Best Overall: Culture
This Park Slope yogurt shop swirls up our favorite frozen yogurt in the city. It's creamy but not mouth-coatingly rich, brightly tart, and not ice in the slightest. And it's only improved by the number of creative toppings; strawberry-balsamic, I'm a fan of you.
Best of the Old Guard: Forty Carrots
Forty Carrots is nothing new on the New York scene, but its longstanding popularity as the Bloomingdale's snack (or, more likely, meal substitute) of choice shows just how good it is. We're fans of their silky-tart classic tart frozen yogurt (try it with honey), but can be lured away from our main squeeze with mango, or strawberry, or peanut butter...
Best Pinkberry-Esque Mini-Chain: Berrywild
I tend to expect every PinkMangoBerry clone to taste more-or-less alike, but Berrywild is an awful lot better than the others. While their "kinda icy" plain flavor is much like plain Pinkberry, gritty and sweet, the "kinda creamy" is smoother, richer, and all-around better, genuinely creamy while refreshingly tart.
Best Frozen Kefir: Treat Petite
Treat Petite sells frozen soft-serve kefir—technically different from most frozen yogurt, but ending up pretty similar in taste and texture. Tons of toppings to choose from, and while I don't generally love flavored tart frozen yogurts, they do pomegranate and peanut butter quite well. I'd say the original is the one to get, though.
Treat Petite: 61 Grove Street, New York NY 10014 (map)
Best Self-Serve: 16 Handles
While we don't quite understand the extreme popularity of 16 Handles—we actually had to re-visit several times, the lines at the original East Village location were so long when we stopped by—we do think they're the best of the self-serve, pay-by-the-weight yogurt lot. Flavors are consistently creamy, true to flavor, and not too sweet; there's a huge variety of both fruit and non-fruit toppings; and you can get as much or as little as you want. Being the best of the self-serve bunch isn't that much of an honor, but if this sort of yogurt is your thing, 16 Handles is where to get it.