Slideshow: NYC's Best Ice Cream Neighborhood: A West Village Ice Cream Crawl

The Kickoff: Otto
The Kickoff: Otto
We're starting you at Otto with a word of warning: you will want to eat every bite of Meredith Kurtzmann's gelati bowls. And then you will want to order another. And then your plans for an ice cream crawl are pretty much over.

Still, if you can deal with the temptation, kick off your mission at Otto, where any gelato flavor is memorable, but the spectacular olive oil is a true can't-miss. Head to one of the standing-up bar tables, place your order, and prepare to be amazed. Plus, it's a happy place to spend half an hour while you psyche yourself up for the rest of the journey.

Otto: 1 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10003 (map); 212-995-9559; ottopizzeria.com

Also-Great Gelato: Amorino
Also-Great Gelato: Amorino
This Paris-based gelato chain does sorbets especially well, with vivid, bright fruit flavors (we like the passionfruit and mango) that look especially pretty in that flower-petal shape that's their trademark. Or, as an alternative, try out a few flavors in a gelato-stuffed brioche focaccina or opt for a refreshing granita.

Amorino Gelato:60 University Place, New York, NY 10003 (map); 212-253-5599; amorino.com

L'Arte Del Gelato
L'Arte Del Gelato
We've probably written more about L'Arte Del Gelato than any other sweets shop in the city, for an obvious reason: their ultra-rich gelato is incredible. Pistachio or panna cotta gelato; ginger, rice pudding, or olive oil; from what we've seen, they can do no wrong.

L'arte del Gelato: 75 Seventh Avenue South, New York, NY 10014 (map); Open Until: 12:00 AM, Sun-Thu; 1:00 AM, Fri-Sat; 212-924-0803; lartedelgelato.com

Cones
Cones
While not quite at the level of L'Arte or Grom (still to come!), Cones is an Argentinian gelato shop that turns out some unique and memorable flavors; we'd recommend the obviously Argentine ones (a not-too-sweet mate, a deeply rich dulce de leche) and the corn gelato, a vibrant yellow with the sweetness of summer corn. Try it with cinnamon sprinkled on top.

Cones: 272 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014 (map); 212-414-1795

Wong
Wong
The Duck à la Plum ice cream at Southeast Asian restaurant Wong is sweet and savory with an intense roast duck aroma—they actually steep the duck carcasses in the cream that ends up in this dessert. Trust us on this one: it's an experience worth having. Pop into the bar (or even grab a table, at slower hours); it's worth it for this dessert.

Wong: 7 Cornelia Street, New York NY 10014 (b/n West 4th and Bleecker; map); 212-989-3399wongnewyork.com

Grom
Grom
From this Turin-based chain comes some of the best gelato in New York, with bright, vivid flavors and a classically silky texture. The downside? Even a small (and that's a small small) will set you back $6. But we'll go on record telling you it's worth it. Maybe not as an everyday dessert, but hey, you're ice cream crawling today.

Grom: 233 Bleecker Street, New York, NY 10014 (map); grom.it‎

Amazing Soft-Serve: Victory Garden
Amazing Soft-Serve: Victory Garden
We can't say enough about this goat's milk soft-serve (!) shop, where flavors rotate such that you might encounter a rich salted caramel (with just a faint goaty tang), or you might see a vanilla tinged with orange blossom, or perhaps date and yogurt. Toppings lean toward the Mediterranean, too; we love just about anything crowned with crumbles of sweet, nutty halvah.

Victory Garden:31 Carmine Street, New York, NY 10014 (map); 212-206-7273; victorygardennyc.com

Takashi
Takashi
This awesome grill-your-own-beef Japanese restaurant in the West Village has very limited tables and a two-hour wait some nights for dinner, so you can't just stroll in off the street and sit down for dessert. But you can order takeout, and it's worth doing, as this is easily some of our favorite soft-serve in the city, strongly flavored with Madagascar vanilla, creamy and supple. The real fun, though, is in the different toppings—rice flour dumplings (shiratama), black sesame soy bean flour (kurogoma kinako), and sweet red azuki beans. Pictured here is the salted caramel, with a burnt, salty edge that paired particularly well with the more savory toppings. (A sundae with all the toppings is $10. Piling them on this high probably isn't for everyone, but you've gotta see the appeal.)

Takashi: 456 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014 (map); 212-414-2929; takashinyc.com

[Photo: Dave Katz]

Takashi, contd.
Takashi, contd.
The green tea sauce is another option, pictured here with gold leaf on top.

[Photo: Dave Katz]

The Meadow
The Meadow
Nope, this isn't an ice cream parlor; it's a specialty salt and chocolate shop. But we love the sense of humor of a place that'll take a classic Good Humor ice cream sandwich ($3) and let you sprinkle it with high-quality salt. (And we're suckers for just about anything both salty and sweet.)

The Meadow: 523 Hudson Street, New York NY 10014 (map); 212-243-4633; atthemeadow.com

[Photo: Dave Katz]

The Meadow
The Meadow
Take your pick of four different kinds—lemon flake, rosemary flake, fleur de sel, or Halen Mon Gold (Welsh oak tree-smoked salt—which we found a bit aggressive for this sort of thing).

[Photo: Dave Katz]

The Meadow
The Meadow
Sprinkle it on, ready to eat.

[Photo: Dave Katz]