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Remember when you were a kid, and your summer was measured out in frozen treats? Maybe your mom kept Popsicles in the freezer, and you had to sneak through the noisy screen door to snitch one. Or maybe every Friday evening, your dad would summon the family and pile everyone into the car and go to Baskin Robbins. Maybe, like me, your folks had an old-fashioned, hand-cranked ice cream maker that looked like a small green wooden barrel, and once a month or so we’d make vanilla ice cream, and then flood it with homemade hot fudge.
Everyone has their ice cream memories, and the Fork in the Road staff is no exception. But now the availability of a wild variety of frozen treats has rendered our memories pale by comparison. No longer is our choice limited to what the soft-serve truck, blaring a nightmarish melody, drags into our vicinity. We now have water ices; milk ices; real frozen custard; frozen yogurt imported from Korea and Japan; soft-serve lavished with olive oil and sea salt; boutique ice creams in various organic flavors, vended by truck or in free-standing stores; gelato, both domestic and imported; Caribbean ice cream featuring flavors like Guinness Stout; sorbet in Asian flavors like green tea and candied ginger; and even faux-Popsicles made by obsessive locavores using only seasonal and sustainable ingredients.
But which to choose, since you can probably only enjoy a treat or two per day? Hopefully, this list will help. And, believe us, the research was more than half the fun.
The Big Gay Ice Cream Truck is like a cross between Mister Softee and Mario Batali–its olive-oil-and-sea-salt soft serve is shown below. But did it make the top 10?
Turn the page to discover our runners-up list–great places that didn’t quite make the top 10.
Chocaholics will thrill to the Jacques Torres flavor “Wicked,” which adds chile peppers and other challenging stuff to a very rich chocolate ice cream.
Here is our Runners-up List to Our 10 Best Frozen Treats:
Ralph’s Italian Ices, 501 Port Richmond Ave, Port Richmond, Staten Island, 718-448-0853; Blue Marble, 420 Atlantic Avenue, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, 718-858-1100; Jacques Torres Ice Cream, 62 Water Street, Dumbo, Brooklyn, 718-875-9772; Eggers Ice Cream Parlor, 7437 Amboy Road, Tottenville, Staten Island, 718-605-9335; Savarese, 5942 New Utrecht Avenue, Boro Park, Brooklyn, 718-438-7770; Cones, 272B Bleecker Street, 212-414-1795; Anopoli Ice Cream Parlor, 6920 Third Avenue, Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, 718-748-3863; Mona Lisa, 1476 86th Street, Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, 718-837-2041; General Greene (cart), 229 DeKalb Avenue, Ft. Greene, Brooklyn, 718-222-1510; Big Gay Ice Cream Truck, variable locations
Hey Foodie, do you recognize these quiescently frozen confections, and know just where to get them? (left, roasted apricot and lavender; right, watermelon and mint)
Our 10 Best Frozen Treats, 6 through 10
6. Taste the Tropics, 1249 Utica Avenue, Flatbush, Brooklyn, 718-629-3582
7. Eddie’s Sweet Shop, 105-29 Metropolitan Avenue, Forest Hills, Queens, 718-520-8514
8. Laboratorio del Gelato, 95 Orchard Street, 212-343-9922
9. Piattini, 9824 Fourth Avenue, Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, 718-759-0009
10.X Frozen Yogurt, 500 Driggs Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, 718-599-1706
This classic institution is missing from the above list. Will it be among the top 5? Turn page to find out.
This unassuming little place–the only local maker of authentic, eggy frozen custard–easily makes Our 10 Best Frozen Treats.
Here are the top five on our list:
1. L’Arte del Gelato, 75 Seventh Avenue South, 212-924-0803
2. Lemon Ice King of Corona, 5202 108th Street, Corona, Queens, 718-699-5133
3. Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, 65 Bayard Street, 212-608-4170
4. Timmy O’s Frozen Custard, 49-07 104th Street, Corona, Queens, 516-242-1843
5. People’s Pops, Brooklyn Flea, Saturday and Sunday only
If you have a favorite place not on our list, please let us know.