New York City has some of the best ice cream, gelato and soft serve shops in the world, and there’s no better time to explore them than in the sweltering months of summer. But for those who avoid cow’s milk, the Mister Softee jingle is a cold and empty one. For those folks, there’s Victory Garden(31 Carmine Street).
The tiny spot churns soft serve made from goat’s milk and yogurt sourced from Side Hill Acres in New York state. Their happy goats wander and are fed a diet of hay and grass — without hormones or prophylactic antibiotics — which means that the milk is not only tangy and bright, but also has an incredibly clean and fresh taste. It’s then spun into a sweet array of flavors, like salted caramel, chocolate, a seasonal herbal infusion, or a straight-up plain goat milk, which has sour notes underpinning a sweetness that’s neither cloying nor oversaturated.
A cup on its own is heaven; soft and smooth and refreshing. But for those who want a bit more play in their treats, there’s an abundance of other local and artisan products to add-in, like vegan fudge from Coop’s Micro Creamery in Massachusetts, a variety of goat milk caramel sauces from Fat Toad Farm in Vermont, or crushed Heavenly Chocolate Chunk Cookies from New York City’s own Sweet Lorens, which themselves contain no dairy. No matter the combo, this is soft serve so good it’s worthy of being a destination for any and all ice cream fans.
The Village Voice is counting down to our Best of New York City issue in October. We’re combing the city every day, one dish at a time, to guide you to the most delicious food in NYC. These are our 100 Favorite Dishes for 2015, in no particular order, save for the top 10. To read about previous dishes, browse our 100 Favorite Dishes page.