As New Yorkers approach the first truly warm days of quarantine, comforts like flaky fruit pies, ice cream, and sorbet are likely more desirable than ever. While freshly-scooped ice cream cones may be canceled for the foreseeable future, local shops are finding ways to distribute pints to city residents’ front doors. Creamery-culled frozen treats are available in spades and all sorts of varieties — from boozy to spicy to non-dairy. Some even come in popsicle or sandwich form.
And while that slice of Four and Twenty Blackbirds pie may not be available from a favorite neighborhood restaurant, it is now obtainable for delivery. Just in time for stay-on-your-stoop weather, here’s a guide to some of the city’s best pies and artisanal ice creams available through contactless pickup and delivery.
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Big Shane’s Ice Cream: One night while bartending in Queens, Shane overheard a customer who needed two gallons of ice cream for an event. A lifelong lover of ice cream, he seized the opportunity to make the ice cream himself, creating a first custom batch alongside flavor developer Sarah Pleitez. Having just launched in NYC a few months ago, Shane’s is now offering pints via delivery. Flavors include honeycomb crisp, very vanilla beany, rich chocolate crinkle, good ole Guinness, and Baileys ginger swirl. A selection of gluten-free cookies are also available. DM @bigshanesicecream on Instagram or email firstname.lastname@example.org to order.
Blue Marble: The Prospect Heights location of the premium organic Brooklyn ice cream parlor that debuted on Atlantic Avenue 13 years ago is still open, with what it promises is a “safe and secure walk-up window.” It opens every day at 8 a.m. for that early morning frozen dessert fix. It’s also available packaged from Fresh Direct, and nationally through Goldbelly.
Caffe Panna: The Gramercy Park dessert shop is offering only delivery of ice cream, but no takeout, on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday via Relay. Order through the website.
Chinatown Ice Cream Factory: Since the early 80s, Chinatown Ice Cream factory has been delighting visitors to Chinatown with its ice cream that use flavors more common to Asian cuisines. Thrill to flavors like lychee (as sorbet or ice cream), green tea, durian, and the popular zen butter, plus more traditionally American flavors of ice cream like Oreo cookie, which the shop labels as “exotic.” Call the shop for pickup, or do UberEats delivery.
Cones: Since 1998, this Greenwich Village shop right on Bleecker Street has been peddling Argentine-style gelato, the likes of which is available nowhere else that we can think of. Not only does that mean flavors rarely found here (like yerba mate and a killer grapefruit), but a South American ambiance and business attitude. For now, open only Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with local delivery available from the shop.
Four and Twenty Blackbirds: The beloved Gowanus sweets destination and wholesaler to restaurants like Vinegar Hill House and Danny Meyer’s Untitled has recently expanded its direct to customer options. Same day delivery is available in Brooklyn (via Grubhub, Caviar, Doordash, and Seamless), and next day delivery is offered throughout NYC for all pies and baked goods. Available pies are $42 and include strawberry balsamic, chocolate chess, salted caramel apple, and matcha custard.
Il Laboratorio del Gelato: After a hiatus of several weeks, the Lower East Side mothership across the street from Katz’s Deli has reopened. The place is famous, not only for its laboratory-like setting, but for the profusion of unusual flavors (300 total!) that change on a daily basis. Several types of chocolate are available, but also things like beet, pumpkin, and corn. Delivery: trycaviar.com, postmates.com
L’Albero dei Gelati: When open, this adorable Park Slope gelatería and restaurant churns 21 sweet and fruity varieties. Getato lovers can now order by the pint or pound (!) through Caviar delivery. Pints of flavors like cinnamon, blueberry cheesecake, hazelnut, and lemon sorbet can also be purchased with a bottle of natural wine for $34 to $36.
Little Pie Company: This Midtown shop offers a theatrical approach to baking. Framed by large, picture windows, bakers can usually be seen from outside the shop whipping up seasonal favorites like strawberry rhubarb and year-round classics like banana coconut cream pie and southern pecan. All full-sized pies, as well as a Little Piece sampler, are available for local and nationwide delivery (with free shipping) via Goldbelly.
Malai Ice Cream: When crafting ice cream for Malai, owner Pooja Bavishi draws on nostalgic childhood flavors and family visits to India. Pints are still available for local weekend pickup in flavors like lemon cardamom, tulsi chocolate chip, masala chai, and rose with cinnamon roasted almonds. Malai is also creating ice cream cakes and sundae kits. Weekend pickup is from 1pm-4pm at their Brooklyn Scoop Shop. Orders must be placed online.
Milk Bar: Since its 2008 opening, and more recently, a nationwide grocery store launch, this Christina Tosi-led dessert empire has been on a one-way fast track to becoming one of the biggest national names in mass produced indulgences. Favorites like Milk Bar pie — formerly known as “Crack Pie” — birthday cake, and a selection of salty and sweet cookies are available for delivery online.
Morgenstern’s: This Greenwich Village spot offers 88 classic and avant-garde flavors alongside a selection of pies, ice cream cakes, and housemade novelty ice cream bars and sandwiches. Owner and founder Nick Morgenstern opened his shop in 2014 as an old school ice cream parlor with a new age twist. Nearly 70 of its 88 flavors, including Vietnamese coffee, pistachio pesto strawberry, salt & pepper pine nut, and pineapple pandan, are available in $13 pints. Ice cream can also be picked up from the Morgenstern’s Houston Street flagship store from 12 p.m. to 2 a.m.
OddFellows: Since 2013, this Brooklyn ice cream company has pasteurized their own ice cream base to create a high-quality, locally sourced product. Flavors like olive oil strawberry jam, vegan oatmeal cookie, sweet cream and sprinkles, and exotic fruits sorbet are now available through the shop’s e-commerce site. Be sure to keep scrolling for an impressive selection of natural wines with staff recommended ice cream pairings. Order Sunday through Friday for pickup from OddFellows’ Water Street location in Dumbo or Saturday from 12 pm to 4 pm for $40 minimum local delivery.
Petee’s: Petra “Petee” Paredez was no stranger to pie when she opened her own Manhattan pie shop a few years ago. The daughter of owners of the acclaimed Mom’s Apple Pie Company in Leesburg, Virginia has managed to become a pie master in her own right, turning out extremely buttery pies in tons of seasonal and year-round flavors. The Petee’s Lower East Side location is open from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. for takeout, and the Clinton Hill location is open from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Both locations are offering delivery through Grubhub, Seamless, Postmates, and UberEats, as well as through Petee’s new online shop, which includes groceries and booze, as well as new six-inch versions of select pies like Hudson Valley apple, wild blueberry, and chocolate chess.
Pi Bakerie: While better known for its savory phyllo dough pies and pastries, this downtown Greek bakery also offers an array of sweet Mediterranean confections, including baklava, galaktoboureko (crispy layers of phyllo filled with custard and soaked in honey), rice pudding, and a six-inch apple tart made with apricot jam and almond paste. Delivery is available through Caviar, Uber Eats, and Postmates.
Popbar: Since 2010, this gelato-on-a-stick franchise has garnered swarms of adoring fans outside its West Village shop. Flavors like chocolate fudge, cinnamon pretzel crunch, strawberry and blood orange sorbet, and hot chocolate on a stick are available a la carte or in packs of six or 15 through Seamless and Postmates. Popbar is currently running a $5 discount on six-packs. Delivery is only offered on Saturdays and Sundays.
Sugar Hill Creamery: Though named after a famous hilly neighborhood in northwest Harlem, Sugar Hill Creamery is located in the vicinity of Mount Morris in southeast Harlem. It has been open seven days a week scooping its fancifully named ice creams (dark chocolate is “sweet socialism,” made with Madagascar chocolate), including some seasonal choices like Don Cartagena, combining guava and cheese in a tip of the hat to East Harlem. Delivery: postmates.com, seamless.com, grubhub.com, ubereats.com, doordash.com
Sundaes and Cones: This handsome East Village space opened in 2006 might have once been described as one of the most comfortable ice cream parlors in the city, but now one must get the ice cream fix it offers and run. The ice cream is creamier than most, sundaes are indeed the thing to get, and ice cream cakes are also available.
Van Leeuwen: The erstwhile food truck is now an NYC household name when it comes to locally-made artisan ice creams. Pints are available via Caviar for its multiple locations, in flavors like pumpkin cheesecake, earl grey tea, cookies and cream, and mocha cookie crumble. Mixes of six pints are also available on Goldbelly for nationwide delivery.
This story was originally published on May 5, 2020, and has been updated to include more options.
Leah Rosenzweig writes about wine, cultural history, and books in Brooklyn, New York.