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Mister Softee.
Mister Softee.
Nick Solares

Where to Find Soft Serve in New York

That Heat Dome is still happening, right?

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Mister Softee.
| Nick Solares

Soft serve is special. For one thing, it's a destination dessert: It can't just be picked up at the bodega and kept for later — someone has to pull a tall swirl into a cup or cone to be eaten immediately.

And then there's the flavor. While vanilla or the classic swirl are the gold standards, plenty of oddball contenders are now available for our enjoyment. Toppings have gotten intricate, too, and move beyond the traditional — but still popular! — sprinkles and a chocolate shell. Dipped, crumb coated, sandwiched, plain, or featured in a float, here are the top places to find soft serve in NYC.

— Amanda Kludt, David Yee, Nick Solares, and Sonia Chopra also contributed to this map

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Big Gay Ice Cream Shop

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61 Grove St
New York, NY 10014
(212) 414-0222
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Started with a truck in 2009, Big Gay Ice Cream now sells soft serve in three locations in NYC and Philly. Long lines form for treats like chocolate soft serve coated in curry-coconut flake, Tang floats, and some perennial favorites like the Mermaid and Bea Arthur.
Robert Sietstema

2. Dominique Ansel Kitchen

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137 7th Ave S
New York, NY 10014
(212) 242-5111
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Creamy, milky burrata and salt and pepper caramel are the two flavors on offer right now at Dominique Ansel's dine-in dessert spot. Head's up though, soft serve is only available Friday through Sunday from noon to 9 p.m.

3. Dessert Club, ChikaLicious

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204 E 10th St
New York, NY 10003
(212) 475-0929
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Top the vanilla soft serve at ChikaLicious however you desire — the real joy in this dessert comes from the flaky churro cone.

4. Lilia

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567 Union Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 576-3095
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In the words of Eater NY critic Ryan Sutton, "The right call at the end of the meal is a soft-serve gelato delivered in a glass cup, anointed with your choice of toppings; try garnishing it with candied orange rind for an impromptu creamsicle."
Paul Crispin Quitoriano

5. Dairy Queen

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54 W 14th St
New York, NY 10011
(212) 929-1450
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Mall favorite Dairy Queen has a centrally located Manhattan outpost to meet any and all Blizzard and sundae needs.

6. McDonald's

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1560 Broadway
New York, NY 10036
(212) 921-8900
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Many have tried (ahem, Chikalicious) and few have succeeded at making a soft serve sundae as perfect as the McDonald's classic vanilla with hot fudge (and optional nuts). Also, McFlurries.

7. Victory Garden

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31 Carmine St
New York, NY 10014
(212) 206-7273
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You don't have to be lactose intolerant to appreciate the Victory Garden's goat milk soft serve. They cycle through four flavors at a time, so there's always something new to try, like mastic or black walnut.

8. Ray's Candy Store

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113 Avenue A
New York, NY 10009
No matter the hour, East Village hole-in-the-wall Ray's has you covered. If soft serve (pistachio is a must) isn't enough, you can always tack on an order of beignets or fried oreos. Take note: Ray's is cash only.

9. Cafe Zaiya

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18 E 41st St
New York, NY 10017
(212) 779-0600
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Japanese cafe Zaiya has matcha and black sesame flavors that are great together or alone. Grab one of their still-crispy onigiris while you're there for the perfect summer lunch.

10. Momofuku Milk Bar

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251 E 13th St
New York, NY 10003
(347) 577-9504
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With six locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn, you're never too far away from some of the iconic sweet, cereal-infused soft serve from this New York favorite. Don't miss the passion fruit chocolate chip flavor either.

11. Takashi

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456 Hudson St
New York, NY 10014
(212) 414-2929
Visit Website
House-made soft serve at Takashi is the one dessert at this otherwise beef-only spot. Enjoy it in unadorned austerity or get the works, which include azuki beans, black sesame flour, rice dumplings, and even gold flakes. (Pictured here with halva.)

12. RUIMILK

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136-49 Roosevelt Ave
New York, NY 11354
Soft serve with cotton candy is as unusual as it is Instagram friendly. Order a Thunder Cloud where the fluffy stuff sits on the ice cream or a Dreamy Balloon (pictured) with the candy lofted over the soft serve with Pocky.

13. Chloe's Soft Serve Fruit Co.

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25 E 17th St
New York, NY 10003
(212) 675-0550
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Fruit, sugar, and water are all you'll find in Chloe's refreshing soft serve. Try yours in a sundae or with a vegan waffle.

14. L&B Spumoni Gardens

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2725 86th St
Brooklyn, NY 11223
(718) 372-8400
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Sure, the namesake spumoni at L&B Spumoni Gardens is top-notch, but devotees of the softer stuff know to ask for the pitch-perfect creamsicle twist, served only in summer.

15. Carvel Ice Cream

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58-24 Myrtle Ave
Ridgewood, NY 11385
(718) 386-2258
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If — for some reason — you don't want to order an entire whale cake, go for the soft serve at Carvel: available in a cup, a cone, a sundae, or even sandwiched between two cookies.

16. Nicoletta

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160 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10003
(212) 432-1600
Visit Website
The ice cream at chef Michael White’s Nicoletta is deceptive, it looks like plain old vanilla soft serve, but tastes like fior di latte gelato. It is an even purer expression of dairy than vanilla ice cream, revealing the full flavor of the sweet cream, with just a hint of pleasing sourness. You can pimp out your soft serve with all manner of add-ons like rosemary caramel popcorn, pistachio brittle, or amaretti cookie crumble, but it's equally rewarding eaten plain.

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1. Big Gay Ice Cream Shop

61 Grove St, New York, NY 10014
Robert Sietstema
Started with a truck in 2009, Big Gay Ice Cream now sells soft serve in three locations in NYC and Philly. Long lines form for treats like chocolate soft serve coated in curry-coconut flake, Tang floats, and some perennial favorites like the Mermaid and Bea Arthur.
61 Grove St
New York, NY 10014

2. Dominique Ansel Kitchen

137 7th Ave S, New York, NY 10014
Creamy, milky burrata and salt and pepper caramel are the two flavors on offer right now at Dominique Ansel's dine-in dessert spot. Head's up though, soft serve is only available Friday through Sunday from noon to 9 p.m.
137 7th Ave S
New York, NY 10014

3. Dessert Club, ChikaLicious

204 E 10th St, New York, NY 10003
Top the vanilla soft serve at ChikaLicious however you desire — the real joy in this dessert comes from the flaky churro cone.
204 E 10th St
New York, NY 10003

4. Lilia

567 Union Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Paul Crispin Quitoriano
In the words of Eater NY critic Ryan Sutton, "The right call at the end of the meal is a soft-serve gelato delivered in a glass cup, anointed with your choice of toppings; try garnishing it with candied orange rind for an impromptu creamsicle."
567 Union Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211

5. Dairy Queen

54 W 14th St, New York, NY 10011
Mall favorite Dairy Queen has a centrally located Manhattan outpost to meet any and all Blizzard and sundae needs.
54 W 14th St
New York, NY 10011

6. McDonald's

1560 Broadway, New York, NY 10036
Many have tried (ahem, Chikalicious) and few have succeeded at making a soft serve sundae as perfect as the McDonald's classic vanilla with hot fudge (and optional nuts). Also, McFlurries.
1560 Broadway
New York, NY 10036

7. Victory Garden

31 Carmine St, New York, NY 10014
You don't have to be lactose intolerant to appreciate the Victory Garden's goat milk soft serve. They cycle through four flavors at a time, so there's always something new to try, like mastic or black walnut.
31 Carmine St
New York, NY 10014

8. Ray's Candy Store

113 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009
No matter the hour, East Village hole-in-the-wall Ray's has you covered. If soft serve (pistachio is a must) isn't enough, you can always tack on an order of beignets or fried oreos. Take note: Ray's is cash only.
113 Avenue A
New York, NY 10009

9. Cafe Zaiya

18 E 41st St, New York, NY 10017
Japanese cafe Zaiya has matcha and black sesame flavors that are great together or alone. Grab one of their still-crispy onigiris while you're there for the perfect summer lunch.
18 E 41st St
New York, NY 10017

10. Momofuku Milk Bar

251 E 13th St, New York, NY 10003
With six locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn, you're never too far away from some of the iconic sweet, cereal-infused soft serve from this New York favorite. Don't miss the passion fruit chocolate chip flavor either.
251 E 13th St
New York, NY 10003

11. Takashi

456 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014
House-made soft serve at Takashi is the one dessert at this otherwise beef-only spot. Enjoy it in unadorned austerity or get the works, which include azuki beans, black sesame flour, rice dumplings, and even gold flakes. (Pictured here with halva.)
456 Hudson St
New York, NY 10014

12. RUIMILK

136-49 Roosevelt Ave, New York, NY 11354
Soft serve with cotton candy is as unusual as it is Instagram friendly. Order a Thunder Cloud where the fluffy stuff sits on the ice cream or a Dreamy Balloon (pictured) with the candy lofted over the soft serve with Pocky.
136-49 Roosevelt Ave
New York, NY 11354

13. Chloe's Soft Serve Fruit Co.

25 E 17th St, New York, NY 10003
Fruit, sugar, and water are all you'll find in Chloe's refreshing soft serve. Try yours in a sundae or with a vegan waffle.
25 E 17th St
New York, NY 10003

14. L&B Spumoni Gardens

2725 86th St, Brooklyn, NY 11223
Sure, the namesake spumoni at L&B Spumoni Gardens is top-notch, but devotees of the softer stuff know to ask for the pitch-perfect creamsicle twist, served only in summer.
2725 86th St
Brooklyn, NY 11223

15. Carvel Ice Cream

58-24 Myrtle Ave, Ridgewood, NY 11385
If — for some reason — you don't want to order an entire whale cake, go for the soft serve at Carvel: available in a cup, a cone, a sundae, or even sandwiched between two cookies.
58-24 Myrtle Ave
Ridgewood, NY 11385

Related Maps

16. Nicoletta

160 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003
The ice cream at chef Michael White’s Nicoletta is deceptive, it looks like plain old vanilla soft serve, but tastes like fior di latte gelato. It is an even purer expression of dairy than vanilla ice cream, revealing the full flavor of the sweet cream, with just a hint of pleasing sourness. You can pimp out your soft serve with all manner of add-ons like rosemary caramel popcorn, pistachio brittle, or amaretti cookie crumble, but it's equally rewarding eaten plain.
160 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10003

Related Maps