Nothing says summer in New York City like a cool refreshing treat, but it doesn’t always have to be ice cream. Equally satisfying is gelato, which is served across the city in a cone, cup and on a stick. Made with less fat in the base and with less air during the freezing process than ice cream, this summer treat delivers a rich taste that feels almost silky on the tongue. It’s also produced in an astonishingly diverse palette of flavors, but where best to get it in NYC? Don’t worry, we’ve done the homework for you — read on for the eight best places in New York City for top-notch gelato.
Il Laboratorio del Gelato
Located on the Lower East Side, this gourmet parlor is at the top of many New Yorkers’ “best gelato” lists — and for good reason. Founder Jon F. Snyder’s second gelateria (the first being Ciao Bella, which he sold) focuses on distinct and mature flavors that have to be tasted to believed (everything from black sesame to wasabi). There are many, as this shop offers up an impressive 200 rotating flavors of gelato. 188 Ludlow St., 212-343-9922, laboratoriodelgelato.com
Fortunato Brothers Café
Opened in 1976, this family-owned Williamsburg business is renowned for its authentic Italian pastries. This cafe also offers up an exotic menu of gelato, which is offered in 24 mouth-watering flavors, including Italian specialties such as Zuppa Inglese and Tiramisu. 289 Manhattan Ave., Brooklyn, 718-387-2281, fortunatobrothers.com
L’ Albero dei Gelati
In 2013, siblings and second-generation ice cream-makers, Monia and Fabio Solighetto, brought their family’s beloved business (they have three shops in Italy) to Park Slope. The gelatos use first-rate Italian products and raw organic ingredients from local producers, and you can pair them with an espress or glass of wine. Salute! 341 5th Ave., Brooklyn, 718-788-2228, alberodeigelati.com
This international sensation based in Paris came to Greenwich Village in 2013. Founders and childhood friends Cristiano Sereni and Paolo Benassi rely on traditional Italian techniques to create their gelato empire. But there is a twist: Amorino’s trademark “flower cone,” in which gelato flavors are added one-by-one like petals to create a cone topped by what looks like a multicolored flower. The flower cone can be quite hefty — if you desire, it can hold the shop’s entire menu of 22 flavors. 60 University Pl., 212-253-5599, amorino.com
When this popular Turin chain of gelaterias first opened on the Upper West Side (now closed, but multiple locations remain), foodies flocked to get the outfit’s signature classic silky textured gelato. Partners Fedrico Grom and Guido Martinetti’s signature style pays homage to Old World flavors (cocoa powder and cocoa butter) and traditions. Fun fact: Its sorbet and granite are made from the Sparea water spring. Multiple Locations, grom.it
Forget about those silly cups and drippy cones, here gelato is served to you on a stick. This West Village shop offers 25 flavors of handcrafted gelato pops, including mandarin, hazelnut, and banana, just to name a few. If you’re feeling adventurous, ask to have your pop dipped in dark, milk or white chocolate and covered in “poppings,” made from ingredients such as coffee grains, chopped nuts and shredded coconut. It’ll bring out the kid in you. 5 Carmine St., 212-255-4874, pop-bar.com
Pesso’s Italian Ices
Opened since 2004, this Bayside locale — with 70 flavors of Italian-style ices to its name — is a bonafide neighborhood staple. It’s also one of a few Queens shops with an extensive gelato selection. Popular flavors include biscotti, olive oil, hazelnut chocolate pear, and cream and ginger pear. 203-20 35th Ave., Bayside, 718-224-9130, pessosices.com
Otto Enoteca Pizzeria
Mario Batali’s Otto Enoteca Pizzeria is a Village favorite for its crispy pizzas and delicious antipasti selections. But did you know that its acclaimed pastry chef, Meredith Kurtzman, is a master in the art of gelato-making? The flavors of Kurtzman’s smooth gelatos and sorbets change seasonally, but right now she’s serving lemon Meringa and Meyer lemon huckleberry swirl, or opt for the always available olive oil gelato — it’s legendary. There’s also a gelato cart stationed in Washington Square Park on nice days. 1 5th Ave., 212-995-9559, ottopizzeria.com
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