NYC's 10 Craziest Ice Cream Flavors
Once upon a time, the world of ice cream was limited to a few selections — chocolate, vanilla, maybe strawberry. Nowadays, with offerings ranging from curry to wasabi to kale, it seems that no ingredient or dish is immune from being churned into a frozen treat. Here are some of the craziest ice cream flavors in New York. Why not change up your summer routine and try one?
Happy Panda (Black Rice): Ice & Vice
The cutely named “Happy Panda” sorbet at this experimental ice cream shop in LES features black rice (a chewy, dark-hued grain eaten widely in parts of Asia), coconut cream and cinnamon — think of it as a frozen riff on a horchata.
221 E. Broadway; 646-678-3687
Cheddar Cheese: Il Laboratorio del Gelato
This savory flavor at the Lower East Side gelato staple offers a gentler take on cheddar's usual sharpness. But don’t worry about missing out on flavor — it comes with chunks of cheese mixed right in.
181 Ludlow St.; 212-343-9922
Banana Curry: Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream
You may have tried banana ice cream — but you probably didn’t think to add curry. Morgenstern's bold blend pays off in this treat, which balances the intense sweetness of banana with earthy, spicy notes. Plus, its bright-yellow color is hard to miss — and perfect for Instagram.
2 Rivington St.; 212-209-7684
Kale Cookies & Cream: by CHLOE
This ice cream offering at vegan hot spot by CHLOE incorporates the traditional cookies-and-cream flavor with a pretty unconventional ice cream ingredient: kale. The trendy lettuce is barely detectable, but does lend a nice green color to the ice cream, which is, of course, made with an all-vegan almond and coconut-milk base.
185 Bleecker St.; 212-290-8000
Mastic & Mahlab: Victory Garden
At Victory Garden, Greek pine resin (mastic) pairs with the pit of a wild cherry (mahlab) to produce one of the most bizarre ice cream flavors out there. It’s bitter, sweet and altogether unexpected. Try it in a sundae, which comes topped with pistachios, honey and a mastic wafer.
31 Carmine St.; 212-206-7273
Horseradish: Max & Mina’s Ice Cream
The folks at Max & Mina’s Ice Cream are no strangers to crazy flavors, having served up everything from lobster to garlic to lox. Its latest creation is horseradish — the root vegetable that gives wasabi its signature bite. While this frozen adaptation is not quite as piquant as the real thing, it’s a great one for those who don’t mind a little heat.
716 Main St., Queens; 718-793-8629
Black Sesame Seaweed: SkyIce Sweet & Savory
Black sesame has become one of the more popular ice cream flavors at the moment. And Park Slope’s SkyIce takes it up a notch with the addition of dried seaweed, which adds a salty, roasty punch.
63 5th Ave., Brooklyn; 718-230-0910
Tang-Creamsicle Shake: Big Gay Ice Cream
’90s kids all remember Tang — the citrus-laden, astronaut-friendly it-beverage of the decade. Big Gay Ice Cream has brought it back in the form of an ice cream shake, which combines Tang powder with vanilla ice cream to create the creamsicle of your childhood dreams.
61 Grove St.; 212-414-0222
Malt Maitake Peanut: Oddfellows
Trust the mad scientists at Oddfellows to make mushroom ice cream craveworthy. This creation is an inventive twist on the classic peanut-chocolate combo, with the maitake mushrooms providing a mild and pleasant funk.
175 Kent Ave., Brooklyn; 347-599-0556
Image by Hail Mary
Sage Chip: Hail Mary
Trendy Greenpoint diner Hail Mary has a dizzyingly long list of sweet offerings; one of the more curious is the ultra-aromatic sage chip ice cream, made with dried sage leaves. An added bonus: You can get it made as a float, freeze, shake or malt, paired with another unique flavor like banana star anise or cardamom chocolate.
68 Greenpoint Ave., Brooklyn; 347-322-0645