Fork Yeah

Skip Mister Softee and Get These Handmade Frozen Mexican Treats Instead

While New Yorkers will always have an affinity for Mister Softee, La Newyorkina is proving to be stiff competition with its handmade, James Beard-nominated Mexican ice cream.

After working at famed New York kitchens, including the late La Côte Basque and Eleven Madison Park, chef Fany Gerson opened La Newyorkina in 2010 with the simple mission of sharing “the sweetness of Mexico.” Inspired by a year spent researching her native country of Mexico and publishing her first cookbook, “My Sweet Mexico,” Gerson recruited friends to create paletas, traditional Mexican popsicles, to sell at the Hester Street Fair. With five classic flavors -- mango chile, hibiscus, passion fruit, coconut, and avocado -- the stand was a successful test, proving New York was ready for Mexican dessert flavors and Gerson was ready to make her dreams come true by opening her own ice cream shop.

With a brick-and-mortar location in the West Village, another one in the works at Astor Place, plus a lineup of street fairs and food halls around the city, Gerson has revamped her menu to include more than just paletas. Nieve de garrafa are traditional, handmade Mexican ice creams in rich flavors like Mexican Vanilla and Oaxacan Chocolate -- just don’t expect them to be topped with sprinkles; instead, they’re adorned with things like spicy candied mangoes and pumpkin seed brittle. Concha sandwiches combine the handmade ice cream with classic Mexican sweet buns for a new take on the ice cream sandwich, while chamoyada is a mixture of shaved ice, sorbet, and slushy that transforms mango, chamoy sauce, and salted chili into a new-aged Mexican ice cream sundae, complete with a tamarind straw.

Check out the video above to see what Mexico has to teach us about stepping up our ice cream game.

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Tanner Saunders is an Editorial Production Assistant at Thrillist who works dangerously close to La Newyorkina. Follow him on Instagram.