New York
2. Big Gay Ice Cream
Various locations

After starting as an ice cream truck in 2009, Big Gay Ice Cream expanded to several storefronts across the city. While the East Village location permanently closed earlier this year due to the pandemic, there are still three locations (West Village, Seaport, and Upper West Side) to enjoy their signature soft serve in classic flavors such as vanilla, chocolate, and a combo twist. In addition to weekly specials and menu offerings like the Dorothy (vanilla with dulce de leche and rolled in wafer cookies) or Strawberry Shortcake (vanilla with homemade strawberry sauce, wafers, whipped cream), order up milkshakes and ice cream sandwiches as well.

3. Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain
Carroll Gardens

When Brooklyn Farmacy first opened its doors in 2010, one of its many goals was to offer Brooklyn’s best egg cream. Not only is egg cream available in both chocolate or vanilla, but the self-proclaimed soda “jerks” behind the counter will also serve you other delights like floats, milkshakes, and specialty sundaes with potato chips or chunks of buttermilk biscuits. Stay extra cool during the summer heat with a selection of natural sodas in flavors like hibiscus, New Orleans mead, and vanilla bean cream; along with a summery take on a frose: a rosé float made with Rooftop Reds rosé and strawberry ice cream.

4. The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory
Various locations

This iconic, family-owned shop has been scooping up homemade ice cream in Chinatown since 1978. With locations now also in the Lower East Side and Flushing, the second generation purveyors of Chinatown Ice Cream Factory have made it easier to enjoy its regular flavors like lychee, pandan, black sesame, and more, in addition to a rotation of special appearances like cherry vanilla, jelly doughnut, and banana durian.

5. Eddie's Sweet Shop
Forest Hills

The corner location of Eddie’s Sweet Shop has been a Queens staple serving up sweet treats in Forest Hills since 1925. Made with homemade ice cream and overflowing with toppings and syrups, enjoy classics like sundaes, banana splits, and more from a quintessential New York ice cream parlor where respect for old-school traditions is the cherry on top of every dish.

6. Lady Moo-Moo
Bed Stuy

Made on premise in small batches and with limited quantity, Lady Moo Moo operates out of a walk-up window in Bed Stuy every April to November. Open only from Fridays to Sundays, this year marks their sixth summer season and in addition to their classic flavors like vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, cookies and cream, and butter pecan, a rotating set of menu items include the popular Rooftop Honey made with locally-sourced Brooklyn honey. For National Ice Cream Day, the shop is bringing back their free gumball machine this weekend for the first time since the pandemic, and anyone who draws a golden gumball gets ice cream on the house.