Ask anyone that’s acquainted with me – I have a ridiculous sweet tooth. I was a really picky eater as a kid, but when it came to desserts… I would stop at nothing. Moving to New York has only fueled my sweets obsession tenfold, and I’ve spent a great deal of time popping into the city’s best bakeries, ice cream parlors, and various sweet shops.
This was a really hard list for me to put together considering I love almost every dessert. Many treats almost made the cut, but in the end, I came up with this list of my Top 5 Summer Treats in NYC. Enjoy!
Mango Chili Paleta, La Newyorkina
I first discovered this paleta at Googa Mooga when I needed a refreshing treat after eating so much other food. These Mexican inspired popsicles completely hit the spot on a hot summer day. This was absolutely perfect, with chunks of mango and a generous helping of chili flakes, so the hot and cold balance totally works. The Googa Mooga cart even offered extra chili pepper to those daring few who needed more heat! I keep meaning to try another flavor when I pass by the cart on the High Line, but I can’t seem to tear myself away from this one. Warning: they don’t always look like they do in this picture: the tip of my High Line paleta was a deep red, completely covered in chili… it definitely woke me up! Make sure you ask for a mild one if you’re like me.
Visit La Newyorkina at the High Line, or go to their website to find their other locations.
Coconut Almond Cookie + Salted Chocolate with Choco Vivo Ice Cream Sandwich, Coolhaus
If you don’t like ice cream sandwiches, you don’t have a soul. I got so addicted to this spot that I’m pretty sure that the guy who runs the Union Square truck recognizes me…he gets this look in his eye when he sees me and I’m positive he’s calling me a fat kid at heart. Maybe I’m being paranoid, but I can’t stay away from this truck – I’m seriously considering unfollowing them on Twitter because everytime I find out where they are, I want to run there immediately and get myself an ice cream sandwich.
The flavors are funky and creative – ice creams include Maker’s Mark, Beer and Pretzels, Peking Duck?! I personally favor the always chewy gluten-free coconut almond cookie. I generally go for any version of chocolate ice cream, but the dirty mint is also good too (the photo is of the dirty mint – I end up devouring the chocolate one before I can even think about a camera).
Best part about the sandwich? You can eat the wrapper!
Follow Coolhaus on Twitter to find out where the trucks are!
Arnold Palmer Mango Slush, Kelvin Natural Slush Co.
The first time I ever heard of Kelvin, it was because of the insanely long line leading up to it at Smorgasburg. The concept is simple: you pick a base flavor, then choose a mix-in, where options include freshly chopped mint, raspberry, caramelized pineapple, the list goes on. My go to is always the Arnold Palmer and mango – sorry about the mango overload, but when you add it to this slush (or anything really) it just takes it to the next level. Also, it’s just as great when it melts, because then it basically turns into mango iced tea lemonade. Awesome.
You can find Kelvin at the “Ice Cube” at 6th Avenue and Bleecker Street, Smorgasburg, and various other locations which you can find on their website. The slush comes non-alcoholic, but there’s no reason you can’t spike it yourself, and you can even find it “prohibition style” in a few places!
Salted Caramel Gelato, Eataly
If I were to describe Eataly as an overwhelmingly vast universe of delicious Italian foodstuffs, then the gelato would be its black hole. I cannot leave Eataly without ordering gelato, and this is top-notch. Take it from me, I’ve eaten a lot of gelato in my lifetime (especially during the course of a one month stay in Italy, where I consumed so much gelato I literally busted the seams of my clothes), so I know my stuff when it comes to this treat.
Salted caramel is to me as what bacon is to many others – you can put that caramel on anything and it’ll probably be awesome. Of course, the other choices are nothing short of delicious as well – I also favor the hazelnut and pistachio, but let’s be honest, I’ll never discriminate against any kind of gelato. The flavors are always intense and deliciously creamy, and I’m just going to throw it out there… is this gelato the best in New York City?
You can get the gelato every day at Eataly (and don’t forget to stop by my favorite while you’re there for lunch, Pranzo!)
The Salty Pimp, Big Gay Ice Cream
Half the thrill of ordering this is being able to loudly say “I’d like a Salty Pimp, please” in public. The first time I had this was at the truck last year when it was parked at Union Square, and the line was so long a cop had to herd people into an orderly fashion. Now, there’s an actual shop (where the line is still long) so you don’t have to chase all over the city for the truck.
If you aren’t familiar with a Salty Pimp, it’s basically pimped out vanilla soft serve ice cream, drizzled with dulce de leche, sprinkled with sea salt, and then dipped in chocolate to give it a hard shell. I’m into that whole salty/sweet combination (can’t you tell?) and of all the quirky treats on their popular menu, this is definitely my favorite.
Salty Pimps are available at the store in the East Village, and you can still find the truck, just check out their website.
So, what about you guys? What’s your favorite summer treat in the city?
Happy eating, everyone!