Yeah, it’s summer. Yeah, it’s hot. Yeah, we all want ice cream. But Mr. Softie has some real competition this year, as Brooklyn has flooded with artisanal ice cream shops that bring flavors beyond your wildest dreams. Vanilla and chocolate…that’s so ten years ago.
But with the hype and happy taste buds, comes rapidly reduced pocket money, so we went around the borough, scooping and tasting, to find who serves up the cheapest artisanal ice cream cone in Brooklyn. And then how much the other ones cost, for good measure.
Ample Hills Creamery (623 Vanderbilt Ave., Prospect Heights; 305 Nevins St., Gowanus; Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 5)
Kiddie cone: $2.75, regular: $4.35
Since opening in 2011 in Prospect Heights, Ample Hills quickly became one of Brooklyn’s most sought after scoops. Its flavors range from salted crack caramel (salted butter caramel ice cream with saltine crackers coated with butter, sugar and chocolate) to The Munchies (pretzel-infused ice cream with clusters of Ritz crackers, potato chips, pretzels and mini M&Ms) and even Mexican hot chocolate (dark chocolate ice cream with Saigon cinnamon and ground chili flakes). And just as lovely as their clever, imaginative flavors (and names), are the prices, with a kiddie cup, which holds a very sizeable scoop(s), standing at a fairly reasonable price. Beware of the crowds, as this place is always packed. However, it is worth the wait, as you’re sure to leave with happy taste buds and a full tummy.
Brooklyn Bell’s The Local (843 Classon Ave., Crown Heights)
Kiddie: $2.75, regular: $3.50
This cozy shop offers a welcoming atmosphere and a menu of eight rotating flavors. The base of all the ice creams is Hudson Valley cream and milk, Turbinado raw sugar and egg yolks, with local ingredient additions added in to create ever-popular flavors like Black Lava Caramel, Honey it’s Thyme and roasted strawberry, just to name a few.
Blue Marble (196 Court St., Cobble Hill; 186 Underhill Ave., Prospect Heights)
Mini marble: $2.90, marble: $3.89
With two cozy locations in Cobble Hill and Prospect Heights, owners Jennie and Alexis have created an ice cream that is both organic and refreshing, with straightforward flavors such as mint chip, ginger and grapenut, all with a natural feel that makes you feel like you’re one with the environment. Scoop to price ratio is a little off, with complaints that the mini marble and marble are smaller then those of competitors. Yet, complaining only really starts once the ice cream is gone and you’re scraping the bottle of the bowl looking for more.
OddFellows Ice Cream Co. (175 Kent Ave., Williamsburg)
$3.25 for one scoop
Owners Sam Mason, Holiday Kumar and Mohan Kumar dispel tradition by creating savory flavors. You can walk into this neighborhood shop and leave-licking cornbread flavored ice cream off of a wafer cone. Yep, mind blown. And although they specialize in savory concoctions, they do have traditional flavors such as chocolate chunk and strawberry.
Greene Grape Scoops (680 Fulton Street, Fort Greene)
$3.50 for one scoop
Greene Grape has again expanded its mini-empire, adding yet another new addition to the Fort Greene streets that sells popular local ice cream brands. Right now the store sells eight rotating flavors: salted caramel and strawberry from Blue Marble; Vietnamese iced coffee, peanutty pretzel, and coconut key lime from Phin & Phebes; and chocolate, vanilla, and whiteface Mint Chip from Adirondack Creamery’s; with new additions are in the works.
Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory (1 Water St., Brooklyn Heights; 97 Commercial St., Greenpoint)
$4 for one scoop
An old Brooklyn Heights tradition with a fairly new addition in Greenpoint, the Brooklyn Ice Cream factory is home to the all natural, in house made, ice cream classics. Though slightly more pricey then competitors, its simplicity and homey, old-time feel, makes it worth the wait. And if you’re a chocolate fan, chef Ellen Sternau’s dark chocolate syrup is a must for chocolate and sundae lovers alike.
Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream (620 Manhattan Ave., Greenpoint; 81 Bergan St., Boerum Hill)
$4.50 for a small scoop
Known for their fancy mobile trucks found most frequently in Williamsburg, Van Leeuwen’s ice cream appeals to the upper-middle class hipsters, environmental enthusiasts and vegans alike. They now have two Brooklyn storefront locations and will soon be expanding to Williamsburg at 204 Wythe Ave. Though pricier then most, their products bring “all-natural” to the extreme, with flavors such as earl grey and ginger that are so clean and earthy that you actually feel healthy eating ice cream. The vegan options are made with coconut and cashew milk and include flavors such as dark chocolate, coffee bean and Sicilian.
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