I love New York City in a way that everyone else in the world loves this metropolitan anomaly. The thousands of busy people doing very important things and impatient yellow taxis weaving in and out of traffic are charming in their own way. I’ve visited the city on multiple occasions, and while I (somewhat) enjoyed the obligatory tourist traps like the Empire State Building (where I accidentally groped a security guard) or the ice skating rink at Rockefeller Center, I much prefer to eat my way through the city. My fondest memories are visits to places like the Shake Shack in Grand Central Terminal where I had my first Shack Stack, or the flank steak dish with polenta fries at Cafeteria, or my first birthday truffles from Milk Bar, or positively stuffing my face at Brooklyn’s Smorgasburg. You get the picture. But while this post could be three miles long, I wanted to shed light on some of the best ice cream I’ve enjoyed in the city.
The cone I’m thinking of is from Big Gay Ice Cream. BGIC not only focuses on presentation and quirky marketing, but also delivers on the customer's experience. The design of the cone is built to introduce something new with each bite. It’s sprinkled and drizzled but also dipped and filled. Probably the most iconic cone is the Salty Pimp, consisting of vanilla ice cream, dulce de leche, sea salt, and a dip in chocolate to hold all the goodness in place. I chose to order the Monday Sundae, which is similar, but in my opinion a bit more decadent: twist ice cream (chocolate and vanilla swirl), a Nutella lined cone, dulce de leche, sea salt, and whipped cream. But fair warning, these cones are messy (worth it).Why was this my favorite? It’s a rich cone. With the twist ice cream you get the best of both worlds, which is perfect for those indecisive types (i.e. me). I’m also a sucker for Nutella, but what really makes it is the sea salt, which becomes necessary if you plan to eat a whole waffle cone’s worth of the ice cream. The flakes speckle the cone and cut through the sweetness, keeping the monotony at bay. For the less experienced, you might consider asking for a spoon to scoop out remnants at the bottom of the cone.
You might notice that all of the ice cream at BGIC is soft-serve style. Not only does it provide that iconic swirl, but as co-owner Douglas Quint explains, soft serve ice cream is eaten at 20 degrees compared to typical hard-packed ice cream which is served at 0 degrees (Fahrenheit). By offering their delicious cream above the ice-cold, frozen standard, Quint claims that it’s actually easier to taste the ice cream and the toppings that come with it. The excitement is not simply limited to soft-serve, however. They also offer a variety of cold treats. Milkshake flavors range from horchata to ginger-curry. "Paletas" are also seasonally offered in flavors such as hibiscus and coconut. Customization also comes into play with peculiar toppings such as olive oil and sea salt, elderflower syrup, wasabi pea dust, or even cayenne pepper! Big Gay Ice Cream is just one of many small businesses in NYC that pride themselves with original and inventive food; the only difference is that BGIC will leave you walking away with a smile and possibly a unicorn shirt.
I'm Lisa Cecilia Garcia. I'm a freelance writer specializing in food and lifestyle but have experience in poetry, creative writing, and everything in between. I'm a recent college graduate residing in Valdosta, GA. I love sketching, running, and obviously cooking and eating. When I'm older, I plan to run away to the mountains.