How to Get Brooklyn's Best Ice Cream Outside the City
Pint sizes of small batches—straight from the Empire State to your freezer.
Around the turn of the decade, a new dessert boom began—cooler and arguably tastier than the cupcake craze of the early 2000s: the great New York Ice Cream Renaissance. Across the five boroughs, chefs concocted adventurous, homemade, hand-scooped, ice cold delicacies. Brooklyn, in particular, became home to a host of artisanal, trek-worthy ice creameries. To enjoy them, however, you had to visit the city in its sticky summer—until now.
It's finally easy to savor specialty Brooklyn ice cream from the comforts of home. These sweet stops produce small batch pints in-house and distribute, or ship, coast-to-coast. From luxe designer ingredients to nostalgic mash-ups and faithful interpretations of the classics, you'll want to grab your spoon and indulge in the most delectable Brooklyn-made frozen treats.
Ample Hills Creamery
The four-year-old, two-location mini-chain is a relative newcomer in the artisanal ice cream marketplace, but Ample Hills almost immediately made a name for itself beyond its Prospect Heights and Gowanus locations. To wit, Oprah Winfrey lent the scratch-made operation her highest endorsement, declaring, "I once ate an entire pint in my pajamas!" What's good enough for Oprah is certainly good enough for our mortal goblets. Ample Hills is best when it's chunky. Take "The Munchies," which features a pretzel base studded with Ritz crackers, potato chips, pretzels, and mini M&Ms. While Ample Hills is not available on retail shelves nationwide—yet—$89 six-packs can come straight to your door. And the cherry on top? Free shipping.
Blue Marble Ice Cream
Blue Marble calls its flavors "elemental—classic, straightforward, and pure." You won't find mass produced mix-ins or unusual flavor profiles here. The company has been delivering organic, preservative-free ice cream since 2007, and has remained true to that promise even with its expansion beyond Brooklyn onto retailers' shelves across the country. Blue Marble's offerings—such as Organic Green Tea, Organic Sea Salt Caramel, and the big-kid favorite Organic Cookies & Cream—are currently sold in Texas, Florida, Maryland, Georgia, and Ohio. Live elsewhere? Blue Marble ships nationwide. Retail price varies store to store; six-packs are available through Foody Direct for $59.95.
Steve's Ice Cream
The ice cream retailer that fancies itself the pioneer of small batch operations is also the most ubiquitous in nationwide distribution. Pints are available at retailers in 41 states, from Maine to California, and almost everywhere in between. Steve's Ice Cream started in 1973 and is known for introducing "mix-ins," like candy and cookie crumbs, to standard flavors. Its rebrand nearly five years ago elevated the concept to highlight sophisticated, specialty, locally-sourced ingredients such as Brooklyn-roasted Blue Bottle Coffee and Brooklyn-baked Pies 'n' Thighs donuts. The Non-Dairy Collection utilizes coconut cream to render indulgences for the vegans and lactose-intolerants among us. Retail price varies store to store; you can order pints online for $10 each.