Peak ice cream season is officially here.
Happily, Harlem has become a great place to find some truly notable frozen desserts.
It's home to two shops specializing in small-batch ice cream and gelato as well as a number of stylish spots where you can pull up to the counter for icy shakes, ice cream sandwiches, and more.
Here, then, are TCU's favorites, from south to north.
• East Harlem 1642 Lexington Ave between 103rd and 104th Sts
• Central Harlem 184 Lenox Ave between W 119th and W 120th Sts
• Hamilton Heights 3629 Broadway between W 149th and W 150th Sts
The original Harlem spot for creative scoops in flavors ranging from caramel cookies-n-cream with Nilla Wafers (Hello New World) to blueberry cheesecake (Chairperson of the Board). The new East Harlem location also offers soft serve.
Central Harlem 100 W 124th St and Lenox Ave
This retro burger joint's mouthwatering shake menu includes everything from classic vanilla to its signature red velvet—all made with organic Blue Marble ice cream.
Hamilton Heights 1610 Amsterdam Ave between W 139th and W 140th Sts
A family-run spot for creamy house-made gelato. Find a range of rotating flavors including S'mores and vegan coconut.
Hamilton Heights 1625 Amsterdam Ave between W 140th and W 141st Sts
From the Cafe One team down the street comes this new fast food spot offering made-to-order ice cream sandwiches, a variety of scoops served in waffle cones, plus an impressive freezer stocked with pints of Van Leeuwen, Milk Bar, Tipsy Scoop and the plant-based Sunscoop.
Inwood 4996 Broadway at 212th St
This stellar pastry shop also makes its own ice cream and sorbet—revolving flavors include mint chocolate chip ice cream and strawberry sorbet—served starting at noon. Also look for ice cream cake sandwiches like red velvet cake with vanilla ice cream.