A Pregnant Lady’s Guide to the Best Ice Cream in New York City

farmto table

Is there a better judge of ice cream than a pregnant lady? I had my fair share of pickles and Shake Shack when baby Alice was still in my belly, but ice cream was a constant. I made my own, stocked up at Whole Foods (there was always a min. of 3 flavors in my freezer), made time to try new places when traveling and became an expert on the scoop shops available in grand ol’ New York City. I ate so much ice cream that there is no possible way this little baby girl will ever have a dairy intolerance.

I’ll get right to it! Because why waste your time, when you could be well on your way over to Morgensterns? But there are a few parameters I structured my search with that you should know before you read on:

  1. Manhattan only. I did not want to sit in a hot subway car for longer than necessary so Brooklyn ice cream visits will have to wait – I know! – a bummer! There are some good ones, but you have to draw lines in the sand somewhere.
  2. I was in search of homemade ice cream only – no major chains, and no Instagram hot spots famous for piling as much sugar on a cone as possible.
  3. My rating system is completely made up based on how I felt after that first taste of ice cream. The most unscientific rating system you’ll ever see, but one you should trust with all your gut.

THE BEST ICE CREAM SHOPS IN NYC:

Morgensterns Ice Cream NYC1. Morgensterns (SoHo/Bowery): One word of caution – go during the day to avoid to 45 min line! (I normally do not do lines. But for Morgensterns… yes.) But besides that — AMAZING ice cream. So many flavors and love how they are organized by ice cream base on their menu. It’s a cute shop (you will need to ignore some disgruntled employees) and they only let you have one taste. Don’t let that get you down! I had the caramel tahini pretzel with hot fudge and oh boy did it hit the spot. I also tried the black coconut ash (so much sweeter than you’d imagine) and the cardamom lemon jam was also amazing. I also loved the perfect scoops on their cones, perfect for sharing to social. This is my all time favorite spot in NYC. They keep all their ice cream in containers so it’s not icy. It does slow down the line, but #worthit.

 

Ice and Vice Ice Cream NYC2. Ice & Vice (Lower East Side): AMAZING! Tried most of their flavors (thank you so much to their patient scoopers!), settled on Milk & Honey which was so refreshing after an afternoon running around town. Their 9am is very strong and had I not been pregnant I would have indulged in that as well but alas, need to monitor that caffeine intake. My husband loved the Basic B (why was I not surprised!?). We both got their homemade cones which are fun bright colors (I had the coconut almond macaron which turned out to be pink – Surprise!). Cones did break down easily so get a cup if you get a cone to go.

 

VanLeewens Ice Cream NYC

3. VanLeeuwens (West Village, UWS): Never thought you’d like vegan ice cream? Think again! Both vegan and dairy options are creamy and the perfect balance of flavor and sweet. Shared a three scooper with my husband which is a great portion for two to share: salted caramel, peanut butter marshmallow crunch and the winner of the evening: honeycomb.

AMAZING. Creamy. Totally hit the spot. I’ve never had anything like their honeycomb (which has actual chunks of honeycomb in it) – not too sweet and I don’t think I can ever order anything else there, except that I will, because they have interesting vegan flavors too which taste just as good for when I feel like being dairy free (on those rare days).

 

In total, I tried out 22 Manhattan shops and countless others along my travels those 9 months. Here is a Google doc I created with my thoughts on all NYC shops – a few notable mentions: Ample Hills, Emack and Bolio, Milk & Cookies and 10 Below. In the next tab you can see a list of other shops on my radar. Next up: The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory because I ran out of time when the baby came a week early!

I made a Google Map view here so you can see which of my fav scoop shops is closest to you as you’re exploring Manhattan. Did I forget any places that you’re shocked aren’t on my list? TELL ME! OMG PLEASE TELL ME. This new mama still loves ice cream just as much as I did pre-baby, and I don’t want to miss a thing!

Need an ice cream rec? Hit me up on IG @victoriadevine! I’m your girl!

-V

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Borough Adventures

View of ManhattanThis past NYC trip we hit up Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn. We started the trip off on a great note with beer, burgers and a Pats win. We hung out at Bill’s Burger Bar downtown for most of Saturday since it was pouring out, and then Kristin and Amanda met us for dinner. Loved my burger, nachos were okay, and wings were good, but ask for less sauce. All in all, they have a great beer menu and a lot of space for accommodating large groups which was convenient considering we combined about 4 different friend groups for dinner.

PATS GAME

When I wasn’t exploring Astoria or Brooklyn Heights, I was working from the hotel – a familiar spot as Madison was posted up at the downtown Marriott for a good month when at LivingSocial. We had dinner plans every night with friends, and it was so nice just relaxing and hanging out at Sarah and Pete’s for some good homemade Italian. Seriously – everything was homemade – the Gatti’s have a pasta maker which we were really excited to try out.  We decided on whole wheat bucatini while snacking on some delicious charcuterie and a spicy Chianti.

20140114_184020 (1)Sarah’s adorable Village apartment takes advantage of vertical storage space, and she whips that stool around, to reach the cooking supplies she can’t grab on her tip toes. So cute.

Charcuterie

The pasta was really easy to make, but while we waited, we snacked on tomatoes and burrata, with charcuterie from Murray’s and Faicco’s – a new favorite.

Pasta Dough

The dough, rising. Not very… appetizing looking. Keep scrolling. 🙂

Pasta dough

To make the pasta, you break it up into little chunks to feed it into the machine.

Pasta Maker

 

The KitchenAid extension snaps right on, and the pasta comes out continuously. When it’s the right length, you swing the slicer over and boom. Pasta!

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The fresh pasta cooks in about 5 minutes, which felt like forever as we were smelling the homemade sauce simmering next to our pasta nests.

Homemade Pasta

 

So delicious – thanks to Sarah and Pete! I think I know what purchase will follow our KitchenAid mixer. 🙂

Brooklyn

Great to be in NY and see so many friends! I’m sure we’ll be back soon…

August 5 – “Devine” History

4422 8th Ave – Brooklyn, NY

After a delicious brunch at Rue 57 we sluggishly walked back to the car, full and hot. This was not a good day for walking around the city, and I was so glad mom and dad drove to NYC.  Our first stop: Brooklyn. 4422 8th Ave to be exact! Now a Chinese restaurant, this was once the home of Joseph Zingale, my Nana’s dad when he lived in NYC before moving to Rhode Island sometime before 1920.

It’s crazy to think about how much recent history depended on Joseph’s move to RI. If he hadn’t, he wouldn’t have met Victoria, would not have had Diane (my nana), who would not have met my Poppy.  And they wouldn’t have had my dad who wouldn’t have met my mom, and they wouldn’t have had me or my sisters! So… thank you Joseph for moving to RI. There would be NO V LIFE! Oh my…

After exploring Park Slope until it was too hot to wander around, we drove to Di Fara’s pizza -well work the hour wait, as long as you walk around and avoid their hot indoors. No AC- how do they do it!? We took our sausage and pepper topped pizza to Brooklyn Promenade where there was a great view of lower Manhattan. One more food mention of the day – we stopped at One Girl Cookies Cafe and boy oh boy, do they do it right!  Well, their cookies were a bit small, but in their iced coffee, they have COFFEE ICE CUBES. I imagine them saying “Duh” to other coffee shops because it is so simple and so smart! No watery coffee! Genius!

Thanks for a great day Mom and Dad!

-V

August 4 – “What do you blog about?”

From left to right, Malaak Compton-Rock, Christy Turlington Burns and Soledad O’Brien!

Yesterday’s photo from the ol’ smartphone was not my best, so today I brought my Nikon D50 to the conference and sat at the first table – voila –  a photo acceptable for the V Life. After a keynote by Katie Couric, these lovely ladies came to talk to us about their nonprofits and the good they are doing.  It was of course very inspiring, and I now feel the need to get more involved in something with meaning. Once Anchor is further along, I’m hoping to find a way to give back more.

One of the first things people ask when they meet you here is “What do you blog about?” I had difficulty answering because The V Life is a little bit of everything! I think my true content will emerge after I turn 25, when we see what I write about as I feel moved, instead of posting every day. You know – mostly about what I eat. =)

Guess who came to visit me in NYC? Mmmhmm, Mom and Dad made the drive from little Rhody to hang in the city for the rest of the weekend! We went to Mesa Grill (Bobby Flay’s restaurant) and completely enjoyed the food. Best part? I have his recipe book so now I know which recipes I want to start off experimenting with! We walked back to the Hilton after dinner and enjoyed drinks on the roof which had a beautiful view of the skyline. Sarah and Pete joined us – congratulations on their engagement this past weekend! I am so excited for them!!!

-V

PS: For more info on the foundations:

Soledad O’Brien and Bradley Raymond Foundation

Every Mother Counts

The Angel Rock Project