You don’t have to travel to find some of the world’s best ice cream – NYC gelato is among the best you can get. Gelaterias can be found throughout the city, just ready to treat your taste buds! There’s even a Museum of Ice Cream around the corner from our Bambina Blue Gelato Wonder Room in Nolita. We take our ice cream seriously here (but not too seriously, of course).
From the classic standards to the extraordinary stand-outs, there’s always something new to try. Whatever you choose, visiting a gelato shop should always be an adventure!
Gelato Trucks & Pop-Up Stands
The classic ice cream truck soft serve has officially gotten an upgrade. In the Big Apple, you can get your gelato on the go. Gelato trucks bring the joy of gelato to you, whether on a street in your neighborhood or bringing that creamy something special to an event. The best gelato in NYC can come to you.
Why not bring an extra sprinkle of something wonderful to the everyday commute by stopping at a gelato stand? They’re small, but their flavors pack a punch. There’s nothing better than a spontaneous scoop on a hot day. Sometimes gelato stands pop up for a limited time, often giving you the chance to sample something unusual. The fact that they’ll disappear after a few days just makes it easier to justify making a gelato date with a friend, family member, or even yourself!
Traditional Gelato-Making Process
In NYC, we take gelato-making seriously. This is the city that works and plays hard, after all. Fun flavors only work well when paired with a gelato base that’s been made with the care and attention to detail it deserves. Only once you’ve mastered the creamy richness we all crave can you start to get funky with the flavors and toppings.
The traditional recipe for making gelato has evolved over hundreds of years. It starts with three basic ingredients: milk, eggs, and sugar. Some also include cream on this list, but the milk is always the star. Once everything is combined by hand, including any flavor elements such as ground hazelnuts, it’s heated to temper the ingredients. This step also pasteurizes raw ingredients such as eggs and milk. It can be repeated up to three times, depending on the flavor ingredients. Then it’s time for churning, using a vertical machine that incorporates much less air into the mixture than the horizontal churn usually used for ice cream.
Thankfully, for our flavor-filled menu, modern gelato-making has streamlined this traditional method in many ways. Modern gelato recipes also often omit the eggs. Almost since the beginning, gelateri, or gelato makers, have experimented with flavors. It may have started with a select few, but we’ve been innovating ever since. The only limits are our imagination and skill. Gelato shops across New York enthusiastically embrace this tradition.
Popular Gelato Flavors
Some gelato flavors are standards for good reason: they’re reliably delicious. Any self-respecting NYC gelato shop will have delicious chocolate, pistachio, and tiramisu gelato on offer. A good hazelnut or stracciatella never goes amiss, either. At Bambina Blue, we always add a fun twist to our gelato flavors, so – for example – you can enjoy your lemon gelato with cookie crumble and our crunchy lemon sauce.
These old favorites are common for a reason, but sometimes, you want your gelato experience to be more of an adventure. That’s where our menu shines. Some of our most popular gelato flavors are the Cookie Monster – vanilla gelato crammed with cookie paste, homemade chocolate chip cookies, and Oreo crunch – and the Strawberry Cheesecake, which scratches your New York cheesecake itch in a whole new way with mascarpone gelato topped with strawberry marmalade and butter cookie crumble. Don’t sleep on our Halva Fistuk, a truly original taste escapade featuring sesame gelato drizzled with pistachio sauce.
Gelato vs. Regular Ice Cream
Many people want to know whether there’s really a difference between ice cream and gelato. We can assure you that gelato isn’t just a fancy word for ice cream – these two frozen desserts might be related, but they have different recipes and methods. Don’t make the mistake of searching for ice cream when you’re really looking for the best gelato in NYC!
As noted above, the way that gelato is churned incorporates less air, giving it that extra creaminess. Ice cream is churned more quickly than gelato, which makes it less dense. As milk rather than cream is the base ingredient, gelato also has a lower fat content than ice cream. They’re even served at different temperatures; good ice cream must be kept colder than good gelato. This makes for a silkier, softer texture for gelato compared to ice cream’s relative firmness. Gelato is known for its more intense flavors, which is just the way we like it.
NYC’s Cutest Gelato Destination
Life’s more fun when it’s full of color and whimsy! We may take our gelato seriously, but that doesn’t mean our gelateria is too serious – in fact, it’s kind of like stepping back into being a kid. Our friendly staff is ready to guide you to your perfect gelato choice, which you can enjoy here or take to go. If you’re in or around Nolita, the best gelato in NYC is near you. Get ready for Instagram-worthy gelato treats that taste just as good as they look!