HOME > Chowhound > Outer Boroughs >

Best Ice Cream in Brooklyn

demigodh Jun 17, 2009 12:37 PM

Hoping to get some new ideas for places to try. My favorites in order are:

1) Blue Marble
2) Van Leuwen
3) General Green

I haven't been to the ice cream factory by Grimaldis. Is there another place that you would recommend above those listed?

**Interesting flavors a plus but not necessary.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. b
    boccalupo RE: demigodh Jun 17, 2009 12:45 PM

    One Girl Cookies in Boreum Hill serves Il Laboratorio del Gelato's ice cream. Might be worth a try.

    Tried the Ice Cream factory once and it was nothing special.

    1. goodhealthgourmet RE: demigodh Jun 17, 2009 12:48 PM

      have you tried Uncle Louie G? sounds promising - huge selection of ice cream and Italian ice flavors...


      3 Replies
      1. re: goodhealthgourmet
        janie RE: goodhealthgourmet Jun 17, 2009 07:23 PM

        that place is in forest hills, absolute poison. Ralph's was much better and they went under.
        Thought Torres Choc just started with ice cream.

        1. re: janie
          Jack_ RE: janie Jun 19, 2009 08:30 AM

          Uncle Louie G's is a franchise with many places

        2. re: goodhealthgourmet
          jen kalb RE: goodhealthgourmet Jun 19, 2009 08:52 AM

          not so good IMO

        3. b
          BklnChicken RE: demigodh Jun 17, 2009 06:04 PM

          Nothing above that, but the chocolate ice cream at the Chocolate Room is pretty darn good. They also have a chocolate sorbet.

          2 Replies
          1. re: BklnChicken
            boccalupo RE: BklnChicken Jun 17, 2009 10:21 PM

            Chocolate Room's ice cream sandwiches are also wonderful.

            1. re: BklnChicken
              elecsheep9 RE: BklnChicken Jun 18, 2009 11:23 AM

              That chocolate sorbet they give at Chocolate Room as an amuse bouche is among the best chocolate things EVER!

            2. a
              Amy Mintzer RE: demigodh Jun 17, 2009 07:48 PM

              I think the Ice Cream Factory (Brooklyn Bridge Park) is terrific ice cream, but the flavor selection is very limited.

              Lia's Ices in Windsor Terrace carries some very good gelato: the stracciatella is a favorite.

              5 Replies
              1. re: Amy Mintzer
                jinx RE: Amy Mintzer Jun 17, 2009 08:07 PM

                I tried the Jacque Torres ice cream this weekend and wow--it was really dense and creamy and I'm glad its not around the corner from my house. Although I did see you could take home pints for $7.50.

                1. re: Amy Mintzer
                  jimmyjazz RE: Amy Mintzer Jun 18, 2009 06:34 PM

                  agree with the rec for the homemade gelatos at Lia's. (look for the asterisk...they are supposedly made by some old school guy in Bensonhurst) the espresso is my favorite

                  1. re: Amy Mintzer
                    Jack_ RE: Amy Mintzer Jun 19, 2009 08:30 AM

                    If your venturing that far into the borough you should try NYC ICY on Church at Coney Island Avenue lovely fresh fruit ices and think better than Lia's or Uncle Louie G's but they are all three within a mile walk of each other So try em all and get some exercise

                    1. re: Jack_
                      JackS RE: Jack_ Jun 25, 2009 09:53 AM

                      Chalk me up as another fan of NYC ICY who's named Jack. To be technical about it, NYC ICY makes ices and "cream ices," which I guess us sherbet. They make some unique and awesome flavors, like mango basil ice, peanut butter/reese's pieces creamy ice (soudns gross, but it's heavenly), Mexican chocolate creamy ice (pretty spicy for ice cream), and more standard flavors that are done well, like cookies and cream or vanilla malt.

                      1. re: JackS
                        gnosh RE: JackS Jun 25, 2009 01:50 PM

                        I like the sweet tea ice (@NYC ICY).

                        They don't ever seem to have mango basil anymore, which is odd since it is their most praised and remarked-upon flavor -- and they do have mango ice and lemon basil ice (which didn't taste as interesting as it sounds) so clearly have the ingredients for mango basil.

                  2. a
                    Amy Mintzer RE: demigodh Jun 17, 2009 08:29 PM

                    Has anyone tried the ice cream at Sweet Melissa's?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Amy Mintzer
                      BGRose RE: Amy Mintzer Jun 17, 2009 10:05 PM

                      Yes, it's Bassett's from Philadelphia, and it's nothing special (despite the cachet of an "out-of-town" somewhat hard-to-find brand. Go across the street to the Chocolate Room's homemade ice cream.

                    2. f
                      Fleur RE: demigodh Jun 18, 2009 02:15 AM

                      We absolutely love the Gelato at VILLABATE in Bensonhurst. Sold by the Cornetto, the Italian breakfast way in a brioche, and by the pint. They also make terrific Ice Cream Cakes. Great for a Birthdays or Anniversaries.

                      BROOKLYN ICE CREAM FACTORY in DUMBO has excellent real, fresh, American style Ice Cream. Home made with all natural ingredients. Classic flavors only.

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: Fleur
                        rd135 RE: Fleur Jun 18, 2009 04:21 AM

                        My sweetooth vote goes to Blue Marble. Their Strawberry is the best. And it gets even better if you add balsamic vinegar on top. Might sound strange but it's amazing. The Butter Pecan is also great.

                        1. re: rd135
                          rootytootyfreshnfrooty RE: rd135 Jun 18, 2009 05:30 AM

                          The ice cream sandwiches at Bierkraft are INSANE. Unfortunately. I think Alba/Villabate gelato is pretty great at times- especially on the brioche- i find that it depends on the flavor- I like the gelato at the tanning salon on 86th st better. Also, the spumoni (not spumoni ice, but spumoni ice cream, old style) atCourt St. Pastry. Blue Marble IS very good. I also like the mint at the Chocolate Room- especially in a cup of hot chocolate. haven't made it to Jacques Torres' new ice cream yet,

                          1. re: rootytootyfreshnfrooty
                            Wet Towel RE: rootytootyfreshnfrooty Jun 18, 2009 07:15 AM

                            Another vote for Villabate. I like Blue Marble, but Villabate's gelato is just another level.

                            The gelato place in the tanning salon on 86th has closed, and reopened as Piattini Ristorante in Bay Ridge, 9824 Fourth Ave/at 99th St. 718-759-0009

                            1. re: Wet Towel
                              janie RE: Wet Towel Jun 18, 2009 10:05 AM

                              Villabate gelato is very good, but better is Baci in Roslyn, LI, if you can believe it.

                              1. re: Wet Towel
                                Fleur RE: Wet Towel Jun 18, 2009 02:21 PM

                                VILLABATE gelato is the best, most authentic I have tasted outside of Italy.

                                The frozen Ice Cream Cake is delicious. Tiny bit of cake, lots of Gelato. It holds up very well in the freezer.

                                1. re: Fleur
                                  jinx RE: Fleur Jun 19, 2009 05:06 AM

                                  sounds like a trip to Villabate is in order. I don't think I've been there in years, sort of forgot about it. Definitely never had their gelato, and having just returned from Italy, I am missing real Italian gelato!

                                  1. re: jinx
                                    Fleur RE: jinx Jun 19, 2009 12:37 PM

                                    If you haven't been to VILLABATE since they moved( to the corner), you are in for a treat.

                                    It is just like walking into a Pastry Shop in Sicily. And just as tempting.

                                    BTW the Cappucino and Espresso are terrific.

                                    1. re: Fleur
                                      elecsheep9 RE: Fleur Jun 22, 2009 11:25 AM

                                      Went to Villabate over the weekend and it was terrific. The gelato was great, and we got a tremendously rich and delicious chocolate cake and italian cheesecake for fathers' day. They are not my go to bakery. Glad I learned of it here.

                        2. oolah RE: demigodh Jun 19, 2009 10:11 AM

                          I haven't had Villabate or the General Greene, but of all the others listed here, Blue Marble far exceeds them in quality. It's literally the best ice cream I've had anywhere on the planet, not just in Brooklyn.

                          Van Leeuwen is also really great stuff, and I'm partial to the mint at the Chocolate Room.

                          As for the rest:
                          Ice Cream Factory and Sweet Melissa are nothing special, Laboratorio del Gelato is good, but not fantastic, the Jacques Torres stuff is creamy but too sweet, and Louie G is just gross.

                          1. j
                            jeeg RE: demigodh Jun 19, 2009 02:21 PM

                            I second Lias on 16th st in Windsor Terrace. Good ice cream, ices and gelato and very reasonably priced. They'll make you a small kids size cone for $1

                            1. a
                              Amy Mintzer RE: demigodh Jun 21, 2009 02:02 PM

                              Why doesn't Van Leeuwen strawberry have any strawberries in it? They are making extraordinary ice cream, granted, but I can't imagine why you would you strain out all the actual berries in favor of berry flavor.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: Amy Mintzer
                                StheJ RE: Amy Mintzer Jun 21, 2009 03:07 PM

                                When I make my own I have found that when you don't use preservatives and chemicals etc... the strawberries tend to be very hard (like ice cubes) when the ice cream sets...

                                1. re: StheJ
                                  research RE: StheJ Aug 7, 2009 12:21 PM

                                  the trick, should you make your own, is to cook the strawberries in a sugar syrup for a bit so that they get enough sugar in them to not freeze solid.

                                2. re: Amy Mintzer
                                  BonnieB. RE: Amy Mintzer Jun 22, 2009 11:37 AM

                                  Amy, I have to agree with you there on the VL strawberry. I went to the Barnes and Nobels a few weeks back and happened to see their truck. I made the boyfriend hang a U'y, had to check it out. The vanilla was gone so I had the strawberry. It wasn't creamy, actually I thought it was a little on the icy side. For $3.50 a cone I thought it should have been better. Vanilla must be really good, it was gone. And I agree with the Villabate folks, I love to take a walk up 18th ave. just to get their gelato, really good.

                                3. p
                                  Peter Cherches RE: demigodh Jun 22, 2009 02:25 PM

                                  I found Van Leeuwen terribly disappointing. Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory is fantastic, but yes, limited flavors. And Villabate is indeed the best gelato I've tried in Brooklyn. Uncle Louie G is mediocre. The best ice cream no longer in Brooklyn? Peter's on Atlantic Avenue--that was the best ice cream I ever had in Brooklyn.


                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: Peter Cherches
                                    MShapiro RE: Peter Cherches Jun 23, 2009 12:07 PM

                                    Did you like it because of their name?

                                    1. re: MShapiro
                                      Peter Cherches RE: MShapiro Jun 23, 2009 04:45 PM

                                      The name was merely the icing on the cake, as it were.

                                    2. re: Peter Cherches
                                      nooyawka RE: Peter Cherches Jul 23, 2009 05:55 PM

                                      Recently tried Van Leeuwen's for the first time (in the Meatpacking District). They ran out of strawberry, so settled for the pistachio. It had a nice, rich nutty flavor, alright, but tasted more like,...ever have Chinese "almond" cookies? I found the ice cream to be of good quality but the pistachio name seemed a misnomer to me. Was really impressed with the plastic spoons they gave out though. So nice, I asked if they recycled them, and when told no, saved them and took them home.

                                      I've also become a fan over the last 2 years of the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory.

                                      1. re: Peter Cherches
                                        parkslopemama RE: Peter Cherches Jul 26, 2009 08:03 PM

                                        Thank you! Whenever I say that Van Leuwen is overrated, people think I'm crazy. The strawberry doesn't hold a candle to Blue Marble's.....

                                        I also agree with Fleur that the Ice Cream Factory is good for classic, fresh American ice cream.

                                      2. d
                                        demigodh RE: demigodh Jun 23, 2009 01:03 PM

                                        just had villabate gelato for the first time. incredible! I'm generally more of an ice cream fan and prefer blue marble but if you like gelato, gotta recommend villabate for the best gelato i've had outside of italy.

                                        1. b
                                          bklynpnut RE: demigodh Jun 29, 2009 03:12 PM

                                          Just tried the gelato at Piattini in Bay Ridge. Incredible! Creamy and light as air -- sampled the hazelnut, cassata and licorice. You must try it!

                                          1. chezfredo RE: demigodh Jul 24, 2009 03:21 PM

                                            Jacques Torres opened an ice cream shop down a few doors from his store in DUMBO which literally blew my socks off ... and I have enjoyed many of the places mentioned here!

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: chezfredo
                                              twiggles RE: chezfredo Jul 27, 2009 10:30 AM

                                              We've been to Jacques Torres' ice cream shop a few times now, and everything has been great. Particular favorites were the chocolate chip cookie ice cream (made with his signature cookies), and the blood orange sorbet. Sometimes they skimp on the portions though. I also love the Brooklyn Ice Cream factory for classic flavors, but the lines get painfully long in the summertime. JT's hasn't been too crowded yet.

                                              1. re: twiggles
                                                BonnieB. RE: twiggles Jul 27, 2009 03:21 PM

                                                We went to JT yesterday, wonderful! I had the vanilla and the chocolate raspberry. I thought it was a little pricey, $6 for 2 scoops and some hazelnuts, am I wrong or just used to bensonhurst prices? But it was creamy, excellent icecream.

                                                1. re: BonnieB.
                                                  dietndesire RE: BonnieB. Jul 29, 2009 11:39 AM

                                                  While the ice cream sandwiches are awesome, the ice cream itself is not that great. While JTorres and I are tight, I must tell this truth.
                                                  As for pricing, scoops are a joke anywhere(the lemmings of Grom, are they all minted royalty?) and like all basics that are priced out of control(pizza, ice cream, etc.) a pint is 7.50 which is far better than 2 scoops and actually reasonable for "gourmet" in Manhattan.

                                            2. b
                                              BklnChicken RE: demigodh Jul 28, 2009 05:56 PM

                                              Just tried a new flavor at The Blue Marble: blueberry-pomegranate sorbet. SO good.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: BklnChicken
                                                parkerbk RE: BklnChicken Jul 29, 2009 10:11 AM

                                                I think trois pommes on 5th Avenue has incredible icecream. Homemade she only does a few flavors and it is incredible the mint chip is sublime.
                                                I am not impressed with Van Leeuwens

                                                1. re: parkerbk
                                                  tabs RE: parkerbk Aug 7, 2009 03:42 PM

                                                  I feel that same about Van Leeuwens. Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory is still my favorite.

                                              2. c
                                                chowaholic RE: demigodh Nov 11, 2009 04:53 PM

                                                Have you been to Fortunato Brothers' bakery in East Williamsburg (near Graham ave)? They have excellent pistachio gelato. It's not too sweet, and it's nice and dense and smooth (but not sickeningly rich, and I really like that about it). Sit down for table service and it will be brought to you, in a little metal dessert dish with a real spoon!

                                                I found van leewen's from the truck to be sometimes great, but sometimes just ok. From the grocery store, the pints of Van Leeuwen's pistachio are always excellent.

                                                Fortunato Brothers
                                                289 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: chowaholic
                                                  bosshogg RE: chowaholic Nov 12, 2009 10:18 AM

                                                  No love for Taste The Tropics? Their rum raisin, rum nut, Guinness, Irish moss, and especially pineapple-mango (I think it was; pineapple-some-other-fruit anyway) all put a quantifiably larger smile on my face than anything else I've tried in Brooklyn over the years.

                                                  Villabate probably gets my silver medal. Haven't tried tanning salon gelato (and outside Brooklyn, in "the sixth borough", prefer Philly's Capogiro to anything else on this continent).

                                                Show Hidden Posts