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Best Gelato ANYWHERE - La Cremeria!

NYC hounds, I have to alert you to the best gelato I’ve had in my lifetime (that includes in Italy). It’s at La Cremeria in of all places Little Italy. I tried it on a whim. While walking down Mulbery street, we spotted a place with no sign, that looked like it sold gelato. My girlfriend and I were intrigued for some reason, perhaps because as she said – “it looks like this place is serious about what they do.” So we walked up, and the guy behind the counter, who is from Italy and was obviously the owner, offers us a taste. We were hooked. Mind you, we had just come from Katz’s deli and were stuffed. The idea of eating again was revolting but this was just so good, we couldn’t resist. And it was worth every bite! It had a texture smooth as silk, it was the perfect temperature – so soft it was almost runny yet miraculously it didn’t seem to melt fast, it just stayed that way. Most importantly, the flavors were, to put it mildly, a revelation. The pistachio had a hue and a taste that just screamed out that it was made with actual pistachios, and it was also full and bold. The hazelnut had the same qualities – strong bold, and the word “natural” came to mind while eating both, but not in a tree bark, flavorless, whiny “I-want-to-be-organic-and-don’t-care-what-it-tastes-like” kind of way, but more as a powerful depth of flavor that tells you that this is made from the real stuff by a master. I don’t know if it was or it wasn’t “real” in that sense, but it tasted and felt that way. When we told the owner that the gelato was really good, he proudly responded “I know.” He wasn’t obnoxious about it, you could just see the pride he took in making a superior product. I’ve since told everyone I know to stop there, and now I’m telling the NYC Chowhounds. This guy makes spectacular gelato. Reward him with your business, and reward yourself with a frozen treasure. The website says "coming soon" but it's open. http://www.la-cremeria.com/

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La Cremeria
178 Mulberry Street, New York, NY 10012

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  1. How would you compare to Grom (which is known for its pistachio)? Or L'arte? Otto?

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    Grom
    233 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

    5 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      Sorry Kathryn, I can't compare it, as I've never been to those places. But I can say I had never had gelato in the US that's nearly as good as the gelato over in Europe. Then I tried this place. I think the key indicator is that I'm still thinking about it 3 weeks later.

      1. re: kathryn

        I tried Grom in Rome last week and now I can tell you unequivocally that Grom doesn't hold a candle to La Cremeria. It's good, maybe a B- but that's it. In fact, I wanted to like it, I was excited to try it because they have a location in Malibu, but before I said anything my girlfriend looked up at me after giving it a try and the first thing she said was, "La Cremeria is better." I had to agree, and by the way, neither of us was thinking about doing a comparison at the time - we just wanted to try the best Italian gelatos. The Grom flavors were not as bold, which could be a function of it being served colder than optimal as some have suggested in other reviews, I'm not sure, but the real downside was the texture. It was, for lack of a better word - gummy. And that gummy texture and mouthfeel applied to all four flavors that we tried, including Pistachio, Bacio, Hazelnut, Crema, and the Dark Chocolate (which was the best of the four). Honestly, even in Gelato devoid Los Angeles where there really isn't a great gelateria, I would not make the effort to go to Grom.

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        La Cremeria
        178 Mulberry Street, New York, NY 10012

        1. re: OC Mutt

          Not when you could get amazing ice cream at Sweet Rose Creamery.

          1. re: OC Mutt

            speaking of LA - go for a drive and try Tifa Chocolates and Gelato in Agoura (off Kanan Road). I don't think they do it homemade like La Cremeria, but it is very fine.
            The owner of La Cremeria told me the chocolate sorbet is his grandmother's recipe, a special chocolate and water. That's it.

            1. re: Chuck Lawrence

              Thanks! One of these days I'll find Agoura.

              Will put the chocolate sorbet on my list too. Love that chocolate gelato at La Cremeria.

        2. Very bold statement
          .
          I've had many gelato from Lecce to as far north as the Piedmont, and many many places in between, and have yet to find any US (or NYC) gelato that can compare to even the smallest unknown gelato place in a far-flung town in Italy. I'll definitely have to try this one out since it is in my home turf.

          1 Reply
          1. re: RCC

            Agree. I'm officially way beyond intrigued. If what OC Mutt says is true I'm going to be fatter and poorer very soon....

            1. re: pbjluver

              Honestly, I only remember raising and eyebrow and being pleasantly surprised that the price to portion ratio seemed quite generous compared other gelato places.

              1. re: pbjluver

                Why not call and ask and report back here?

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                La Cremeria
                178 Mulberry Street, New York, NY 10012

                1. re: pbjluver

                  $4.50 for a very generous small cup - it's really 2 scoops.

                2. It's true!

                  Strong words require swift action. I stopped in today after some dim sum. This was the best gelato I have ever had, anywhere - including Italy. The dark chocolate was deeply satisfying, without being so intense as to be borderline off-putting (no offense il Laboratorio). They do several specials, I had the Tiramisu which was a delightful symphony of flavors including a dusting of chocolate powder. That said, the thing that flipped me out was the consistency - this gelato was the creamiest I have ever had. Astounding!

                  A small cup ($4.50/two flavors, in spite of the signage) was almost too much for me to finish. Ha!
                  They are from Bologna.

                  This place leaves il Laboratorio and L'Arte (two places I really enjoy) in the dust.

                  7 Replies
                    1. re: Chuck Lawrence

                      How does it compare to the gelato at Otto, which is very good?

                      1. re: Chuck Lawrence

                        Is this the place that's more of a stand, with cases position by the door of a hallway like space?

                        1. re: sugartoof

                          Not a stand; it has a glass-windowed front and a door, but no real place to sit and eat. It's where the video store used to be.

                          1. re: squid kun

                            Well, Amorino certainly isn't the gift from God I'd hoped it'd be. It opened on Univ. Pl recently and I imagined them getting a lot of my money if it was anywhere near the semi-freddo in Florence. Well, it isn't and the prices are really pretty steep. The consistency is wrong ( too hard) and the chocolate isn't as dark or as strong as in Italy...I guess a walk down Mulberry St is in order....

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                            Amorino
                            60 University Pl, New York, NY 10003

                            1. re: sing me a bar

                              I agree--at Amorino they're freezing the gelato too hard, I think, because once it softened it was okay. Also, it was too sweet for my taste.

                              1. re: scrittrice

                                I've tried it in Paris, and was not a fan. The flavors are not correct, for me.

                      2. Stopped in la Cremeria yesterday and had a small pistaschio. While I would have liked a bit more pistaschio flavor, this is a quibble - very creamy texture just as promised above. Looking forward to trying the other flavors in the future. One of the best I've tasted in the US and the price is right for NYC.