Cold and Sweet: An UWS Ice Cream Guide

Delicious options for sweltering August days

| 04 Aug 2022 | 10:55

On a sweltering summer day in the city, nothing tastes better than ice cream. Kick off August by visiting one of the Upper West Side’s ice cream shops. From familiar favorites like Emack & Bolio’s to new arrivals like Ample Hills Creamery, the neighborhood has a broad array of delicious options.

The shops below are listed in alphabetical order.

Amorino Gelato

414 Amsterdam Ave, 80th Street

Looking for an Insta-worthy ice cream shoot? Amorino, known for its flower-shaped confectionery creations, is your first stop. The Italian-based brand is dedicated to sourcing organic ingredients for their traditional gelato. If you aren’t in the mood for ice cream, sample Amorino’s waffles, macaroons, or coffee drinks. Amorino also has a large selection of certified vegan options, including mango and lemon sorbet.

Most popular flavor: L’inimitabile (chocolate hazelnut)

Staff Favorite: Stracciatella (sweet cream ice cream with dark chocolate flakes)

Ample Hills Creamery

526 Amsterdam Avenue, 85th Street

Ample Hills is new to the neighborhood this summer. The Brooklyn-based creamery had its grand opening on the Upper West Side on July 7. Since then, the shop has been so popular that it extended its hours.

Ample Hills traditionally designs a new flavor when it opens a new location. In honor of the Upper West Side’s iconic Museum of Natural History, Ample Hills introduced “Night at the Moo-seum,” a chocolate ice cream with chocolate flakes, chocolate sandwich cookie dust, pretzel swirls and multi-colored chocolate geodes. Make sure to stop by to sample “Summer of Love,” a sweet cream ice cream with Baked by Melissa cupcakes mixed in, while it’s still in season.

Ample Hills produces all of its ice cream — including all mix-ins, which it bakes onsite — in the city’s largest ice-cream production facility, located in Brooklyn. They anticipate opening more locations in the city in the coming years.

Most Popular Flavor: Ooey Gooey Butter Cake (cream cheese ice cream with pieces of housemade ooey gooey butter cake)

Staff Favorite: Coffee Toffee Coffee (coffee ice cream with espresso-infused, chocolate-covered toffee pieces.)

Blue Marble

2578 Broadway, 97th Street and 2058 Broadway, 71st Street

Blue Marble’s newest UWS location opened between 70th and 71st just a few months ago. The Brooklyn-based brand — whose slogan is “Made Responsibly. Enjoyed Recklessly” — features all natural ice cream. The brand is known for its classic flavors.

Blue Marble is also dedicated to pursuing advocacy work through its nonprofit arm, Blue Marble Dreams. As part of their initiatives, Blue Marble has dedicated 1% of all of their sales to The Brotherhood Sister Sol organization (BroSis). BroSis, based in Harlem, was founded in 1995 as a youth advocacy group.

Most popular flavor: Blue Marble (naturally colored blue vanilla ice cream with Peanut Butter and Marshmallows mixed in).

Staff Favorite: RISE Nitro Cold Brew Coffee

Emack & Bolio’s

389 Amsterdam Ave, 79th Street

An Upper West Side staple for over 20 years, Emack & Bolio’s is known for their loaded cones and creative flavors. The store was founded in the 1970s and has a long standing association with rock ‘n roll artists. Their flavors include “Stoney’s Dream,” a vanilla ice cream with fudge, chocolate chip cookies, and brownies mixed in, and “Deep Purple Chip,” a black raspberry with white and dark chocolate chips.

Emack & Bolio’s menu features vegan coconut based ice creams, fresh fruit sorbet, yogurt and no sugar added options.

Most popular flavor: Grasshopper Pie (mint ice cream with chocolate chips and oreos)

Staff Favorite: Serious Chocolate Addiction

Van Leeuwen

448 Amsterdam Ave, 82nd Street and 253 Columbus Ave, 72nd Street

“If it’s not in your vocabulary, it shouldn’t be in your ice cream,” is Van Leeuwen’s slogan. The brand’s high-quality vegan ice cream is made with oat milk, cashew milk, and other natural ingredients. Their classic “French” style ice cream — so called because of its high egg content — also comes in a wide variety of flavors.

Van Leeuwen’s summer specials include “Toasted Marshmallow S’Mores” and “Vegan Strawberry Sumac Sorbet.” The brand will debut its fall specials come September.

Make sure to stop by on “Topping Tuesdays” for a free topping.

Most popular flavor: Honeycomb

Staff Favorite: Praline butter cake


198 Columbus Ave, 69th Street

Venchi, an Italian brand known for their world-class chocolate and gelato, opened up its Columbus location last winter. The new location has plenty of outdoor seating. If you are in the mood for chocolate, Venchi is the perfect choice; a wide selection of chocolate gelato options are available, as well as a full selection of chocolate truffles.

Most popular flavor: Pistachio

Staff Favorite: Cremino (hazelnut gelato with chocolate spread)