Sunday, July 17, 2016

The Complete Jersey City Ice Cream Guide

Today is National Ice Cream Day and Jersey City has plenty of options to celebrate today and all summer long.

Here's your full guide to Jersey City ice cream & gelato with every store in Jersey City listed, complete with a map, recommended flavors, and JC Eats favorite spots to get some help cooling down this summer.

Babo Tea HousePrimarily a boba tea house with a small menu, they carry 16 gelato flavors, many standard but with a few standouts. $$
Recommended flavor: Ube

Gia Gelato & Cafe: A friendly local cafe with an extensive array of gelato flavors, Gia's offers something for everyone. The fruit flavors in particular seem to the best among the Jersey City gelatos, bright and intensely flavorful. They'll happily let you taste as much as you want and are extremely generous with their scoop size. $$,
Recommended flavors: Lemon Basil, Mango, Red Wine Peppercorn

A Little Gelato: Owned and operated by Jersey City Heights residents, A Little Gelato contains a rotating roster of homemade gelato and rich sorbet flavors and other cookies, canoli, and baked goods. $,
Recommended flavors: Lemon, Cookies and Caramel, Watermelon

Sugartown Bakery: Sugartown, which came under new management last winter, carries a moderate selection of Baci Gelato out of Long Island. All a little on the overly sweet side, they do have some sorbet and both traditional and more updated flavors like red velvet. $$,
Recommended Flavor: Passion Sorbet

Ice Cream
Baskin-Robbins: there are three locations of Baskin-Robbins in Jersey City with varying hours. They offer scoops, milkshakes, pre-order ice cream cakes and the MLK Drive location serves soft-serve. $,

Cherry-Pick: Known as super-premium ice cream, the ice cream Cherry-Pick sources is hormone-free and made with less air, creating a denser, creamier product. If ice cream isn't enough for you, you can step up the sugar factor with their waffles and crepes. They also carry dairy-free, sugar-free and gluten-free products and make excellent lemonade and lassis onsite. $$
Recommended flavors: Thai Coconut (slightly spicy), Coffee, Salted Caramel Chocolate Covered Pretzel

Dairy Queen: Known primarily for their Blizzards, Dairy Queen offers a full range of soft-serve desserts including cones and sundaes. $,

Diane's Fried Chicken: A local fried chicken spot right in the middle of McGinley Square, they recently added a rolled ice cream counter with 6-8 flavors and a variety of toppings. It's fun to watch and tasty, but as with all rolled ice cream, it is very cold and the texture is bit stiff. $
Recommended Flavor: Matcha Strawberry

Freshy Freeze: Newly opened, Freshy Freeze is Jersey City's second Thai-style rolled ice cream counter. This location offers a few more flavors and seems to have a slightly creamier base than is typical. $
Recommended Flavors: Mango, Vietnamese Coffee

Haagen-Dazs: Located in the Newport Mall, this location sells Haagen-Dazs favorites (including sorbets) by the scoop, makes sundaes, smoothies, and coffee frappes. $$,

Top Recommended

Bucket & Bay: Bucket & Bay is home to the best chocolate gelato I've ever had. The concentration of pure chocolate flavor is unmatched and not to be missed. Known for their often unusual ingredients and grass-fed milk-based gelato, they offer sorbet and several specialty liquor-infused varieties along with pastries from Choc-O-Pain, coffee from Modcup, and a select menu of savory snacks. I've found the savory options lacking, especially at their price tag, but it's nice to have a well-rounded list of options and they often create exciting collaborative menu items like the gelato panini. Bucket & Bay can also be found at events around town and as a pop-up every night this summer at Bwe Kafe in Hoboken. $$$,
Recommended flavors: Deep Dark Chocolate, Black Label Vanilla, Purple Sticky Rice, Red Eye

Dahlia's Ice Cream Spot: located in the Heights, Dahlia's is an old-fashioned ice cream shop complete with fountain options like sundaes, malts, soft-serve twists, and more. They create all the ice cream in-store and will custom-make specialty ice cream cakes. This is the spot to go for your classic favorites when you're feeling nostalgic. $
Recommended flavors: Mint Chip, Rainbow Sherbert

Milk Sugar Love: Quite simply, the best of the best. Owned and operated by Emma Taylor, Milk Sugar Love ice cream is made with organic, natural ingredients and relies heavily on seasonal and farm-fresh ingredients using a similar style to gelato where less air is beat into the ice cream, creating a richer, creamier texture. Milk Sugar Love also creates a variety of ice cream cakes and sandwiches including the beloved Mac Daddys with french macarons and they serve fresh-baked cupcakes, bars, and cookies as well as Stumptown coffee. The flavors are constantly changing, they carry dairy-free options, and it's worth looking out for the Summer of Sundae collaborations between Emma and local Jersey City chefs. $$$,
Recommended flavors: Caramel Corn, Sour Cream Blueberry, Sour Cream Rhubarb, Salted Caramel, Honey Corncake, Chocolate Rosemary, The American, Fruity Pebble Mac Daddy

Torico: a long-standing Jersey City classic, Torico's is closing in on their 50th anniversary. Originally inspired by the Puerto Rican flavors the owners Peter and Pura Berros missed, Torico's has developed over the years into a full-scale ice cream operation with more than 65 flavors on rotation, all made with fresh ingredients, with influences pulled in from the variety of cultures and ethnicities represented in Jersey City.  They serve shakes, malts, sundaes, soft-serve, ice cream cakes, ice cream sandwiches, Italian ice, and more. Stop by on any warm day and you'll see the lines out the door and the second you step inside, you'll know this place is special. $$,
Recommended flavors: Avocado, Black Sesame, Coffee Cookies, Jackfruit

Special Mentions

Cocoa Bakery: While Cocoa Bakery typically focuses more on freshly baked sweet and savory goods, during the warm months they expand their offerings to include ice cream made in store paired with freshly baked cookies for an ice cream sandwich. I've had varying experiences with the flavors, but it's a nice summer treat on a hot day. They're quite large and do require a few minutes to defrost so plan ahead. $$$,
Recommended flavor: Lemon Blueberry

Cookies N' Crepes: Known for their indulgent dessert creations, Cookies N' Crepes isn't a full ice cream shop, but they do carry a few flavors available by the scoop or to add onto their crepes and brownies. $,

Downtown Yogurt: While not technically ice cream or gelato, Downtown Yogurt is Jersey City's own specialty frozen yogurt shop with a number of rotating flavors, toppings galore, and even fresh doughnuts from Glaze Artisan Donuts. They carry dairy-free, sugar-free, and gluten-free options. $$,
Recommended Flavors: Parisian Tarte, Pineapple, Salted Caramel Pretzel

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