The Most Mouth-Watering Gelato Shops In NYC

Ice cream is a familiar, long-standing dessert favorite in the States, but gelato is a different beast. If you are one of many who assumed that the two are synonymous, you should know that, despite their similarities, gelato and ice cream are made differently and differ slightly in taste and texture. Standard American ice cream usually has a higher percentage of fat as it mainly uses cream and egg yolks, along with more air being whipped into it. This will give off a somewhat lighter feel on the palate, but the flavor will be less concentrated. On the other hand, gelato does not incorporate that much air, creating a texture that feels denser and more luscious.

Due to historical reasons, classic ice cream has always dominated the American market, but gelato is gaining popularity and is slowly establishing its position as an equally delicious frozen alternative. New York City is a great hub for all things Italian, so it seems logical that it houses a lot of fantastic gelato parlors. These are some of the best options in the city when you are craving this flavor-packed, silky-smooth frozen dessert.

il laboratorio del gelato

il laboratorio del gelato was founded by Jon Snyder, whose ice cream obsession started at his grandparents' shop in Cortlandt Manor, New York. Snyder was later introduced to gelato and decided this timely Italian ice cream tradition deserves a place in the bustling NYC food scene. Snyder's first endeavor was with the Ciao Bella Gelato Company, which was sold after a successful five-year run. After a short break from entrepreneurship and whipping gelatos, Snyder realized that gelato is his true passion. In 2002, he opened il laboratorio del gelato. Although it functions as a traditional gelateria, it is also a convenient hub for restaurants to develop signature flavors.

The creativity and artisanal approach are integrated to create some of the best gelatos in NYC. Everything at the shop is done from scratch. The ingredients are local and sustainable (whenever possible) and are transported directly to this creative lab. Whether it involves juicing fruit or roasting nuts, il laboratorio does everything to ensure that every step in the production process is at the highest standard.

The shop has developed more than 250 flavors, with 48 offered every day. The flavors are rotated daily, so every visit is a chance to try something new. The selection is mostly seasonal, and as this is a small batch production, the flavors tend to run out quickly. Along with the classics, you can find some quirky and creative options such as cheddar cheese, fennel, and Thai chili chocolate.

L'Albero dei Gelati

If you are looking for a gelateria that whips up mean gelato and puts focus on sustainability and tradition, L'Albero dei Gelati is probably the best choice in the Big Apple. This family-owned business started its journey in Lombardy, Italy in 1985. After a successful run in the native country, the family decided to go international by setting up a shop in Brooklyn. The idea proved to be a savvy business decision, and the shop, which also functions as a bakery, restaurant, and coffee bar, has been successfully running since 2013.

Despite the distance, the U.S. shop follows the same philosophy, which puts sustainability at the core of the business. All the ingredients are carefully selected and mainly sourced from trusted local farmers. Gelato is always made fresh, exclusively with natural ingredients. All this effort is evident in the quality of the gelato that comes packed with flavor.

Though the technique is entirely traditional, the flavors are everything but conventional. Along with some classic gelato flavors such as chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry, you can find a good range of what is labeled as savory gelato. These are lightly sweetened but made with ingredients we do not often associate with desserts, such as arugula, beets, or asparagus. The offer mostly depends on the season, and you can expect new flavors to pop up as the seasonal offer changes.

Figo il gelato Italiano

Figo is a charming gelateria with a minimalistic, contemporary décor and neighborhood vibe that serves authentic Italian gelato. The business started in 2011, initially as M'O Gelato, which later evolved into Figo. This gelateria takes pride in using only natural ingredients for its icy treats. Everything that goes into gelato is fresh, and the shop devotes itself to smaller production to ensure consistent, high quality. The flagship store is conveniently located in Little Italy, and the business has recently expanded with an additional outlet in Astoria.

Figo relies on tradition and authenticity. In line with this philosophy, the offer includes classic flavors. Among various fruity and milk-based gelatos, you can find hazelnut, toasted almond, chocolate, lemon, fig, and mango flavors. The flavor of this gelato is concentrated and perfectly balanced, while the texture is creamy and smooth. Following true Italian tradition, this gelato is served with a spatula, and you can have it in a cup or a cone.

Along with classic gelato serving, you can get house-made frappés with the ice cream of choice or the famed affogato, the delicious Italian combination that couples freshly brewed espresso and ice cream. If you want to step up your game, you can order bombolone with gelato, in which the ice cream comes packed inside the Italian-style doughnut. Essentially, Figo is a great place to get original Italian gelato that is done right.

Dolce Brooklyn

Dolce Brooklyn is a small family-operated gelateria founded by Kristina Frantz and her husband, Pierre. They also keep their daughters in the loop, making it a true family business. The Brooklyn shop was opened in 2016 and was motivated by Kristina's trip to Italy, where she tasted authentic Italian gelato. Despite her successful career in the IT sector, Kristina wanted to create a business that would contribute to the local community. She trained in the U.S. and Italy and perfected the art of making real Italian gelato.

The gelato at Dolce Brooklyn is made according to classic Italian tradition, so you can expect creaminess, density, and a ton of flavor. The shop gets fresh milk and cream from the Hudson Valley, and each batch is handmade in-house, which means that the gelato is always fresh. This artisanal approach ensures that the quality is consistent. The main flavors include classics such as chocolate, cookies and cream, and salted caramel, but the store offers various other flavors that change daily, which are listed outside the store. You can also get Dolce's signature sundaes garnished with a topping of choice and macarons, which are also made at the premises and can be bought separately.

Dolce also sells pints, fresh sorbetto, and creative gelato cakes. The business also caters to 40 local restaurants and the family is currently planning to expand, so you will probably see more of this artisanal gelato around NYC.

Il gelato di Eataly

Although it is not a classic ice cream shop, the counters at Eataly offer some of the best gelato you can get in NYC. Eataly's gelato is always made with the finest and freshest ingredients. The milk comes from the Hudson Valley, the fruit is delivered whole, and the rest of the ingredients are sourced from prime locations, such as the distinctively sweet hazelnuts harvested in Italian Piedmont and the famous Sicilian pistachios. Like everything available at Eataly, gelato pays homage to Italian tradition and follows the genuine artisanal approach. Gelato is always made fresh and whipped up in-store, so expect a lot of clean, bright flavors and delightful creaminess.

The flavors at Eataly are mostly classics, such as chocolate, stracciatella, and amarena (sour cherry). You can choose between several sizes, served in a cone or a cup, and you are more than welcome to tweak the order with various available toppings. This is also the counter where you can get the popular affogato, which pairs a scoop of gelato with a hot, freshly brewed espresso and creates the ideal caffeinated treat. These gelato counters are convenient, as you can indulge in savory delicacies before getting a few scoops of gelato as a sweet ending to your visit.


Venchi is best known for its chocolates, but at its many NYC outlets, you can also get some well-made classic Italian gelato. Though Venchi is a large international company, gelato production is artisanal and entirely traditional, so you can expect that typical gelato density, silky smooth texture, and concentrated flavors. The ingredients used for Venchi's gelato are sourced from prime locations. The legendary Bronte pistachio comes from Sicily, hazelnuts are brought from Piedmont, and the lemons come from the sunny Sorrento. Naturally, chocolate flavors are made with Venchi chocolate.

Venchi carries around 90 gelato flavors, and to keep things interesting, a creative new flavor is added to the menu every month. For the ultimate experience, have your gelato scoop in the signature chocolate-covered cone dusted with crushed nuts or Venchi's Chocoviar sprinkles. A similar version includes a chocolate-coated cup sprinkled with nuts or chocolate. Though chocolate ice cream can be a reliable go-to order, you can't go wrong with any of the flavors on offer. In true Italian fashion, Venchi does not rely on overloaded sugary toppings. The focus is on the texture and flavor of its base gelato. Along with gelato, Venchi offers signature Gelatoshakes, and it would be a shame not to get some of its legendary chocolates during your visit.

Anita Gelato

Anita's gelateria, known for the tagline la mamma del gelato, is one of NYC's new gelato institutions. This international business opened its first NYC outlet in 2020, and it quickly became a go-to place for all gelato aficionados. This is not your quaint, subdued gelateria. The distinctive green paneling and a bright neon sign will immediately attract attention and direct you straight inside the store that holds a lavish gelato display with seemingly endless varieties of gelato flavors that almost overflow the containers. Though the décor and the visual aspects are admirable, the gelato is the main reason people flock to this gelateria.

The guiding idea at Anita's shops is the use of the finest and freshest ingredients. This is the place that does not skimp on syrups and toppings. The incredibly smooth gelato bases are swirled with generous amounts of sauces, nuts, and cookies. Variety is also one of Anita's fortes, as the shop carries more than 150 flavors. You can find all your classic favorites and intriguing combos, such as popcorn with honey and caramel, salted bagel, and chestnut with hazelnut cream. You can also tweak your order with toppings such as nuts, fresh fruit, cookies, and even gummy bears. It is easy to see why this place has become one of the favorite gelaterias in the city. You can get Anita's gelato at two locations, and the third, which will be located at Times Square, is set to open soon.

Bambina Blue

Bambina Blue is a cute, modern gelateria that serves some of the best gelatos in NYC. This place does not try to mimic the grandeur of classic Italian gelato parlors. The walls are adorned with neon signs, and as you enter, you will be welcomed by a human-like frog statue. The dominant blue and pink color paired with colorful, modern furnishing gives off a fun, eclectic vibe. The back also hides a comfy seating area under the trees, perfect for sitting as you enjoy your favorite scoops.

Bambina carries 32 gelato flavors. The offer includes some familiar favorites that are often slightly tweaked, such as the pistachio with an added crunch or the hazelnut gelato swirled with caramelized hazelnuts and a crunchy hazelnut sauce. What stands out at Bambina are the unique signature flavors you won't find elsewhere. Some of the flavors worth getting are the miso gelato mixed with brownie bits, and the unusual sesame gelato swirled with pistachio sauce. Possibly the craziest version you can try at Bambina is its signature popcorn gelato that couples buttery gelato flavors with crushed M&Ms and, you guessed it, popcorn. If you like unconventional places and a relaxed atmosphere, don't miss Bambina Blue shop in Soho.


Gentile is an authentic Italian-style gelateria with a venerable history that dates to 1880 when Michele Gentile opened his first kiosk in Bari, a charming city in the Italian south. The tradition was passed down to other family members and eventually brought to the States. As you may guess, this is the place for anyone who loves traditional gelato and classic flavors. The gelato at Gentile is always made fresh, with natural ingredients. The shop carries various flavors, and the available ones will be listed in the back, just like in most Italian gelaterias. In line with this tradition — and unlike typical American fashion — gelato is stored inside round containers that are closed with lids.

At a classic gelateria, it's best to go with traditional flavors. Ideally, try the unadorned fior di latte flavor. This is the gelato in its simplest form, stripped away of any additions that may tamper with the honest, milky flavor. Of course, the usual favorites include pistachio, hazelnut, and dark chocolate. In true Italian style, you can also order gelato with a dollop of freshly whipped panna (cream). Gentile is as classic as it gets and stays true to tradition, so do not expect lavish syrups and a myriad of toppings, just truly good gelato.

L'Arte del Gelato

L'Arte del Gelato was founded by Francesco Realmuto, a Sicilian native who left his home region for better business prospects in the States. Realmuto abandoned his initial profession and decided to dive into the wonderful world of gelato. His initial idea was to create something fulfilling and related to his home country, and gelato-making was the obvious route. Realmuto's philosophy is simple; to pay homage to traditional Italian gelaterias. To do so, only fresh and all-natural ingredients are used, and the entire production is entirely handcrafted. The story of L'Arte del Gelato started in 2005, and the business now operates in several locations across the city.

The flavors also rely on traditional scoops you might find in Italy. Some standard options include stracciatella, milk chocolate, pistachio, and mascarpone, but you can also find some more intriguing flavors, such as ricotta with caramelized figs or ginger. You can have your order in a cone or a cup, and you can also choose to tuck it inside a brioche bun — the way it's regularly done in Italy. If you need a caffeine fix and a dessert, L'Arte del Gelato also whips up affogato made with vanilla ice cream and freshly brewed espresso, all topped with feather-light whipped cream.


Amorino has the most beautiful gelato in NYC. You will easily spot it as it skillfully formed into a distinctive, flower-like shape. This international gelato chain was founded in 2002, with the first shop opened in Paris. It quickly went global and currently has over 200 shops, including three locations in NYC.

Although Amorino is a large international franchise, the production of its gelato is still kept traditional. All the ingredients are rigorously selected, and the company is adamant not to use artificial ingredients. What makes this gelato unique is the special serving technique in which a server turns gelato scoops into petal-like shapes swirled around the cone until they attain the final look that is strikingly reminiscent of a rose. The best thing about it is that you pay for a specific gelato size, and then you can choose a separate flavor for each petal – without affecting the price. This is a gelato destination for those who want superior quality paired with a beautiful presentation and the ability to incorporate as many flavors as possible.

The flavor range at Amorino includes 36 gelato and sorbet options. Some flagship flavors include vanilla — the all-time favorite made with world-class bourbon vanilla sourced from Madagascar — and the pistachio flavor made with fragrant Mawardi pistachios. Along with the standard offer, Amorino also releases seasonal flavors. You can even adorn your order with Amorino's signature gelato-filled macarons.

Caffè Panna

Caffè Panna was opened in 2019 and has quickly become one of the go-to places for adventurous gelato fanatics in NYC. This cute shop was founded by Hallie Meyer, who has long been passionate about all things gelato. Her desire was to create a place that would partner classic Italian gelato tradition with playful flavors. The production is entirely artisanal and made on the spot, and as the flavors are continually rotated, the batches are always as fresh as possible. Some ingredients are sourced from Italy — such as the fresh Piemont cream that adorns the ice cream — but many seasonal options arrive from the nearby Union Square Greenmarket.

Seven classic flavors are always on rotation, with five added and changed weekly. The menu also features signature sundaes modeled on the idea of being extra in flavor, crunch, and richness. They are regularly tweaked with ingredients that the staff finds inspiring. Caffè Panna is the ideal location if you appreciate artisanal gelato and original flavor combinations.

Sant Ambroeus Gelateria

It was big news when Sant Ambroeus announced the opening of its first gelateria in NYC. This business giant has long been a familiar name in the restaurant world, and much was expected from its additional outposts on Lafayette Street. Luckily for all gelato lovers, the result lived up to the expectation. The shop offers various gelato flavors featuring familiar names, such as chocolate and stracciatella, a few creative ventures, and several vegan options. For the ultimate gelato pleasure, choose the coppa order in which your gelato comes served with your choice of toppings.

Sant Ambroeus is not a low-key neighborhood gelateria. This elegant upscale location is decorated with a finely tuned mix of classic and contemporary. It functions as a coffee bar, gelateria, and pastry shop, equipped with a spacious seating area where you can indulge in gelato scoops or other desserts and savory snacks that are part of the standard menu.