Park Slope may not be the first Brooklyn neighborhood that comes to mind for an afternoon of street-wise snacking — unless ice cream is what’s on your mind. We’re not sure if it’s the proximity to Prospect Park or the area’s famously large number of small children, but the Slope is currently home to more than a dozen ice cream stands, gelato bars or frozen yogurt shops, and more seem to arrive each week. How to choose? Easy: These seven spots all feature frozen desserts that are Edible Brooklyn-approved.
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SkyIce Sweet & Savory
63 5th Ave. at St. Mark’s Pl.
Bangkok native Sutheera Denprapa started making ice creams with Southeast Asian flavors six years ago, selling them to Thai restaurants citywide. Eventually she and her husband Jonathan Bayer opened a sunny corner cafe serving her ice cream and sorbets, as well as savory northern Thai specialties like lemongrass fried rice and noodle curries with pickled cabbage. Pints are $7 and single scoops are $3.25, and come in flavors like mangosteen, durian, Thai iced tea, cucumber lime, lychee rose, caramel-sea salt, roasted coconut or the nutty black sesame-seaweed shown above.
339 7th Ave. at 9th Ave.
Before she opened her 300-square-foot sweets shop two blocks from Prospect Park, New Jersey native Katie Rosenhouse appeared on both the Food Network’s “Chopped” and “Sweet Genius” shows. Today you can watch her behind her own tiny counter, making the kind of high-brow/low-brow sweets — monkey buns, lavender shortbread, chocolate cake topped with peanut butter cream — that are hard to resist. Rosenhouse also finds room to make ice cream and sorbet, scooping six flavors at a time, including the tart tripe-berry sorbet shown above in a chocolate cone ($3). We recommend two desserts in one: an ice cream sandwich made with two of Rosenhouse’s excellent cookies. Pro tip: Before you get your sweet, tuck into a Christie’s Jamaican patty sold from the truck that’s usually parked just outside the shop.
Meltkraft by Valley Shepherd
442 9th St. at 7th Ave.
This is the second Park Slope retail shop for Valley Shepherd Creamery, a farm and dairy in Long Valley, NJ that insists on selling their products directly to customers. More than twice the size of the original Valley Shepherd cheese shop a few blocks north, Meltkraft boasts a full kitchen. Now in addition to pressing deluxe grilled cheeses (like the Melter Skelter, a mess of green tomatoes, jalapeños, crushed BBQ potato chips and wilted watercress) Valley Shepherd will soon make fresh gelato using their own NJ milk on site in Brooklyn. Until then, they plan to sell pints made on the farm and delivered in dry ice.
L’Albero dei Gelati
341 5th Ave. at 2nd St.
Monia Solighetto opened the first Brooklyn branch of Italy’s L’Albero dei Gelati last year with her husband Alessandro Trezza and their partner and pastry chef Marco Iannantuoni. As we reported in a recent issue, Solighetto has been spinning custard since she was a small girl, working at her parents gelato shop in Soregno, just outside of Milan. After their retirement, she and her brother decided to open a place of their own using both heirloom, organic and fair-trade ingredients and creative savory flavor combinations like blue cheese or sweet zucchini spiked with apple cider vinegar. If you consider yourself an ice cream and gelato aficionado or a dairy fanatic, L’Albero dei Gelati isn’t to be missed.
Culture: An American Yogurt Company
331 5th Ave. at 1st St.
Originally the main focus of Jenny Ammirati’s three-year-old shop was ultra-thick, Greek-style strained yogurt served by the cup or a bowl. They cultivate their own whole, skim and low-fat yogurts using milks from Hudson Valley Fresh and Organic Valley, and the results are both highly probiotic and indulgently rich; they’re better still paired with house-made granola and locally sourced fruity toppings in flavors like strawberry-rhubarb or apricot-ginger. Today Culture’s regular yogurt has its fans, but this time of year the real queues form for the frozen variety, served soft-serve style like the swirls of strawberry shown above. A small is $4.22, and comes with one free topping .
808B Union St. at 7th Ave.
Nathalie Jordi, David Carrell and Joel Horowitz founded this popsicle stand in 2008, selling their local-fruit pops and shave ices at the Brooklyn Flea. They’ve since expanded to a wholesale line, a cookbook and a brick and mortar shop at one of Park Slope’s busiest corners. Pops (currently sold in flavors like nectarine, cold brew coffee, strawberry chocolate and apple rosewater) are $3.50; a scraped-to-order-shave ice like the rhubarb-cardamom shown above is $2.50.
228 Flatbush Ave. at Bergen St.
This specialty food market from the owners of Franny’s and Marco’s sells high-end staples like olive oil, buckwheat flour, fine cheese and farro, but they devote one entire freezer case to their much-loved frozen concoctions, which include many seasonal flavors. Pints are $8.95 and minis, shown above in pistachio, strawberry-rhubarb and vanilla, are $3.75.
Photo credit: Rachel Wharton