First whipped up in Italy hundreds of years ago, gelato originally mixed a combination of sugar, cream, honey, wine, and fruit with snow. While the places listed below -- our five favorites in New York City -- no longer use snow, each and every one offers an icy rich treat, perfect for a pick-me-up. By Jessica Allen.
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Amorino recently moved into big digs in Chelsea, and became a must-visit practically overnight. Created by two childhood friends and based in Paris, Amorino serves gelato with a heaping side of love. Just take a look at the cones: however many flavors you want (!!!!!) are carefully placed around one another, forming the world's most delicious flower, known as the Amorino rose. Might we suggest dulce de leche, chocolate, caramel, coffee, tiramisu, speculoos, vanilla, and raspberry?
Fresco Gelateria is all about the small batch. Making tiny quantities of gelato means they can focus on quality and flavor -- to the delight of all who enter this East Village shop. We recommend spending some time on the website before you go, watching the mesmerizing videos of pure, clean, beautiful gelato being swirled and scooped, to prep your tastebuds. As for flavors, they range from the simple (vanilla bean, mint, honey almond) to the adventurous (egg nog, lemon poppy, chai).
Within its white walls, the fine folks at il laboratorio del gelato use the kitchen space as a true lab, putting science to work at perfecting flavor after flavor. Indeed, the menu lists 200+, including fruits and veggies (avocado, beet, butternut squash, fig, sweet potato, and tangerine), herbs and florals (sage, rose petal, Mexican cinnamon, and basil), and the utterly unusual (wasabi, malt, cream cheese, raw cashew, and pink peppercorn). They have awesome milkshakes too!
L'Arte del Gelato focuses on, you guessed it, the art of gelato. And what an art it is. A scoop or two will take you straight from Chelsea Market to the Côte d'Azur. The owner created this gelato shop in order to give customers a taste or two of the sweet, creamy stuff he and his friends grew up eating as children in Sicily. Flavors tend toward the traditional, and include amaretto (bitter almond biscuits), panna cotta (milk cream with caramel), and zucca (pumpkin).
Popbar allows you get your gelato on a stick. Made fresh daily in batches of 26, popbars are as simple as can be -- that is, you'll recognize, and be able to pronounce, each and every ingredient. Try the striking vanilla popGelato, half covered with a wedge of dark chocolate, the chocolate dipped in white chocolate (why, yes, it is as decadent and delicious as it sounds), or peanut butter, green tea, or coffee, perhaps dipped in coconut or chopped nuts. Happy licking!
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