NEW YORK – For Eddie's Sweet Shop owner Vito Citrano, the secret to the best ice cream is doing things from scratch.
"We make everything, all the ice cream. We whip the whipped cream by hand. We make our hot fudge, caramel, most of our syrups," he said.
Vito first began helping out at the Forest Hills ice cream parlor as a child, when his father Giuseppe Citrano was at the helm. An immigrant from Southern Italy, Giuseppe purchased the shop in 1968, though it had already been a soda fountain for decades. With plans to sell, he named it after a fictional Eddie.
But he didn't sell, and Eddie's Sweet Shop remains a Citrano family effort. Vito's wife Angelina and sons Joseph and Brandon help with ice cream making and customer service.
Milkshakes, ice cream sodas, and mountainous sundaes barely contained by their dishes draw crowds of devotees, whose passionate allegiance to their favorite flavors—including coffee chip, vanilla fudge, and raspberry sherbet—means Vito can't drop any from the menu.
"We pretty much have the same flavors for the last 55 years," he said.
The Citrano family is committed to keeping Eddie's largely unchanged, serving scoops in metal dishes dating back nearly a century. Customers sit on old-fashioned stools at the original marble counter.
"You are kind of in a 1930s time warp here," he said.
But he hopes visitors become fans for more than the ambience.
"I hope they keep coming back 'cause the ice cream is that good," he said.
Eddie's Sweet Shop
105-29 Metropolitan Ave #1
Queens, NY 11375
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