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Ice Cream Spots on the Lower East Side

The summer sun is beaming down on NYC, but residents of the luxurious One Manhattan Square condos can cool off with outstanding ice cream from shops just minutes away from their Lower East Side homes. We’re exploring three nearby purveyors sure to delight every palate, offering nostalgic Asian favorites, envelope-pushing artisanal gelato, and more.

Lower East Side Ice Cream Factory | 88 Essex Street (Essex Market)

An offshoot of the iconic Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, which was named the best ice cream in NYC by Time Out in 2023, the Lower East Side Ice Cream Factory brings unique Asian-inspired flavors to the historic Essex Market. Family owned for over 40 years, it continues the Seid family’s tradition of crafting innovative frozen desserts with flavors like pandan, taro, and the highly coveted durian. The expansive menu also features exclusive flavors such as squid ink and baklava alongside classic options like strawberry cheesecake and rocky road. As summer’s heat descends, one can savor a scoop (or three) while strolling the market’s vendor-lined corridors.

Soft Swerve | 85B Allen Street

Another must-visit ice cream destination on the Lower East Side is Soft Swerve. When you first lay eyes on their Instagram, it’s like being drawn into a psychedelic pastel dream. This trendy soft serve shop swirls its incredibly creamy ice cream into towering sculptures of vibrant, electric hues — matcha greens that could double as wall paints, periwinkle purple yams, flushed lychee pinks… The swirls get constructed into classic soft serve shapes, then blanketed with whimsical toppings like Fruity Pebbles, mochi, red beans, and freeze-dried fruits. It’s an unabashedly sugary, nostalgic vision plucked straight from a ‘90s Lisa Frank Trapper Keeper. The fact that this shop has over 50,000 Instagram followers obsessing over its colorful visual fantasies hints at how insanely good this stuff actually tastes.

Il Laboratorio del Gelato | 188 Ludlow Street

For those seeking a more sophisticated frozen treat, there’s Il Laboratorio del Gelato. This isn’t your typical ice cream parlor — it’s a true gelato laboratory run by Jon Snyder, whose passion for ice cream making began at age 9 when working at his grandparents’ Carvel shop. Using the traditional Italian method, Snyder’s team achieves dense, velvety textures and flavor purities that put standard ice cream to shame. Ingredients are meticulously prepared; cherries pitted, pistachios roasted in-house, espresso steeped to extract maximum essence. The rotating selection of 48 daily flavors explores a remarkably wide territory, ranging from cheddar to Thai chili chocolate. But even the classics, like a dark chocolate mocha gelato with an espresso punch, are handled with an artisan’s exacting care.

Residents of the One Manhattan Square condos can easily make their way to these three LES purveyors from their striking 80-story glass tower overlooking the East River. Why settle for ordinary ice cream when you can savor exquisite gelato or eye-popping soft serve visions found right around the corner? One Manhattan Square brings sweet culinary discoveries home.

Contact our sales team this summer to find your new home on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.