Want to boost your Instagram reach? Stick a cone on it! These days, it’s not enough for ice cream to taste good, it has to look like a Cezanne still life, too. The bigger and more extravagant the creamy creation, the better for your social media following. So charge your smartphone cameras: We’ve got the six most Instagrammable scoops in NYC.
New York is a little late to the egg waffle game—it’s a hugely popular street food in Hong Kong—but better late than never. The waffle itself here is the main attraction, with ice cream the very delicious sidekick. The “lead decorator” at Wowfulls expressed the importance of product presentation: Everything “down to our drizzle game” needs to be impeccable. The prettiest waffle–ice cream combo, in my humble opinion? The chocolate egg waffle (Gai Dan Jai) with a large scoop of the exclusive Hershey’s rainbow vanilla ice cream topped with graham crackers and a caramel drizzle. (But be on the lookout for the matcha egg waffle cone, which makes an appearance every now and then.) Conveniently, one of the store’s walls is spray-painted with hearts in rainbow colors—the perfect background for your ’gram.
Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate
Visiting Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate is like walking into a cocoa workshop in Geneva, except it’s located in the much-more-accessible midtown. It has what seems like an unlimited array of luxurious chocolates, truffles, and pastries to choose from. The best (and best-looking) thing on the menu, though, is the macaron ice cream sandwich ($6.50). Both the dark chocolate and pistachio cheesecake varieties are decadent game changers; I can never go back to the ice cream sandwiches from the bodega again. And, of course, they make for excellent selfie props.
Tucked away on an unsuspecting Chinatown street is Wukong, one of the only ice cream shops where you can request that your cone arrive floating on a giant cotton-candy cloud. I opted for cookie dough and mint as the base scoops for my waffle cone and—since sugary cereals have made a comeback—Fruity Pebbles and Froot Loops on top. Next, the artists here spin a bright pink cotton-candy halo around your cone—100 percent Insta-worthy!
Blossom Ice Cream
We’ve all seen the YouTube clips of frozen ice cream being rolled into little cups by now. At this Cobble Hill Thai ice cream shop, you can see the show in real life, as each bowl is made to order. First, they pour a flavored cream base onto a freezing metal pan that’s set to minus-10 degrees. Once chilled, the ice cream is ready to be rolled up into exquisite little bundles, packed in a cup, and topped artfully with anything from Teddy Grahams cookies to coconut flakes. I tried the Virgin Mojito; there’s nothing better than mint, lime, and graham crackers on a balmy summer’s eve.
Break the Internet with these fish-shaped waffle cones (taiyaki) that hail all the way from Japan. Not one to shy away from trends, this shop peddles a special-edition, pink and white unicorn taiyaki—only available while supplies last—complete with magical horn and tons of sprinkles. The folks here are very generous scoopers, so be quick with the snapshots; otherwise, you’ll have to start licking ice cream off your fingers…not that that’s a bad thing.
Ice and Vice
While I’ve had ice cream on top of pie, I’ve never had pie on top of ice cream. At Ice and Vice, you can try experimental craft flavors and layer up to five on a cone, along with baked goods and treats. Want half a doughnut or a giant marshmallow on there? Why not, stack them up! The names of the ice cream—there’s one called Pork Your Melons—are worth the trip alone. I hope this doesn’t land me on Page Six—or maybe I do?—but I stacked Blood Sisters (salted chocolate and burnt blood orange sorbet) on top of my Opium Den (white sesame with toasted poppy seeds and a lemon bread crouton). My naughty dessert and I are ready for our close-ups.