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Eat and Drink

National Ice Cream Day deals, treats and events

Don't let this sweet holiday pass you by.

National Ice Cream Day specials in NYC include

National Ice Cream Day specials in NYC include "mermaid cones" (pictured) at Soft Swerve on the Lower East Side. Photo Credit: Soft Swerve

Sunday is the annual food holiday you've been anticipating since that scorcher of a weekend at the end of June.

The barrage of free frozen treats, new, exclusive flavors and celebratory festivals accompanying National Ice Cream Day in New York City kicks off Friday, but we want you to be prepared.

Devise a strategy to maximize your sweet returns with our tip sheet:


Buy one soft serve cone, get one 50 percent off at Godiva: Godiva may be synonymous with chocolate, but four of the company's Manhattan "boutiques," as well as the shop at Queens Center Mall, also sell soft serve ice cream. Choose between regular old vanilla, the signature dark chocolate or swirl in a cup or waffle cone.  

Free mini cones at Nickel & Diner: Making Sunday brunch with your Manhattan peeps? Consider this five-and-dime lunch counter-inspired spot (1 Howard St.) serving complimentary free mini ice cream cones from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cool off with a small scoop of honey ginger, lychee or even the coconut milk-based shishito pepper and avocado. 

Buy-one-get-only small cones at Polosud: When in Little Italy... At Polosud Gelato, Coffee and Pastries (166 Mott St.), pastry chef Giacomo D'Alessandro and his team are offering gelato conoisseurs a free small cone for every one purchased. Bring a friend to try traditional Italian flavors like stracciatella and "bacio" (chocolate hazelnut), or more unconventional choices, like "L'Americano" (banana with peanut butter).  

Free scoops at Arlo SoHo: Free dessert isn't actually an incentive we need to check at out the hotel's glamping-themed outdoor lounge ourselves, but we won't turn it down. Camp Arlo's boozy ice cream/cocktail cart, an all-summer-long pop-up supplied by Tipsy Scoop and Muddled Memories, will hand out free scoops of the limited-edition summer flavor Frose All Day (white peach sorbet infused with rose) starting at noon on Sunday. The hotel is located at 231 Hudson St. 

Free mochi ice cream at Winky Lux Clubhouse: Regardless of if you're in the market for cosmetics, swing by this Lower East store at 69 Ludlow St. on Sunday for a chewy, ice cream-filled rice cake from the Los Angeles-based My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream. From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Winky Lux will hand out the confection in flavors like mango, green tea and salted caramel. 

$1 boozy scoops at Tipsy Scoop: National Ice Cream Day isn't just for the kids. Make your way to the Kips Bay "barlour" as early as you can for $1 scoops of liquor-infused flavors like spiked mint chocolate chip and red velvet martini. The shop at 217 E. 26th St. opens at noon and only the first 50 customers earn $3.75 off the price of its smallest serving. If noon sounds ambitious, roll in later for swag and giveaways all day long. 

Soft serve at 16 Handles: Snag a free 3-ounce portion of the self-serve fro-yo chain's first-ever gelato flavor at any of 16 Handles' nine locations in the city when it makes its debut this Sunday. If raspberry lemon gelato sounds too decadent to you, 16 Handles promises to accomodate with a 3-ounce sample of any fro-yo flavor of your choice.

Discounted Ben & Jerry's and Talenti pints at Whole Foods: Check out with two pints of Cherry Garcia or Mediterranean Mint gelato, and you'll pay $6 for the duo. The notoriously expensive grocery's three-day sale starts Friday. Find your nearest store here. 


Mermaid cones from Soft Swerve and Rebecca's Cake Pops: You can never tell what might be lurking in your soft serve. At this Lower East Side shop (85B Allen St.), it's ube — or purple yam — cake pops molded in the fishy shape of mermaid tails. Soft Swerve has partnered up with the Garden City-based bakery Rebecca's Cake Pop to decorate its ube-flavored soft serve cones with edible art for one week in July. From Friday through July 22, mermaid cones will sell for $7.35 each. 

Hummus ice cream from Hummus & Pita Co.: The lengths to which this Mediterrnean fast-casual chain will go to make chickpeas an appealing dessert is starting to alarm us. First, it was "dessert hummus," prepared in flavors like cookie dough and cake batter. Then it was hummus smoothies. Now it's hummus ice cream. (When will the madness end?!) The restaurant launches its new frosty treat on Sunday from its Chelsea location (585 Sixth Ave.), expanding to all outposts on Aug. 1. According to the company, dairy-free hummus ice cream gets its sweetness from dates and creaminess from almond milk or coconut cream. Flavors include chocolate, strawberry and cookies and cream. It's $4.95 for an 8-ounce portion, and we won't even bother telling you how much a large serving costs, because you're going to want to try it first.

Morgenstern and StreetEasy's The Roommate's Compromise: This is the second year the real estate listings site is partnering up with Morgenstern's to introduce an exclusive, new frozen dessert. The Roommate's Compromise – available this weekend only, starting Friday, at the inventive Lower East Side parlor (2 Rivington St.) – combines soft-serve raspberry chocolate and orange vanilla ice cream with white and dark chocolate shells on a double cone. A complimentary cone goes to any customer who donates at least $1 to Women In Need (WIN), a nonprofit providing shelter and supportive housing for the city's homeless families. For every dollar donated, StreetEasy will make a matching contribution to WiN.


NYC Summer Ice Cream Blizzard: Artisanal ice cream makers are cherries on top of this Sunday's Grand Bazaar NYC, a weekly indoor and outdoor market featuring arts, crafts, furniture and food at 100 W. 77th St. Among vendors who attended last year where Dolce Brooklyn, Victory Garden, and Taiyaki NYC. Admission is free, but donations –100 percent of which go to four neighborhood schools – are encouraged. The market is open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.


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