Ice & Vice

ice and vice - new york city ice cream shopOne of the best parts of summer in the U.S. is heading out for ice cream on a warm evening. Even if you’re someone like me, that always has a freezerful of ice cream, it’s fun to head out somewhere and join others who are cooling down, lapping up cones on the streets and on benches.

The most famous ice cream shop in Paris, Berthillon closes at 8pm (and for the month of August) but younger glaciers, like Henri at Glazed stay open until 10pm. After a day spent hitting museums in Manhattan, we wandered down to the Lower East Side to taste the ice creams from one of the newest places in town, Ice & Vice.

ice and vice - new york city ice cream shopIt’s been amazing to watch the transformation of the ice cream in America. A new generation of ice cream makers is using the medium to churn up an original array of flavors and combinations. I’ve been to a few places where the experiments were hit or miss (no, I don’t want a whole bowl of asparagus ice cream with chocolate-clove gravy) – but at Ice & Vice, every scoop was a win.

Ice & Vice calls itself an “experimental” ice cream shop. So if you’re looking for a traditional scoop of chocolate or vanilla ice cream, you won’t find it here. But you will find flavors like Milk Money (above), made from toasted milk, sea salt, and a ribbon of chocolate ganache. (The base is milk powder, which they roast off.) A brightly colored tub of purple frozen yogurt, Farmer Boy, got its flavor from cassis (black currants), goat milk, and buckwheat streusel. It was a game-changer in terms of frozen yogurt and using goat milk gave it an extra-milky tang.

ice and vice - new york city ice cream shop

I tried to describe to Romain what root beer was, which is the base of Love & Hate, with ginger and molasses in it as well. (How would you describe root beer? A spicy infusing of roots?) He doesn’t have the same cultural reference to the soft drink as I do so he passed on that one, but he and I both agreed that our favorite flavor was Shade, a smoked chocolate cone with caramelized white chocolate ganache melded into it.

Ice & Vice, NY ice cream shop

It was hard taking photos in the shop because we were so busy eating our ice cream before it melted, but the extra-nice counterman was happy to let us (and every customer that came in) try whatever flavors we wanted. The team that opened the shop, Paul Kim and Ken Lo, have done a great job of creating a unique space where they are free to explore a variety of flavors, churned up in their spotless kitchen just behind the counter. The space is relatively new and more options – like toppings and other treats – will be introduced as they come up with them. I think whenever you stop in, you’ll be as happy as we were.

Ice & Vice
221 East Broadway
New York, NY
Opening Hours: Sunday-Thursday, Noon to 10pm, Friday and Saturday, Noon until Midnight


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  • August 14, 2015 7:51pm

    We’ve just come back from Milan where 3 gelati a day was the norm. We didn’t manage any photos at all because it was 38 degrees and we were too busy eating! As the son of one of our companions put it, even a below par icecream in Italy is better than any icecream you are ever going to have in Australia.

  • Laurie
    August 14, 2015 7:58pm

    Root beer would be hard to explain! It must be ice cold and served in a frozen glass (a mug for those of us who remember the old A&W root beer)! Hot, salty french fries are a perfect go-along.
    Peace, Laurie

  • August 14, 2015 8:17pm


  • August 14, 2015 8:27pm

    oh god SHADE! i need some. yes.

  • Renee
    August 14, 2015 8:39pm

    I have not been to Ice & Vice yet, but I will certainly have to now. What terrific flavors!

    As for Root beer, I remember sassafras/sarsaparilla being used for the homemade version (when I was a kid). It’s like a spicy, woody vanilla I would guess! Creme soda with a kick.

    Really enjoying following your vacation- hope you are having a great time!

  • jill
    August 14, 2015 8:39pm

    Aw, i’ve loved these guys since they started out at the LIC Flea! Been trying to turn Max from Serious Eats onto them for a while now. So happy for their success, and ironically, one of the owners is also lactose intolerant!

  • Helen
    August 14, 2015 9:12pm

    Homemade ice cream has always been a favorite when hot weather hits the western USA, usually coinciding with the first strawberries and continuing through the apple harvest. We thought we were creative with our flavors but these guys win with their creations.

  • Parisbreakfast
    August 14, 2015 9:21pm

    Well it must be good if you’re turning somersaults, though I lean more in the direction of French ice creams. Maybe less exotic flavors but you sense the amazing basic ingredients (speaking cows here) and sugar is a bottom note.

  • Linn
    August 14, 2015 10:12pm

    Ice & Vice ice cream sounds a lot like a wonderful and innovative ice cream shop that originated in Austin Tx. Very unusual flavor combinations but they are delicious.

  • Aileen
    August 14, 2015 10:54pm

    Gaghhhh! Reading this on train back from NYC on way home to Massachusetts. Oh well, makes a perfect excuse to return.

  • August 14, 2015 11:04pm

    Mm I have yet to try these exquisite ice cream combos…they sound so heavenly. Root beer is life.

  • Barbara
    August 14, 2015 11:09pm

    Perfect timing. We’ll be in NYC in September. I just added this to my Google map, which is predominantly loaded with restaurants. I even have a special icon for ice cream shops.

  • mark
    August 14, 2015 11:28pm

    We live across the street from Ice and Vice and we love them!

  • August 15, 2015 3:00am

    Currently drinking an A&W Root Beer in Cherry Hill NJ. I keep going past the A&W Drive Thru and dreaming of a Root Beer Float. Try explaining that!

  • August 15, 2015 6:46am

    Honey Bunches, thanks for getting me arrested, once again, by the food police! It’s almost midnight and what the heck? Here I am reading about food vices…and ice cream at that!!!

    The latest photo of me ain’t pretty. I’d post it, but your monitor would blow up.

    Ahh, what the heck. Let’s get me back on topic. In the past week I have been on a search for black licorice. Did the ice cream, ‘Dream Team’ offer up any such flavor? Black licorice is hard to find, if you’re looking for the twists. (Note to self, email Twizzlers in the morning.)

    No, this ain’t a joke. I can see myself calling Omar the tent maker if I were to locate that flavor.

    Can you create a ‘Large Marge’ version when you return home?

    Note to Romain: Root Beer does sound confusing, but have Honey Bunches take you out for a root beer float. Seriously.

  • August 15, 2015 3:33pm

    oh my, black licorice – delicious memories of a small gelateria in Rome just far enough away from the Spanish Steps to not be inundated with tourists (like me) – a mind numbing liquirizia gelato!

  • Alvaro
    August 15, 2015 4:01pm

    Honestly, if you are looking for a great Italian-like ice cream in Paris, Grom can really be impressive. The queue might be long sometimes, but it’s totally worth it. I used to eat Grom ice creams when I used to live in Italy, and it was great, and the Paris shop in the 6ème is really good too.

  • August 15, 2015 4:51pm

    Oddly, this post made me want some ice cream..gorgeous pictures! I can’t wait for summer to hit Australia so I can try some of these.

  • August 16, 2015 12:10am

    I usually make gelato, but every now and then crave a fabulous ice cream; Ice & Vice is a place I’ll be sure to visit (thank you) when I get to Paris. Milk Money is calling my name!

  • Janet
    August 16, 2015 7:30am

    A recipe for Shade would be great please!

  • Guy
    August 16, 2015 8:20am

    Hope you visited Humphrey Slocombe when you were in San Francisco. They make wonderfully innovative ice creams, and I the savory ones especially. Salt and Pepper ice cream is genius. I served small scoops of their Prosciutto ice cream wrapped in thin slices of canteloupe. And if they ever make their Cherry Blossom ice cream, from the petals, it’s worth getting a friend to FedEx a shipment to you. (HS ice creams are innovative but the mouthfeel isn’t always the best. Some of their experiments come out chalky and dry, but most are excellent.)

  • Zsuzsanna
    August 16, 2015 8:44am

    Root beer…I am yet to meet a European who embraces it. I am adventurous and open-minded – but I believe you have to taste root beer very young to like it. It’s not a flavor that grows on you.

  • August 16, 2015 4:28pm

    There used to be an ice cream parlour I used to walk past every day, it closed down recently probably due to lack of business. I always wondered why it was always empty, I think I saw probably 2 customers in there in the whole time I used to pass it, shame. A year later I can’t move for gelato shops popping up in the city centre, but again…they always seem empty. Is there some sort of late night ice cream party scene I don’t know about? And the reason they’re empty during the day is because said party goers are lying in bed with brain freeze from over doing it on milk based icey treats?

  • Casey Jones
    August 16, 2015 5:48pm

    How would I describe the taste of root beer? I would say it tastes like “Sassafras root”, because that is what it’s supposed to be made from.

    • Casey Jones
      August 16, 2015 5:51pm

      *But Good luck sourcing any of that extract without having the DEA breaking down your door

  • Rob
    August 16, 2015 10:08pm

    I went over there after reading this, and I thought the place was fabulous. Although I’m usually a fan of the classics — I judge a place by its vanilla — I had the Milk Money and I thought it was magnificent. They also gave me a taste of the Farmer Boy, and I thought that was excellent as well.

    The place was not very well attended on a hot Sunday afternoon, and I think that they can use your patronage. The location is about as “out of the way” as one an find in Manhattan, and I certainly hope people support it. This place seems to be turning out much better stuff than the more celebrated places.

    I will be returning, and will also be working on copying the toasted malted powder in my own amateur ice cream efforts.

  • August 17, 2015 10:10pm

    If you’re ever in Brixton, you must come and try Lab G, which really does sell wonderful ice-cream, and if we are eating in the Village, we usually end up there for our pudding!

    I must admit, I’ve never had an ice-cream in the USA – I find I can never manage more than a main course, very often only part of that, in an American restaurant, and have never had any kind of pudding there!

  • Andreas
    August 18, 2015 11:57am

    As a non-American, I can easily describe the taste of root beer: public toilet disinfectant. Good for Romain to take a pass on it.

  • Marie
    August 19, 2015 9:17pm

    I visited Ice & Vice about two hours after I got your newsletter. It was fabulous! I went with your favorite, Shade but also got a scoop of a new flavor — Shiso Pretty. An amazing strawberry concoction! Sorry that you missed it. Thanks for the find… I would never have checked it out on my own.

  • Ttrockwood
    August 22, 2015 6:30am

    It’s on my list for this weekend!
    Have you been to Blythe Ann’s in the east village? The flavors aren’t quite as daring, but its all using either a cashew milk base or coconut milk, dense like gelato. And be sure to try the coconut whipped cream.

  • Andrea D.
    August 26, 2015 5:48am

    Made the trek into the city today to try Ice & Vice! Oh SO good! I had the Milk Money but it was a tough decision between that and Shade (which I will get next visit!).