Summer is officially here, and there’s nothing that screams “summer” more than an ice cream cone. We’ve rounded up some of North Brooklyn’s best ice cream and gelato shops where you can get a variety of frozen treats while supporting the neighborhood’s small businesses.
Greenpoint’s Okka (117 Nassau Ave.), a Turkish coffee shop and cafe that serves Turkish pastries like baklava and Devoción coffee and espresso, recently added ice cream to the menu. Okka’s owners, Hakan and Onur, told Greenpointers that they will now serve locally-made Mont Blanc ice cream and traditional Turkish gelato from Maraş.
Mont Blanc’s owner is a Greenpointer and Okka regular. Okka will serve a few flavors of Mont Blanc’s Brooklyn-born ice cream. This month’s flavors include Tahitian vanilla, chocolate, salted caramel, and a passion fruit sorbet.
Okka’s Turkish gelato is flown in from Turkey and unlike anything else in the neighborhood. Traditional Turkish gelato from Maraş is harder than ice cream found in the United States, commonly kept hanging on a hook in Turkish gelato shops. It is made with mastic, which is dried tree sap used in a variety of Turkish desserts, and doesn’t melt the same way American ice cream does.
Okka will serve the Turkish gelato topped with baklava or a sultan’s roll, which is similar to a Turkish pistachio baklava. Another option is an Affogato Turco, similar to an Italian affogato, but served with Turkish gelato and topped with a sultan’s roll.
Okka’s owners told Greenpointers that they will start serving the ice cream menu at noon, and hope to offer it year-round “like they do in Turkey.”
Okka’s current summer hours are Monday – Thursday 7:30 a.m. – 7 p.m., Friday 7:30 a.n. – 8:30 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. – 8:30 p.m., and Sunday 8 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Thick Ice Cream
Williamsburg’s Thick Ice Cream (208 Graham Ave.) is one of North Brooklyn’s newest ice cream shops. While much of North Brooklyn is teeming with traditional ice cream brands, this spunky shop opened in an underserved area devoid of a fun and affordable places to get a scoop…and that is exactly why Adriane Stewart opened Thick Ice Cream there.
Stewart, the owner of Thick Ice Cream and a long-time North Brooklyn resident, told Greenpointers that she wanted to open an ice cream shop in her own community because it “felt like a natural way to share the love I feel when we are creating these delicious desserts.”
“We make truly artisan ice cream on site, fresh everyday at prices that all of Brooklyn can afford,” Stewart continued. “So often artisan ice cream is too expensive for many of us, but we focus on making our treats and flavors affordable so that everyone can enjoy it. We are neighborhood driven and always focus on our core customers here in the community.”
The Thick Ice Cream owner prides herself on providing a unique ice cream experience. The shop does sell a few classic options in scoops, but it is really known for its innovative flavors with what Stewart called “a soulful or Latin twist” like caramel fried cornbread and mango flan. Stewart said the shop’s specialty is ice cream stuffed muffins. Options include butter pecan ice cream sandwiched between a cornbread muffin, devil’s food cake with vanilla ice cream, banana bread with salted caramel ice cream, and honey vanilla muffins with mango flan ice cream.
Thick also offers other treats like double stack brownies and chocolate chip sandwiches paired with various flavors of ice cream, plus a few alcohol-infused flavors like Hennessy pecan pie and peach with bourbon sweet tea.
The Screen Door
The Screen Door (145 Driggs Ave.) inhabits an advantageous location near McGorlrick Park. This seasonal shop (which closes during the winter months) serves both soft serve and hard scooped ice cream, plus vegan ice cream and treats for dogs.
The Screen Door is the perfect place to go for an upgraded take on ice cream truck soft serve or a more unique spin on a sundae. One menu highlight is the Blueberry Cookie Crumble which consists of vanilla soft serve blended with cookie dough pieces and graham cracker, topped with blueberry sauce and whipped cream. The Screen Door offers other unique flavor combinations to choose from, but customers can also create their own.
The Screen Door also serves old-school drinks like root beer floats, orange freezes, and egg creams that will transport you to a 1950’s soda shop right here in Brooklyn.
Davey’s (74 Meserole Ave.) is one of North Brooklyn’s more traditional ice cream parlors, serving up classic scoops and delicious treats on a cute corner in Greenpoint.
Davey’s ice cream is hand-made right here in Brooklyn. The shop uses local New York creameries and sources seasonal ingredients from local farmers markets. It’s truly a local operation with the freshest ingredients, and you can taste the freshness and love in every scoop.
Try the brownie sundae for a delicious, decadent treat. It includes a single scoop of ice cream, homemade sauce, dry topping, fresh whipped cream, on a homemade fudge brownie.
Williamsburg’s Gelateria Gentile (253 Wythe Ave.) is an authentic Italian gelato shop with “origins that date back to 1880” according to the website.
Gentile’s flavors rotate based on what is flown in from Italy. Some of the flavors are literally fresh off the boat and labeled as “Apple from Campania” or “Pear from Basilicata” meaning the fruit is imported from the Italian peninsula. Anything labeled “from Italy” is not to be missed.
On nice days, there is usually a line outside, but the creamy gelato is worth the wait. Gentile also serves delicious crepes, coffees, granita, pastries, and adorable mini cones.