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Lila Gaffney / Columbia Daily Spectator

What’s one of the greatest perks of going to college in NYC? Access to the highest quality ice cream that humanity has to offer, obviously. If schoolwork is prompting you to scream, go get some ice cream!

Ample Hills Creamery

If you only go to one of these scoop shops, it needs to be Ample Hills. This establishment is the perfect accompaniment to any celebratory occasion, romantic breakup, or casual Tuesday afternoon. Every flavor is chock-full of quality mix-ins (Butter cake! Streusel crumble! Chocolate-covered potato chip clusters!) while maintaining a smooth, creamy, well-balanced base. Whether you make a day out of it by visiting their Chelsea location or stay closer and stop by the Hell’s Kitchen stand, do yourself a favor and go get a scoop (or three).

Van Leeuwen Ice Cream

Popularized for their trendy flavors and millennial-pleasing decor, Van Leeuwen’s is particularly appealing for the vegan and lactose intolerant readers out there. Dairy free ice cream is rarely done right, but Van Leeuwen’s smooth creamy concoctions manage to meet (if not surpass) the standard applied to dairy ice cream. For those seeking recommendations, I’d nudge you towards the Cookie Crumble Strawberry Jam flavor. And with 16 locations in the city, you’re always only a few subway stops from a Van Leeuwen shop.

Emack & Bolio’s

For the waffle cone and/or rice krispie aficionados out there, Emack & Bolio’s is your best bet. Their cones are generously covered in various marshmallow-and-cereal combinations, from Froot Loops to Cinnamon Toast Crunch. And their flavor selection is unparalleled—if you can think of it they probably have it. Located on Amsterdam and 79th, you can grab a cone and be back on campus within the hour.


If you self-identify as a pretentious ice cream connoisseur, head down to Morgenstern’s. Not one for flashy toppings or tourist-attracting decor, Morgenstern’s focuses on elegance and quality. Nothing screams gourmet more than offering three different vanilla flavors: Madagascar Vanilla, Bourbon Vanilla, and Burnt Honey Vanilla. And with sophisticated flavors like Salt & Pepper Pinenut and Burnt Sage, this option is the equivalent of philosophy majors—thoughtfully refined but a little obnoxious.

Oddfellows Ice Cream Co.

Oddfellow’s is known for small-batch, fresh-made frozen deliciousness, with a flavor selection that varies each day. Perfect for repeat offenders, you can always expect something new with each visit. Their offerings are visually pleasing too, with generously topped cookie ice cream sandwiches and Insta-famous round scoops. If you’re trying to flex on Snapchat while also flexing on your tastebuds, check them out.

If you can’t be bothered to travel for ice cream, there’s always the Häagen-Dazs between 113th & 114th and Broadway, or the Ben & Jerry’s on 104th and Broadway. Whether you decide to visit a new part of the city and grab a scoop of strawberry, or find 30 minutes at the end of your day for a cup of cookies and cream, please use this article as a guide for treating yourself. You’ve made it a third of the way through the semester and you deserve it!

Staff writer Izzy Mollicone can be contacted at! Follow Spectator on Twitter @ColumbiaSpec.

Ice cream NYC Dessert Off Campus
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