New York ice cream vending carts are one of our favorite food trends this summer. High- (or middle-) end chefs are setting up artisanal ice cream carts outside their restaurants. And while there have been decidedly mixed results in these sweet treats endeavors–Cookshop's ice cream cart, for example, is something of a disaster–pastry chef Jacqueline Zion totally nails it with her Manhattan ice cream vending carts in front of Odean and, especially, outside of the always-lovely Cafe Cluny.
One of the best New York City ice cream carts, at Cafe Cluny
Cafe Cluny's ice cream cart flavors change every day–three for scooping; five pre-packed in pints–depending on both the market availability of certain ingredients (we hear the Spearmint is terrific, for example, but have never been lucky enough to try), and the desires of Zion. On a recent sunny afternoon, we strolled up and ordered the entire menu from this NYC ice cream cart: one Strawberry, one Cookies and Cream, one Butter Pecan. Big–HUGE–winners, all.
As far as New York ice cream carts go, Cafe Cluny's has quality flavors and ingredients. The Strawberry was tangy and fresh and just-exactly-right creamy. The Cookies and Cream was wonderfully sweet and had terrific mouthfeel, the homemade chocolate Oreo-y cookies ground into small crumbs. And the Butter Pecan struck just the right balance between crunchy nuttiness and sugary toffee. Zion's ice cream is always made from all-natural, locally produced ingredients–Ronny Brook Farms milk and cream; Fishkill Farms free range eggs, etc.–and the simplicity, the bright flavors, the sheer fun of these cones makes a trip to the Cafe Cluny ice cream cart a West Village summertime must.
Cafe Cluny ice cream cart details
The Cafe Cluny ice cream cart is located on the very pretty corner of West 12th and West 4th Streets, one block east of 8th Avenue. It is open every day, until it gets too cold to sell ice cream outside, from 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.