Ample Hills Creamery Opens in Gowanus

A chocolate ice cream cone with a scoop of butterscotch pudding ice cream from Ample Hills melts in the Brooklyn sun.

Ample Hills Creamery has been ice-cream-famous in this town ever since they opened that first tiny parlor in Brooklyn's Prospect Heights some four years ago. The cause for much of the rapture, then and now, has been their signature flavor, Salted Crack Caramel–salted caramel ice cream studded with chocolate covered butter crackers–which is every bit as delicious and addictive as the name implies. But locals and self-proclaimed experts of the best ice cream in NYC (ahem, me) quickly realized that pretty much everything Brian Smith, Jackie Cuscuna, and rest of the Ample Hills team churns out is nothing less than sweet, cold, creamy magic. And now, with the opening of the brand-new, two-story, "ice cream paradise" in Gowanus, Ample Hills has once again seriously upped the ante on the city's frozen treat game.    

People seated outside on the roof deck of the newly-opened Ample Hills Creamery in Gowanus

Tasty Goodness Comes to Gowanus

I went to the new Gowanus Ample Hills Creamery during its opening week and, like everyone else will tell you, this place is fantastic. The physical space is ridiculously large. Ample Hills makes all of their ice cream here on premises, a process that includes all pasteurization (they were the first in NYC to do so) which is why they're able to be so inventive, and nimble, with their flavor combinations. There are several big booths on the main level, as well as a counter with stools, but the real excitement is on the second floor, with its spacious, comfortable roof deck looking out over South Brooklyn. Come in the evening on one of those perfect-sunset nights we seem to be having a lot of lately, and you are in for some fireworks. 

Ice cream in a cup sits on top of a picnic table with the Manhattan skyline in the background.=

Sweet, Soft-Served & All-from-Scratch

All of that's great, but the real draw at Ample Hills, the reason people were lined up out the door and down the block on the night I went, is, of course, the ice cream. There are 24 flavors available at any given time, all of which will make you happy. I tried their newest invention, It Came From Gowanus, an insane combination of salty dark chocolate ice cream, hazelnut crack cookies, white chocolate pearls and "orange-scented" brownies, and paired that with the maybe-even-better Snap, Mallow, Pop, a glorious, sticky riff on the Rice Krispie Treat. Ample Hills also makes several different cookie-like cones, including Pretzel, Chocolate Chip, and straight-up Chocolate, which had a deep, real-cocoa flavor and went nicely with my third scoop of the evening (whose counting?!), Butterscotch Pudding, which was enhanced by a splash of whiskey. Can't wait to go back for more. 

An employer scoops ice cream behind the counter of Ample Hills Creamery which displays assorted housemade cones.

The new Ample Hills Creamery in Gowanus is located on the corner of Union and Nevins Streets, a block away from the R train. It's also just a few blocks from the F train station at Carroll Gardens; just walk across the canal on the Union Street drawbridge. By the way, that stretch of Union Street is hopping these days, with Ample Hills joining Dinosaur Barbecue and the Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club on the same block. The Gowanus Ample Hills Creamery is open Sunday through Thursday from 12:00 noon to 11:00 p.m., and on Friday and Saturday from noon to 12:00 midnight. 

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