NEW YORK CITY — On a hot summer day, an ice cream shop is an oasis — though the same flavor can get a little vanilla.
Fortunately, the city has plenty of ice cream stores that are bold enough to step out of the norm.
For instance, L'Arte Del Gelato in Chelsea Markets swaps out the cookie-cutter ice cream sandwich for ice cream brioche rolls.
Even more daring ice cream fans should head to Queens' Max and Mina's homemade ice cream shop for a taste of its ketchup or pizza flavors.
“Ice cream is one of those few foods that, when you are eating it, you feel as if you are a kid again without a care in the world,” said Mark Becker, an owner of Max and Mina’s.
“We always try and keep that in mind when we are concocting ice cream flavors, no matter how creative the flavors may be.”
Brioche and Gelato
CHELSEA — This ice cream sandwich is on a roll.
L’Arte del Gelato, located at 75 Ninth Ave. in Chelsea Market, offers a variety of familiar gelato flavors such as pistachio and Nutella, but its ice cream sandwich is what makes this shop a little different.
Instead of the usual cookie and ice cream combo, L’Arte puts its gelato in the center of a buttery brioche. Each sandwich gets two scoops of gelato of the customer’s choice.
For more information and a list of all the flavors, visit www.lartedelgelato.com.
Funny Ice Cream
EAST VILLAGE — When vanilla gets old, try “The Salty Pimp.”
The Big Gay Ice Cream Shop, located at 125 E. Seventh St., offers soft-serve ice cream with a variety of creative toppings that inspire names like “The Salty Pimp” or the “Mexican Affo‘gay’to.” The Salty Pimp, for instance, is made up of vanilla ice cream, dulce de leche, sea salt and chocolate dip.
“Both the Big Gay Ice Cream shop and truck pair traditional soft-serve ice cream with imaginative toppings such as curried coconut, Nilla wafers, Dulce de Leche, olive oil, sea salt and other rotating offerings,” said Patty Devery, a spokeswoman for the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop.
“These unexpected ingredients, served with humor and fun, are what makes the Big Gay Ice Cream experience unique.”
Other exotic toppings include wasabi pea dust, curry powder and sriracha. The menu also includes shakes and floats.
For more information, visit biggayicecream.com.
Wine Ice Cream
Williamsburg — A creamy scoop of Cherry Merlot is one reason to visit this hole-in-the-wall ice cream joint.
Pagoto Organic Ice Cream, located at 201 Bedford Ave., has a variety of classic ice cream flavors and a few less familiar offerings too, like ice cream cupcakes and wine ice cream.
Pagoto’s wine ice cream is made with real wine and not flavoring, and has an alcohol content of 5%. Flavors include Cherry Merlot, Chocolate Cabernet, Peach White Zinfandel, Port, Red Raspberry Chardonnay and Riesling. Not all flavors are available every day.
Booze aside, the shop offers organic and homemade ice cream, soft serve, organic frozen yogurt and sundaes. Seating is available outside.
For more information, visit www.pagoto.biz.
Beer floats and chocolate
COBBLE HILL — Sweet fans ought to head to The Chocolate Room this summer for a chocolate beer float, if nothing else.
From ice cream to toppings, The Chocolate Room, located at 269 Court St., makes everything homemade in small batches, and has plenty of items on the menu to supplement your scoop.
Customers can take their ice cream with a slice of chocolate cake or as a banana split, but those looking for an adventure should order the Black Chocolate Stout Float.
The float includes Brooklyn Brewery’s Black Chocolate Stout and homemade vanilla ice cream. The Chocolate Room also offers seasonal chocolate stouts of its own to pair with your scoop.
For more information, visit thechocolateroombrooklyn.com.
Lemon Ice King of Corona
CORONA — Get your Italian ice from the king himself.
Benfaremo Lemon Ice King of Corona, located at 52-02 108th St., offers more than three dozen flavors of Italian ice, and continues a 60-year-old tradition of using freshly squeezed fruit juice to flavor its treats.
There’s a flavor for every taste, including pina colada, tangerine, cherry-vanilla and peanut butter. Plus, every flavor has real fruit pieces inside. Take your friends or bring the party home with Benfaremo’s to-go gallon buckets.
For more information, visit thelemonicekingofcorona.com.
Ketchup flavored ice cream
KEW GARDENS HILLS — The ice cream flavors at Max and Mina’s are a lot like jellybeans. You never know what you’ll get next.
Max and Mina’s homemade ice cream shop, located at 71-26 Main St., manufactures over 5,876 flavors, so don’t be surprised to find ketchup or lox flavored ice cream on the menu.
Some other flavors include smoked chocolate, spicy peanut butter, babka, pizza. There’s even a flavor called beer and nuts.
For more information, visit www.maxandminasicecream.com.
Old-school ice cream
ELM PARK — For a more old-school ice cream experience, head to Egger’s Ice Cream Parlor, a shop that has been dedicated to ice cream for at least seven decades.
The parlor, located at 1194 Forest Ave., is a nostalgic type of place with an old-fashioned bar and homemade ice cream classics like banana splits, egg creams and malt shakes.
Some of Egger’s special menu items include the “side car,” which is a milk shake with a scoop of ice cream, and ice cream cannoli’s.
For more information, visit the store’s facebook page at www.facebook.com/pages/Eggers-Ice-Cream-Parlor/124344194305669.
Sweeter than ice cream
NORTH RIVERDALE — With a candy store in the front and an ice cream shop in the back, anyone with a sweet tooth is sure to find a treat at The Candy Box, located at 5684 Riverdale Ave.
The Candy Box offers over 100 different gelato flavors, including some unusual ones like cashew, maple vanilla, persimmon and spicy chocolate. The frozen yogurt flavors change every week, but may include peanut butter, coffee and dulce de leche.
The Candy Box also serves Belgian waffles topped with a scoop of gelato. Seating is available inside.
For more information, visit www.thecandyboxonline.com.