My search for the best ice cream in New York continues ….

10 BELOW ICE CREAM, 10 Mott Street (between Worth Street and Pell Street), Chinatown

The face of ice cream (and food in general) is changing in this city. Sadly, dishes are now being created not because the choice of ingredients makes a delicious combination, but rather because the enormity or uniqueness of a dish makes for a great Instagram photo.

The Very Small Crowd

That’s actually why 10Below was opened. The Chinatown ice cream shop, which usually hosts an hour-long wait, is the brainchild of someone who saw the popular ice cream rolls in Thailand on Instagram and decided to introduce it to New York. Needless to say, it’s been a big hit. Because ice cream tastes better when rolled to look like a flower? No, of course not, but because the dish looks great on Instagram.

The Show Begins

And so here we are in the modern age of food. Thanks to photos I’ve seen, I too have certainly been curious about these ice cream rolls. I’ve tried to obtain them on previous visits, but unlike most of the world, I refuse to wait in a line that snakes out the door and lasts over an hour.

So finally on a chilly weekday afternoon, I discovered no line at 10 Below. Here was my chance.

IMG_7779

The way it works is that you choose a base flavor (plain, green tea, or coffee), some mix-in’s (or pre-selected combos), and watch the ice cream creators go to work.

Cameras Out!

They basically make the ice cream in front of you, pouring a cream mixture onto a cold slab where it is frozen and then when the timing is right, they mix in the toppings, and then roll them up into beautiful little ice cream burritos.

Roll it Up!

Here it is: the oligatory shot for Instagram and social media. Certainly makes you want to try it for yourself.

Ice Cream Roll at 10BELOW

And I’m glad I did because I liked it, but I can’t really classify it as ice cream. Ice cream has air in it – this do not. So while it looks great and tastes pretty good, the texture is dense and chewy. Almost like ice cream leather. This is not “good ice cream.”

A Closer Look

We had a customized plain base with chocolate and strawberry mixed it. We were also told we could add any other toppings we want on top. So why not some coconut and an extra drizzle of chocolate sauce?

It was fun and different, but my assumptions were correct that the best part of the entire experience is the show and the ability to get lots of likes on Instagram. And I suppose in this day and age, that’s worth something.

Is 10Below Ice Cream the best ice cream in NY? It’s certainly inventive and tasty and for that it gets a out of 10 but it’s hard for me to consider this true ice cream and judge it beyond its good looks. 

10BELOW ICE CREAM
10 Mott Street (between Worth and Mosco Street),
Chinatown
(212) 965-1336
136-17 39th Avenue (between Main and 138th Street),
Flushing, Queens
(212) 965-1336
10belowicecream.com
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Category: Ice Cream

About the Author

Brian Hoffman is a classically trained actor who is now a full-time tour guide, blogger, and food obsessive. He leads food and drink tours around New York City, which not only introduce tour-goers to delicious food, but gives them a historical context. He also writes food articles for Gothamist and Midtown Lunch in addition to overseeing this blog and a few food video series, including Eat This, Locals Know, and Around the World in One City.

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