Between Dim Sum dumplings and roast pork and rice, Chinatown is home to some of the yummiest foods in all of New York City. Whether you're going for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, your taste buds will be super satisfied.
Yet somehow NYC's Chinatown has flown under the dessert radar—maybe traditional Chinese desserts (like red bean soup, egg custard, and black sesame rolls) just aren't cut out to be super widespread crowd pleasers for eaters unfamiliar with them.
But now, Chinatown is also killing the dessert game keeping up with (and sometimes creating) new ice cream trends.
1. Ice Cream Rolls
Ice cream rolls have been popular since last summer, and they aren't going away any time soon. Juicy Spot Cafe and 10Below were the first to introduce ice cream rolls to NYC's Chinatown, but shops all around the neighborhood have been rolling up (literally) to join the hype.
The best part about ice cream rolls is that you know they're 100% fresh because they're made right in front of you. This dessert starts off as cream, fruit, and other ingredients on a cold plate, and gets mashed up and mixed up, magic happens, and voila! You're left with a bouquet of ice cream.
2. Matcha/Green Tea Soft Serve
Mr. Softee is my homeboy, but sometimes when I want to pretend that soft serve can be remotely healthy, I'll head over to Cha Cha Matcha on 373 Broome Street for some green tea soft serve.
Green tea (aka matcha) flavored anything has always been a favorite of mine, but this soft serve definitely takes the cone. The green tea flavor is strong, but not too overpowering. You can also choose to swirl it with vanilla, which is a yummy mix too.
If you're not feeling feeling ice cream but you're in the mood for green tea, Cha Cha Matcha has you covered. It serves matcha everything, from lattes to its own version of the Cronut.
3. Taiyaki Ice Cream
Fish markets, as you may know (or smell), are abundant in Chinatown, but Taiyaki NYC might be the first fish place that's popular with the dessert crowd. Taiyaki, which means "baked sea bream" in Japanese, is a Japanese fish-shaped cake with filling inside. Combine this already awesome snack with soft serve ice cream and some toppings, and you've got a reel winner.
Taiyaki NYC has default ice cream/topping combinations with names like Matcha Better and It's Choco-lit, but you can also pick your own combination of filling, ice cream, and topping flavor.
4. Ice Cream with Egg Waffle Cones
Egg waffles are a popular Hong Kong street food. They’re crispy on the outside and soft on the inside and are delicious as a snack by itself. But, Eggloo on 60 Mulberry Street proves that egg waffles also go perfectly with ice cream.
First, pick your egg waffle flavor—original, chocolate, or green tea. Next, decide on an ice cream flavor, which choices of range from classics like vanilla and chocolate to Asian flavors like taro and Thai tea. The awesome part about Eggloo is that you can add as many toppings as you want, which can be candy, fruit, whipped cream, pocky, or even cereal.
So, next time you're slurping down noodles or pigging out on pork buns, remember to save room for dessert. In fact, maybe even consider swapping breakfast, lunch, and dinner for dessert, dessert, and dessert.