6 Places To Try Rolled Ice Cream
Photo: @juicyspotcafe on Instagram.
Moo-ve over, milkshakes. Rolled ice cream is the hottest frozen dessert trend right now. Though its origins trace back to Thailand’s street food scene, it’s spreading like wildfire across the U.S. and throughout social media feeds all over the world.
Equal parts edible art form and dexterous showmanship, rolled ice cream is made in just a few minutes by pouring sweetened cream onto a cold plate with a temperature of -10 degrees or below, chopping add-ins into the rapidly freezing concoction, flipping it, spreading the mixture smooth, and finally removing it in long, thin curls from the plate with a scraper. The rolls are transferred to a cup, then topped.
The smoothness, sweetness, and cool-down qualities of ice cream are the same no matter what form it takes, but rolled ice cream is made to order, comes in more exotic flavors, is adorned with crazier toppings, and exudes a flagrant “I’m ready for my close-up” attitude. You’ll never look at ice cream the same way again.
Chelo Creamery (Rowland Heights, CA)
Jeannette Chang, owner of this frozen scoops shop, doesn’t do anything half-assed. Her beautiful ice cream rolls bear names like Good-Zooki (matcha green tea, red bean, and mochi), Downtown Funk (durian and coconut), and Captain Fancy Pants (salted caramel, Himalayan salt, and truffles). Customize your own with toppings like popping boba, dragon fruit, or Samoa Girl Scout cookies. Chelo is like a vacay for your taste buds. chelocreamery.com
10Below Ice Cream (New York, NY)
10Below opened its first shop in Chinatown just over one year ago and quickly made headlines with its epic wait times. The chain has since expanded to three New York locations with a fourth in the works and a Los Angeles branch opening soon. While flavor names range from trying-too-hard (Strawberry Shawty, Mo Money Mo Mangoes, Ain’t Got No Thai Fo Dat) to cutesy (Matcha Made in Heaven, Peanut Butter & Jealous, I Love You a Latte), at least you can decipher what your ice cream will taste like before it hits your tongue. 10belowicecream.com
Juicy Spot Cafe (New York, NY)
This juice-bar-turned-ice-cream-outpost boasts shorter lines than its competitors and a mind-boggling number of rolled ice cream options. Choose from signature flavors like watermelon lychee, black sesame, and cookie butter–or go custom with your choice of four bases, 13 flavors, 30+ toppings (including everything from Pop Rocks candy to churros), and six drizzles. You want whip with that? Go ahead. It’s free. juicyspotcafe.com
I-CE NY (New York, NY)
Yes, those lucky New Yorkers have multiple vendors from which to get their rolled ice cream fix. I CE NY is the American arm of a Thai company that quickly franchised 30 shops of the rolled ice cream concept in that country and went on to establish a total of 250 stores throughout Asia. This treat behemoth offers seven base flavors, 20 mix-ins, and dozens of toppings. Piña colada with mini fruit kebabs, blueberry cheesecake, and taro coconut are a few of the more unique offerings. The makers really get wacky with their holiday- and Star Wars-themed creations. Expect to see more I CE NY shops popping up in Georgia, Florida, California and Pennsylvania soon. icenyicecream.com
Sweet Charlie’s (Philadelphia, PA)
Though rolled ice cream is a relatively new trend in the U.S., there’s already innovation underway to make a great thing better. Sweet Charlie’s, a Philly shop started by two young brothers and named after their dog, is home to The Tall Charlie: a hot, glazed, long john doughnut layered with rolled ice cream and toppings. Looking for something lighter? Sweet Charlie’s can roll with that; they have a non-fat frozen yogurt base in addition to the standard ice cream. Dairy-free and vegan options are also on the menu. Did these guys think of everything or what? No wonder the company’s already opened its second location in Delaware with a third to follow in New Jersey. sweetcharlies.com
Ice Scrapers (Austin,TX)
This rolled ice cream vendor is housed on wheels but serves from a parking spot in a food truck lot near the University of Texas. Banana split, s’mores (with massive marshmallows), and caramel macchiato are among the popular flavors. Complete your creation with whipped cream, Teddy Grahams, or “magic dust.” Ice Scrapers is praised for its huge portion sizes, powering college students galore for long hours in the classroom. Ice Scrapers on Facebook