Saturday, April 15, 2017

Morgenstern's Finest Ice Cream

For the first day of my ice cream adventure I wanted to visit a new-to-me New York City ice cream staple.  Morgenstern's is near the top of any "best ice cream in the city" list you can find.  This warm spring day was the perfect opportunity to give it a try, so Greg and I headed to the Lower East Side to check it out.  Turns out, I wasn't the only person who had that idea.
It was more than worth the wait! The interior has a classic ice cream parlor feel complete with scoop artists in paper hats, stools at the counter and windows, globe lighting fixtures, and a black and white tile floor.  When you get to the ice cream menu, that is where they leave classic behind and break the mold with their contemporary flavors and toppings. 
The Magnificent Menu at Morgenstern's
What I got:  Monster Cone 2 Dips (translation: waffle cone with 2 scoops), Coconut Ash and Edible Schoolyard Mint Chip
What Greg got: Cup 1 Dip, Durian Banana topped with Pickled Pineapple and Toasted Coconut

The most famous item on the Morgenstern's menu is their Coconut Ash ice cream... a pitch black creamy concoction.  I had to try it.  The verdict?  It's worth the hype.  As imposing as the color is, the ice cream has a subtle, delicate taste that is gentle and pleasant.  It is unique flavor that finds a great balance.  I worried with the name that it would be smokey or overpoweringly sweet, but it was simply a great tasting ice cream.  It was fun to watch my mouth turn black with each bite in the mirror behind the counter, but it never stained my tongue or teeth.

Mint is my go-to flavor.  I was taking a big risk on the Coconut Ash and I wanted a familiar friend to be there for me in case I had made a mistake.  It was perfect!  The scoop artist mixed in extra chocolate chips as they scooped it onto the cone.  The mint was light and fresh, with a flavor that suggests it is made with real mint leaves.  The chips added just the right texture.  This is everything I want in a mint chip ice cream.

Greg let me take a taste of his Durian Banana, Pickled Pineapple, and Toasted Coconut cup.  He managed to engineer the perfect tropical concoction. All the flavors worked together brilliantly.  Curious to know what pickled pineapple is?  Me too.  But I can tell you it mellows out the acidity of the pineapple while leaving the sweet, and combined with the other flavors transports you to a beach where the sand is white and the water blue.

Every flavor I encountered was well balanced and well enjoyed.  The staff was friendly, the space nostalgic.  The only downside was that we wound up in line behind a group of loud, vulgar, kind of violent, mid-twenties bros.  They took their ice cream to go, so once we were past the line we got to enjoy our treats in peace.

The Rundown:
Where: Morgenstern's Finest Ice Cream
2 Rivington Street
New York, NY 10002
What they're known for: Black Coconut Ash ice cream and other exotic flavors and toppings
A single cup or cone: $4.50, with toppings at $.50 each
Most Extreme Menu Item: King Kong Banana Split $20; bananas, 5 scoops, sesame caramel, pickled pineapple, cherry
Non-ice cream menu options: Coffee/hot beverages, avocado toast 


  1. Morgenstern's is so yummy! Wish they had more space inside, though!

  2. Black coconut flavor?? I haaaave to goooo ����