CHINATOWN ICE CREAM FACTORY | 65 Bayard St. | 212.608.4170 | | | | | | Chinatown Ice Cream Factory on Urbanspoon

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THIS PAST SUNDAY SAW THE occasion of being NATIONAL ICE CREAM DAY. And this year's food holiday dedicated to the sweet, cold-churned then frozen custard could not have fallen on a more beautifully-weathered summer day, perfect for delicious ice cream consumption.

Just a few days before a good friend of mine recommended I try out a place on the Lower East Side called Mickey Likes It. He being a friend, I took him up on his suggestion that Sunday, only to find that that Mikey Likes It was closed for the day. To repeat: A new NYC ice cream parlor—that sells ice cream!—was closed, on a Sunday. In the summer. On National Ice Cream Day.

Lucky for me I had done my own research. And although I was wearing black jeans on a mid-80° afternoon, I decided to walk the thankfully scenic 1-1/2 miles downtown to Bayard Street, where i would find 28-year old CHINATOWN institution, Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, already abuzz with happy and eager customers.

Chinatown Ice Cream Factory

Chinatown Ice Cream Factory

What I immediately loved about this un-assuming sliver of an ice cream emporium first, was how they listed their more otherwise unconventional flavors—such as lychee, taro/ube, pandan—as "regular" and more Western-popular flavors—chocolate chip, pistachio, even vanilla!—as "exotic.

Chinatown Ice Cream Factory

Adventurer that I am, I first ordered two cones: one cone of black sesame ice cream, the other cone—seemingly calling my name!—of sriracha walnut.

Black Sesame Ice Cream

Sriracha Walnut Ice Cream

Both were excellent. The black sesame was nicely nutty and rich, and the sriracha walnut worked successfully with noticeable yet not overwhelming heat, the chili flavor working very well—the pepper is technically a fruit—and the walnuts (Far more in the ice cream than the unfortunate angle of my picture would suggest) were a perfect sweet counter to the savory flavor of sriracha, and added texture and crunch to the perfect sugar cones.

Next after those two—yes, I ordered more—a cup each of classic Chinese red bean ice cream and of obviously appetizing pumpkin pie ice cream.

Red Bean Ice Cream

Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream

The pumpkin pie had a milder flavor of pumpkin pie than I was expecting, and I was likewise disappointed that there wasn't any pie crust pieces or crumbles mixed in with it. The red bean ice cream, which I've had before, is likewise mild, but the bean adds a subtle savory taste, which I like, as well as a smoother texture and pretty color to the custard.

And overall I loved that fact that none of the ice creams were overly sweet, choosing to have the main flavors be that of their description, and not just of sugar and cream. Added bonus: all the cups/cones shown are "single scoop" orders, though obviously are comprised of at least two scoops each. That made this all a welcomed surprise of a bargain.

And it made it all a deliciously "handy" way to spend a warm, breezy, summer Sunday afternoon.

Chinatown Ice Cream Factory

Bun Apple Tea!


CHINATOWN ICE CREAM FACTORY | 65 Bayard St. | 212.608.4170 | | | | | | Chinatown Ice Cream Factory on Urbanspoon