A brief walk away from the wonderfully entertaining, cultural melting pot of St. Mark’s Place in the Great Apple lies one of the most uniquely delicious ice cream stores I have ever encountered in the city. And of course, making such a statement definitely comes with quite a lot of responsibility. This is, after all, New York City we’re talking about, the haven for the best of the best when it comes to the creation and consumption of first class desserts.
To preface this, my sweet tooth is my most trusted pal. Thankfully enough (knock on wood), my irrational amounts of sugar consumption haven’t yet made me diabetic (teenage metabolism for the win!). Rather, they have led me to take upon an intense exploration of the best and the worst of desserts in NYC over the past year (sometimes even substituting meals for desserts because for a college student, sugar is often the key to happiness!). And the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop was, pun intended, the cherry on top to an awesome semester of dessert hunting.
Its name may seem somewhat promiscuous for an ice cream store to those who aren’t familiar with the culture of downtown NYC, but here in Greenwich, nobody blinks an eyelid when they walk into the shop. Enter the colorful rainbow spectrum of colors that invite you into this sweet spot and you find yourself in a modest yet very comfortable ambience with just enough space for two people to sit down near the window and people-watch and a couple of others to stand and converse with their ice cream. Few stay in Big Gay, taking advantage of the proximity to Tompkins Square Park at East 7th and Avenue A to enjoy their ice cream outdoors.
But aside from the vibrant colors and highly interesting merchandise (including t-shirts of bright pink fluorescent unicorns flaunting the Big Gay name), it is the menu at this shop that blows me away. Flavors range from the traditional chocolate/vanilla with rainbow sprinkles combo and sundaes to original creations like “The Salty Pimp” (my favorite), which combines vanilla ice cream, dulce de leche, sea salt, and chocolate chips for the absolute perfect balance between sweet and salty. In addition to ice cream, Big Gay also offers several shakes and floats. If you’re a fan of ice cream, there is something you will find here, both classic and original.
If you get the chance, please do yourself a favor and check out the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop. Few things in life are as fulfilling as some good dessert therapy. And at a place like Big Gay, the name itself tells us that we’re not allowed to feel guilty when we’re enjoying something as good as some awesome ice cream!
The Big Gay Ice Cream Shop is located at 125th East 7th Street.
Check out their site and menu here: