Even if you didn’t grow up in New York City or you’ve just recently moved here, it shouldn’t take you long to start noticing all the Mister Softee trucks around town. Much like how there is an Original Halal Guys chain/group of trucks in NYC that has spawned numerous fakes that trick people into thinking they’re getting the real thing, Mister Softee has its own imposter rival, being Master Softee. While both have an ice cream cone guy in a suit, don’t be fooled. Mister Softee’s mascot has plain vanilla ice-cream in a cake cone, while Master Softee has sprinkles and is in a waffle cone. Or you could just look to see if it says “Master” or “Mister.” That’s a little easier, right?
Mister Softee has been around since 1956, claims to be “America’s most recognizable ice cream vendor,” and has over 600 trucks in 15 states. I think many New Yorkers have fond memories of childhood summers when they would run to the truck upon hearing its famous, twinkly jingle. I, on the other hand, was never big into getting ice cream from the neighborhood ice cream trucks (I mean my freezer was always full with Blue Bell half gallons so I wasn’t really in need) and since I’m new to this city, I don’t have a sentimental attachment to the little white truck carting ice cream about the city. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t exactly what I wanted when walking around Union Square one hot, muggy day in June.
Since I brought my lunch that day, I didn’t feel that bad about spending $5 on a sundae. Yes, that’s right. It cost me five bucks. What kind of bougie ice cream truck is this?! But no, really, I guess that’s just Manhattan for you (how many times will I have to go through this cycle of shock and then defeat regarding food prices here?!). I have heard that prices differ depending on what neighborhood you’re in though.
My sundae came with hot chocolate fudge and nuts. Reminds me of the little fudge sundaes I would always get at McDonald’s during college, but of course this was much bigger, and prettier I might add. While I normally prefer thicker ice cream or gelato to soft serve, this hit the spot on such a sweltering day. Lighter, creamy, cold, and the right amount of vanilla flavor. Other popular options at Mister Softee are the vanilla/chocolate double cone, which looks like some kind of mutant ice cream cone with two heads (or really just like two cones merged together, excuse my dramatization) and the cherry dip cone, which is a vanilla cone with cherry coating.
When you get something here, you can’t expect anything crazy. The options are simple with plain flavors and limited toppings, and you can decide whether or not their worth the price tag. Sometimes though, a quick refreshing treat from a New York city institution as you walk the city sidewalks is just right.
Chocolate nut sundae