There is no shortage of ice cream shops in New York City, even trendy ones with crazy flavor combinations, but Luca & Bosco always manages to get mentioned along with names of the other great ice cream places in the city.
Don’t be fooled by appearances here though. Luca & Bosco is just a little cart inside the Essex Street Market. Although an unassuming stand in an unassuming building, they still serve up some amazing, finely crafted ice cream.
The flavors here always change and there is an assortment of toppings and sauces to make your order truly your own. Some of the flavors that were there when I went were drunk and salty caramel, morel, grapefruit sorbet, sweet corn, and sweet cream, but I’ve also heard of there being whiskey fudge, mixed berry, rosemary olive oil, and earl grey with chocolate freckles. I wish I could remember more, but unfortunately those were the ones that really stood out to me. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that those were the ones I sampled? Hmm…which reminds me! Don’t forget that you can sample any flavor. My strategy is to always sample the most outrageous flavors, the ones I’ll probably never get a full scoop of, so I can maximize ice cream tasting. Come on now…I know someone else out there has to have an ice cream taste testing strategy like mine…
The homemade sauces available are butterscotch diablo, strawberry, and drunk & salty caramel (yes, like the flavor), and the toppings are your pretty generic ice cream toppings. I went with the sweet cream ice cream, which was light and refreshing and provided a good base for the caramel sauce and chocolate chips I added on top. Sweet and salty is always a great combo in my book. A useful tidbit to know about Luca & Bosco is that you can order a cup with three mini scoops, so there’s another option for those who want to try to mix up their dessert order as much as possible.
Watch out for their unusual hours. They’re only open from 1-7 pm Wednesdays through Saturdays and 1-6 pm on Sundays. And one more little fact…I’ve always thought that the name Luca & Bosco was catchy and unique, not necessarily anything crazy but not your average last names either. It turns out that it comes from the names of the owners’ dogs, Luca, a white Maltese, and Bosco, a chocolate lab. Adorable! Those pups are also the reason they offer ice cream cone shaped dog biscuits, because they don’t want their canine friends to be “left out of the ice cream fun.” Too cute.
The real fun of this place is the mixing and matching of flavors and toppings, so go crazy! Goat cheese ice cream with aged balsamic vinegar, strawberry sauce and toasted walnuts anyone?
Sweet cream ice cream with drunk and salty caramel sauce and mini chocolate chips
120 Essex St
New York, NY 10002