24 Absolute Best Milkshakes In NYC

Milkshakes are an American obsession that exudes nostalgia. The slightly frozen dessert became the symbol of youth in the 1950s when sharing a shake served as the ultimate sign of affection. They're like ice cream's trendier, cooler sibling. The choice between a traditional ice cream cone and a milkshake can be tricky, but if you want to indulge on the go and speed up your ice cream intake, then a milkshake is the only answer.

As romantic as sharing one shake with two straws can be, NYC's many milkshakes are way too good to split. Some are exactly what you daydream of enjoying as a teen, while others are full of surprises. I've had my fair share of milkshakes in this city, including nearly every option on this list. For the menu items that haven't been personally tasted, trusted first-hand reviews were used from fellow food-focused friends. You may always be on the hunt for a new favorite, but these 24 are NYC's absolute best.

Apple Pie Shake at Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain

Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain has just what the doctor ordered. At this old-school ice cream parlor, shakes and soda pop are the preventative medicine of choice. Like many other NYC treasures, the original interiors remain, even down to the penny tile floors from the original Longos Pharmacy.

The cozy Caroll Gardens parlor whips up all the classic sweets New York adores, including egg creams, malts, and shakes. The apple pie-inspired shake is a relatively new addition to the menu, and one can only hope it's here to stay. It's almost more pie than milkshake, containing nearly a full slice of apple pie. Perfectly whipped vanilla milkshake is layered with apple compote and crushed sugar cones to create a buttery, frozen perfection.

Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain

(718) 522-6260

513 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Churros Shake at Home Frite

Tucked between a fishmonger and a nail salon, this small, unassuming burger joint could easily be missed. Home Frite's burgers might be on the smaller side, but the milkshakes are definitely not. The Churros shake is Home Frite's flawless vanilla base swirled with cinnamon and sweet, flakey bits of pastry. It has all the flavors of cinnamon sugar fried dough, with the bonus of soft vanilla ice cream.

If you've never dipped your churros into a frothy shake, here's your chance to enjoy it with half the work. As scrumptious as the creamy milkshakes are, there's room for upgrades. Home Frite is happy to spike milkshakes with Hennesy, Kahlua, or whatever your heart desires.

Home Frite
(347) 627-3266

1047 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216

The Ralphaccino at Ralph's Famous Italian Ices & Ice Cream

As New York as it gets, Ralph's Italian Ices and Ice Cream is how Staten Island has been welcoming summer since 1928. As time went on, the friendly hangout only became more adored by locals, and now Ralph's frozen treats can be found all over the tri-state area.

Ralph's offers a staggering amount of ice cream flavors and Arctic Shakes can be whizzed up with each one. Each of Ralph's 82 locations has many specialty shakes, but the Ralphaccino is a crowd favorite. The frozen blend of Ralph's cappuccino ice, frappé, and thick homemade whipped cream will perk you right up.

Ralph's Famous Italian Ices & Ice Cream

(718) 273-3675

501 Port Richmond Ave, Staten Island, NY 10302

Brooklyn Cheesecake Shake at Uncle Louie G Italian Ices & Ice Cream

Uncle Louie G made its mark on the ice cream industry in 1959 and has been a symbol of the city since. The establishment's reputation was built on ice cream and Italian ice, but today, Uncle Louie G does it all.

The menu has a laundry list of flavors to choose from, but the Brooklyn Cheesecake Shake is the perfect way to sip your after-dinner delight. There are real chunks of NY cheesecake blitzed into cheese-cake-flavored ice cream for double the flavor. Uncle Louie G really leans into the good ol' Brooklyn days, celebrating the simplicity of summer adolescence regardless of the season or anyone's age.

Uncle Louie G Italian Ices & Ice Cream

(718) 354-5777

341 Graham Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11221

Classic Chocolate Shake at Roll n Roaster

In Sheepshead Bay, just a few miles around the corner from Coney Island, Roll n Roaster is always worth the beach day detour. The retro restaurant is known for its juicy roast beef sandwiches, but the meal isn't complete without a frosty shake.

The milkshakes are as timeless as the decor, with only black and white, vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry to choose from. Each flavor is worth a mention, but there's something special about the chocolate shake. It's incredibly thick, frothy, and served in a ginormous cup loaded with whipped cream.

Roll n Roaster

(718) 769-6000

2901 Emmons Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11235

Toasted Marshmallow Shake at Bronson's Burgers

Bronson's Burgers may be a newer Nolita establishment, but it doesn't shy away from time-honored classics. Having opened rather recently in the summer of 2021, Bronson's Burgers has made quite an impression on NYC in just a few years. The simple menu features burgers doused in caramelized onions, golden fried chicken sandwiches, and creamy milkshakes. 

Bronson's uses soft-serve to whip up their milkshakes, delivering the most luscious consistency imaginable. The milkshakes are made using Bronson's superior soft serve, resulting in a super slurpable dessert. The toasted marshmallow milkshake has a potent cream flavor, made with vanilla soft serve, vanilla powder, and oat milk. The best part is it's topped with a real homemade marshmallow, toasted golden and all.

Bronson's Burgers

(212) 888-6280

250 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012

The Harlem Shake at Harlem Shake

The Harlem Shake is two-fold; a retro New York diner and a nod to Harlem's culture. Locals were thrilled when Jelena Pasic opened Harlem Shake in the early 2000s with the goal of preserving Harlem's authenticity. The popular burger franchise has since woven itself into the city's identity and is a mandatory stop when in NYC. 

As its name suggests, Harlem Shake is serious about milkshakes. The top-selling frozen drink is light on the shake and heavy on the cake. Harlem Shake's eponymous sweet treat is like drinking cake through a straw. It's rich but not overwhelming, made with local Blue Marble ice cream and actual chunks of red velvet cake delivered by Make My Cake, the iconic neighboring bakery.

Harlem Shake

(212) 222-8300

100 W 124th St, New York, NY 10027

Burnt Honey Vanilla at Morgenstern's Finest Ice Cream

Morgenstern's claim to fame is variety. The menu has an enormous amount of flavors, each incredibly imaginative and with its own unique recipe. With so many different ingredients and an open-minded team, the milkshake possibilities are endless.

Some flavors are refreshing, like Brazilian limeade and cardamom lemon jam, while others are rich and creamy, like banana s'mores and chai lemon caramel. It's always safe to go with a tried-and-true, but everything is adventurous at Morgenstern's. In particular, a milkshake made with burnt honey vanilla ice cream teeters on the edge of being experimental and has an unforgettable taste. It's light with a subtle toasted vanilla sweetness.

Morgenstern's Finest Ice Cream

(212) 209-7684

88 W Houston St, New York, NY 10012

The Egg Cream at Ray's Candy Store

This homey ice cream and candy shop is a perfect example of New York pillars that don't need to change a thing. Owner Ray Alvarez, who recently celebrated his 90th birthday, opened his legendary corner store in 1974 and still keeps the doors open 24 hours a day.

While not formally a milkshake, Ray's egg creams deserve tribute. They don't appear fancy, being passed over the counter in a paper cup, but they're something special. Essentially carbonated chocolate milk, an egg cream is somewhere in between a milkshake and an ice cream float. Ray's chocolate egg creams are sweet and light and represent New York like none other.

Ray's Candy Store

(212) 505-7609

113 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009

Malted Vanilla Milkshake at Lexington Candy Shop

Opening nearly 100 years ago, Lexington Candy Shop is one of the last-standing traditional luncheonettes in the city. This UES fixture makes the kind of milkshakes that are poured right in front of you, with any extra sips served on the side. They're thick, creamy, and allegedly "perfect with any meal."

The shop continues to be praised for its authenticity, right down to the 1940s milkshake blenders and freshly made lime rickeys. Lexington is happy to swirl a milkshake together with chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, coffee, or its flavor of the month. However, the classic atmosphere will make you want to order a shake fitting to the bygone era; a malted vanilla shake. The shake uses real-deal malt powder, which shows in each rich, nutty sip.

Lexington Candy Shop

(212) 288-0057

1226 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10028

Frrrozen Hot Chocolate at Serendipity 3

Serendipity 3 has been the place to fall in love ever since Cary Grant and Grace Kelly were iconically too lovesick to remember to pay their bill. The cafe slash ice cream parlor has been adored since opening in 1954, but the 2001 romcom "Serendipity" revived its popularity.

The famous frozen hot chocolate is something of a milkshake slushie hybrid, topped with drizzled chocolate and a huge swirl of cream. While Serendipity's Frrrozen Hot Chocolate isn't technically a milkshake, it's reasonable to consider that a chilled, drinkable chocolate can fall under the same umbrella.

Serendipity 3

(212) 838-3531

225 E 60th St, New York, NY 10022

Crunchy Cereal Shake at Milk Bar

It didn't take long for Milk Bar to become an NYC favorite after opening in 2008, especially being led by James Beard-winning pastry chef Christina Tosi. Milk Bar is all about exploring new flavor combinations and honoring our childhood culinary pleasures, like cereal milk and birthday cake.

The eclectic milkshakes are made with Milk Bar's ultra-creamy soft-serve and crushed toppings. The Crunchy Cereal milkshake is just as you'd expect, topped with crumbled cornflakes that linger in every mouthful. Not that the milkshakes needed an upgrade, but Milk Bar introduced the "milkquake" in 2017, the standard milkshake's thicker counterpart, similar to a McFlurry.

Milk Bar

(646) 692-4154

251 E 13th St, New York, NY 10003

Chocolate Malt at Davey's Ice Cream

Davey's Ice Cream leads with familiar flavors while incorporating its unique concepts, like Speculaas(a spiced Belgian shortbread cookie) with chocolate chunk Nutella. In only a decade, Davey's has established four locations, including high-traffic Moynihan Train Hall and Riis Park Beach, for summertime sips.

Davey likes to have fun, from the bright-colored sign that's reminiscent of daycare to wacky kitchen experiments. The shop mixes up its thick milkshakes with all-natural cream and milk made from only local ingredients. As scrumptious as everything on the menu is, Davey's really knows how to master a chocolate malt shake. Filled with real malt powder, the flavor is deeper and richer than the flavor of a classic. 

Davey's Ice Cream

(718) 609-6066

74 Meserole Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222

Frosted Butter Pecan at Eddie's Sweet Shop

Eddie's Sweet Shop is a little off the beaten path, and that's just the way Forest Hills likes it. It's said to be the city's oldest standing ice cream parlor, which one could guess from the classic silver dishware. There are countless reasons to adore this shop, but the milkshakes have a particular pull. 

The average menu features different flavored shakes, but Eddie's takes it a step further by offering tiers of thickness; one scoop, two scoops, and even three scoops for borderline ice cream in a cup. Nothing matches a two-scoop — called "frosted" — butter pecan shake. Woodsy and unctuous, the blend requires a sweet tooth but rewards with unmatched decadence.  

Eddie's Sweet Shop

(718) 520-8514

105-29 Metropolitan Ave, Queens, NY 11375

Taro Oreo Shake at Chinatown Ice Cream Factory

This walk-up ice cream window is small but far from subtle. The storefront, illuminated with vibrant yellows and reds, opened in 1978 and supplied Chinatown with what it so desperately needed: ice cream. Each flavor uniquely blends Chinese and American flavors to create something entirely new, like Zen butter, which is peanut butter ice cream blended with toasted sesame seeds. 

The shop has been passed down through generations, keeping family and culture alive and well on Bayard Street. You'll want to sample every distinct flavor, but if you're going to choose one, the taro Oreo shake is fusion cuisine at its finest. The classic cookies and cream flavor meets starchy, slightly nutty undertones.

Chinatown Ice Cream Factory

(212) 608-4170

65 Bayard St, New York, NY 10013

The Glazed & Confused at Peachy Keen

Just a few blocks from the blinding lights of Times Square, Peachy Keen appeals to the kid in us all. The interior is frozen in the '70s and the menu reflects the groovy times, serving reimagined diner classics like hamburgers, disco tots, and, of course, milkshakes. The novelty shakes are served with sugary garnishes piled so high they nearly conceal the straw. The classics are available for purists, but the extravagant ones are hard to resist. 

The Glazed & Confused shake begins with espresso ice cream and is overflowing with chocolate, Oreos, munchkins, and an entire frosted donut. No matter what you choose, you won't be disappointed. At Peachy Keen, where adults can be carefree again, it seems fitting that any milkshake can be spiked at the bar for an extra seven bucks.

Peachy Keen

(212) 245-2337

325 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036

Cookies and Cream Shake at Creamline

Creamline puts quality first, partnering with select farms outside of the city to feature only the finest ingredients in each of its creations. The secret to the life-changing shakes is all in the ingredient list. The creamy milkshakes wouldn't be possible without Ronnybrook Farm Dairy's non-homogenized milk, which is famed for its creamy top layer. 

While all flavors are fantastic, Creamline's version of a cookies and cream milkshake takes the cake. This special shake is a take on the classic flavor and a nod to NYC's late Nabisco factory, now Chelsea Market. Unlike your average cookies and cream shake full of Oreos, Creamline adds a second Nabisco favorite to the Ronnybrook Farm Dairy vanilla soft-serve: Nilla wafers.


(646) 410-2040

75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

Earl Grey Tea Milkshake at Van Leeuwen Ice Cream

Van Leeuwen ice cream can be found in most freezer sections, but the creamery started in the Big Apple. Three pals set up an ice cream truck with a mission to deliver gourmet ice cream to neighbors, including dozens of vegan options that don't have to sacrifice flavor. The brand has grown tremendously, yet the ice cream is still made from scratch in Greenpoint.

Van Leeuwen's flavors are at once delicate and pronounced. The creamery is always coming up with new creations, but some standbys are honeycomb, Sicilian pistachio, and Early Grey tea. The latter makes an incredible milkshake that's exceptionally creamy, a tad spicy, and has a subtle toasty quality. The velvety ice cream is defined as French due to its heavy egg content, which has twice the amount of egg yolks as standard ice cream.

Van Leeuwen Ice Cream

(347) 240-7453

550 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238

Strawberry Shake at Blue Collar

Blue Collar joined the ranks of NYC's best quick burgers when it opened in 2012. Some have compared the burger joint to In-N-Out, which was surely an inspiration for Blue Collar's California founders. Blue Collar now has three locations stretched across Brooklyn.

A meal wouldn't be complete without one of the freshly made milkshakes. There's comfort in a predictable, digestible menu, and Blue Collar delivers just that. The milkshake flavors remain timeless with vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, peanut butter, cookies & cream, and Nutella. The strawberry shake is packed with chunks of real strawberries, which is totally worth getting stuck in your straw every few sips.

Blue Collar

(347) 725-3837

160 Havemeyer St, Brooklyn, NY 11211

Black and White at Shake Shack

Shake Shack is one of America's most iconic burger chains, and it all started with a modest food cart in Madison Square Park. Now it's a burger kingdom with nearly 400 locations worldwide, but Shake Shack will forever be intertwined with NYC. 

Once milkshakes popped up on the menu, Shake Shack was unstoppable. You can't go wrong with the classics on the menu, but in true New York fashion, the black-and-white shake is a must-order. Perfect for the indecisive, it's two scoops of vanilla custard, and chocolate fudge swirled together to get the best of both worlds. It doesn't taste exactly like the city's signature frosted cookie, but it comes close. Another all-star is a simple chocolate strawberry shake, which is technically one of Shake Shack's secret menu items.

Shake Shack

(212) 889-6600

Madison Square Park, New York, NY 10010

Ooey Gooey Butter Cake at Ample Hills Creamery

With ice cream made fresh daily, Ample Hills milkshakes are guaranteed to be a hit. The perk of getting a milkshake at a creamery is the endless options, and Ample Hills does not fall short. The bold flavors are always creative, fun, and nostalgia-inducing, featuring sugary goodies like Cap'n Crunch, Fruity Pebbles, and Rice Krispies.

One of Ample Hills' most innovative flavors, Ooey Gooey Butter Cake, is reminiscent of licking cake batter off the spoon. It's made with cream cheese ice cream and homemade butter cake for an ultra gooey, half-baked taste. When spun into a milkshake, the flavor is similar to a chunky cookie dough but somehow even more doughy, and as Ample Hill makes clear, "ooeyer and gooeyer."

Ample Hills Creamery

(929) 234-2329

623 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238

Salted Caramel Shake at Bareburger

Bareburger aims to create sustainable and health-conscious fast food without compromising on taste, and it doesn't disappoint. It all started right here in Queens in 2009 when Sputnik's small burger counter evolved into a 40-seat restaurant. Every menu item is made with organic ingredients and a whole lot of love. 

The scrumptious shakes, made with local Blue Marble ice cream, are available with a variety of toppings such as peanut butter, bananas, and even Newman's cookies. The many concoctions are fun to consider, however, the salted caramel shake is tough to beat. It's made with vanilla ice cream and toffee bits which are then lavishly covered in salted caramel sauce and whipped cream.


(718) 777-7011

33-21 31st Ave, Queens, NY 11103

Ube Soft Serve Shake at Soft Swerve

With five locations across Brooklyn and Manhattan, Soft Swerve has become a city favorite for being delicious and anti-basic. These soft-serve specialists stick with four core flavors: vanilla, black sesame, hojicha, and ube purple yam. From there, incredible flavors can be born with their assortment of toppings and drizzles.

If a creamier shake is more your style, then Soft Swerve will scratch the right itch, especially if you're a curious eater. The creamy ube soft serve makes for the ultimate shake. Similar to Southeast Asia's taro, the sweet potato-like ingredient has a rich, nutty flavor with a jolt of sweetness. When that flavor is chilled into whipped ice cream, all the varying flavors blend together beautifully.

Soft Swerve

(718) 878-0739

85B Bayard Street New York, NY 10013

Classic Vanilla Milkshake at Odd Fellows

The ice cream artisanals behind Odd Fellows are admittedly addicted to imagination. Odd Fellows opened in 2013 as an outlet for a "creativity problem." The culinary tinkering began with pretzel ice cream, and now there are endless flavors to choose from.

Odd Fellows will mix anything from olive oil to rose cider into its silky ice cream. The experimental energy is apparent within minutes of walking through the door and even more apparent after gulping down one of the menu's milkshakes. Sampling Odd Fellows' funky flavors is almost mandatory, but you'll never regret sticking with a classic vanilla shake. The ice cream is hand-made from scratch right in Bushwick, with as much dedication and care as when Odd Fellows first began.

Odd Fellows

(718) 683-5755

44 Water St, Brooklyn, NY 11201