Mon-Thu, 7:30am-10pm; Fri, 7:30am-midnight; Sat, 10am-midnight; Sun, 10am-10pm
B, D at Grand St.; F at Delancey St.; J, M, Z at Bowery
Ludlow Street may be the very last place one would expect to find a gourmet-ice-cream parlor. But sure enough, hidden among the discount-clothing shops and next door to the Lower East Side Tenement Museum is Il Laboratorio del Gelato. In this cool-looking slip of a store, Jon F. Snyder, the Ciao Bella founder and grandson of Carvel franchisees, creates a rotating array of 200 irresistible gelatos and sorbets, all handmade on the premises, in small batches, from locally sourced seasonal ingredients. A small café with a blue tiled floor and white banquettes offers a place to sit and watch the whole operation—or just indulge. Of the twenty flavors offered daily, some of the favorites are hazelnut, coffee, banana, ginger, and an intense dark chocolate. Toppings including hot fudge gild the lily, and there are coffees, shakes, and sodas for those desiring, wisely, to linger.