So Long, Mr. Softee

Few things inflame the passions of New Yorkers on a hot day quite like the subject of their favorite ice cream. Just ask the Platt girls. Daughter No. 1 (Jane, age 11) enjoys elegantly creamy European-style gelati served in long tapering cones. Daughter No. 2 (Penelope, age 8) eats vanilla soft-serve only, preferably encrusted in a thick layer of rainbow sprinkles, gummy bears, or both. Recently, we spent a contentious couple of weeks haggling over our favorite frozen treats. We slurped sundaes in old-fashioned ice-cream temples in Forest Hills, argued the merits of trendy artisanal toppings in the wilds of Brooklyn, and tasted countless varieties of fancy Manhattan gelati on hundreds of tiny plastic spoons. Here, the results of our labor, ranked in order of preference from one to sixteen. In the cases where the girls agreed to disagree, their weary, sugar-addled dad broke the tie.

WINNER: Éclair Cone Dessert Club, ChikaLicious (240 E. 10th St., nr. First Ave.; 212-475-0929) Daughter No. 1 praised the structure of this inventive soft-serve creation. Daughter No. 2 enjoyed the vanilla soft-serve and “sugary bottom part.” Either way, it’s the epitome of big-city, summertime-ice-cream chic. Photo: Danny Kim

3. Sundae of Broken Dreams Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain (513 Henry St., nr. Sackett St., Carroll Gardens; 718-522-6260) The girls prefer the root-beer floats at this retro soda fountain. They’re wrong. This crunchy, pretzel-laced vanilla-and-caramel sundae is better. Photo: Danny Kim

4. Caramel, Espresso Chip, and Honey Lavender Cone Il Laboratorio del Gelato (188 Ludlow St., at Houston St.; 212-343-9922) Whatever gelato you choose (Dad voted for espresso, the girls for caramel and honey lavender), it’s hard to go wrong at this famed factory. Photo: Danny Kim

5. Vanilla, Orange Sherbet, and Peach With Marshmallow Eddie’s Sweet Shop (105-29 Metropolitan Ave., nr. 71st Ave., Forest Hills; 718-520-8514) We enjoyed all of the sundaes at the seminal Queens parlor, but this creation was the most summery. Photo: Danny Kim

6. The Monday Sundae Big Gay Ice Cream Truck (@biggayicecreamtruck) Douglas Quint serves this caramel-and-Nutella-laced monster in a giant waffle cone, which means it’s large enough to feed two girls and their big fat dad on a hot July day. Photo: Danny Kim

7. Breakfast Trash and Cotton Candy Ample Hills Creamery (623 Vanderbilt Ave., nr. St. Marks Ave., Prospect Heights; 718-670-3346) Despite Dad’s protests, the girls couldn’t resist this dizzyingly sugary teenybopper fever dream. Photo: Danny Kim

8. Caffé Espresso Cone Grom (233 Bleecker St., nr. Carmine St.; 212-206-1738) The mini-Platts like the $5.25 cup of limone sorbet. But if you’re going to pay that kind of cash, Papa Platt recommends the fiercely addictive coffee gelato in a sugar cone. Photo: Danny Kim

9. Ginger Crême Brulée Cone Ronnybrook Milk Bar (Chelsea Market, 75 Ninth Ave., nr. 16th St.; 212-741-6455) The creamery geniuses at Ronnybrook sell this flavor only by the scoop at their stand. The sugary chunks of ginger are the highlight. Photo: Danny Kim

Palm Sugar With Caramel Van Leeuwen Ice Cream Truck (@vlaic) The palm sugar is imported from Bali. Add a spoonful of the hot caramel sauce to create the purest artisanal sugar rush on the planet. Photo: Danny Kim

11. Gelato en Brioche Eataly Gelateria (200 Fifth Ave., nr. 23rd St.; 212-229-2560) This Italianate ice-cream sandwich is made with a puffy, fresh-baked brioche roll. The girls prefer the tart raspberry-gelato filling. Dad likes the smooth, milk-based Fiorlatte. Photo: Danny Kim

12. Flower Petal Cone Amorino (60 University Pl., nr. 10th St.; 212-253-5599) The innovative “flower petal” technique means you can sample multiple flavors in one cone. We liked the chocolate flavors best, particularly the “grand cru.” Photo: Danny Kim

13. Vanilla Ice Cream in a Cup Love Gelato (167 Seventh Ave. S., nr. Perry St.; 212-929-2870) Of all the vanillas we sampled, this one was the thickest, the creamiest, the most pleasingly yellow. “I approve of it,” said Daughter No. 1. “It’s like I’m eating cake batter.” Photo: Danny Kim

14. Fiordilatte Sant Ambroeus (1000 Madison Ave., nr. 77th St.; 212-570-2211) This venerable venue is still our default favorite for grand ice-cream outings on the Upper East Side. It’s best consumed in a frosty silver cup, not a cone. Photo: Danny Kim

15. Double Mini Chocolate Sundae With Sweet Cream and Butter Pecan Blue Marble (186 Underhill Ave., nr. Sterling Pl., Prospect Heights; 718-399-6926) There are more elaborate sundae treats at this store, but this is the one Dad couldn’t stop eating. Photo: Danny Kim

16. Orange Creamy Sundaes and Cones (95 E. 10th St., nr. Third Ave.; 212-979-9398) The girls’ favorite after-school ice-cream parlor offers exotic flavors (wasabi, avocado). But this simple vanilla-and-orange-sherbet combination is the most refreshing. Photo: Danny Kim

So Long, Mr. Softee