Where To Get A Paleta In NYCFor Mexican ice pops in more flavors than you can keep track of, these are the best spots in the city.
Unless you have ice running through your veins, we assume you'd like a cold treat for some relief from the sweltering New York heat. Unfortunately, we haven’t been blessed with palaterias on every corner of the city yet, so you’re unlikely to stumble upon an avocado ice pop without some planning. Here are the best spots to grab a paleta, or three.
Ever since La Newyorkina started doing summer pop-ups in 2010, they’ve become the first spot most people think of when in desperate need of a paleta or nieves de garrafa on a hot day. Their small, colorful brick-and-mortar is a Red Hook waterfront staple, with crowd-pleasing flavors like coconut, and Oaxacan chocolate. The sweet-tooth behind this spot literally wrote a cookbook called Paletas, so you can trust that even the more unique flavors—like roasted corn or queso fresco y fresas—don't disappoint.
Walk into any of Maya’s Snack Bar’s three locations (Bushwick, East Williamsburg, and Jackson Heights), and you’ll feel Willy Wonka magic in the rainbow walls and carefully constructed piña loca and tostilocos. Truthfully, we can’t tell you to go to this whimsical Mexican snack shop and only get a paleta, but do try at least one. We’re partial to the watermelon because it adorably emulates the fruit with a little green and white ice trim on the bottom. But the oreo is great too, with two whole oreos lodged in a milky paleta with flecks of chocolate. Anything you get here will look and taste like the best kiddie birthday party you’ve ever been to.
photo credit: Emily Schindler
After eating some of the best tacos in Brooklyn at Plaza Ortega, we always pick up a paleta from the ice cream section near the door. Of the 20-plus rotating flavors, we’re usually hoping for creamy, nutty pistachio, seeded guayaba, or tart strawberry kiwi to make an appearance. But those are just our favorites—and, not to be dramatic, but if you can’t find a flavor you enjoy, well, we might call that a red flag. With colorful banners and banda music on a loop, Plaza Ortega is optimized for maximum ice cream enjoyment, but sometimes we like to go full summer mode and grab a paleta for the walk to Maria Hernandez Park.
The kids running around this Bushwick deli stop to marvel at the rainbow lineup of paletas sitting in the freezer, and on a hot day, so should you. Tulcingo's freezer stocks a selection of distinctly Mexican flavors: There’s super sweet, bright red grosella, cheesy nance fruit transformed into a tart treat, and for a creamier option, there’s mamey. The fruit’s dense, silky flesh almost tastes like frozen pumpkin pie filling on a stick. For the adult attempting to corral their sugar-high kids towards the subway, rompope is key. The Mexican eggnog flavor tastes like it has enough rum in it to be almost (blissfully) inappropriate for an ice cream party.
The milk pops and water ices at this Corona paleteria are so deeply flavorful we’d eat them in a blizzard. Of the 30 milk-based options, the queso con zarzamora (cheese and blackberries) is one of their most popular flavors, and we can confirm that our love of cheese extends to the frozen variety. If you’re dairy-free, or just can’t fathom putting anything in your body on a hot day except ice, their water ice pops are the perfect upgrade to a freeze pop tube. Just be prepared for a crowd during the summer, with lots of kids lined up for tamarind chili pops, scoops of Gansito flavored ice cream, and strawberry ice cream sandwiches.