New review: Emack and Bolio’s

Co-written by Daniel Aronoff and Lenny Sturner

Emack and Bolio’s

1562 1st Ave. (between 81nd and 82st street)

4.5 out of 5 stars


In a City where access to desserts is so plentiful, it is rare to find an ice cream delicacy that stands out from the rest.  While most Yankees fans would refuse to support anything from Boston, when it comes to Ice Cream even New Yorkers like us cannot resist the urge for satisfying our sweet tooth at this Boston establishment.  From the minute you walk in to Emack and Bolio’s, you hear classic reggae and rock tunes and are always greeted by a staff member offering specialized individual attention.  (On the day of our last visit, we were helped by Crystal who was extremely friendly, accommodating, and offered excellent suggestions for flavors and beverages.) Upon entering you will see a wide range of exotic and traditional ice creams to choose from which are written on a board towards the left hand side, but you might find yourself distracted by the glass case on your right hand, which contains a wide variety of fresh chocolate treats. Our favorites include homemade chocolate peanut butter cups and Dark Chocolate covered pretzels. (Honestly, we find that all candy taste better using dark chocolate, but even the milk chocolate selections don’t disappoint.)  In order to digest the overwhelming abundance of freshly made flavors, the kind staff will go out of their way to offer you samples; just don’t go overboard! 


     Emack’s flavors do not just include their traditional fan favorites, such as Serious Chocolate Addiction (one of the best ice creams ever, featuring Chocolate Moose ice cream with fudge chunks and chocolate flakes mixed in) and grasshopper pie (currently one of our favorite flavors: Crème de Menthe ice cream with Oreos and chocolate flakes). Emack also offers many healthier alternatives Such as several different types of fruit smoothies that can be customized and tailored to your individual needs as well as low fat frozen yogurt and sorbet.  (This week we are really enjoying the Passion Cooler: passion fruit sorbet, banana, strawberries, and sparkling water.)  Whether it’s a humid sticky dog day afternoon in august or during a 20 inch snow storm in February, (we should know), if you care to be traditional and indulge yourself in a decadent ice cream treat, one cannot resist the temptation of an EMAC milkshake.  When searching for an indulgence that’s a little healthier, we go for a grasshopper pie yogurt milk shake with skim milk. (It’s certainly not “healthy” but not as bad as eating a whole pint of Emack goodness).  Try combining flavors for an ultimate milk shake such as mint cookie dough and peanut butter Oreo ice creams.  We could write a term paper devoted to extolling the virtues of Emack and Bolio’s flavors, but maybe it’s best if you see for yourself:


     Inevitably someone will ask us: is Emack and Bolio’s the best ice cream establishment?  All we can presently say is that it is some of the best ice cream we have tasted thus far.  Emack has three locations: First Avenue on the Upper East Side, west Houston Street, and Amsterdam Avenue on the upper west side.  In other words, no matter where you are there is no excuse not to try out Emack and Bolio’s wide array of amazing treats!


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