This post is part of the “Mommy Shorts Guide to Manhattan,” a series where I share all our favorite family-friendly spots in NYC.
After seeing numerous photos of unicorn ice cream in fish shaped cones on Instagram, I decided to take the girls to Taiyaki, the makers of these Insta-famous treats.
“Hey, Mazzy and Harlow, wanna go for unicorn ice cream cones? They look like this.” (Shows picture.)
Taiyaki a teeny tiny shop in China Town and I found the whole scene to be pretty hilarious. Everyone was there to take photos and I’m not sure how many people actually eat the things, but that’s a story I want to save for a larger think piece on the fabricated world of Instagram desserts.
After standing in a not-so-long line for unicorn ice cream and the bunny cone (the bunnies were an Easter special), I realized I had all of two seconds to get a photo before a) my ice cream toppled, b) my ice cream melted, c) someone yelled at me to get out of the way because I was taking up much needed space or d) my kids started screaming because, “MOM! WE ARE HERE TO EAT THE ICE CREAM! NOT TAKE PHOTOS OF IT!!!!”
But as I said, I am saving this complete story for another time.
Mazzy was thrilled with her unicorn cone which was definitely more impressive looking then the bunny cone. We realized a few minutes too late that the unicorn cone is strawberry soft serve, which Mazzy does not like, so I ordered a plain vanilla unicorn cone (which they had no problem doing) and swapped with her.
It’s not pink so it’s not as pretty to look at, but more delicious in my opinion.
The oddly shaped fish cones are baked on the spot, so they are warm when they hand them to you. This means that if you are getting a cone for your kid, you should take the cone first and maybe wait a second for the cone to firm up before handing it over. One of our cones was significantly softer than the other, so I guess time out of the oven varies.
It never occurred to me to take the paper off the cone (as I said, you have to think fast!), so here’s a better look at the fish cone in a photo I stole from Instagram:
You see the blackish scales near the bottom? That’s because the bottom of the cones are filled with red bean paste (I assume for stability), which is pretty important to tell your kids ahead of time. Some people love bean paste. Like my stepdad. Some people do not understand people who love red bean paste. Like me. Same for my kids. They wanted nothing to do with the cones once they got to the paste.
The fish cone is also less sweet than a sugar cone and much thicker, so once I ate my ice cream, I wasn’t as interested in eating it. The unicorn horn and ears are fondant so more for show than for eating as well.
The ice cream is perfectly delicious. Thank god.
All in all, the kids had a ton of fun with the novelty cones (and I got some great pics), which made me wonder where I can find other unicorn related items for my unicorn obsessed kids in New York City.
8 Places to Find Unicorns in NYC
119 Baxter Street
In addition to the tasty soft serve unicorn treats which look like they are being devoured by giant fish, Taiyaki also serves a unicorn ice cream float, served in an actual miniature unicorn float.
2) Flour Shop
177 Lafayette Street
We went to Flour Shop for a rainbow cake decorating party, where we sampled their sprinkle filled cakes and rainbow cake push-pops. They also sell adorable unicorn cakes. Get the large one for a party or the unicorn minis to inhale right there on the spot. Bonus is the rainbow covered walls which make for perfect photo ops.
You don’t know happiness until you’ve seen your kid ride a unicorn on a carousel. We’ve been to the Carousel at Pier 62 for birthday parties or just for fun. It’s located at Chelsea Piers if you cross at 22nd street. Just make sure your kid has located the unicorn ahead of time so she can beeline right for it before the ride starts. It’s a coveted spot.
228 Bleecker Street
Molly’s Cupcakes sells unicorn cupcakes in all different flavors but the most popular is, by far, the rainbow unicorn cupcake. Pretty sure rainbow cake tastes exactly the same as vanilla cake, but you can tell your kid there is a little extra magic baked in.
5) Brooklyn Owl
252 Flatbush Ave
They sell unicorn horns at a variety of toy and novelty shops in Manhattan but Brooklyn Owl is the only store that I know which is entirely dedicated to unicorn paraphernalia. They have an entire wall of unicorn horns that come in sizes for dogs, cat, horses, and humans. Buying a horn includes finding your color, your size, learning secret words and striking a unicorn pose in the magic mirror to make your kid feel like she is doing more than purchasing a horn. She is entering a Secret Unicorn Society.
186 Grand Street
This is called the Unicornoli. Obviously. It’s Gelso & Grand’s latest seasonal canoli so it might not be around long. Eat it immediately.
44 Hester Street
Macaron Parlour fills these beautiful unicorn macarons with chocolate and caramel.
Hidden inside the American Eagle Outfitters in Time Square is a tiny little drink shop called DRINK (all caps), serving non-alcoholic (possibly caffeinated) liquid concoctions that will BLOW YOUR CHILD’S MIND. The shake pictured is called “The Pegasus” (even though I don’t see any wings) and contains a blend of white chocolate, milk and your choice of flavor “enchantment.” I assume rock candy and a skewer of marshmallows is as “enchanting” as it gets.
DRINK is the perfect spot to squeeze inbetween your visit to the Disney Store and the Spongebob Squarepants Broadway Show (it’s actually supposed to be fabulous!) before curtain time.
While wearing your Brooklyn Owl unicorn horn, of course.
Love this list!! Oh yeah my kids will too!! We are going to NYC in 2 weeks and can’t wait to go to some of these places. Thanks for the list!
There used to be a mural of a lady riding a unicorn on a grate on Henry Street in the Lower East Side near China town but it just got painted over. I heard it had been a music store and she moved nearby and also has a unicorn related items gift shop.
Thanks for this article!! My 3yr old girl new fave is anything with unicorns! She even calls regular horses – unicorns!!!