Flatiron Lunch: Let’s Hold On To Summer with Ralph’s Italian Ices

Every Friday we go south of the ML boundaries in search of a delicious lunch. Sometimes it’s Murray Hill south or the Flatiron District, sometimes Gramercy and everything in between- but we just like to call it Flatiron Lunch.

It we had a Flatiron Mid-Afternoon Snack column, Ralph’s Italian Ice would be featured there. Since we don’t and it is anyone’s guess how many warm afternoons we have left, I had to throw this one in now! I don’t know about you, but I normally associate Italian ice with a hot summer weekend beach day. But I shouldn’t discriminate. Why can’t it be a weekday mid-afternoon pick-me-up? It can.

Ralph’s not only has a selection of at least 24 traditional ice waters and about 50 creme ices (this seems like this should be ice cream, but they have a separate section of soft serve and hand-dipped (vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, cake batter and coffee) ice creams.)

On a sign inside they have a list of an additional specials (11 more options on the day I went.) With so many options, if you aren’t sure about a flavor, you can ask for a mini spoonful taste.

I bought a small ($3) cup of blood orange ice from the specials list. Isn’t blood orange an amazing summer flavor? It hit the spot on a warm weekday afternoon. Not too sweet or too tart – it was just right!

Granted, there isn’t too much time left to enjoy Ralph’s. The earliest they might close is mid-October, but they might still be open into November, depending on the weather. They will announce on social media when they will close. Even more urgently, they will start to run out of flavors which they will not replenish. So if you want the full menu of almost 100 flavors available, you better go soon. If you are okay will coconut raspberry tart or rainbow cookie, then by all means, wait until October.

THE + (What people who like this place will say)

  • Italian Ices are synonymous with summer, and summer is happiness. So Italian Ices are happiness – my interpretation of transitive properties.

THE – (What people who don’t like this place will say)

  • It’s September already. Ralph’s is dead to me…at least until next summer.

Ralph’s Famous Italian Ices, 44 East 24th Street (btwn Lexington and 3rd Avenues), (212) 533-5333


  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    Ralph’s closing on Graham Ave. was a super sad day for me. Loved loved loved that place. This writeup just brought the appetite right back. Small cup half coffee and half cannoli. Did you know you can do half and half for the same price?

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    If you have kids (or even if you don’t) you know Ralphs. Putting it plainly, it is the best. Aside from serving a great product at a reasonable price, they have always been very supportive of the local community and schools.

Leave a Reply

You must log in or register to post a comment.