It started life as a Dairy Queen, but when Jerry and Richard Zirino took over the ice cream shop on the corner of Avenue D and Nostrand Avenue in 1975, they had something slightly different in mind. The partners started asking their customers what flavors they wanted to see. Since that part of East Flatbush had—and continues to have—a large West Indian population (the neighborhood has been called “Little Caribbean”), the customers resoundingly voted for tropical flavors they missed from back home.
The shop was renamed in 1979 and today, Taste the Tropics USA serves up scoops and pints in a number of distinctly Caribbean flavors, such as guava, rum nut, and Guinness—the latter based on the Irish stout. The beloved “greatnut” is actually vanilla ice cream studded with Grape-Nuts cereal. You can even buy a cake roll with greatnut ice cream in the middle. Appropriate to the neighborhood, the shop also sells Jamaican-style buns and meat patties.
Know Before You Go
The closest subway station is Newkirk Avenue on the 2 and 5 lines.