The New Cold War: Frozen Yogurt Invades New York

Know your frozen enemy. Photo illustration: Everett Bogue/Map by Jason Lee
Now that Red Mango — the first big Korean fro-yo chain, and thus the progenitor of the new wave started by Pinkberry, which hails from LA — is coming to New York, it’s time to take stock of the ever-growing number of frosty options. Since Pinkberry first opened its doors here last year, the dessert has descended across the city like a cold curtain. It was only in June that Rob and Robin shortlisted the new frozen-yogurt options, and since then /eks/ and, soon, Red Mango have been added. How to separate the Pinkberrys from the Yolato from the gelatos? We had to make up a chart to parse it all (full disclosure: We cheated a little by including Grom, which isn’t strictly fro-yo — but it is an excellent new gelato spot). Below, our guide to the new yogurt culture. What’s your favorite? Email us and we’ll print the results.






 
Country of Origin
Social Aesthetic
Product Pitch
NYC Locations
Critical Reception




Pinkberry
USA
Carvel via Hello Kitty
The Carvel of frozen yogurts
Four: Midtown West, Chelsea, Nolita, Upper East Side.
“Don’t be fooled by this one. It’s candy in a cup!” —NYM Reader


Yolato
USA
Stark, no-frills.
The gelato of fro-yo (as the name implies).
Three: West Village, Upper West Side, Chelsea.
“[I]nciting an ugly East Coast–West Coast frozen-dairy-treat war.” —Rob and Robin


Red Mango
Korea
Reeks of authenticity; the thinking man’s yogurt.
Brags of having half a million active cultures. Ew.
“Coming soon” to Times Square and Flushing.
“That overly sour tart flavor is much less [than Pinkberry]. Hardly noticeable. What is noticeable, however, is the creaminess of the yogurt.” —Will Work for Food


öko
USA
Greener than thou.
Greek-style yogurt.
One: Park Slope.
“[This] greener-than-green business … has tailored itself for Park Slope.” —Josh Ozersky


/eks/
USA
Hipper-than-hip candy-stripe, think Barnett Newman and Meg White.
Poor man’s Pinkberry.
One: Williamsburg.
“It all adds up to the feeling that you’re having dessert in a finished basement in the Tokyo suburbs.” —Knifed + Spooned


Grom
Italy
None.
World-class Italian ice cream.
One: Upper West Side.
“The company’s mission is to make gelato the exacting, old-fashioned way” —Rob & Robin