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|