Taiyaki NYC is a Japanese ice cream joint with origins in New York City.

The place is named for the fish-shaped cakes that act as cutesy cones for the soft serve, which comes in flavours like matcha, black sesame and red bean.

This is their fourth-ever location and first in Canada, following others in Miami and Williamsburg. The compact space is primarily utilized for Instagrammable moments, with a flower wall, neon and pastel graphics.

It’s not that hard to find taiyaki in Toronto or even obtain a machine to make them, but the shapes of the molds in the machines here are designed custom for Taiyaki NYC, so you won’t find ones just like these anywhere else. 

Some of the molds even create winking fish you might just get every once in a while.

Build your own ice cream by selecting a taiyaki ($8), cone ($6) or cup ($5), then your ice cream flavour and any drizzles or toppings.

To start we try a taiyaki cone with vanilla soft serve, chocolate syrup drizzle, sprinkles, a cookie straw and a skewer of chewy little rainbow mochi. The ice cream is actually really creamy and dense, and contrasts nicely with the warm, crispy cake.

High quality matcha imported from Japan is used to make the matcha soft serve, and it shows in a smooth, grassy flavour that goes well with the red bean filling at the bottom of this taiyaki cone.

We get this one with vegan unicorn sprinkles, a little unicorn horn and ears made of sugary edible fondant. 

They also use this matcha to make lattes and frappes ($5.31), and in addition to that there’s a lactose-free taro slush drink ($6): not too icy with lots of creamy, earthy taro flavour, topped with whipped cream and cotton candy sprinkles.

Purchase one of Taiyaki NYC’s trademark squee-worthy unicorn floaties (especially popular in Miami where everyone has a pool) for $10 and get the taro slush with it for free.

This is actually Taiyaki NYC’s biggest store yet, and like all locations has its own vegan soft serve flavour. Ours is mango, whereas in Miami it’s pineapple and in NYC it’s coconut.

And of course, you can almost always get taiyaki just on its own for $3, served warm and filled with custard or red bean.

Photos by 

Hector Vasquez

tom yangprimary