If you want to grasp some normalcy this summer, go get an ice cream cone. If there’s anything that can make another 90-degree pandemic day feel fantastic, it’s catching a lick of ice cream just before it drips down your hands.
Or even better? Dive into an ice cream hoagie. Take a sip of a latte slushie. Or maybe put your spoon into a whole ice cream pie. Philly has plenty of new ice-cold treats to break your pandemic-driven boredom. Here’s the inside scoop on what treats to try. Get ‘em while it’s hot.
An ice cream hoagie: It’s perhaps the most Philadelphia way to enjoy a scoop. Weckerly’s premiered the treat on National Ice Cream Sandwich Day (Aug. 2). It sold out within 20 minutes, making a second go-around an obvious must.
A return is expected sometime during the last weekend in August, with preorders opening in the morning. This next version features a new hoagie bread: the Philly Bread sweet potato roll, topped with two flavors of your choice. You choose the toppings, and a spread, too.
“We structure it like a sandwich, so instead of mayonnaise, you pick marshmallow fluff, fruit butter, or a sauce, like caramel,” says cofounder Andy Satinsky.
Toppings aren’t yet determined, but the lineup last time — balsamic blackberry compote, cookie crumble, and thyme pecan pralines — gives you an idea of what to expect.
And for the future, look forward to another potential hoagie day inspired by Kalaya’s Chutatip “Nok” Suntaranon.
“Before the pandemic, we were working with Nok on an ice cream, and she said in Thailand, everyone eats ice cream on bread,” says Satinksy. “We’re hoping to do a collaboration, with the flavors and toppings driven by her.”
Amy Wilson has been crafting ice cream for nearly a decade. But it wasn’t until June that she debuted her creamy creations — made sans eggs and with local dairy products — to all of Philadelphia. Today, you can order pints of malted milk toffee crunch, Earl Grey honeycomb, lemon curd blueberry basil swirl, and other inventive flavors online for local delivery.
“A lot of it is just what we really want to eat, collections of memories from our childhood, and flavors that complement each other and grab us,” says Wilson, who’s working on adding more comforting classics.
With new inventory announced every Wednesday, the small-batch flavors fly out fast — within four hours. If you miss the ordering window, Milk Jawn pops up at venues around town selling both scoops and pints. Wilson says she’s aiming for a storefront within a year or two.
Known for ice cream that’s heavy on the mix-ins, 1-900-Ice-Cream never leaves you longing for more cookie dough, brownie bites, or other chewy, crispy, sweet, and salty additions. And its newest treat is no different. Meet the “Freeze Queen” — an 8-inch-wide, 3-inch-tall ice cream pie that packs just as much punch as the pints.
Take a look at the “Snack God,” a pie made with graham cracker crust and chocolate cake batter, swirled with white chocolate-covered potato chips and pretzels, white chocolate drizzle, Heath Bar crunch, peanut butter buckeye bits, and caramel. At $40 a pop, the pies aren’t cheap. But that’s not stopping them from selling out in minutes (yes, average sellout time is under two minutes). The pies are sold in limited batches, so you’ll need to join the “Flavor Drop” email list for a chance at snagging one.
How to get it: Sign up for email notifications at 1900icecream.com/pages/signup; new inventory announced weekly, days/times vary; order immediately or you’ll be too late; pickup locations announced by email.
Price: $5; price may vary by location
Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Speculoos Cookie Butter, blueberry vanilla — they’re not your typical vegan ice cream flavors. And that’s exactly why Kianu Walker launched Vannah Banana in June. He wanted dairy-free ice cream that wasn’t boring.
“We’re going for creative flavors, but simple,” says Walker. “You’re not going to see candied nuts or a bunch of heavy caramel in there.”
But you will find Oreos. Naturally vegan, they’re the staple of Vannah Banana’s most popular flavor, and Walker’s favorite: cookies and cream. Others include green tea matcha, chocolate almond, and rose gold — which comes topped with 24k gold flakes.
All start with a coconut milk base, no banana included. So what’s with the name?
“When I first had the idea, I wanted to use frozen bananas, but I switched to coconut because it’s so much smoother and creamier, closer to dairy,” says Walker. “And the Vannah is for my sister Savannah.”
But there are bananas in Vannah Banana’s future. Walker plans to experiment with other frozen treats, like chocolate-covered bananas rolled in coconut flakes, soon.
How to get it: Prepackaged (8 oz.) cups available at Nourish (650 South St.), Tattooed Mom (530 South St.), Queen & Rook Game Cafe (607 S. Second St.), Atiya Ola’s Spirit First Foods (310 S. 48th St.), Dreams (33 E. Glenside Ave., Glenside), and Vegan Commissary (1429 Wolf St.), and soon at Herman’s Coffee (1313 S. 3rd St.)
One bright side of an extra hot summer? The birth of K’Far tehina ice cream sandwiches.
“We started them in July really because of just how hot it’s been — many customers go have picnics in Rittenhouse, so this was a treat to cool things down,” says Katreena Kanney, pastry sous chef at K’Far.
The sandwich starts with K’Far’s signature tehina chocolate chip cookies, baked slightly less than usual to create an extra fudgy exterior. Filled with chunks of dark chocolate and sprinkled with flakes of sea salt, they’re satisfying in themselves. But then comes the tehina ice cream. Naturally dairy-free, it’s made with 50% tehina and an almond milk base that’s flash-frozen by adding crushed dry ice. The result? A light and fluffy ice cream packed with sesame flavor. The only downside: You’ll wish the ice cream layer was thicker.
How to get it: Preorder online for pickup Thursday through Sunday (kfarcafe.square.site); walk-in purchases are available Thursday through Sunday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Since its early days, Herman’s has served creative coffee concoctions, mixing ingredients like ginger beer, tonic water, and fresh-squeezed lemonade into espresso. And its newest experiment — a frozen latte slushie — is perfect for summer.
The vegan drink features cold brew, oat milk, and vanilla simple syrup. Swirled in a granita machine, the consistency is just like a Slurpee — but one you could drink for breakfast.
“I try to keep it as unsweetened as possible, but you do need some sugar to create that nice texture,” says owner Matt Falco. “It’s only slightly sweeter than an iced vanilla latte.”
How to get it: Order online for pickup or show up for walk-in purchase (1313 S. 3rd St.); open daily.
What’s not to love about a mash-up between a Chipwich and a Klondike Bar? Available for a fleeting moment last year, Zsa’s wildly successful sandwich is back for round two. But take note, it remains a limited-edition offering, and this weekend (Aug. 21-23) is your last chance to get one. The sandwich features the classic combo of vanilla ice cream between chocolate chip cookies. It’s then half-dipped in a semisweet chocolate shell, which holds a secret ingredient.
“It’s made with coconut oil, so the shell is hard and crunchy, but then it starts to melt as you’re eating it,” says owner Danielle Jowdy.
If you miss this month, there’s always September, when a snickerdoodle-cookie-cinnamon-ice-cream sandwich hits the menu.