Yes, National Ice Cream Day is over, and the wicked temperatures of the last few days are expected to ease somewhat this week. But it’s arguably always the right weather for ice cream. Fortunately, the Philly area has no shortage of places to indulge, whether you’re after tried-and-true classic scoops or newfangled flavors that are savory and spiced.
Here’s where to get your fix.
This retro Old City soda shop has lines out the door year-round, with customers clamoring for such old-fashioned flavors as mint chocolate chip and such seasonal offerings as blueberry (available dairy-free, too). Go up the block a little farther for a shorter line and hand-dipped, keystone-shaped hard-shell ice cream bars from the Berley Brothers’ latest venture, Franklin Ice Cream Bar.
Having earned Bon Appetit’s nod for “Best Pizza in America” when it was a two-man operation, the Fishtown pizzeria’s new, larger location may nab “Best Soft Serve” next. Make sure to save room to try both flavors, a buttery sweet cream and an espresso made using ReAnimator beans. Incredibly thick and creamy, they’re served in a clear glass. Pro tip: Order with a pour of Rowhouse Spirits’ amaro on top.
1313 N. Lee St., 267-928-2256, pizzeriabeddia.com
The Rittenhouse restaurant makes an impressively sophisticated sundae: a plated waffle cone that’s spiced with coriander and topped with strawberry stracciatella ice cream. The cone conceals the toppings — macerated fresh strawberries, a light coating of bitter dark chocolate, and a vanilla-rooibos mousse as fluffy as whipped cream. Go soon: The seasonal specialty may be gone in a few weeks. Single scoops in such flavors as blueberry chamomile and buttermilk are available, too.
2031 Walnut St., 267-639-6644, vernickphilly.com
America’s oldest ice cream company, Bassetts started in Salem, Mass., with mules powering the churn. In 1885, founder Lewis Dubois Bassett moved production to Philadelphia and, in 1892, became the first merchant to sign a lease at Reading Terminal Market. It’s still there today, its 40-flavor menu boasting favorites like strawberry cheesecake and peanut butter swirl.
45 N. 12th St., 215-925-4315, bassettsicecream.com
As you might guess, banana splits are the raison d’etre for this cozy Port Richmond spot. Serving Bassetts ice cream (without the wait), they load banana shakes with Nutella, and top the Elvis sundae (two vanilla scoops with bananas and Reese’s peanut butter sauce) with honey whipped cream and a Bordeaux-soaked cherry. Sundae specials rotate regularly, and feature indulgent additions, such as a freshly toasted s’mores.
2600 E. Somerset St., facebook.com
The Fishtown destination restaurant gives its sundaes a Middle Eastern infusion by steeping its ice cream base with cardamom and Stumptown’s French roast before churning it in-house. They layer two scoops of that, plus a third of tangy apricot ice cream, with fudgy chocolate financier chunks, candied dates, and crunchy chocolate crumbs. A warm Medjool date caramel tops it all off, melting the top scoop into a frothy cream.
1528 Frankford Ave., 215-302-1900, surayaphilly.com
This new online scoop shop churns out Ben and Jerry’s-esque pints — on steroids. Every flavor features a familiar base (think Madagascar vanilla), a swirl (chocolate malt fudge), and a crunch (dark chocolate pretzel toffee). Usually it’s loaded with a chunk, too, such as espresso fudge brownies. A weekly menu is released on Instagram and 1900icecream.com every weekend; the shop typically sells out within the hour. Order online and pick up Wednesdays at Fishtown’s Liberty Kitchen. For a single scoop, keep an eye out for 1-900-Ice-Cream pop-ups this summer on Fridays at Circles and Squares pizzeria (7 p.m. until sell-out).
Pickups at 1244 N Front St., 1900icecream.com
This Philly-born brand has made a name for itself with creative flavors such as Earl Grey Sriracha, Everything Bagel, and Squash & Shortbread. Its four Philadelphia shops always have a couple less eccentric options and vegan choices, too. For soft serve in straight-ahead flavors such as Cherry Vanilla, visit the East Market location.
Multiple locations, littlebabysicecream.com
This Fishtown shop swirls French-style ice cream with local ingredients and sandwiches it in homemade cookies and cones. Recent summer flavors include the B.F.G, a take on black forest cake using sour cherries from Three Springs Fruit Farm.
9 W. Girard Ave., 215-423-2000, weckerlys.com
From lavender to peanut butter Oreo and caramel stout, the ice cream at this Chester Springs parlor is made with organic ingredients and milk from hormone-free, grass-fed cows. Operated out of a 19th-century home on a commercial stretch of road in bucolic Chester County, the shop spins an expansive vinyl collection in the backroom and holds regular record sales on the weekends.
130 Pottstown Pike, Chester Springs, 484-358-7099, facebook.com/scoopedicecream
Mixed in among the classics (coffee, cookies and cream) on the menu at this 34-scoop Kennett Square shop are traditional Mexican flavors, including avocado, Ferrero Rocher, queso fresco, and flan. Don’t miss the corn ice cream, topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon or chili powder. Other toppings include coconut and pineapple.
231 State St., Kennett Square, 610-444-2996, michoacanagrill.com
This Bucks County shop has served up ice cream at their local farm since 1955, using family recipes. Choose from more than 20 old-fashioned flavors, such as chocolate chip cookie dough, rum raisin, and black raspberry. Other classic options include malted milkshakes, root beer floats, and brownies à la mode.
4 S Sycamore St., Newtown, 215-968-3544, goodnoe.com
This family-run shop in the heart of New Hope makes new flavors every week. Order a hand-dipped chocolate waffle cone with a novelty flavor such as lemongrass coconut, or a soda float, with a classic such as cherry vanilla. Cold-brew milkshakes are popular, too.