From over-the-top sundaes to decades-old family recipes, from homemade flavors to ultra rich gelato, Philly has them all. Take a look at our picks for the best places to make your ice cream dreams come true.Less
Taking inspiration from ice cream vendors of Thailand, Arctic Scoop mingles classic flavors with less common ingredients and serving techniques. Flavors include vanilla bean, taro, and pandan and can be served in coconut bowls and honeycomb egg waffle cones. The sky is pretty much the limit here.
Bassetts is an international force in the frozen desserts game—acting as a distributor around the world. But lucky for us, Philadelphians can get it right from the source. This Reading Terminal staple has a long Philly-based history that stretches back to 1861 and today, it remains a go-to destination for pints, scoops, sundaes, and more than 40 flavors.
This bakery and ice cream parlor has been a staple in Philly since 1889. The shop offers signature flavors that offer an ode to Philly like the Phillies Graham Slam and the WHYY, along with plenty of toppings, sauces, and chipwiches. Gourmet sundaes and pints available to take home round out the menu.
C&C is a haven for line-inducing frozen treats. From hand-dipped, homemade ice cream in no less than 25 flavors to water ice and pineapple dole whip soft serve, C&C has it all. Take some time to consider the menu and concoct your most ideal creation because you can also order shakes, sundaes, splits, and glaciers made out of anything on the menu, so get planning!
Everything at D’Emilio’s feels very classic, from the soft serve swirl ice cream in a cone to water ice built on an old family recipe. To take things up a notch, consider one of the shop’s behemoth sundaes, like the massive strawberry crunch cake or the pretzel sundae, an ode to another classic Philly creation.
Artisanal scoops, ice cream bars, and toppings are the name of the game at the Franklin Ice Cream Bar. Flavors from classic coffee to caramelized banana and sea salt caramel, and there are also a few vegan options, custards, and sundaes to please everyone. Plus, many shops have cookies & cream, but why have Oreos when you can try ice cream with Hydrox, the original Oreo, instead.
Gran Caffe L’Aquila is one of Philly's greatest destinations for gelato, with so much love that it can now be shipped nationally. Batches are produced daily by Stefano Biasini, a literal international gelato champion, for some stand-out flavors including pistachio, Italian dark chocolate, espresso, amaretto, and more.
For some ice cream alternatives, The Igloo serves high-quality fro-yo, custard, sorbet, espresso shakes, and gelato—some of which can be ordered in a churro cone. Just don’t forget to add a scoop of Nutella for the road (or fruit, if you’re into that).
The Fishtown location of this high-quality scoop shop.
La Guerrerense is modeled after a traditional Mexican ice cream shop, using recipes common in Guerrero, Mexico. You can expect more than 60 flavors, including piña colada, tamarind, and cheese, also available are aguas frescas and horchata.