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True fact: ice cream is always great. It’s also true: It’s even better when it’s beautiful outside. As Philadelphia hits that warm weather groove, this is where you can find great scoops to cool off and rejuvenate.
the franklin fountain
This Old Town store is proof that sometimes the old way is the best. The historically accurate parlor of brothers Eric and Ryan Berley serves up handcrafted Philadelphia-style cream in both traditional and exotic flavors. Don’t miss the custom refreshments from the “assholes” in suspenders behind the counter. market street 116
Franklin Ice Cream Bar
What’s better than an ice cream parlor in the Old City? Two! The Berleys added a second store with a list of unique offerings, including the namesake “Keystone Bar.” Designed to order, they are dipped in chocolate made with roasted beans on the side. Also on tap: soft flan. 112 market street
It seemed like this family-owned dairy would disappear when rents got too high at the Rittenhouse location, where it had had a sugar court since 1989. But it successfully relaunched in Midtown Village, and now has a presence in the Bourse, too. Food hall. Look for candy, frozen yogurt, and pastries along with the balls. 1315 Walnut St. and 111 S. Independence Mall E.
Owner Jen Satinsky was a pastry chef, so it’s no surprise her cookie-wrapped gourmet ice cream sandwiches are a hit. But the French-style cream inside is special too, made with organic milk from a pastured dairy just 35 miles away. Expect flavors to change with the season, also available in pints, cups, and cones. 9 West Girard Avenue
little pop shop
After this gourmet popsicle shop closed its Rittenhouse Square outpost during the pandemic, its flagship West Philly location expanded to become a candy mecca — think creamy popsicles, scoops of flavored ice cream, and a rotating cast. of ice cream sandwiches (the last two courtesy of Weckerly). Ice cream flavors are in constant rotation, but you can count on a wide selection of popsicles, from a matcha concoction filled with mochi bits to one with the mango sticky rice pattern. 265 South 44th Street
Five Sisters Ice Cream and Sweets
A selection of Bassetts ice cream is backed by homemade sweets from the sisters who own this Kensington Front Street shop that specializes in Middle Eastern cuisine, meaning baklava ice cream is definitely a thing. The kitchen also offers savory dishes such as shawarma and tabbouleh. 1949 N. Front St.
This seasonal shack with plenty of outdoor seating is a Manayunk favorite for sundaes, frozen yogurt, ice water, and shakes. Bring the dog: Milkbones-covered dog-friendly “puppy cups” are a specialty. 4162 main street
Pastry cream and custard
This fourth-generation Roxborough-only shop is famous for its party ice cream cakes, but the counter service has tons of options too. Everything from hard ice cream to fat-free ice cream, soft serve and froyo, plus plenty of toppings, sundaes and shakes. 5461 Ridge Ave.
Bredenbeck’s Bakery and Ice Cream Parlor
Founded in 1889, this candy store expanded across Philadelphia, finally opening in Chestnut Hill in 1983. Baked goods make up the bulk of the business, but there’s an entire side of the store that serves scoops of about two dozen flavors of candy. Bassetts. 8126 Germantown Ave.
The Refreshment Village
Along with regular ice cream, this Ninth Street Market shop is one of the best places in town to get Mexican raspados. Frozen granitas, also known as chamoyadas, are made with real fruit (mangonada has mango, lime, and chili powder) and are ultra-refreshing. 1142 S. 9th Street
Zsa’s ice cream
After starting out at farmers’ market stalls, this made-from-scratch frozen treat operation landed in Mt. Airy with a brick-and-mortar store. Patrons rave about the rich flavors and specialty ice cream sandwiches, and homemade sorbet is also offered. 6616 Germantown Ave.
Part of Port Richmond’s retail renaissance, this upscale newcomer serving Bassetts specializes in splits, sundaes and other creations. Don’t miss the homemade version of a Choco Taco, or the sandwiches made with fresh fritters from the cafe down the street. 2600 E. Somerset St.
Cookies and Dairy Coco’s
Consider Coco’s a cross between a nostalgia-laden waterfront ice cream parlor and a carnival stand. Their menu is split between fudge sundaes and quaint soft-serve swirls and fair snacks, like fried Oreos, funnel cakes, and, yes, corn dogs. 3632 Powelton Avenue
the cold banana
This food truck-turned-storefront on the outskirts of Queen Village sells banana cream, which, as we know, isn’t technically ice cream. Instead, it’s whipped banana topped with coconut whipped cream, making it the perfect base for a host of vegan ice creams, like PBB&J, which comes with raspberry compote, lots of peanut butter, and graham cracker crumbs. 932 E. Passyunk Ave.
On a bustling strip of East Passyunk Avenue, Arctic Scoop is best known for its pandan ice cream, flavored after a Southeast Asian plant with hints of vanilla and coconut. Other novelties include a host of colorful creamy or red velvet cake-flavored treated cones, and bubble waffles, which look like baked bubble wrap. 1812 E. Passyunk Ave.
The Italian-connected outfit behind Gran Caffe L’Aquila (see below) branched out with this taglio-style pizzeria. Complementing the scissor-cut slices of airy crust is a full assortment of rich Italian ice cream made at the sister location. 235 S. 15th Street
Right next door to Geno’s Steaks, this Italian market store has an extensive menu of traditional Italian pastries and desserts, including biscotti, cream puffs, cassatelle, sfogliatella, and of course ice cream. Looking for a twist on the classic taper? Get your spoonful with a cannoli (or inside one). 1205 S. 9th Street
Grand Cafe L’Aquila
After an earthquake destroyed the hometown of Italy’s best ice cream maker (Stefano Biasini won the Gelato World Cup), he transferred his talents to Philadelphia. He orders at the front counter of this Rittenhouse restaurant, cafe and wine bar, and is amazed at the creamy texture. 1716 chestnut street
Anthony’s Italian Chocolate and Coffee House
Although you couldn’t tell from the name, this Italian market favorite serves ice cream year-round. Flavors range from staples like limoncello, stracciatella, and the ever-classic chocolate to newer options like pumpkin pie or peaches and cream. One bonus: For a sugar punch, stick a homemade cannoli into an ice cream cup. No problem. 903 S. 9th Street
Bassett Ice Cream
Of course, America’s oldest ice cream company originated in Philadelphia. The booth inside Reading Terminal Market has been there since 1892, and it still churns out giant cups and cones under the control of fifth-generation owners. There is usually a line, but it moves impressively fast. 45 N. 12th Street
When on South Street, this classic is a nice alternative to Rita’s across the street, with lines that aren’t as long and a cool interior to wait for. Cones, cups, sundaes, this ’80s classic has it all. 242 south street
the queen’s diary
From Blizzards to cones dipped in caramel shells, nothing is a surprise at this 75-year-old brand’s Old City outpost, but sometimes that’s just what you need. 609 Chestnut Street
Ben & Jerry’s
It turns out that loaded flavors like Chunky Monkey and New York Super Fudge Chunk taste even better fresh than in a supermarket pint, and you can get them at the University City outpost. 218 South 40th Street
stone cold dairy
A national brand, yes, but all the sundaes at this Port Richmond parlor are made in-store every day. Choose your flavor base and blends, and watch the blend come together in front of your eyes. 2530 Aramingo Ave.
Look for the bright pink cap at the seasonal stall in Mayfair – that’s where you can pop over to the window and grab a soda or ice cream to brighten up a hot day in the North East. 3401 Longshore Ave.
This giant of New York’s imported dairy aisles sells a mix of regular and vegan ice cream flavors in its two Philadelphia scoops, all of which sound like they came from Ina Garten’s kitchen. A couple of scoops will cost almost $8, so consider it everyone’s gift. Recommendations flagged by Billy Penn include Honeycomb (basically just fancy caramel), Raspberry Layer Cake, and Instagram-ready Planet Earth, which comes filled with matcha tea cake pieces. 119 S. 13th Street; 115 S. 18th Street
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream
Born in the Midwest (Columbus, Ohio, to be exact), Jeni broke into Philadelphia with two locations in Fishtown and Rittenhouse. Though she might grab a pint from the more artisanal side of the supermarket ice cream section, something about licking flavors like Brambleberry Crisp and Everything Bagel out of a cone just strikes differently. 1332 Frankford Ave. Unit 101; 1901 chestnut street
The new age of ice cream isn’t characterized by whether or not it’s enjoyed in a cup, cone, or pint, it’s distinguished by whether or not it’s sold on Instagram stories. Ryan Fitzgerald, the chef behind the “underground” Boku Supper Club, sells innovative and indulgent mixed pints by posting a limited flavor selection on Instagram stories every Saturday. Customers can quickly lock in their pre-orders before Sunday night and then pick up their orders online that Thursday or Friday at the secret Boku art gallery in Fairmount.