If you haven’t noticed yet, it is brutally hot outside right now and will be for the rest of the weekend. There is only one food out there that can possibly bring down your body temperature to something slightly reasonable in weather like this and that food is ice cream. It is the most summery food there is, and because we’re getting an early taste of the summer heat, it only seems right to tell you where to score the best ice cream in town.
Little Baby’s burst onto the Philly ice cream scene just a very little while ago, and is now one of the big players. They’ve got two stores open year round, 3 seasonal operations, and a number of tricycles roaming the streets distributing their ice cold deliciousness. What’s more, Little Baby’s is always pushing the limit with the flavors they put out, like Earl Grey Sriracha, pizza, spicy mustard, and more. If you want something a little more (but not completely) traditional, Little Baby’s also offers flavors like coffee toffee, chocolate chocolate cookie dough, and birch beer vanilla bean.
Little Baby’s Ice Cream “World Headquarters”
2311 Frankford Avenue
Lil’ Pop Shop
It isn’t quite ice cream, but it is just as refreshing on these hot summer days so it warrants inclusion on this list. Lil’ Pop Shop is beginning to make a name for itself with some unique popsicle flavors that push the boundaries of what is supposed to be in a popsicle. Goat cheese with cherries? Yes. Mango with chile peppers? Bring it on. It is this creativity and freshness that keeps us coming back to Lil’ Pop Shop instead of the grocery store for our fix of popsicles. Lil’ Pop Shop has a store in West Philly as well as a truck that rolls throughout the city. Oh, and to see what the most popular flavors are, pick up a copy of the most recent Philly Mag.
265 S. 44th Street
Bassetts at Reading Terminal
We know that you can go to almost any market in the Philly area and pick up a pint of Bassetts, but there’s still something special about the Bassetts in the Reading Terminal Market. It may just be our imagination, but the ice cream at the Terminal is creamier and richer than the stuff they pack in pints and sell to the masses. They also serve up some classic ice cream delights like root bear floats, milkshakes, and sundaes that are delicious. Bassetts is the classic Philadelphia ice cream, and even though it isn’t as difficult to get your hands on as it was in 1861 when it opened or as creative as some of the newer ice cream stores in the area, it is still worth having.
45 North 12th Street
If you’re looking for some gelato on this hot weekend, the only place you should consider going is Capogiro. Capogiro uses a lot of fresh fruits, nuts, and chocolate in their gelati (especially during the the summer months), to create some sweet and savory flavors that are sure to satisfy your ice cream craving. If you’re a chocolate lover, Capogiro has a number of different styles of chocolate gelato so you know that you’ll be able to find exactly the right one to enjoy.
Capogiro Midtown Village
119 South 13th Street
You would be hard pressed to find a more expensive ice cream parlor in the area, but The Franklin Fountain is still worth going to. The Franklin Fountain is all about sundaes. The ice cream itself is good, but what makes this place special are the old school sundaes and the crowded, hustle-bustle atmosphere that is difficult to find in ice cream stores today. A classic banana split with a scoop of vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate ice creams and pineapple, strawberries, chocolate syrup, whipped cream, chopped nuts, and maraschino cherries will run you $14, but still, nobody in the city is whipping up sundaes quite like The Franklin Fountain. If you are in the mood for a decadent ice cream creation, there is simple no place better to go.
116 Market Street
Chester Springs Creamery
There are just a handful of farm-to-table ice cream stores in the Philadelphia area, and none of them are quite as farm-to-table-y as the Chester Springs Creamery. Yes, it’s all the way out in Chester Springs, a 40 minute drive from the city, easy. And while few ice creams are worth a 40 minute drive, this is one of them. The Creamery uses the milk from the cows on the Milky Way Farm where it is located to make their thick, creamy ice cream. Some of the flavors are seasonal (like the apple cinnamon, which is worth the trek to Chester Springs all by itself). But if you decide to take our advice immediately, you can’t go wrong with the Bordeaux cherry, the dulce de leche, or any form of chocolate. When you finish your ice cream, you can go thank the cows that provided the milk–something that very few ice cream places can boast.
521 East Uwchian Avenue, Chester Springs