What to Eat This Weekend: House-Made Ice Creams from Philly Pastry Chefs

Five restaurants where the frozen stuff is made right on-site

Once the hot, sticky weather hits, feeding oneself can become an arduous task. The thought of standing over a stove — or even eating anything warmer than room temperature — brings dread. The one thing we want to eat, without fail, is ice cream. No need to reach for the pint of Häagen-Dazs, though. Area restaurants are churning up house-made scoops that will soothe any summer palate. We won’t tell if you order dessert first …

10 Arts
Pastry Chef Monica Glass’s frozen treats are always seasonal and vary according to her creative whim. For the more adventurous palate, she’s now serving blueberry coconut ice cream and salted caramel sorbet; some past bold flavors include caramelized pretzel and cheddar cheese. If you’re not interested in daring desserts, fear not — standbys like vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry are also available.
10 Arts, 10 Avenue of the Arts, 215-523-8273

Old City’s Farmicia strives to keep its menu fresh, seasonal, and local, right down to its selection of house-made ice creams and sorbets. Current ice cream flavors include mint chocolate chip and coffee; choose sorbets like mango (the crowd favorite) and blueberry pomegranate for a lighter finish to the meal. You can order these local scoops by themselves or enjoy them atop a warm brownie sundae.
Farmicia, 15 South 3rd Street, 215-627-6274

Patrons at this small South Philly BYO can’t get enough of the malted milk chocolate ice cream, which won’t budge from the menu. The crowd favorite is served with peanut brittle, a chocolate crumble, and peanut butter ganache. There’s also saffron ice cream, which comes drizzled in rosewater honey, served alongside a pistachio torte; and a sorbet sampler, which currently includes raspberry rhubarb and lychee flavors.
Fond, 1617 East Passyunk Avenue, 215-551-5000

Sure, Nectar’s spring menu offers sorbets like rhubarb and strawberry or Meyer lemon, which incorporate fruit from Branch Creek Farms in Bucks County. But this Berwyn Asian-fusion restaurant takes local one step further — Chef Patrick Feury uses the mint he grows in the restaurant’s backyard in his mint chocolate chip ice cream.
Nectar, 1091 Lancaster Avenue, Berwyn, 610-725-9000

White Dog Café
Head to West Philly for scoops of ice creams like strawberry and lemon verbena pound cake, mint cookie, and buttermilk. If sorbet’s more your speed, try mojito (a favorite) or pear vanilla. This kitschy (so many puppy trinkets) café uses produce from Buzby Farm in its frozen licks.
White Dog Café, 3420 Sansom Street, 215-386-9224

*Illustration by Justin Renninger