10 Of Philly’s Best Ice Cream Floats

We didn’t mean to, but in the past couple of weeks we’ve done a lot of ice cream float reporting. There were the beer floats collaboration between Bottle Bar East and Joe’s Steaks. Then, we told you about the nitro-charged coffee and Weckerly’s ice cream floats collaboration at Rival Brothers and the 2015 affogato road show (because, being made of ice cream and a liquid, affogatos are kinda like floats). So, after all that, we finally just decided to put together a guide to some of our favorite floats around town. Because seriously? There’s just no better way to kick off a season of shore-house-less sorrows than to to drown them in than a tall glass of something frothy and creamy.

Franklin Fountain – Okay. Maybe this is obvious, but the Berley brothers are still the undisputed kings of the creative ice cream. You could go for the classic root beer or cola float, but why stop there when you could have a Cherry Bomb? (That’s bittersweet chocolate ice cream in sour cherry soda.) Or the Ladies Choice made of raspberry soda with a float of peach ice cream?

P’unk Burger – It’s a mix-and-match game on Passyunk. Pick your poison, er, ice cream from a selection of five flavors by Little Baby’s, in addition to your basic vanilla, chocolate, and V&W (vanilla & Nutella). Then, top it off with all natural Maine Root soda. The variety of flavors means that in a snap you could put together a blueberry cardamom pie float with blueberry soda, or a speculoos ice cream ginger beer float.

Big Gay Ice Cream – These Philly newcomers specialize in soft serve so expect a float with a very different texture than you might be used to. Classic flavor combinations like chocolate peanut butter or creamsicle Tang may provoke ice cream truck nostalgia, and they also offer flavors like chai, horchata, coffee, and ginger-curry.

Taproom on 19th – Looking for a more adult version of an ice cream float? This is your spot. They offer a simple vanilla ice cream float made using the awesome Not Your Father’s Root Beer. At 10% ABV, you’re looking at a float to kick back with on a Friday afternoon to ease you out of work and into the weekend.

Percy Street BBQ & Varga Bar – It is a good idea to put a local, not-too-sweet root beer on draft. It’s a better idea to let people put ice cream in it. Percy Street has root beer from Yards on tap and Varga Bar pulls Victory.

Shake Shack – Two words for you if you’re after a float at Shake Shack: Purple. Cow. Frozen custard plus grape soda. The stuff of dreams to a ten year old, and also to you.

PYT – Whether it’s an Adult Shake or Adult Float, the variety of alcoholic ice cream drinks alone is enough to make you dizzy (though one of these bad boys will probably do the job as well).

Trolley Car Diner – This old school diner in Mount Airy serves their floats two ways: regular or adult. And while the regular (made with Boylan’s ice cream) sounds divine on it’s own, the adult options include Ken’s Adult Strawberry Float, which is made with Lancaster Strawberry Wheat beer and strawberry ice cream. Being an adult is rarely as rewarding as this.

Bassett’s – Reading Terminal Market’s longest-standing vendor will mix you up a root beer float, or they’ll make you an old school fountain soda (a float made with a scoop of vanilla and seltzer with chocolate, strawberry, or vanilla syrup). Ask nicely and they might even let you trade out the vanilla for one of their other flavors, either classic or innovative.