The sound of the ice cream truck on a hot day is enough to get any kid—and many kids-at-heart—pounding the pavement. While we’ve got Mister Softee trucks galore in Philadelphia, here are some local roving faves to add to your roster this summer. –Chelsea Karnash
Trying to stick to your diet but in need of relief from the heat? Look out for this brightly-colored fro-yo truck serving up eight delicious flavors like cake batter, mango and mint. Grab a cup (be warned, they’re massive and come in one-size only!) and fill it up with your choice of flavors, then top off your sweet creation with things like fresh fruit, crumbled Oreos, granola, banana chips and/or sprinkles. Weigh it at the register and pay up accordingly, then dig in guilt-free.
Lil’ Pop Shop
Forget the skinny-mini pops of your youth—West Philly’s newest gem is freezing up amazing, totally unique goodies-on-a-stick for the more refined palate. Available in-store on South 44th Street or at various locations in the city via a cart, the Lil’ Pop Shop pops out an array of ever-changing flavors, including weird-but-delicious combos like mango sriracha, goat cheese and cherry and lemon blueberry buttermilk. And for those (poor souls!) who are lactose-intolerant, there are dairy-free options like cantaloupe rose and lime mint up for grabs, too.
Zsa’s Ice Cream
Made in small batches from the freshest local ingredients, Zsa’s is a retro truck that’s bringing ice cream to a whole new level. Taste interesting concoctions like lavender honey and sour cream blueberry in pints and cups, or stuffed between two gourmet cookies for the best ice cream sandwich you’ve ever had. Yum!
Lucky Old Souls
While it’s technically a burger truck, LOS makes super-thick milkshakes that would bring the biggest shake aficionado to tears—they’re that good. Starting from a base of Philly fav Bassetts ice cream, LOS makes traditional flavors (vanilla, chocolate, strawberry), as well as specialty options like salted caramel and maple black pepper. And don’t forget to order a burger while you’re at it; they’re also pretty spectacular.
Little Baby’s Ice Cream
While it’s possible to pick up a pint of Little Baby’s uber-premium ice cream in their Fishtown shop, (new!) West Philly store or in specialty shops like Green Aisle Grocery and DiBruno Bros, it’s much more fun to catch one of their custom-built trikes (yes, trikes!) out and about in the city. Made from 16% butterfat cream from Trickling Springs Creamery in Chambersburg, Little Baby’s ice cream comes in oddball concoctions like banana balsamic, Earl Grey sriracha and birch beer vanilla that will have you salivating at the mere thought of a cone. Bonus: They do non-dairy, too!