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Top Spots For Ice Cream In Philadelphia

April 28, 2014 7:00 AM

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(credit: CBS3)

(credit: CBS3)

There’s nothing like cool, creamy, refreshing ice cream on a hot day…or pretty much any day. Though the Chinese probably invented America’s most popular dessert, a number of Philadelphia vendors have perfected it. Cool down and fill up on our picks for the best ice cream in the city. –Chelsea Karnash

Customers stand in line at Bassett's Ice Cream Stand in Reading Terminal Market. (Credit: Karin Phillips)

Customers stand in line at Bassett’s Ice Cream Stand in Reading Terminal Market. (Credit: Karin Phillips)

Bassett’s Ice Cream

Reading Terminal
1211 Chestnut St.
Philadelphia, Pa.
215-864-2771

Year-round

Bassett’s Ice Cream opened in Philly’s famous Reading Terminal in 1893, and it’s still there to this day…with both the original marble counters and family in charge! Though the company’s ice cream is sold in various area locations and in several outposts across the nation, there’s nothing like an egg cream or root beer float eaten at the counter, with the hubbub of Reading Terminal fading into the background.

(credit: CBS3)

(credit: CBS3)

Capogiro Gelato Artisans

119 S 13th St, 117 S 20th St, 1625 E Passyunk Ave, 3925 Walnut St
Philadelphia, Pa.
capogirogelato.com
Year round

Okay, so it’s technically gelato–not ice cream–but it’s also AH-mazing. So amazing, in fact, that National Geographic named Capogiro their #1 pick for coolest ice cream shops in the world! With 27 flavors of deliciousness made each morning that range from standard (chocolate, vanilla, banana) to wonderfully out there (Avocado! Honeysuckle! Sea salt!) and four locations, there’s always a unique and tasty combo of flavors to try, and the Capogiro crew will let you taste-test spoonfuls of whatever you like in advance of buying. And PS – With half the fat and calories of ice cream, this is one sweet treat you don’t have to feel guilty about enjoying.

Chloe’s Corner

4162 Main St.
Philadelphia, Pa.
215-482-5600

Seasonal

Chloe’s Corner gives off a relaxed, boardwalk vibe with its cute outdoor seating area and tiny shack of a shop. In addition to delish ice cream (the peanut butter swirl comes highly recommended), they also sell water ice and soda. Don’t forget to hit the ATM—Chloe’s Corner only accepts cash.

Custard & Cakes Creamery

5461 Ridge Ave.
Philadelphia, Pa.
215-487-1920

Seasonal

You haven’t experienced true happiness until you’ve had your (homemade!) ice cream neatly placed atop a Snyder’s pretzel cone at this beloved (and well-weathered) ice cream stand. Not only does C&C have oodles of both traditional and unique items on the menu, they also hand-make a number of delicious ice cream treats, like cupcakes, pies and sandwiches. And they all come cheap, which only makes your dessert sweeter. Just be careful to bring cash, since that’s all that’s accepted for purchases under $10.

(credit: Chelsea Karnash)

(credit: Chelsea Karnash)

Franklin Fountain

116 Market St.
Philadelphia, Pa.
215-627-1899

Year-round

Old-school, expensive and amazing, Franklin Fountain is the place to go for massive sundaes and a classic vibe. Though it opened in 2003, the place feels like it’s been there forever, and the soda fountain décor is nostalgic, not kitschy. Try the chocolate-y Lighting Rod sundae—garnished with a pretzel rod—for a truly decadent dessert, or the Peach Melba Parfait for something (only slightly) lighter.

(Jeff Ziga and Pete Angevine of Little Baby's Ice Cream.  Credit: Lauren Lipton)

(Jeff Ziga and Pete Angevine of Little Baby’s Ice Cream. Credit: Lauren Lipton)

Little Baby's Ice Cream

2311 Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, Pa.
267-687-8567

Year-round

Operating in the other half of the storefront that houses Philly’s only pizza museum and pizzeria, Pizza Brain, comes the equally out there Little Baby’s Ice Cream. Super-premium flavors include go-tos like Bourbon Bourbon Vanilla and Chipotle Chocolate as well as wacky (yet delicious!) limited-time creations such as Everything Bagel and Banana Balsamic. Whether this ice cream factory of your dreams is (literally) peddling its super-premium goodies from a super-cool trike or you catch a cone inside the Fishtown store, expect to be wow-ed.

Philly Flavors

2004 Fairmount Ave., 44 S 19th St. and 343 S 13th St.
215-232-7748
www.phillyflavors.com
Year-round

With a vast menu and your choice of gelato, ice cream, soft-serve or water ice, Philly Flavors keeps the crowds coming back again and again. Their homemade flavors—like Strawberry Shortcake and Birthday Cake—are huge hits, and the summer lines can get so long that patrons are forced to double-park. But with three locations in the city, those lines are sure to move fast.

Scoop DeVille

1315 Walnut St.
Philadelphia, Pa.
215-988-9992

Year-round

“Exotic ice cream parlour” Scoop DeVille continues to whip up wild “mix-in” creations. With its boutique-y décor, higher-than-average prices and overwhelmingly huge menu, this ice cream shop can seem mildly intimidating and even slightly off-putting, but don’t let appearances turn you away: their ice cream is delicious!

Furthermore, the options truly are endless. Check out their list of “Scoop’s Suggestions,” or create your own with a combo of their aforementioned mix-ins (fruit, candy, cereal, sauces, etc.). Or, for “breakfast,” try a Coffee Freeze—think a coffee milkshake/smoothie hybrid, with most of the same mix-in options as their sundaes.

Full disclosure: I once spent $8 on a medium sundae from Scoop DeVille, and it was worth every penny. Hey, you have to treat yourself every once in awhile…

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