Here are 13 sweet stops in Pennsylvania for ice cream this summer

Here are 13 sweet stops in Pennsylvania for ice cream this summer

Pennsylvania is a cool spot when it comes to ice cream.

From dairy farms to mom and pops and hip urban scoop shops, there’s something to suit everyone’s tastes. So as summer arrives, we’re sharing some suggestions for ice cream stops in the Keystone State.

Don’t confuse this list for a ranking. In fact, we welcome suggestions because we fully recognize we’ve hardly made a dent in all the cool spots in the state.

Here goes:

Bassetts

Bassett Ice Cream at Reading Terminal Market (File photo) SJNSJN

Bassetts Ice Cream

Bassetts, known as America’s oldest ice cream brand, is a Philadelphia tradition dating back to 1861 when founder Lewis Dubois Bassett made ice cream using a mule-turned churn. Today, the full-service ice cream company distributes nationally and internationally to restaurants and retailers. It also operates a stand inside the Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia where it first set up shop in 1892. There, visitors can buy cones, cups, pints and quarts in flavors ranging from vanilla to coffee fudge truffle, butterscotch vanilla and salted caramel pretzel.

Reading Terminal Market, 45 N. 12th St, Philadelphia

Betsy’s Ice Cream

This Pittsburgh-area manufacturer of wholesale super-premium ice cream, sorbets, novelties and Italian ice happens to operate a shop in Mount Lebanon. Products are made in-house using milk sourced from western Pennsylvania farms, so you know it’s fresh.

With a lineup of flavors like rum coconut, Goober Pie, Pittsburgh Pride, Phat Elvis, cannoli and Monongahela Mud, it’s hard to pick just one. Regulars return for the rich and creamy ice cream, also available ordered in sundaes, milkshakes and floats (like Jamaican Me Crazy and Coconut Mojito). Betsy’s menu is tailored to suit all tastes with non-dairy, sugar-free and vegan flavors.

664 Washington Road, Mount Lebanon

Boehringer's Ice Cream

Boehringer’s Ice Cream has been a staple in Adamstown, Lancaster County for more than 80 years. | Ron Southwick, PennLive

Boehringer’s Drive-In

Visitors pack this classic drive-in spot in Adamstown for homemade ice cream. This year, the roadside ice cream stand is celebrating its 85th season dipping cool scoops. Sit outside and eat at the picnic tables near a creek and watch the ducks. Take your pick from flavors including strawberry, butter pecan, lemon, chocolate chip or almond amaretto. They also sell a full food menu of burgers, hot dogs, hamburger BBQ and french fries.

Paying is even easier this year thanks to the addition of credit cards and Apple Pay. For decades, it was cash only.

3160 N. Reading Road, Adamstown, Lancaster County

Crystal Spring Farm

Crystal Springs Farm is a cow to cone creamery. Its on-premise ice cream parlor, Tulip’s Creamery, is named after Tulip the cow, a logo they’ve used since opening in 1975. The Lehigh Valley creamery uses Crystal Spring Farm milk and cream for its all-natural products.

Tulip’s serves hand-dipped and soft-serve ice creams. Everything, from whipped cream to sundae toppings, is made from scratch. Come hungry. Along with ice cream, they serve food including soups, stews, sloppy joes (made from natural beef raised on the farm), hot dogs and salads. Be sure to check out the homemade cakes and pies, too.

3550 Bellview Road, Schnecksville

Fox Meadows Creamery

Fox Meadows Creamery near Ephrata in Lancaster County was named best ice cream shop in Pennsylvania by The Daily Meal.

Sue Gleiter | sgleiter@pennlive.com

Fox Meadows Creamery

If you’re headed to northern Lancaster County, swing by Fox Meadows Creamery & Country Market.

The family-owned ice cream stop and market at 2475 W. Main St. in Clay Township outside of Ephrata last year was named Pennsylvania’s best ice cream shop by The Daily Meal. Enjoy flavors such as Nutella, Honeyed Lavender, Birthday Cake and Salted Caramel Pretzel on their own by the scoop or in a Baked Fox —a signature treat that is a shell of brownie or chocolate chip cookie filled with a scoop of ice cream.

Fox Meadows tops some scoops with signature chocolate discs from Wilbur Chocolate in nearby Lititz. The Fox family has owned the farm since the 1950s and has been recognized for its conservation efforts such as stream bank fencing, riparian buffers and no-till cropping.

2475 W Main St., Ephrata

The Franklin Fountain

It all started in 2006 with a batch of Philadelphia vanilla bean ice cream. Fifteen years later, the Franklin Fountain is revered for homemade ice cream and a slew of sundaes, drinks and splits served in an old-fashioned soda fountain atmosphere. (Although, it’s now operating with a walk-up window.) Franklin’s flavor lineup includes peanut butter, chocolate chip, mint chocolate chip, Hydrox cookie, rocky road, caramelized banana, peach, green tea and rum raisin, among others. Homemade toppings stretch from brownie pieces to marshmallow sauce and hot fudge. Sundaes include the Mt. Vesuvius with vanilla or chocolate ice cream, brownie bites, hot fudge, malt powder and whipped cream. Prices are on the high side at $6.25 for a small cone and $14.50 for a large waffle cone, but patrons say the portions are big. It’s also dog friendly. They now sell a line of frozen dog ice cream.

116 Market St., Philadelphia

The Inside Scoop

“Ice cream made the old fashioned way” is the motto at this Coopersburg ice cream spot, known as the Lehigh Valley’s favorite ice cream shop. The 1950s ice cream parlor, constructed in a former butcher shop, makes its own ice cream in traditional and not-so-traditional flavors. So if you’re adventurous, look for ice cream flavored with beer and peanuts, maple bacon or coffee. They take ingredients seriously, using Indonesian vanilla and Belgian chocolate inclusions. Be sure to order coffee made in an imported espresso machine from Holland. The shop also boasts a 14-scoop Volcano sundae as well as a working 1955 Seeburg 200 jukebox and outdoor movie screen.

301 N. Third St., Coopersburg

Kerber’s Original Ice Cream

The one-time little milk store in North Huntingdon has grown into a full-scale dairy. Visitors stop for homemade ice cream, local milk, hot foods, deli items and more. The premium, 14% butterfat ice cream sells by the cone and in sundaes, splits and milkshakes. Customers also can buy it to-go in 56-ounce pre-packs and bulk containers. Kerber’s sells an array of flavors, from Dreamsicle and red raspberry to cookie dough, mint chip, snickerdoodle, peanut heaven and Dinosaur Crunch. Stay for a round of miniature golf or go all-season tubing.

1856 Guffey RoadNorth Huntingdon

Klavon’s Ice Cream

Originally opened by James and Mary Klavon in 1923 as a neighborhood apothecary and ice cream shop, Klavon’s is a Pittsburgh tradition. Unfortunately, it closed in 1979 and was vacant for two decades until 1999, when Klavon’s eight grandchildren and a cousin resurrected it.

Walk in the door and you’ll feel like you’re going back in time with the original marble countertops, stainless steel fountain equipment, stools shaped like Coca-Cola bottle caps and a wooden phone booth. It’s the type of place where you can order a Coke float or cherry limeade, as well as sundaes such as an amaretto truffle, pineapple upside down cake or Heath Nut.

2801 Penn Ave., Pittsburgh

Lapp Valley Farm

The Amish-owned working farm is a destination for small-batch ice cream, homemade waffle cones and hormone-free milk and butter. It dishes out some of the best ice cream in Lancaster County. As you enjoy nearly 16 homemade ice cream flavors, watch Jersey cows being milked, pet the calves and visit peacocks and sheep. The farm is located in a picturesque rural setting. Don’t expect a menu of crazy flavors though. Lapp’s sticks to tried and true favorites such as coffee, maple walnut, mint chocolate chip, chocolate marshmallow and cookies n’ cream.

244 Mentzer Road, New Holland

The Penn State Creamery

The Penn State Creamery on Aug. 15, 2019. Joe Hermitt | jhermitt@pennlive.com

Penn State Berkey Creamery

Fans heading to Happy Valley for Penn State Football game know where to go for a cool treat. The Penn State Berkey Creamery on campus is as much of a tradition as football and the Nittany Lion. It’s where memories are made and scoops of cookie dough, bittersweet mint and Kenney Beany fill cones and bowls. After operating with prepackaged items only during the pandemic, the Creamery reintroduced hand-dipped ice cream in March.

Ice cream is churned on the premises, and produced using milk from cows at the University’s Dairy Production Research Center. It also produces cheese, milk, yogurt and sour cream, and sells a variety of other products, such as juices, lemonade and iced teas.

Rodney A. Erickson Food Science Building, 119, University Park

Sweet Willows Creamery

Sweet Willows Creamery in York County has a flavor for everyone, from butter pecan and black raspberry to less traditional options including black licorice, vanilla peanut butter cup, Fairy Dust cotton candy and Indonesian Sumatra. Founder Brent Lebouitz scooped up a passion for ice cream while taking food science and ice cream courses at Penn State University. Lebouitz makes no-sugar added varieties along with yogurts, sorbet and vegan ice cream in a variety of flavors using quality ingredients. Also, look for Sweet Willows Creamery’s food truck at catered and special events.

2812 E. Prospect Road, York

Uncle Mike’s Homemade Ice Cream

Located in a small retail center in Warminster in Bucks County, Uncle Mike’s looks no-frills. But this shop, named the best ice cream parlor in Pennsylvania by USA Today in 2019, scoops an extensive menu of premium homemade ice cream flavors along with sundaes, milkshakes, floats, ice cream pies and cookie ice cream sandwiches. Customers give it high marks for the friendly, efficient service. Look for specialty hand-dipped flavors such as lemon cookies and cream, Reese’s Delight, Tom’s Peanut Butter Brownie Blitz and Really Raspberry Chocolate Chip.

535 York Road, Warminster


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