Jun 5, 2024 - Food and Drink

The best ice cream shops in the Philadelphia area

Illustration of a little ice cream cone wearing a champion belt and showing off his muscles.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

This summer is expected to be a scorcher, but luckily Philadelphia has plenty of ice cream shops to cool off.

The big picture: Philly was once the nation's ice cream capital.

The best places in the metro for summer scoops (in no particular order):

Bassetts Ice Cream

The country's oldest ice cream company is inside Reading Terminal Market.

  • We're the birthplace of democracy, so it's only fitting you get a taste of history with every scoop.
  • Plus, the shop features special shakes each month with a portion of proceeds going to charity.

The Franklin Fountain

Visiting this Old City shop feels like traveling in time to an old soda counter.

  • They have everything from cups to cones, plus decadent sundaes such as the Stock Market Crunch ($13.50-$18). It's Rocky Road ice cream, with a drizzle of peanut butter sauce and pretzels and topped with whipped cream.

1-900-Ice-Cream

Bonus points for the creative branding and unbeatable ice cream names.

  • Dial up these shops in Rittenhouse and Ardmore when you need a soft-serve fix or a salivating pint delivered, such as "Space Sex" and "Strawberry Princess Cake."

Milk Jawn

Owner Amy Wilson has expanded her ice cream empire since starting from her kitchen. Wilson began scooping in East Passyunk in 2022 and is opening a second shop this month in Northern Liberties.

  • Unique flavors include key lime pie, strawberry rhubarb crunch and pistachio.

Richman's

What's better than burgers, shakes and waffles and ice cream? With several locations in the Philly burbs, each with their own menus, they promise to deliver the "sweetest moment of your day."

Sprinkles Ice Cream Shoppe

If you're in the neighborhood, stop by this cute, cash-only joint in a quaint part of Elkins Park. It's family-run.

  • Pro tip: Pets are welcome. In addition to cash, the store also accepts Venmo.

Dreams Ice Cream

They cater to both dairy lovers and non-dairy vegans.

  • The banana pudding shake always conjures memories for Isaac whenever he walks into the box-sized shop in Glenside.
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