5 Ice Cream Shops That are Worth the Drive From retro soda shops to on-the-farm dairies, these are sweet spots are destinations unto themselves.By Philly Mag Staff | July 30, 2016 at 9:00 pm
The counter at West Chester Coffee & Ice Cream Bar | Photograph by Jauhien SasnouThe counter at West Chester Coffee & Ice Cream Bar. | Photograph by Jauhien SasnouFranklin Fountain, Old City’s destination ice cream shop, might get all the buzz, but these retro soda shops and on-the-farm dairies are equally sweet spots to get your brain freeze on. We promise:
These ice cream shops are all more than worth the trip.For a country treat: Chester Springs Creamery at Milky Way Farm The coolest thing about this working Chester Springs farm and dairy is that every single cow has a name, and every single ice cream in the creamery is attributed to one of them. So when you pop into the big, bright ice-cream shop on the top of the hill, you’ll be scoring a cone of Melody’s mocha chip or Bessie’s black raspberry. Don’t limit your visits to summer: Come fall, you can score Abby’s apple cinnamon ice cream.521 East Uwchlan Avenue, Chester Springs.
For small-town charm: The Wayne Coffee & Ice Cream Bar You’d think a subterranean ice-cream shop would feel gloomy. But this spot nestled in the basement of the Suburban Building is cheery, airy, and just retro enough, with Hamilton Beach milkshake machines and expanses of shiny white marble. Head here or to its newer sister shop, West Chester Coffee & Ice Cream Bar, for goods from local and small-batch vendors: ice cream from Philly’s Little Baby’s, Chester Springs’s Scooped and Ohio cult-favorite Graeter’s, plus daily-baked doughnuts and fresh coffee.134 North Wayne Avenue, Wayne, and 6 East Gay Street, West Chester.
For waffles with your ice cream: Nina’s Waffles This four-year-old ice cream shop nestled on a quiet corner at the top of a steep hill in New Hope is cozy and quaint, with iron chairs, wooden tables and authentic roots. (Owner Louis Zanias is from Belgium, so the waffles are the real deal.) But don’t mistake it for a tiny operation: This is one of a quartet of locations (the latest opened in Princeton in April; the New Hope flagship at 31 West Mechanic Street is still our favorite), plus a trio of food trucks. But what they serve up would be just as good if it came from a rickety stand on some Brussels side street: a scoop of homemade salted caramel ice cream atop a fresh-from-the-iron Liège waffle.Multiple locations.
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Bassetts Ice Cream This is the destination for ice-cream devotees looking to snag a scoop from the oldest parlor in America. (Bassetts was founded in 1861 and settled here in Reading Terminal Market in 1892.) Original marble countertops now share space with modern additions like digital HD menu boards, and the stand is always clogged with crowds, but it’s still worth a trip — yes, even for the most jaded, tourist-hating Philadelphian.12th and Arch Streets