One of the best things in life is a cone filled with your favorite ice cream and toppings! Whether you choose a traditional vanilla soft serve with rainbow sprinkles or you want an over-the-top sundae, there’s something everyone in the family will love.
616 Grove St., Upper Montclair
If you’re craving some great ice cream with a side of history, check out Applegate Farm. Housed in the original, 1848 farmhouse, this shop has survived the Civil War, Great Depression, and two World Wars, all while growing from simple dairy barn to one of the East Coast’s largest ice cream outlets.
35 Palmer Sq., Princeton
There are many offbeat seasonal flavors that make Bent Spoon a must-visit. Even better, all those interesting additions are often sourced from local farmers.
Bischoff’s Ice Cream & Candy
468 Cedar Ln., Teaneck
Visiting Bischoff’s Ice Cream & Candy is like stepping into another era, with its 1950s style parlor decor.
Cliff’s Homemade Ice Cream
1475 Rte. 46, Ledgewood
A neighborhood staple for 50 years, Cliff’s has more than 70 unique flavors to choose from.
34A Broadway, Denville
Since opening over 50 years ago, this family-owned dairy has been selling their homemade ice cream and cakes, plus a wide selection of pints and quarts.
Four Boys Ice Cream
Multiple locations: Englishtown, Farmingdale, Hightstown, Jamesburg, Jackson, Milltown
It all started with a truck. In the winter of 1999, Dan, the eldest son of Peter and JoAnn Becker, talked his parents into buying an ice cream truck as a prospective business. They named it for their four boys, and in 2004 became established as a storefront. People flock to their Central Jersey locations for their hard ice cream, soft ice cream, Italian ices, sherbet, sundaes, frozen yogurt, slushies, shakes, floats and Dole Whip Soft Serve. The vanilla/chocolate soft twist with sprinkles, fudge, whipped cream and a cherry is a fan favorite.
Gelotti Homemade Ice Cream & Italian Ice
2 Union Ave., Paterson
Gelato, ice cream’s Italian cousin, is better for all the right reasons: less fat and a richer, creamier taste. Serving New Jersey since 1984, Gelotti’s never fails to produce unique, quality frozen treats and flavors, including both gelato and ice cream.
Hoffman’s Ice Cream
804 Richmond Ave., Pt. Pleasant Beach
569 Church St., Spring Lake Heights
Though it began as one of the Garden State’s first Carvel shops way back in 1955, Hoffman’s in Point Pleasant Beach has grown into a dessert destination in its own right, now offering all house-made ice creams and cakes.
Holsten’s Brookdale Confectionery
1063 Broad St., Bloomfield
You may recognize this old-fashioned ice cream parlor from “The Sopranos” series finale, but our readers know it as one of the best dessert stops around. Sticking close to its 1939 soda shop roots, the Holsten’s menu—which also includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner options—still features black and white sodas, egg creams, and sundaes, all of which are made with homemade ice cream. Don’t forget to ask about their homemade chocolates, candies and fudge!
Iceberg Ice Cream
403 Grand Central Ave., Lavalette
No trip to the Jersey Shore is complete without cold ice cream on a hot summer day. Iceberg serves up the coolest hard serve, soft serve, Italian ice and sherbet. Try a chocolate-dipped cone, specialty sundae or novelty banana split.
Jakes Cree Mee Frez
337 Rte. 33, Manalapan
Drive up along Route 33 and visit this stand-alone ice cream shop for various ice cream and frozen yogurt flavors.
120 Manalapan Ave., Freehold
Bell Works, 101 Crawfords Corner Rd., Holmdel
When a location is a favorite of Bruce Springsteen’s, you know it must be good! Ice cream cones, cakes, cupcakes and sundaes are all the rage. Ice cream choices are soft serve, hard ice cream, fat free, sugar free, and non-dairy. The Freehold location serves lunch and dinner as well. As of late, they are gaining notoriety for their Shakes of the Month and their ice cream cakes.
907 Broadway, Bayonne
Arguably Bayonne’s pride and joy, Magic Fountain’s homemade ice cream is indeed magical. From open to close during the season, there is always a line of patrons waiting to get their frozen fix. Enjoy a classic soft serve with sprinkles or be swept away with an out-of-this-world “hurricane”—ice cream mixed with whatever your hungry heart desires.
Magnifico’s Ice Cream
500 Rte. 18, East Brunswick
Driving along Route 18 doesn’t have many upsides – except for pulling out of traffic and into the Magnifico’s parking lot for a selection of ice cream, cakes, novelties and more. Gary Magnifico started working for his parents’ Carvel franchise in Manville in the 1970s, then opened a soft ice cream stand at the U.S. 1 Flea Market in New Brunswick. In the winter of 1980 while driving down the northbound side of Route 18, he noticed an abandoned freestanding Carvel for sale, purchased the building and property, and opened the doors to Magnifico’s in April 1981.
Mark & Julie’s Homemade Ice Cream
476 Pleasant Valley Way, West Orange
Mark & Julie’s is a favorite spot to sit and enjoy a cool treat all year round. There are 30 flavors of homemade ice cream to choose from, including special seasonal and holiday flavors. There is also a selection of sugar-free, fat-free, and low-fat ice creams and yogurts, and dairy-free Italian ices. Shakes, sundaes and banana splits are all on offer, as are coffee, tea, hot chocolate and baked goods. Parking can be a little difficult as there is only a small lot outside the shop.
The Original Kohr Brothers Frozen Custard
In 1919, the Kohr brothers set up a booth on the Coney Island boardwalk, hoping to sell some of their homemade custard. Little did they know they’d sell a whopping 18,000 cones in just a single weekend! Over 100 years later, the original recipe is still a favorite, and can now on Wild Wheels Pier in Wildwood, as well as various other locations throughout the Jersey Shore.
The Original Rich’s Ice Cream
344 Rte. 9, Lanoka Harbor
1801 Rte. 37, Toms River
Family-owned since 1955, this ice cream shop features hot cocoa Oreo, cappuccino crunch and toasted coconut in addition to the traditional chocolate, strawberry and vanilla chip.
Peewee’s Ice Cream
57 N. Main St., Medford
This shop prides itself on small batch ice cream made with local NJ ingredients. There are dairy and vegan flavors available.
380 Rte. 22 W., Whitehouse Station
From ice cream to chocolate dipped bananas and “flurries,” this local mom-and-pop shop can do it all, and, better yet, at family-friendly prices.
Scoops the Ice Creamery
2014 Rte. 22 E., Scotch Plains
Scoops The Ice Creamery has been an ice cream destination for families for about 25 years. It is not a franchise – the one and only Scoops is located on Route 22 in Scotch Plains. All hard ice cream flavors are made in-store and there are over 50 flavors to choose from at a time plus soft serve, fat free ice cream and Italian Ice. Scoops is open daily year-round and there are tables inside and outdoors.
South Street Creamery
146 South St., Morristown
Even though the South Street Creamery offers a full menu of sandwiches, crepes and more, the homemade ice cream is the main attraction at this charming Morristown cafe. There’s also gelato, sherbet, sorbet, non-fat yogurt and sugar free ice creams. Also on offer are gourmet coffees, chilled and warm drinks, fresh baked goods and a wide variety of fudge. Customers can also request custom ice cream cakes or host make your own sundae parties.
640 Lafayette Rd., Sparta
Cookies & cream in a chocolate-dipped waffle cone with rainbow sprinkles is top of the list here. Ask about their tornadoes and milkshakes. You may be there for a while choosing from their toppings bar. They also list sugar-free, reduced fat and vegan options.
183 Nassau St., Princeton
55 Easton Ave., New Brunswick
1325 US-206, Montgomery
Since opening its doors in 1979, this Victorian-style ice cream shop has been a favorite stop for kids and adults alike. Serving up house-made ice creams, frozen yogurt, chocolates and specialty coffees (not to mention the treats in their chocolate store!).
Torico Ice Cream
20 Erle St., Jersey City
Torico’s is known for its homemade ice cream that uses sourced ingredients; the peanut butter, pineapple and coconut come from “the real thing.” The options change seasonally year-round. There are also sorbets, sherbets and Italian ices available.
The Towne Scoop
542B Bloomfield Ave., Verona
The Towne Scoop’s vintage look and bow tie-outfitted scoopers may be its trademark, but this store’s true claim to fame is its delicious ice cream. Our readers love the over 20 flavors of ice cream, frozen yogurt, and Italian ice, plus the 18 toppings to mix and match.
Van Dyk’s Homemade Ice Cream
145 Ackerman Ave., Ridgewood
With a parking lot as packed as its customers’ bellies, this hole-in-the-wall creamery leaves no stone unturned in the ice cream business: portions are huge, flavors and toppings are vast, and there are smiles (sometimes dripping) all around. Aside from serving up sizable scoops and colossal cones, Van Dyk’s is unique for generous mix-ins: peppermint pieces, whole cherries, chocolate chunks—the list goes on! *Closed for the season, reopens in March 2023, cash only
Vanilla Bean Creamery
22 North Avenue W., Cranford
Run by Ice Cream University (yes, it’s real) grad Ralph Kopelman, this shop is scooping 32 ice cream flavors—plus a special flavor of the week, along with Italian ice and sorbet—all of which are handmade on the premises daily. The shop won’t be open until March 3, though, so you’ll have to get breakfast on another morning!
Yellow Brick Road Ice Cream Shop
754 Mantoloking Rd., Brick
1857 Hooper Ave., Toms River
Choose from over 40 flavor choices of both soft and hard ice creams, hard yogurts and Italian Ices. Both locations offer soft serve ice cream flavors in traditional vanilla, chocolate or twist, as well as two flavors that change weekly and will be different at each location. The facility is not peanut free, but vegan, gluten free and low sugar options are available. Note: The Brick location is closed for the season.