There’s no shortage of amazing ice cream spots around the state, but these three shops have taken your fave summer sweet treat to the next level. Put these unique and Instaworthy scoops on your summer bucket list, stat.
Photo courtesy of Luigi’s Ice Cream
Luigi’s Ice Cream, 60 Broad St., Red Bank
This shop is a Monmouth County staple, but dessert lovers who can’t make it to Red Bank get to indulge thanks to a Jersey City food truck. Luigi’s is famous for its Creamy Buns, glazed donuts stuffed with unique homemade ice cream. And we mean unique: think flavors like peanut butter and jelly, dragon fruit, mango, triple chocolate cake and Thai iced tea. The shops other claim to fame is the rolled ice cream menu, which features a wide range of “sundaes” made with rolled homemade ice cream and wild toppings. The kids will swoon over the Saturday Morning, which is packed with Fruity Pebbles, Froot Loops, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and cereal marshmallows. For mom, the Cup o’ Joe: rolled coffee ice cream with chocolate sprinkles, whipped cream and rolled wafer cookies dusted with espresso. Luigi’s is also home to other sweet delicacies, like epic milkshakes, ice cream cookie sandwiches and Liege waffles à la mode. And if you’ve heard about the rolled ice cream taco but don’t spot it on the menu,don’t worry because we have the scoop on this insider treat: It’s available year-round and can be made on the fly (all you have to do is ask!)
Photo courtesy of Thomas Deabreu
Benny’s Luncheonette, 11-04 Saddle River Rd., Fair Lawn
This no-frills spot knows how to treat a sweet tooth. While the Luncheonette is popular for breakfast (go on the weekends for surprising pancake creations), sandwiches and classic lunch offerings, Benny’s Bakery & Ice Cream Shoppe next door churned out everything from ricotta Oreo cheesecake to apple pecan cherry pie. While the ice cream shop is currently being used for kids’ parties (party goers get to make their own milkshakes!), you can still get top-notch desserts in the restaurant half, especially ice cream. Homemade flavors include cookie monster, cotton candy, samoa, nutella oreo and birthday cake, but if it’s your first time you’ll want to splurge on a massive crazy shake. Flavors rotate, but past selections have included Campfire Creation, a s’mores shake packed with chocolate syrup and graham cracker crumbs topped with whipped cream and huge toasted marshmallows, and The Crazy Insane-Oooo, your choice of milkshake with buttercream and sprinkles all topped with a cupcake, toasted marshmallow, brownie, cookie dough, cotton candy, a cake pop, chocolate chip cookie and ice cream cone. The best of both worlds, though, is the ice cream Bennassant. The Bennassant is a made-to-order croissant donut (range of flavors available). These puppies get perfectly fried and can be filled with your choice of ice cream.
Photo courtesy of Hoffman’s Ice Cream
Hoffman’s Ice Cream, Multiple Locations
This beachtown icon started out as one of NJ’s original Carvels in 1955, and became Hoffman’s in 1976. This South Jersey go-to makes all ice creams at the Point Pleasant location, but these sweets have legs: not only can you rent a Hoffman’s ice cream truck for an event, you can have your fave flavors shipped right to your door. But with flavors like, strawberry bon-bon (strawberry ice cream, hard chocolate swirl), almond turtles (mocha ice cream, chocolate covered almonds, caramel swirl) and Jersey monkey (banana ice cream, peanut butter swirl, chocolate chips), it might just be worth the trip down the parkway. Hoffman’s also makes custom ice cream cakes, fresh chipwiches, seasonal flavors like pumpkin and eggnog, iced coffee ice cream floats and past novelties like the Octopus Sundae, an eight-scoop, eight-topping beast that dessert fiends tried downing in eight minutes. These Ice cream nachos are a no-brainer novelty for the kiddos. They can choose their own scoop, syrup and topping to dip, decorate and drench waffle cone “chips” with.