June 7 is National Chocolate Ice Cream Day – and there is no better way to celebrate two of the best things in life than sampling some of our favorites! Readers shared with us their favorite Jersey ice cream joints (and we’ve added a few of our own, too).
For the best ice cream at the Jersey Shore, here’s where our readers recommend you visit.
Applegate Farms (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.
Bischoff’s Ice Cream & Candy (Teaneck)
Visiting Bischoff’s Ice Cream & Candy is like stepping into another era, with its 1950s style parlor decor.
Cliff’s Homemade Ice Cream (Ledgewood)
A neighborhood staple for 50 years, Cliff’s has more than 70 unique flavors to choose from.
Denville Dairy (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.
Gelotti Homemade Ice Cream & Italian Ice (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 (Spring Lake)
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 (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!
Magic Fountain (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.
Magic Fountain (Summit)
For cones piled high with homemade ice cream and cups brimming with refreshing Italian ice and fat-free frozen yogurt, there’s no better stop than Magic Fountain. Scooping large servings at family-friendly prices, this old-fashioned, drive-up shop receives rave reviews for its delicious, frozen treats, especially the Magic Blends (think a creamier, homemade version of Dairy Queen’s Blizzard).
The Original Kohr Brothers Frozen Custard (Wildwood/Beach Haven/ Ocean City/ Stone Harbor/ Cape May)
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.
Polar Cub (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.
Thomas Sweet (New Brunswick/ Princeton/ 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!).
The Towne Scoop (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.
Vanilla Bean Creamery (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.
Bent Spoon (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. Note: Cash only.
Jakes Cree Mee Frez (Manalapan)
Drive up along Route 33 and visit this stand-alone ice cream shop for various ice cream and frozen yogurt flavors.
Jersey Freeze (Freehold, Bell Works in 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.
Magnifico’s Ice Cream (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 & Julies’ Homemade Ice Cream (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.
Scoops the Ice Creamery (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 (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.
Van Dyk’s Homemade Ice Cream (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!
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