Central Jersey

Jersey Freeze 
120 Manalapan Ave., Freehold

Sure, they’ve got delicious versions of your standard chocolate and vanilla twist, but this 60-year old soft-serve specialist also offers up inventive flavors like Chocolate Covered Banana, Blueberry Pancakes and Muddy Boots (vanilla with caramel swirl and brownie bites). Make sure to bring cash if you’re grabbing a scoop!  And if you want more than just sweet treats, there’s a restaurant in the back serving up classics like hot dogs and hamburgers. 

Runners Up:
2. Polar Cub (Whitehouse Station) 
3. Bent Spoon (Princeton)   
4. Thomas Sweet (New Brunswick)  
5. Halo Pub (Princeton)


Essex County 

Applegate Farm
616 Grove St., Upper Montclair

You can’t miss this place—between the giant bright red barn and the big line of cars waiting to snag a parking spot, Applegate Farm is a big part of summer in Montclair. In business since 1848, this shop features over 50 flavors served from a row of old-school to-go windows. Summer favorites include Graham Central Station (graham cracker ice cream, graham crackers and chocolate covered candy pieces) and cantaloupe—vanilla ice cream with, you guessed it, sweet cantaloupe chunks mixed in.

Runners Up: 
2. Holsten’s Brookdale Confectionery (Bloomfield) 
3. Mark & Julie’s Homemade Ice Cream (West Orange)   
4. Strawberry Fields (Maplewood)  
5. TIE Nasto’s Ice Cream (Newark) & Towne Scoop (Verona)


Morris County

Denville Dairy
34 Broadway #A, Denville

Loved for its hard and soft flavors of creamy homemade ice cream, Denville Dairy specializes in unique flavors like Banana Freckle (aka banana and chocolate) and Grandma’s Oatmeal Cookie (a flavorful combo of oatmeal and chocolate chips). This hometown hub also has sugar-free and non-fat options (so the kids don’t get to have all the fun). If a great egg cream is what you’re after, no need to travel to Brooklyn—they’ve got an outstanding one right here. Don’t let the long lines dissuade you either—customers take a number and it goes fast. 

Runners Up:
2. Cliff’s Homemade Ice Cream (Ledgewood)
3. South Street Creamery (Morristown) 
4. McCool’s Ice Cream (Madison) 
5. Taylor’s Ice Cream Parlor (Chester)

North Jersey

Van Dyk’s Homemade Ice Cream
‚Äč145 Ackerman Ave., Ridgewood

This hole-in-the-wall ice cream spot is tucked away in a tree-lined residential neighborhood and is known for its mint chocolate chip and specialty homemade flavors like vanilla peanut butter swirl, peppermint chip and cake batter. Come hungry—the scoops are big!

Runners Up:
2. Bischoff’s Ice Cream and Candy (Teaneck) 
3. Gelotti Homemade Ice Cream and Italian Ice (Paterson)  
4. JW’s Doo Wop & Ice Cream Parlor (West Milford) 
5. Conrad’s Confectionery (Westwood)


South Jersey

1. The Cold Cow (Cedar Brook)
2. Duffers (Wildwood)
3. The Original Kohr Brothers Frozen Custard (Wildwood)
4. Daddy O's (Marlton)
5. Cold Scoops Ice Cream Parlor (North Wildwood)

Union County

Zita’s Homemade Ice Cream & Italian Ice
1790 Springfield Ave., New Providence

Focused on soft-serve yogurt, hard ice cream and Italian ices, this shop has received top honors at the NJ Ice Cream Festival for its s’mores flavor. The staff is constantly inventing new combinations, like Mint Lightning (a white mint ice cream with brownie chunks, fudge and mint cookie balls) or their signature 91716—vanilla ice cream stuffed with chocolate chips, chocolate-covered pretzels, peanut butter and caramel (see if you can get them to tell you what the name means). They also have sugar-free ice cream and yogurt options, and all the delicious treats can be enjoyed al fresco out on the patio.

Runners Up:
2. Scoops the Ice Creamery (Scotch Plains) 
3. Double Dipper Cafe (Fanwood) 
4. Cranford Vanilla Bean Creamery (Cranford) 
5. Frosty Freeze (Garwood)


Looking for more great ice cream places? We've got our full list of Golden Popsicle winners listed by location: 

Central Jersey Winners

Essex County Winners

Morris County Winners

North Jersey Winners

South Jersey Winners

Union County Winners