New Jersey’s 51 greatest ice cream shops, ranked

July is National Ice Cream Month, but isn’t every month ice cream month? Nothing is sweeter than a lick of your favorite flavor at a neighborhood ice cream shop or stand — especially on a hot summer day.

Ice cream sales shot up 13.4% from Sept. 2019 to Sept. 2020; consumers reached for the familiar comfort of ice cream while cooped up at home. “It’s an interesting time in be in ice cream,” said a Ben & Jerry’s spokeswoman.

With things more or less back to normal, ice cream will continue its sweet domination as a dessert. We did a N.J.’s best ice cream list last year, but this is the first time we’ve ranked ice cream stands/stores (it’s also the latest collaboration between fiendish eaters Pete Genovese and Jeremy Schneider). Entries are marked PG for Pete and JS for Jeremy, so you know who wrote what. There are many well-known spots on the list, but there are also quite a few newcomers and ice cream makers experimenting with bold flavors.

Love soft-serve? We’ll have a separate list on August 19, National Soft-Serve Day.

Cherry on Top, Mullica Hill (Peter Genovese I NJ Advance Media for

Mullica Hill is a charming small town, with its collection of antiques/craft shops and the state’s best Amish Market. Cherry on Top offers about 30 flavors, from salted caramel, fudge ripple and rum raisin to raspberry cheesecake and banana monkey. The mint chocolate chip is much better than most, and the mango is also recommended. (PG)

The rare ice cream shop that does hard ice cream, soft serve and water ice. Willow’s Way has birthday cake, peanut butter cup and blueberry cheesecake ice creams that are superb, especially in a gelati — a concoction that combines ice cream and water ice. (JS)

Colonia Dairy Maid is an old school stand right off Route 35 with more than 40 flavors. Its newest? Bunny Tracks, which includes caramel, fudge and peanut M&Ms swirled into vanilla ice cream. I have no idea what that has to do with bunnies, but that won’t stop me from eating it. (JS)

Oreo ice cream is great, Banana ice cream is great. Oreo banana ice cream is better. But their eponymous Purple Cow ice cream, a black raspberry ice cream with chocolate chips, is can’t-miss. Plus, how many ice cream shops are inside Victorian houses? (JS)

Maybe the state’s most gorgeously retro ice cream parlor, with wooden booths and chairs, UMMM Ice Cream Parlor is housed in what was once a detective agency, hearing aid store and maybe a bookie joint. My favorite flavors are the chocolate-covered espresso bean and Rosanna Banana Dana, a tribute to Gilda Radner’s character on Saturday Night Live. And this is the place to try Boost! — a lemony cola little-known outside Burlington and Camden counties. (PG)

The biggest difference between Beenies and just about everyone else? “We’re one of the few places that makes our own dairy base,” informs the website. “What this means is we actually buy gallons of fresh milk and heavy cream, hundreds of pounds of granulated sugar… ” The owner is Tony Franco, who opened the shop in May 2017 in between art classes and a stint as a professional drummer. There are 38 flavors year-round; Columbian Coffee, Rice Krispie Treat and Nutella Pretzel are among the unique ones. The chocolate is rich, rich, rich, but the standout here is the honey lavender, fragrant and pretty close to fantastic. (PG)

NJ's best ice cream

Penguin Ice Cream, Bernardsville (Peter Genovese I NJ Advance Media for

With its red awning, mock picket fence and American flag flying out front, Penguin Ice Cream is the very picture of ice cream Americana. Not-so-ordinary flavors include Gracie’s Ginger Snap Cookie, Pink Peppermint Stick and Bourbon Vanilla Bean. The Double Chocolate lives up to its description, and the lemon lavender blueberry makes for a terrific trio of flavors. (PG)

Best ice cream, ranked

Clockwise from lower right: mango yum-yum, sugar-free watermelon yum-yum; triple chocolate ice cream, mint chocolate chip ice cream, Leo’s Ice Cream, Waterford (Peter Genovese I NJ Advance Media for

If you’ve never heard of yum-yum, it’s okay, because the ice cream/sherbert/water ice hybrid at Leo’s is a South Jersey thing. Giovanni Leo started making it in 1936. The Waterford shop offers regular and soft-serve; the yum-yum flavors are in a display case to the right. They include cherry-vanilla, blue raspberry, strawberry-banana and mango. My favorite: the sugar-free watermelon, astoundingly refreshing. The triple chocolate regular ice cream is highly recommended. (PG)

The Towne Scoop’s checkered, maroon-and-white floor — Verona’s town colors — remind you where you are as you walk in. The scoopers wearing white shirts, maroon aprons and black bowties, adding to the vibe. Then the confetti cake batter, cappuccino and vanilla fudge ice creams seal the deal. (JS)

NJ's 45 best ice cream shops/stands, ranked

Raspberry ice cream, Conrad’s Confectionary, Westwood (Peter Genovese I NJ Advance Media for

Conrad’s opened in 1928 as a candy store. Even today, the chocolates, hot fudge, caramel, whipped cream, even the syrup are made from scratch in small batches. Check out the vintage artifacts and newspaper clippings in the window. The chocolate ice cream is thick and fudgy, but the winner here is the black raspberry; sweet, silky and oh-so-good. (PG)

For many vacationers, trips to Skipper Dipper are as essential to a week on Long Beach Island as the beach, mini golf and breakfast at Chicken Or The Egg. Known more for its soft-serve, but it has some terrific hard options that are split into the categories “classics,” “tasty,” “fruity” and “nutty.” Fat Elvis, s’mores, and java chunk are among their best flavors. (JS)

NJ's 45 best ice cream shops/stands, ranked

Jars of toppings on the counter at Summer Ville Homemade Ice Cream.SL

Elio DeFranco, owner of Summer Ville Homemade Ice Cream, first thought about opening a bakery, then switched to ice cream because he didn’t want to put in the back-breaking, long hours a bakery would demand. He could work his computer tech job during the day, and make ice cream at night. One of his most popular flavors is Somerville Mud, a mix of chocolate chip cookies, M&Ms, Reese’s pieces and Oreos. “I have little kids crying when they can’t get their Mud,” DeFranco told me. Also recommended: the Earl Grey and the tart Key Lime. (PG)

Best ice cream

Mint chocolate chip, chocolate, blackberry rum ice cream, Lickety Splitz, Maple Shade (Peter Genovese I NJ Advance Media for

Alcoholic ice cream may be coming to an ice cream stand near you. The state’s first ice cream “speakeasy” opened in Jersey City in 2018, and stands around the state are starting to put “boozy” flavors on their menus. Lickety Splitz, in the former Tony Luke’s location, offers 17 “sweet” and 16 “sinful” flavors, the latter including Pina Colada, Bourbon Butter Pecan, Cherry Amaretto and Strawberry Champagne. My favorite: the blackberry rum ice cream. I need an IV of it right now. (PG)

South Street Creamery has sandwiches, crepes and pizzettes — but go for the ice cream. Grandma’s Kitchen has cookie dough, frosting and cake batter — a delicious sugar overload. Chocolate Cookie Monster has three different types of cookies, including cookie dough, Oreos and mini chocolate chips. (JS)

Best Ice cream, ranked

Jamaican almond fudge, Charlie’s Ice Cream, Seaside Park (Peter Genovese I NJ Advance Media for

I cannot live without chocolate, and chocolate ice cream. The Jamaican almond fudge at Charlie’s may be the best chocolate I’ve had this year, and I’ve had a few. Charlie’s, open nearly 40 years, still flies under the ice cream radar. I remember the angry and anguished comments from Hoffman’s devotees when I named Charlie’s the best ice cream shop in Ocean County. (PG).

Best ice cream ranked

Ginger, chocolate, apricot pistachio, Daniela’s Ice Cream, Closter (Peter Genovese I NJ Advance Media for

My biggest ice cream surprise so far this year may have been the ginger ice cream at Daniela’s. Tart, tangy and sensuous, it’s an eye-opener and mouth-quencher. The apricot and pistachio ice cream make for a great combo. (PG)

One of the best ice cream shops in Union County for more than 25 years, Scoops The Ice Creamery is an ice cream oasis on Route 22. Their 50-plus hard flavors are all made in-store. Go for the cinnamon oatmeal, strawberry cheesecake, snickers or cookie jar. (JS)

You’ve got to like any place with Train Wreck Rum Raisin on the menu. Vincent’s started in Trenton, opening a location in Mount Holly in 2013. Owner Vincent Amico makes his ice cream in small batches, two and a half gallons each time. The chocolate is nice and creamy, but the must-order is the coconut Almond Joy, with real coconut flakes and almonds. (PG)

Bradley Beach is one of the shore’s best food towns, so it’s no surprise it has some dang good ice cream to finish off a meal. Check out the banana cream pie, the malt crisp or cake batter flavors. It’s the perfect compliment after a thin-crust pizza at Vic’s. (JS)

NJ's best ice cream

Chocolate, coconut ice cream, Cranberry Junction, Hackensack (Peter Genovese I NJ Advance Media for

One of the newer kids on the ice cream block, Cranberry Junction sits on a massive lot alongside the railroad tracks, with seven picnic tables outside. Inside the little red house you’ll find about 20 flavors, including banana pudding, dulce de leche and vanilla chocolate chip. If you love chocolate ice cream, this place makes one of the state’s best — seriously rich and deep. If I didn’t have more stops the day I visited, I would have polished off the whole darn cup, and maybe ordered another. The coconut ice cream tastes like the real thing (there’s a lot of fake-tasting coconut ice cream out there). (PG)

NJ's best ice cream

Tahitian vanilla, Halo Pub, Hamilton (Peter Genovese I NJ Advance Media for

Halo Farm’s main store is next to the Trenton Farmers Market in Lawrenceville, with their Halo Pub locations in Princeton and Hamilton. The chocolate chocolate almond is delightful and delicious. Vanilla is the world’s most popular — and most boring — flavor, but the Tahiti vanilla bean here is slightly spicy and tangy and altogether delicious. (PG)

N.J.'s best ice cream

Royale Crown, HammontonSL

Hammonton is the blueberry capital of the world, so it comes as no surprise that Royale Crown makes blueberry ice cream. Make that unbelievably good blueberry ice cream. The diner-shiny ice cream stand opened on the White Horse Pike in 1953, back when the waitresses wore white majorette boots, skirts and gold crowns. There are about 40 kinds of hard ice cream and eight flavors of soft ice cream. Another must-try: the black raspberry soft-serve. They’re not afraid to push the envelope, especially with such flavors as Italian pizzelle, Southern pecan and chocolate Milano. (PG)

More than 60 years of scooping ice cream, more than 40 flavors. It’s 100% awesome, whichever Curly’s location you go to. Their soft serve is terrific, but their hard flavors aren’t to be slept on. They also make blended flurries like mint cookie, brown fudge, chocolate-covered banana. (JS)

NJ's 45 best ice cream shops/stands, ranked

Nasto’s Ice Cream Co., Newark (Peter Genovese I NJ Advance Media for

One of the great food institutions in Newark’s Ironbound, Nasto’s opened in 1939 in a former brewery. The secret to its success and long life? “Put the good stuff in and get good stuff out,” Frank Nasto III once told me. The blue-awninged shop supplies ice cream to about 750 restaurants around New Jersey. Try the key lime if they have it. (PG)

Best ice cream

Grochowicz Farms, Glen Gardner (Peter Genovese I NJ Advance Media for

More and more farms are getting into the ice cream business; add Grochowicz Farms, on Route 31, to the list. Their double rich chocolate is divine, the mint chocolate chip marvelous and the black raspberry is berry, berry good. Other flavors include French Vanilla, Java Jolt, Chocolate Coconut Cream and Banana Strawberry Swirl. Pull up a seat at one of the tree-shaded picnic tables, and enjoy. (PG)

The neon sign in the window at Mark & Julie’s boasts of 52 flavors. The no-frills shop in an Essex County strip mall might look like your run-of-the-mill ice cream joint, but the ice cream they’re scooping is anything but. They might not have exuberant flavors of other parlors on this list, but the make incredibly high-quality stuff. The Oreo, banana, peach and raspberry are especially great. (JS)

NJ's 45 best ice cream shops/stands, ranked

Banana boat, Springer’s,. Stone Harbor (Peter Genovese I NJ Advance Media for

Springer’s is one of the Jersey Shore’s two or three best-known ice cream shops. Taylor Swift knows it well. From age 2 to 14, her parents owned a summer house in Stone Harbor. Springer’s was a mainstay of her Jersey Shore summers. The original owners apparently changed it from a bar to an ice cream store during Prohibition. If you like creamy ice cream, Springer’s is your place; all those I’ve sampled in recent visits were surpassingly smooth. My favorites: Dark Nite, Prohibition Tradition. (PG)

“A dope-ass ice cream shop” is how Kreme & Krumbs describes itself. Works for me. Choose from eight flavors, including Dorothy’s B-day (Tahitian vanilla cream swirled with fudgy frosting and confetti cake pieces), Tipsy Breakfast (buttery brown sugar oat crumbles, toasted coconut and rum soaked raisins suspended in cream) and No Nutz No Glory (caramel swirls, dark chocolate chips and roasted peanuts). One must-order: a Kremebell, their tasty take on an ice cream sandwich. (PG)

Lemon lavender blueberry. If the sound of that doesn’t make your heart flutter, you need to check for a pulse. It’s my favorite flavor at Gabriel’s Fountain, which offers burgers, sandwiches, wings and salads in addition to ice cream. Like chocolate? You’ll love the Milk Chocolate here; smooth and creamy. (PG)

NJ's 45 best ice cream shops/stands, ranked

Double dark chocolate fudge crunch ice cream cone, Cliff’s Homemade Ice Cream, Ledgewood (Peter Genovese I NJ Advance Media for

My single favorite Jersey ice cream flavor: The double dark chocolate fudge crunch at Cliff’s, shown in the photo. It’s a choco-holic’s vision of the sugar-coned pearly gates. There are about a dozen flavors of soft serve and 70 flavors of hard ice cream, so good luck picking one. Cliff’s made my list of 20 Essential Jersey Food Experiences. (PG)

Just across the street from the No. 1 beach in New Jersey three years running, and there are few better ways to compliment a day on the beach in Cape May than some Fine Fellows. Their raspberry truffle ice cream is a revelation. (JS)

Luigi Beltran, owner of Luigi’s Ice Cream, opened the state’s first ice cream speakeasy inside Ani Ramen in Jersey City in 2018, stocked with “boozy” — alcoholic-infused — ice cream. Hennessy and pineapple ice cream (my favorite), Patron XO Cafe and chocolate chip ice cream, and Godiva Dark Chocolate Liqueur and fudge brownie ice cream were the initial offerings. Mint Oreo chocolate chip and Thai tea are among their regular flavors. They also do rolled ice cream and ice cream donut sandwiches. (PG)

Best ice cream, ranked

Strawberry-lemonade water ice; chocolate, banana, rocky road ice cream, Dot’s Homemade Ice cream, Woodbury Heights (Peter Genovese I NJ Advance Media for

Banana ice cream may not the most popular flavor, but the banana at Dot’s tastes like the real thing, not some lab experiment. The chocolate ice cream is thick and rich, and the Rocky Road commendable. Must-try: one of the water ices. The strawberry lemonade is bracing and beautiful. Oh, and it’s “wooder ice,” not “water ice.” You’re in South Jersey. (PG)

Best ice cream ranked

Assorted flavors, Das Creamery, Budd Lake

Komal Das uses her culinary school background to test and push ice cream boundaries at Das’ Creamery, a bright and cheery strip mall store. Black licorice ice cream? It’s in the Black Knight Rises. There’s pomegranate, fresh basil/Junior Mint and Kulfi toasted coconut almond, plus excellent vanilla and chocolate. Insider tip: there’s a “secret” flavor every day. It’s not on the store menu board or its Facebook page; you have to ask for it. (PG)

Nj's best ice cream

Alphonso King Mango, chocolate, guava ice cream, Kwality Ice Cream, Edison (Peter Genovese I NJ Advance Media for

Alphonso King Mango! Those are the three most important words at Kwality Ice Cream in Edison. My dentist recommended the Alphonso King Mango, and always listen to your dentist! It’s a sweet fruity treat. I also loved the guava ice cream. Other flavors include black currant, English toffee, and saffron pistachio. But start with the King. (PG)

Falls Creamery is a tiny shop with a long list of impressive and creative flavors. Main Black Bear, vanilla swirled with black raspberry and chocolate raspberry mini melts, is decadent, as are butter pie, banana Oreo and Elvis — banana with peanut butter ripple, fresh banana pieces and chocolate flakes. Falls Creamery also has an overwhelmingly large array of sundaes on its menu. (JS)

Star-strewn lavender walls, and a compact but wide-ranging flavor board: Cookman Creamery is a far cry from your usual 50-flavor neighborhood ice cream shop. It’s about a mood and mellowness here, but there’s passion behind the laid-back vibe. Cookman Creamery was started by a mother-daughter team — Norah and Melissa Marler — and now it’s owned by a father-son duo, Jimmy and Mike Johnson. There are traditional and vegan flavors, and if you think vegan ice cream equates flavorless ice cream, you need to stop here. My favorite flavor may be the Almond Joy vegan ice cream. (PG)

Borrowing its name from Walt Whitman’s “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry,” the New York-based company that helped launch the artisanal ice cream boom came to Jersey City in 2017 with its signature outlandish flavors like Snap, Mallow, Pop!, Ooey Gooey Butter Cake and Peppermint Pattie. Every Ample Hills location has a signature flavor, and Jersey City’s is Golden Door, a cannoli filling-infused ice cream mixed with Irish dark chocolate whiskey cake and German streusel crumble. (JS)

NJ's 45 best ice cream shops/stands, ranked

Latteria, Swedesboro (Peter Genovese I NJ Advance Media for

You can go home again, especially when ice cream is involved. Jaclyn Ilacqua, originally from Alloway, Salem County, was making ice cream wholesale in North Carolina. But she wanted more control over the creative side, missed her family, and moved back home to open Latteria in Swedesboro. About 30 flavors rotate on and off the big chalkboard behind the counter, everything from Mr. Vanilla Chip and cheesecake Oreo to strawberry cake batter PopTart. There is no ice cream shop interior in New Jersey quite like Latteria — the tables and wall are painted in swirly kaleidoscopic colors — think Cezanne, Van Gogh and Peter Max meeting over ice cream. PG)

NJ's 45 best ice cream shops/stands, ranked

Ice cream, Cow’s Brow Creamery, Fredon (Peter Genovese I NJ Advance Media for

Jake Hunt, managing partner at Windy Brow Farms, where Cow’s Brow is located, is the guy who unleashed Taylor ham ice cream and tomato pie ice cream on an unsuspecting world. But classic ice cream flavors are here, too, and they’re done surpassingly well. The dark chocolate is the stuff of legend, and the vegan coconut blueberry lime is nothing short of sensational. (PG)

A Morris County staple for more than 50 years, Denville Dairy is known for its eye-catching ice cream cakes and pies as well its mastery of both classic and unconventional flavors — from vanilla chip and strawberry to death by cookie dough and raspberry weave. After being nearly destroyed by Hurricane Irene in 2011, the store was rebuilt and revamped and is as popular as ever. (JS)

NJ's 45 best ice cream shops/stands, ranked

The Bent Spoon, Princeton (Alex Remnick I NJ Advance Media for

Gabrielle Carbone and Matthew Errico are mad scientists on the New Jersey ice cream scene. The owners of The Bent Spoon (named after an object in “The Matrix”) are constantly fiddling and fussing with ingredients before unleashing another crazy flavor on the world. (An ice cream, named Dad’s Hat, made from rye whiskey? Why not?) The tiny ice cream shop is a frequent visitor on statewide — and nationwide — best ice cream lists. Flavors include blueberry mascarpone, blackberry, and strawberry sorbet. (PG)

NJ's best ice cream

Torico Homemade Ice Cream, Jersey City (Peter Genovese I NJ Advance Media for

In 1968, Pura and Peter Berrios started making slushes and sorbets in a former deli on Erie Street. Their ice cream shop was initially called Tropical Delight; it was later changed to Torico, a contraction of “todo rico” — everything is delicious. Today, the couple’s daughters, Christine and Denise, run the casually stylish ice cream store. The store’s tropical roots are still in evidence; the 40 or so flavors include ube (purple yam), jackfruit, soursop and mamey. (PG)

Best ice cream ranked

Chocolate, tropical fruits, guayabano ice cream, Francy’s Artisanal Ice Cream, Bergenfield

Francy’s gets my vote for the state’s best ice cream newcomer. Open just a month, the strip mall ice cream shop offers 22 flavors, many tropical-themed. There’s Pineapple and Lime, Tropical Fruits (mango, banana, grapefruit, orange, guava, passion fruit) and Bukomansi (coconut and Philipine lime). I could eat the guayabano (soursop) ice cream all day. (PG)

Ice Cream of Essex County

Patrons queue up at Applegate Farm in Montclair. Steve Hockstein | For NJ Advance Media

Long before I was writing about ice cream, I was scooping it at Applegate’s. I spent a summer in high school working at the bright red Montclair institution. While many say their time working in ice cream ruins the treat for them, I actually came away from my time on the farm appreciating it more. Applegate’s Graham Central Station, graham cracker ice cream with chocolate-covered graham crackers, is spectacular. Their orange pineapple and vanilla peanut butter are also wildly popular. Starving? You can literally buy The Farm — featuring a ridiculous 16 scoops of ice cream, four toppings, bananas, whipped cream and cherries. (JS)

NJ's 45 best ice cream shops/stands, ranked

Ice cream, Nicholas Creamery, Atlantic Highlands (Peter Genovese I NJ Advance Media for

It would take exceptional ice cream to knock Cookman Creamery off its previously-held perch as Monmouth County’s best ice cream, but newcomer Nicholas Creamery has done just that. Nicholas is Nicholas Harary, owner of Restaurant Nicholas in Middletown. Small-batch ice cream “using natural dairy and working directly with local farmers and food artisans to source the freshest, seasonal ingredients” is the mission statement here. The ice cream is uber-rich and impossibly creamy. In the photo are the Jersey blueberry and the Chocolate Valrhona. The Monster Mash is a killer mint ice cream. There is another location in Fair Haven. (PG)

N.J.'s best ice cream shop: Day Two

Salted caramel, pistachio, vanilla, and chocolate from Ice Cream by Mike, RidgewoodSL

Bergen County’s best ice cream? Many would say longtime favorites Bischoff’s in Teaneck or Van Dyk’s in Ridgewood, but I’ve been to both, and think Ice Cream by Mike is better. Mike Elias moved from a tiny, narrow space in Hackensack to a bigger, brighter spot in Ridgewood. He uses high-end ingredients and is always creating creative if not crazy flavors. You’re not going to find 40 or 50 flavors here; more like ten. Try the French vanilla or lemon ice cream; you’ll thank me later. His soft-serve is splendid. (PG)

The lines for Hoffman’s get notoriously long, especially in the summer. But trust me, their delectable creamy goodness is well worth the wait. Their coffee Oreo is so good it deserves a spot on New Jersey’s ice cream Mount Rushmore, but you truly cannot go wrong with any of their dozens of flavors. The chocolate marshmallow is divine, as is the mint cookie. The Octopus Challenge — eight scoops of ice cream with eight different toppings in eight minutes, is guaranteed to cause a delicious brain freeze. (JS)

NJ's 45 best ice cream shops/stands, ranked

Assorted flavors from oWowCow, LambertvilleSL

Winner of our N.J.’s best ice cream showdown in 2016, Owowcow is a high-ceilinged ice cream hangout in New Jersey’s best small town. OwowCow started in Ottsville, Pa.; there are four other stores, in Chalfont, Pa., Easton, Pa., Wrightstown, Pa. and Lambertville. There are three kinds of high-end vanilla: Madagascar, Indonesian and Tahitian. They push the ice cream envelope here. Flavors include lime cilantro, chocolate jalapeño and I Hate Chocolate, a sweet, rich chocolate overload that fortunately doesn’t live up its name. The mint chocolate chip is not the usual bright green and boasts mint leaves, and may be the best I’ve had anywhere. (PG)

She started with a simple hand cart, taking her ice cream to local farmers’ markets. Now Emma Taylor, owner of Milk Sugar Love, runs a store across from Hamilton Park, another one in the Heights, and an ice cream truck besides. Her journey to ice cream enlightenment began as a kid eating Kohr’s soft-serve on the Ocean City boardwalk. Her genre-bending flavors now include Thai tea, lemon olive oil, and honey lavender. Her chocolate peppermint ice cream, sublime and sensational, was the best thing I ate in 2013. Not just best ice cream, best thing, period. (PG)


Holsten’s in Bloomfield, a legendary ice cream shop that was the site of the final scene of “The Soprano’s.” (Jeremy Schneider | NJ Advance Media for

If it’s good enough for Tony Soprano, it’s good enough for us. But the old school soda fountain was an Essex County institution long before the TV legend filmed its final scene there. You simply won’t find a better nostalgic vibe than the one at Holsten’s. Its neon-signed exterior gives way to a long counter and cozy leather booths to sip malted milkshakes and munch burgers. The throwback energy would be enough to make Holsten’s great, but their ice cream is second-to-none, nailing all the classic flavors. You don’t really need to venture past their magnificent mint chip and vanilla fudge. But their seasonal flavors like cinnamon and peach are utter perfection. The Duster Sundae, a Holsten’s signature topped with malt powder, is my single favorite ice cream concoction on Earth. (JS)

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Peter Genovese may be reached at [email protected]. Jeremy Schneider may be reached at [email protected]. Tell us your coronavirus story or send a tip here.

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