The ultimate guide to soft-serve ice cream in Philly, the suburbs, and the Shore

Nothing embodies summer quite like soft-serve. A tower of fluffy-smooth vanilla ice cream coiled on a cone or in a cup — maybe dipped in rainbow sprinkles or a chocolate shell — is irresistible on a sticky August day. Drives to the beach or the mountains are lined with custard shacks and scoop shops sporting 🍦 soft-serve silhouettes. There’s reminders in the city, too, where the sounds of Mister Softee trucks echo through the streets.

Just in time for peak summer, here are 25+ local spots in the Philly region to get your soft-serve fix. (Thanks to several Inquirer readers who contributed suggestions to the list.)

Meticulously prepared Vietnamese coffee and food is the main draw at this sleek cafe and coffee roaster in the Harrowgate section of Kensington, but its menu also features condensed-milk and tropical pandan-flavored soft serve in cones, cups, and over lattes and black tea . Past popular flavors include mocha, avocado, and honey butter. 3400 J St., 215-690-1268, capheroasters.com

Acolytes of this seasonal Wissahikon scoop shop praise its homemade hand-dipped ice cream, but the soft serve is popular, too. Available in vanilla, chocolate, and twist, plus rotating flavors of Dole Whip dairy-free soft serve, it gets piped into ice cream sandwiches and swirled together with toppings to make glaciers. 5461 Ridge Ave., 215-487-1920, candcccreamery.com

Vanilla, chocolate, and twist are on tap year-round at Manayunk’s local ice cream shop. Look for the flamingo on Main Street. 4162 Main St., 215-483-4162, instagram.com/chloescornermyk

Besides cones, cups, and pints, you can get Coco Crushes (vanilla, chocolate, or swirled soft-serve blended with toppings) and oreo and chocolate chip cookie soft-serve sandwiches at this Powelton Village storefront. 3632 Powelton Ave., 267-353-8059, cocoscookiesandcreamery.com

South Philly lines up for the over-the-top soft-serve sundaes and handmade sorbetto gelati here. Keep an eye out for pretzel pocket specials: Center City Pretzel co. buns filled vanilla, chocolate, or twist soft serves. 1928 E. Passyunk Ave., 215-514-3930, instagram.com/oldworldicetreats

Order ice cream in a cinnamon donut cone at this veteran East Passyunk shop, which also blends chocolate and vanilla soft serves with homemade treats like chocolate-covered strawberries and peanut butter cups. 1800 E. Passyunk Ave., 215-271-7621, favors-flavors.com

Brown sugar soft serve is made in-house and included in every dinner order at Laser Wolf in Kensington, where toppings rotate (the usual is pistachios, cherries, and crispies). The same flavor recently debuted at Dizengoff in Center City, where it’s topped with either strawberry shortcake or peanut-sesame dukkah over a chocolate magic shell. 1301 N. Howard St., 267-499-4660, laserwolfphilly.com; 1625 Sansom St., 215-867-8181, dizengoffhummus.square.site

Find Rival Bros. espresso and sweet cream flavor 1-900-ICE-CREAM soft-serve at Fishtown’s hottest pizzeria. Top it with an amaro. 1313 N. Lee St., pizzeriabeddia.com

New flavors of scratch soft serves the menu at this Washington Avenue bakery every weekend from Memorial Day to late October. They trace the season: Think strawberry-rhubarb, sweet corn-blackberry, and pumpkin-walnut. 2204 Washington Ave., 215-545-2939, smallovencafe.com


Fishtown’s buzzy ice cream maker debuted grass-fed soft serve at its Ardmore scoop shop last summer. Flavors change weekly, on a whim, and rarely repeat. They come in pairs that twist together well. Recent examples include strawberry Nesquik plus roasted Sicilian pistachio, graham cracker plus key lime pie, and brown sugar cake plus pineapple. Look for soft serves at 1-900′s Center City and Fishtown stores soon. 18 W. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore, 267-227-1668, 1900icecream.com

This West Chester dairy makes lots of products with its grass-fed milk, but vanilla bean soft serves may be the most delicious. One sought-after special offering: a half-cantaloupe filled with soft serve. Look for it at Baily’s ice cream truck. 1821 Lenape Unionville Rd., West Chester, 610-793-1151, bailysdairy.farm

There are two individually owned locations of this old-school Levittown ice cream shop, launched in the 1950s. Both swap in numerous soft-serve flavors with the seasons. On Woodbourne Road, look for strawberry, banana, pumpkin, graham cracker, orange sherbet, and pineapple Dole Whip. Flavors at the Old Bristol Pike include blueberry, apple, cinnamon, and ube (often sold as a mystery flavor). 972 Woodbourne Rd., Levittown, 215-547-1636; 7504 Old Bristol Pike, Levittown, 215-943-0600

Conshy Crazes and sundaes are built with chocolate, vanilla, and swirled soft serve and copious toppings at Conshohocken’s seasonal scoop shop, which also carries sea salt-caramel pretzel frozen yogurt. 515 Fayette St., Conshohocken, 610-828-1413, instagram.com/scoopsconshy

Flourtown’s ice cream shop is doubly sweet: It serves up chocolate, vanilla, and twist soft serve (plus water ice and Bassett’s ice cream), and it supports a worthy cause. The shop/nonprofit raises money and provides employment to adults with autism. 1020 Bethlehem Pike, Flourtown, 267-317-5298, nightlighticecream.com

This family-owned ice cream maker got its start in South Jersey in 1894. It’s changed hands a few times since — it’s now owned by the folks behind Philadelphia Water Ice Co. — but the ice cream is still premium. All but one location (sorry, Glenside, the shop’s too small) has a machine that can pipe out numerous flavors of soft serves at the touch of a button, which results in colorful, Instagram-worthy cones. Shops in Prospect Park, Levittown, Glenside, Linwood, Feasterville, and Hammonton and Brigantine, NJ; richmansicecream.com

This walk-up ice cream window in Ambler sells soft serve from April to October, which makes it a little special. Try it — vanilla, chocolate, or twist — in root beer float. 11 Lindenwold Ave., Ambler, 215-542-0272, sweetbriarcafe.net


Avalon’s favorite ice cream window (cash-only) sells chocolate, vanilla, and twist soft serves, plus sea salt caramel pretzel frozen yogurt. 2288 Dune Dr., Avalon, 609-967-4141

A quick detour off the AC Expressway, this family-owned outfit infuses different flavors into its soft serves depending on time of year. Look out for blueberry, strawberry, tiramisu, coffee, mint, orange, coconut, and salted caramel. 608 Cross Keys Rd., Sicklerville, 856-629-3013, creaniies.com

Run by the Plum family since 1977, these two Shore-adjacent shops can infuse soft serve with all sorts of flavors, from espresso and banana. Try a chillie (soft serve blended with toppings) or a candy-shop sundae. 710 New Rd., Somers Point, 609-653-0420; 109 NJ-50, Ocean View, 609-390-0361, instagram.com/custardhut

This longtime ice shop markets itself as “The King of Flavors.” Co-owner Joe Mosco snaps up new flavors for their 24-flavor system any time they come out — which means they can make about 40 intriguing flavors like guava, peanut brittle, and chai tea. 1540 N. Black Horse Pike, Blackwood, 856-227-1222, facebook.com/HilltopCreamery

Lines can get long at this 1950s-era diner/ice cream bar, but they’re worth the wait. Get your soft serve dipped in a chocolate, cherry, or peanut butter shell. 9510 Ventnor Ave., Margate City, 609-822-9559, margatedairybar.com

This old-school stand operates year-round, selling chocolate, vanilla, and soft twist serves and fruit-flavored sherbet by the cup and the cone or blended into flurries. 340 W Main St, Maple Shade, 856-663-1351, mapleshadecustardstand.com

Pennsauken’s Mister Softee storefront sells what you’d buy from the roving ice cream trucks, but it also mixes seasonal flavors into its soft-serve rotation: banana, strawberry, and orange cream in summer, peanut butter, peanut butter-jelly, and pumpkin in fall. Keep an eye out for almond milk soft serve, too. 3605 Haddonfield Rd., Pennsauken Township, 856-662-3787

This strip of Haddon Avenue in Westmont is rich with sweets shops, but Primo Water Ice has a loyal following after 26 years in business. Besides chocolate and vanilla, its most popular flavors of soft serve are cotton candy, black cherry, and espresso (for the adults). Bonus: Sprinkles are always free. (Primo’s Cherry Hill outpost only offers chocolate, vanilla, and twist soft will do.) 28 Haddon Ave., Haddon Township, 856-854-8221; 484 E. Evesham Rd., Cherry Hill, 856-685-7364, primowaterice.com

This second-generation scoop shop in the “Blueberry capital of the world” uses family recipes for its homemade ice cream. Owner Lou Graziano won’t divulge too much about how the custard is made here, but he mixes in fruit purees like blueberry, peach, strawberry, and pumpkin when the season is right. 1051 S. White Horse Pike, Hammonton, 609-561-4423, royalecrowicecream.com

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