It’s hard to imagine a more quintessential summer treat than ice cream. It’s cold and sweet—providing some much needed relief from the sweltering heat. What's more, ice cream is the perfect dessert to enjoy with friends while wandering around Philly and exploring the places that have reopened as vaccination rates climb. 

So whether you’re one to order a classic vanilla cone or go all out with funky flavors and toppings, there’s a place on this list where you can find your perfect summer dessert. We even have a few recommendations for the vegan and lactose intolerant readers out there who still crave ice cream like the rest of us.

Weckerly’s Ice Cream

This North Philly favorite is actually a micro–creamery, meaning that the entire process of creating its ice cream, from farm to freezer, all happens in a single small dairy plant. Weckerly’s strives to stay connected with local food systems by using local ingredients in its ice creams, cookies, and mix–ins. This results in a more delicious—and more sustainable—scoop of ice cream than you’d get otherwise. So next time you’re in Fishtown, be sure to check out its rotating special flavors like basil lime and chocolate fluffernutter—or whatever’s on the menu that day. It’s sure to be delicious.

Location: 9 West Girard Ave.

Hours: Tuesday–Thursday, 3–9 p.m.; Friday, 3–10 p.m.; Saturday–Sunday, 1–9 p.m.

The Franklin Fountain

If you’re looking for old soda shop vibes to feed your nostalgic side, check out The Franklin Fountain for classic Philly–style ice cream. It's got all the typical options like rocky road and strawberry, plus a few vegan options of its most popular flavors. What really sets The Franklin Fountain apart is its menu of floats—you can combine its soda flavors like lavender or pineapple with any of its ice creams to create a truly unique summer drink.

Location: 116 Market St.

Hours: Sunday–Saturday, 11–12 a.m.

Lil Pop Shop

While it isn’t technically an ice cream shop, Lil Pop Shop offers an array of popsicle flavors that are sure to impress any ice cream lover. It has a variety of milk–based flavors like matcha mochi and chocolate salted caramel brownie, as well as vegan options like coconut hibiscus or Kashmiri chai latte. And, located just a few blocks from Penn’s campus, this little West Philly shop is a great place to stop for a quick popsicle on a hot day. 

Location: 265 South 44th St. 

Hours: Tuesday–Thursday, 3–9 p.m.; Friday, 3–10 p.m.; Saturday, 12–10 p.m.; Sunday, 12–9 p.m.

Sweet Charlie’s

Sweet Charlie’s was the first Thai–style rolled ice cream spot in Philly, and since its opening in 2016, it’s become a favorite. What distinguishes Sweet Charlie’s from other rolled ice cream shops is its choice of 3 bases—the usual ice cream, plus frozen yogurt and a dairy–free vegan option. Once you choose a base, there’s a ton of flavor options like Kiss & Tell (mint Oreo), Off Duty (coffee and glazed donut), and Love Park (chocolate, peanut butter, pretzel). Plus, its Rittenhouse location has a special “After Dark” menu on Thursday–Saturday from 6–10 p.m. where they’ll mix alcohol into the ice cream for a special treat. 

Location: 1921 Walnut St.

Hours: Sunday–Thursday, 12–10 p.m.; Friday–Saturday, 12–11 p.m.

Arctic Scoop

Ever had ice cream served in a coconut? Or in a flavored bubble waffle? If not, Arctic Scoop deserves a spot on your summer bucket list. Its colorful and flavorful creations are perfect for feeding your inner child, or just making dessert your whole meal. With ice cream flavors like Lychee Rose, Sesame Butter, and Mocha Chip, plus a whole range of toppings and waffle flavors, you’re sure to find a concoction that you'll like. 

Location: 1812 East Passyunk St. 

Hours: Sunday–Thursday, 12–10 p.m.; Friday–Saturday, 12–11 p.m.

Whether you’re pausing for a quick popsicle or stopping for a whole sundae, these five Philly favorites are sure to be hits this summer. So if you're spending your summer in our beloved city, or just popping in for a visit, be sure to give them a try. After all, there's nothing like delicious ice cream on a hot summer day. 


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