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

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Nothing epitomizes summer like soft serve. A tower of soft-smooth vanilla ice cream draped over a cone or cup that can be dipped in rainbow sprinkles or a chocolate shell is irresistible on a sticky August day. Drives to the beach or mountains are lined with cream shacks and scoop shops that have a 🍦 soft-serve silhouette. There are reminders in the city, too, with the sounds of Mr. Soft’s trucks echoing through the streets.

Just in time for the height of summer, here are 25+ local spots in the Philly area to get your soft serve fix. (Thanks to several Inquirer readers who made suggestions for the list.)

Carefully crafted Vietnamese coffee and food are the main draw at this stylish cafe and coffee roaster in Kensington’s Harrogate area, but its menu also includes condensed milk and tropical panda-flavoured soft drinks in cones, cups, lattes and black tea. . Past popular flavors include mocha, avocado, and honey butter. 3400 J St., 215-690-1268, capheroasters.com

The staff at this seasonal Wissahickon scoop shop praises its homemade hand-dipped ice cream, but the soft serve is also popular. Available in rotating flavors of vanilla, chocolate and chocolate, as well as Dole Whip dairy-free soft serve, it’s piped into ice cream sandwiches and swirled with toppings to make ice creams. 5461 Ridge Ave., 215-487-1920, candycreamery.com:

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

In addition to cones, cups and pints, this Powelton Village storefront offers Coco Crushes (vanilla, chocolate or swirled soft serve with mixed toppings) and Oreo and Chocolate Chip Cookie soft serve sandwiches. 3632 Powelton Ave., 267-353-8059, cocoscookiesandcreamery.com

South Philly lines up here for soft-serve cookies and handcrafted sorbet gelato. Look out for pretzel pocket specials; Center City Pretzel co. buns filled with vanilla, chocolate, or twist soft serve. 1928 E. Pasyunki Ave., 215-514-3930, instagram.com/oldworldicetreats

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

The brown sugar soft serve is made in-house and included with every dinner order at Laser Wolf in Kensington, where the toppings rotate (pistachio, cherry and crisps are common). The same flavor recently appeared at Dizengoff in Center City, where it’s topped with either a strawberry shortcake or a peanut-sesame dukkah 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 flavored 1-900-ICE-CREAM soft serve at Fishtown’s hottest pizzeria. Top it off with amaro. 1313 N. Lee St., pizzeriabeddia.com:

New flavors of scratchy soft serve are appearing on the menu at this Washington Avenue bakery from Memorial Day through the end of October. They follow the season. Think strawberry-rhubarb, sweet corn-blackberry, and pumpkin-walnut. 2204 Washington Ave., 215-545-2939, smallovencafe.com


The bustling Fishtown ice cream maker introduced grass-fed soft serve to its Ardmore scoop shop last summer. Flavors change weekly, on a whim, and are rarely repeated. They come in pairs that rotate well. Recent examples include strawberry Nesquik and roasted Sicilian pistachios, graham cracker and key lime pie, and brown sugar and pineapple tart. Look for soft serve soon at 1-900’s Center City and Fishtown stores. 18 W. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore, 267-227-1668, 1900icecream.com

This West Chester dairy makes many products with its grass-fed milk, but vanilla bean soft serve may be the tastiest. Wanted special offer. a semi-sweet pup filled with soft serve. Look for it at Baily’s Ice Cream Truck. 1821 Lenape Unionville Rd., West Chester, 610-793-1151, bailysdairy.farm:

Started in the 1950s, this old-school Levittown ice cream shop has two individual properties. Both change with the seasons with many soft flavors. On Woodbourne Road, look for strawberry, banana, pumpkin, graham cracker, orange sherbet and pineapple Dole Whip. Old Bristol Pike flavors include blueberry, apple, cinnamon and ubay (often marketed as a mystery flavor). 972 Woodbourne Rd., Levittown, 215-547-1636; 7504 Old Bristol Pike, Levittown, 215-943-0600

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Conshy Crazes and Sundaes are built with chocolate, vanilla and swirled soft serve and generous 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 chocolate, vanilla, and soft serve with a twist (plus water ice and Bassett’s ice cream), and it supports a worthy cause. The store/non-profit organization raises money and provides employment for adults with autism. 1020 Bethlehem Pike, Flourtown, 267-317-5298, nightlighticecream.com

This family-owned ice cream maker began in South Jersey in 1894. It’s changed hands a few times since it’s now owned by the folks at Philadelphia Water Ice Co., but the ice cream is still premium. All but one location (sorry, Glenside, the store is too small) has a machine that can dispense multiple flavors of soft serve at the touch of a button, resulting in colorful, Instagram-worthy cones. Stores in Prospect Park, Levittown, Glenside, Linwood, Feasterville and Hammonton and Brigantine, NJ; richmansicecream.com

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


Avalon’s popular ice cream counter (cash only) sells chocolate, vanilla and twist soft serve, as well as sea salt caramel frozen yogurt. 2288 Dune Dr., Avalon, 609-967-4141

A quick detour from the AC Expressway, this family-owned outfit adds different flavors to its soft serve depending on the season. Look out for blueberry, strawberry, tiramisu, coffee, mint, orange, coconut and salted caramel. 608 Cross Keys Rd., Sicklerville, 856-629-3013, creanies.com

Run by the Salor family since 1977, these two adjacent Shore shops can combine soft serve with all kinds of flavors, from espresso to banana. Try chili (soft serve mixed with toppings) or sweet shop cheese. 710 New Rd., Somers Point, 609-653-0420; 109 NJ-50, Ocean View, 609-390-0361, instagram.com/custardhut

This long-standing ice shop bills itself as the “King of Flavors.” Co-owner Joe Mosco is always accepting new flavors for their 24-flavor system, which means they can make nearly 40 exciting flavors like guava, peanut brittle, and chai tea. 1540 N. Black Horse Pike, Blackwood, 856-227-1222, facebook.com/HilltopCreamery

Lines can be long at this 1950s diner/ice cream parlor, but it’s worth the wait. Get your soft serve dipped in chocolate, cherry or peanut butter crust. 9510 Ventnor Ave., Margate City, 609-822-9559, margatedairybar.com:

This old-school stand is open year-round, selling chocolate, vanilla and rotating soft treats and fruit-flavored sherbet in a cup and cone or mixed fruit. 340 W Main St, Maple Shade, 856-663-1351, mapleshadecustardstand.com

Pennsauken’s Mister Softee storefront sells what you’d buy from a traveling ice cream truck, but it also mixes seasonal flavors into its soft serve; in the summer, banana, strawberry and orange cream, peanut butter, peanut jelly and pumpkin. In autumn. Also note the almond milk soft serve. 3605 Haddonfield Rd., Pennsauken Township, 856-662-3787

This stretch of Haddon Avenue in Westmont is packed with candy shops, but Primo Water Ice has a loyal following after 26 years in business. In addition to chocolate and vanilla, its most popular soft serve flavors are cotton candy, black cherry, and espresso (for adults). Bonus: Sprinkles is always free. (Primo’s Cherry Hill outpost only offers chocolate, vanilla and twist soft serve.) 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 say much about how the custard is made here, but he mixes in fruit purees like blueberries, peaches, strawberries and pumpkin when the season is right. 1051 S. White Horse Pike, Hammonton, 609-561-4423, royalecchroniccream.com