Photo above courtesy of Happy Day Dessert Factory. Some of the stories below originally appeared in a NEXTpittsburgh.com story – sign up here for their free newsletter filled with all the latest news about the people driving change in our city and the innovative and cool things that are happening here.
With summer finally here, it’s time to head to Pittsburgh’s coolest ice cream spots. If you and your kids are ready to relax, these delicious ice cream parlors in Pittsburgh have you covered.
1. First Custard Booth, 315 Camp Horne Road, Kilbuck Township
Custard’s First Stand has been serving up dairy goodness to Pittsburgh ice cream lovers for decades. Get all the classic Hershey’s ice cream flavors in a cone, cup, pint or liter, order a Slush Puppie or novelty item or mix it up with a Glacier.
2. Sugar Spell Scoops, 1014 N. Canal St., Sharpsburg
At Sugar Spell Scoops, vegans can wind down on a hot summer day with a frozen treat. The shop specializes in dairy-free frozen confections made with cashews and other nut milks sweetened with a combination of agave, maple syrup and organic sugar. One taste and you’ll agree: it’s quite magical.
3. Churn house ice cream and coffee, various locations
Feelin’ the burn? Head to Churn, a local chain with locations in Fox Chapel, Gibsonia and South Side. Since 2015, owner Kelley Costa has been offering cones, sundaes, floats, split bananas, and milkshakes along with hot options like cappuccino, espresso, lattes, and chai tea.
4. Crémerie Caustelot, mobile commerce
Caustelot Creamery takes the ice cream truck concept to a new level. The company is ditching fancy items and serving its own brand of creamy liquid nitrogen delights right before your eyes. Look for the “fastest ice cream in town” at a community festival or special event near you.
5. The Snowman, 238 E. Portersville Road, Portersville
Stack the car and crank up the AC for a snowman trip. Located just off the I-79 exit near Moraine State Park, the custom-built 13-foot roadside stand serves shaved ice, milkshakes, smoothies, ice cream cones, and snacks. frozen treats straight from good ol’ Frosty’s belly. The Snowman also has a concession trailer that rolls through the area like a blizzard every summer. Cool!
6. Sub Zero Nitrogen Ice Cream, 206 S Highland Ave., Shadyside
Combine science and dessert with a trip to Sub Zero Nitrogen Ice Cream. The national chain, which uses liquid nitrogen to freeze its treats, launched in 2004 and now has 50 locations, including one in Shadyside. Customers choose from a slew of flavor bases, mix in other ingredients, and watch the concoction be zapped with the odorless, colorless, tasteless, non-toxic gas, creating a final product with less air and less ice crystals than some ice cream and even more taste.
seven. Happy Day Dessert Factory, 906 A. Western Ave., North Side
Ice cream is the food of joy. Longtime North Side resident Galen Moorer, whose father owned Rita’s Italian Ice on East Ohio Street, has been bringing his own brand of sugar-induced happiness — and charity work — to the neighborhood since March 2020.
Regular flavors include Triple Chocolate Mousse, Vanilla Cherry, and Birthday Cake, as well as dairy-free options like Almond Milk Ice Cream, Lemon Popsicle, and Lemon Popsicle. Dannon Yocream frozen yogurt. There’s also an assortment of ice cream cakes, ice cream sandwiches and treats like the Twister, a combo of any soft, hard ice cream, all flavors of popsicles and toppings.
8. Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream, various locations
In 2015, chef Chad Townsend (Salt of the Earth) left the world of line cooks and sauté pans to pursue a softer career. Along with his wife Lauren, Townsend started Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream, selling ice cream at farmers markets and through a unique CSA program. The bright little shop offers seasonal ice cream flavors like Vietnamese Coffee, Rhubarb Sorbet, Kaya Mango Tango and Coconut Lime Sorbet, which are made with local ingredients in wherever possible. They have grown to include locations in Shadyside, Lawrenceville, Wexford, Market Square, South Fayette, Cranberry and even Kennywood.
9. Remember When Ice Cream, 1528 Park Manor Blvd., Robinson
Step back in time at the Remember When location in downtown Robinson. You can make memories on Pittsburgh’s biggest ice cream cones, plus Dole Whip, floats, frozen yogurt, ice cream scoops, ice cream sandwiches, parfaits, slushes, and even scoops for your pooch.
ten. Page Dairy Mart, 4112 E. Carson Street, South Side
No summer is complete without a trip to Page Dairy Mart. The family-owned company has been giving Pittsburgh ice cream lovers – including vegans (and puppies!) – the scoop since 1951. In addition to amazing ice cream cones, you’ll find arctic swirls, slushies, ice cream sandwiches, ice cream and lemonade, as well as burgers. and hot dogs.
Looking for more places to cool off with the kids. Check out these 8 Pittsburgh museum cafes that are worth checking out.