Nothing screams summer more than a mound of ice cream sitting atop a waffle cone or a banana split sundae with all the fixings. Sure, finding ice cream shops in New Jersey isn’t hard—but beyond the usual dairy bars and ice cream shops, why not experience an old-fashioned ice cream parlor that gives everyone a bit of nostalgia? From a 1950s-inspired diner setting to a classic with a starring role in the last Sopranos episode to singing waiters belting out Broadway’s best, you can’t beat the atmosphere of an old-school ice cream parlor or the taste of their homemade confections. Read on for some of the best ice cream shops in New Jersey with a retro feel, and if you’re craving cake, check out these sweet dessert spots in NJ. (featured photo credit: @coolscoopsnorthwildwood)
Ice Cream Shops in New Jersey with an Old-Fashioned Twist
Ice Cream Shops in North Jersey
This Bergen County staple has been around since 1928, selling homemade ice cream and delectable chocolate candies. The store switches over to an old-school ice cream shop in the warmer months to highlight its homemade ice cream (recipes that have stayed the same since the 1930s) – sold in cups, on cones, and even in pints – plus sweet novelties such as ice cream and fruit pops, ice cream pies, ice cream sandwiches, and more. They also have an ice cream truck for private parties serving their popular frozen treats.
107 Westwood Ave., Westwood, NJ 07675
Another Bergen County summer hotspot, Bischoff’s, a fourth-generation ice cream business, is one of those classic ice cream shops in NJ that’s been serving generations of families in the community for decades. Since 1934, they’ve been making their ice cream and sauces by hand. After they announced their closing last year, so many people begged them to return that they started a #SAVEBISCHOFFS revitalization fund and re-opened it as a pop-up through Labor Day 2023. They pride themselves on serving up an old-fashioned ice cream soda experience with wait staff wearing paper hats and bow ties. In addition to scoops, sundaes, and sweets, they also offer snacks like fries and sliders.
468 Cedar Lane, Teaneck, NJ 07666
Fuggedaboutit— if you want to enjoy an old-school diner and ice cream parlor experience straight from Hollywood, this is the place. This Bloomfield restaurant is most known for being featured in the final scene of the popular HBO hit The Sopranos. And although we don’t know what crime boss Tony Soprano ordered for dessert, we can bet it was one of their 19 homemade flavors (or specials of the month) served in a metal ice cream bowl—or made into a sundae. And if you’re hungry, a full diner menu is available—that is, if you can resist having dessert first.
1063 Broad St., Bloomfield, NJ 07003
Look at the logo of Last Lick’s, and you know the owners are baseball fans, but there is no striking out with any of the unique homemade flavors available at the shop. You’ll love to dig into these fantastic flavors, like Brownie Batter and Graham Slam, Banana Cream Pie, Cherry Vanilla, Strawberry Cheesecake, and more, including seasonal flavors. Planning a party? You can purchase ice cream cakes, pies, sandwiches, mini-cone dippers, cannolis, Oreo cookie specialties, and sliced bananas dipped in chocolate.
134 Ridgedale Ave., East Hanover, NJ 07936
Ice Cream Shops in Central Jersey
Day’s in Ocean Grove
Ocean Grove’s oldest continuously operating business makes this one of those famous ice cream shops in New Jersey where ice cream, frozen yogurt, sundaes, milkshakes, floats, and soft-serve ice cream are scooped all summer. Taste flavors like toasted coconut, salted caramel pretzel, or black raspberry chocolate chip, and luckily it’s open seven days a week from Memorial Day to Labor Day, which is a cherry on top for the summertime.
48 Pitman Avenue on Auditorium Park, Ocean Grove, NJ 07756
Hinlickity’s Ice Cream Parlor
With a black and white floor, red retro chairs, and aluminum tables, Hinlickity’s is a 1950s ice cream experience for anyone who enters their doors. Their mouthwatering menu is heavy on classic drinks—milkshakes, orange cream, egg cream, and root beer float—and offers two special sundaes—The Hinlickity Split or The Rickity Hinlickity. And for more retro fun on demand, book their authentic retro Chevrolet Ice Cream Truck with ice cream and all the Good Humor favorites for your next party.
120 Bay Ave., Highlands, NJ 07732
The Music Man: The Singing Ice Cream Shoppe
Called the “Singing Ice Cream Shoppe” for a good reason, The Music Man is an old-fashioned ice cream parlor that features a vaudeville-style nightly cabaret with performers entertaining customers with show tunes daily. The show is always free when you order a sundae, and there are a bunch of ice cream concoctions, like a Brioche Ice Cream Sandwich, Affogato, and ice cream floats. Table reservations are recommended though guests without one are seated first-come, first-serve. Check their website for a calendar of events with times and performances (four nightly shows daily throughout the summer), including a Disney sing-a-long.
2305 Grand Central Ave., Lavallette, NJ 08735
Ice Cream Shops in South Jersey
Nellie Bly’s Old Tyme Ice Cream Parlor
Named after the famous journalist and the train (which ran through the town), this women-run ice cream parlor has traditional and unique ice cream flavors (Guatemalan Ripple, anyone?) and water ice. Can’t decide between the two? Try a Radio Ball, water ice stacked on top of ice cream. Speciality Sundae options range from the famous Train Wreck, a banana split with five scoops of ice cream and toppings, to the Candy Caboose with two scoops of ice cream, topped with M&M’s, gummy bears, whipped cream, and a cherry.
529 Main St., Riverton, NJ 08077
The Show Place Ice Cream Parlour
Join the famous singing Waitri for ice cream, music, and fun at the Surflight Theatre in Long Beach Island. Enjoy theatrically themed ice cream concoctions like The Phantom of the Opera (a luscious chocolate and hot fudge combo), The Sound of Music (vanilla and peach layered with strawberry sauce), and many more. The Show Place has been open since 1975, and the entertainment and ice cream are showstoppers. Don’t miss out on their Sing-A-Grams.
200 Centre Street, Beach Haven, NJ 08008
The Hobby Horse Ice Cream Parlor
You can’t miss this ice cream shop in New Jersey while driving along Ocean Avenue in Ocean City – look for the large carousel horse. This family-owned establishment sells ice cream (30-plus flavors to make your mouth water) and is known for its specialty sundaes. Try Duke’s Famous Banana Split with vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry ice cream smothered in chocolate sauce, with bananas, strawberry, and pineapple, or indulge in the Dark Side of the Moon with two scoops topped with hot fudge, chocolate chips, whipped cream, homemade chocolate-dipped wafer cookie and, of course, a cherry. The menu includes gelato, yogurt, peanut butter balls, milk and dark chocolate-covered pretzels, and pound cake.
800 Ocean Ave., Ocean City, NJ 08226
The giant ice cream sundae above the entrance gives away what this 1950s-inspired diner is selling – cool scoops of ice cream and a trip down memory lane. The memorabilia is all around, including a jukebox and classic cars made into booths and tables to enjoy more than 30 flavors of ice cream (dairy-free, sugar-free, low-carb options available). Sundaes are a staple and feature yummy toppings like crushed cookies, peanut butter, pretzels, butterscotch, gummy bears, and more. And, whether you have one scoop or two in a bowl or on a (pretzel, cookie, M&M, waffle, or chocolate-dipped) cone, you are sure to leave here with a full belly and a feeling of how it was back in the ’50s.
1111 New Jersey Ave., North Wildwood, NJ 08260
UMMM Ice Cream Parlor
With a menu of delish sundaes, fresh waffle concoctions, and classic ice cream sodas, this ice cream parlor in NJ, located in a historic building in Downtown Burlington, has been dishing out homemade ice cream for over 38 years. Everything is made on the premises, and there are always nine basic flavors and ten specials that change regularly (they offer about 75 different flavors each season and take requests). Make sure you order an UMMMER, a freshly made waffle cone loaded with two flavors, toppings, and whipped cream.
236 High Street, Burlington, NJ 08016
Lindy Hops Homemade Ice Cream
Step onto checkered floors and back into the 1950s at Lindy Hops. Try all 32 flavors from Nutella to Jitter Bug with vanilla ice cream, fudge and peanut butter swirl, cookie dough, and dark chocolate flakes. There are also no sugar, soft serve ice cream flavors, and soft serve no-fat yogurt. Don’t miss out on the homemade water ice with flavors from sour apple to Swedish Fish to Cotton Candy too.
401 South Pitney Road, Galloway, NJ 08205
Ice cream shops in New Jersey, which old-fashioned shop do you love the most?
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