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 go back in time to experience an old-fashioned ice cream parlor that gives everyone a bit of nostalgia? From a 1950’s 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 the best places to go in the state, and get ready to go back in time (along with the most delish treats). Ice cream shops in New Jersey are always a favorite, but if you want more sweetness, 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. 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, has been around since 1934, making their ice cream and sauces by hand. They pride themselves on serving up an old-fashioned ice cream soda experience with wait staff wearing paper hats and bow ties. So grab a spinning stool at the counter and try one of their many flavors, although traditional vanilla and chocolate are still the most popular. Menu items include ice cream, ice cream sodas, shakes, egg creams, and 17 different sundaes. And this is one of those ice cream shops in New Jersey that has more to offer, they also serve burgers, sandwiches, salads, and more (sorry, no French fries).
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. A full diner menu, ice cream sodas, shakes, and cakes are available, as well as a candy counter with plenty of take-home chocolate options.
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. Patrons can also enjoy Italian ice. 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
Thee Ice Cream Parlor
With more than 80 handmade hand-dipped ice cream flavors and soft serve, this retro-styled ice cream parlor will bring out the 1950s nostalgia with its black-and-white checkered and red decor. Stop in for a cone or cup of ice cream, Italian ice, soft serve, and fat and sugar-free frozen yogurt (add a mix-in to sweeten your treat). There are plenty of topping to choose from and traditional and supreme sundaes, including a banana split for two and a hot Belgian waffle sandwich. Milkshakes, soda floats, fruit smoothies, frozen hot chocolate, and egg creams are also on hand.
463 Route 202, Flemington, NJ 08822
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 box office, fudge factory, gift shop, and ice cream takeout window are open at noon every day). The show is always free when you order a sundae, and there are plenty of menu options to choose from, including cookies and milk to brownies and root beer floats. Table reservations are recommended as there is usually a packed house, although guests without one are seated first-come, first-serve. Check their website for a calendar of events with times and performances (six 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 (Temporarily Closed Due to Fire–expected to re-open mid-Summer 2022)
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 the ice cream are both showstoppers. Don’t miss out on their Sing-A-Grams. This is one of those ice cream shops in New Jersey where reservations are highly recommended too.
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 not only sells ice cream (30-plus flavors to make your mouth water), but it offers 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 also 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, and gluten-free 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
Ice cream shops in New Jersey, which old-fashioned shop do you love the most?
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