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The Best Ice Cream Shops to Try in Northern NJ

by Jean Lee
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I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream. That’s how we feel this summer because there are too many great ice cream parlors to get to across Northern New Jersey. Whether you’re team cup or ice cream cone (ICYIMI, a Hobokenite invented the ice cream cone so we should all be team cone), there are so many places to get this treat — both with and without toppings. From classic old fashioned, handmade scoops to newer ice cream making methods like rolls, there is something for everyone. Keep reading for a list of the best ice cream shops in Northern NJ.

ice cream torico jersey city

(Photo credits: @toricoicecream)

Absolute Zero Ice Cream | 410 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair

Sometimes dessert-lovers may need a little something more than a soft-serve cone. The Thai-inspired ice cream rolls may be just the delectable treat. Starting with fresh milk and cream as the base, this place hand rolls all the ice cream for patrons. Once toppings are added, it’s all mixed, diced, and put together in the most lovely thinly rolled ice cream to snack on. There is a flavor palette for everyone, but Hoboken Girl loves the Camp Chill flavor. 

Alpine Creamery | 14 White Deer Plaza, Sparta

 

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(Photo credits: @alpinecreamery)

Open only during the summer months, Alpine Creamery is a delicious stop after a fun day in the sun. Diners can also pick up a sundae kit if they’re looking to take the ice cream home and enjoy. It comes with ice cream, toppings, and cones. Non-dairy folks should rejoice because it also has vegan flavors like cookies-n-cream and vanilla peanut butter.

Applegate Farm | 616 Grove Street, Upper Montclair

Applegate Farm has a rich history. Opening in 1848, its tagline is “sweet scoops of the past.” While it has changed owners a few times, the delicious ice cream has been a staple for many in the region. There are signature products to try including ice cream pies, ice cream cakes, ice cream sandwiches, and of course, regular ice cream. Come try the ice cream and check out some of the yearly events around holidays, like Valentine’s Day, Oktoberfest, and more. 

Bayside Creamery | 273 Front St #4416, Perth Amboy

Sometimes ice cream just hits better when enjoyed bayside, which is exactly what patrons can do here at Bayside Creamery since it’s across the street from Raritan Bay. Stop in for a cup or cone of so many flavors (customers love the cappuccino crunch), or get it as a shake or sundae. Visitors also enjoy the ambiance and decor (like the blue bike hung on the wall).

Cliff’s Homemade Ice Cream | 1475 US-46, Ledgewood

This stop off Route 46 might not look like much, but during the summer months, it’s the place to be. Park and head up to the window to order — and you really can’t go wrong with any flavor. There are 11 flavors of soft ice cream, 60 hard hand-dipped flavors, and seasonal options to choose from. While the vanilla and chocolate chip cookie dough are good, there are more adventurous choices including holy cannoli and graham central station. 

Read More: Vegan Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts in Hoboken + Jersey City

Conez Hard & Soft Ice Cream Shop | 415 Martin Luther King Drive, Jersey City

conez jersey city

(Photo credits: @conezicecream)

This Ice Cream Shop brings the delicious dessert to the Jersey City area. Not only does it serve ice cream and milkshakes at the storefront, this place also brings ice cream to nearby daycares. There are so many flavors and options to choose from, including 30 milkshake flavors, 15 soft serve flavors, and 4 fruit-based flavors, among other options. Come by the colorful storefront and try one for yourself. Best part is, it’s right off the Light Rail. 

Conrad’s Confectionery | 107 Westwood Avenue, Westwood

This classic ice cream parlor makes visitors feel nostalgic, just like they’re walking back in time. There are so many delicious flavors, including sea turtle (salty caramel ice cream with Conrad’s chopped Turtle candy). Conrad’s also has ice cream sandwiches and love bars (ice cream dipped in dark chocolate). If ice cream isn’t the move, there are also delicious candy options including chocolate covered pretzels gummy bears and chocolate peanut butter cups. 

Häagen-Dazs | Various Locations

While this may be a big chain, Häagen-Dazs’ PB&J sundae is just too delicious not to include. This sundae is part of the City Sweets campaign that introduced new flavors based on street vendor treats in various cities. This sundae uses one of the flavors, Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel, and toppings of jam and banana slices. Head to one of the locations in Ridgewood, Fair Lawn, Millburn, Livingston, Garden State Plaza, American Dream, or Edgewater to have a taste.

JJ Scoops | 1 Main Street, Clinton

Clinton has a darling main street to meander down any summer night (or day). JJ Scoops is a great stop to make, and visitors can sit outside at the table and chairs right (first-come, first-served). This place has low-fat soft serve (vanilla, chocolate, and twist flavors), or plenty of other hard ice cream flavors to choose from. There are new flavors that are must-tries including fudge ripple and peanut butter mudslide. 

Jun’s Macaron Gelato | 410 Washington Street, Hoboken

juns macaron gelato hoboken

(Photo credits: @junsmacarongelato)

Jun’s Macaron Gelato creates sweet treats inspired by French and Italian desserts. The menu is quite extensive and has different types of ice cream. There is regular gelato and then rolled gelato, similar to ice cream rolls. There are also macarons and even macaron gelato sandwiches (pretty self-explanatory, but the gelato is in between two macarons). Milk snowflake ice cream (a specific way to make ice cream) is also on the menu. 

Mark & Julies Homemade Ice Cream | 476 Pleasant Valley Way, West Orange

This West Orange staple has been in business for more than 27 years. Patrons can come to try the more than 52 “fabulous flavors.” Mark and Julie’s has flavors for different seasons and holidays, and it even has sugar-free and fat-free ice creams and even yogurts. Its ice cream is Kosher Certified.

Milk Sugar Love | 19 McWilliams Place, Jersey City

Milk Sugar Love is more than just ice cream; it has ice cream cakes, ice cream sandwiches, and ice cream minis (4 ounce cups), among other items. There are classic flavors, and diners can even order for delivery. For any furry friends, there is also a small frozen treat for furry friends, know as puppy froyo, ‘made with peanut butter, yogurt, and banana, and topped with two crunchy treats.”

Nasto’s Old World Desserts | 236-40 Jefferson Street, Newark

Nasto’s began as a mom and pop shop back in 1939. Today, this ice cream shop uses the state of the art production equipment to make the sweet delicacies. Nasto’s serves local and regional businesses, and this flagship store serves the sweet treats as well. Everything is more than just ice cream; its delicious desserts including Reginetta (a fruity/chocolatey dish around amaretto ice cream), cake rolls (devils food cake with vanilla ice cream), and so much more.

Nicholas Creamery | 84 First Avenue, Atlantic Highlands

After a fun day at the beach, stop by Nicholas Creamery for a nice, cool treat. Located right on the main drag in Atlantic Highlands, guests can come and grab a cup or cone and head to the water to watch the boats go by. This creamery creates unique flavors made in small batches using all-natural, seasonal ingredients. The Tahitian vanilla may sound boring, but it’s some of the best vanilla ice cream around. 

Scoops the Ice Creamery | 2014 Route 22 East, Scotch Plains

Scoops is a fan-favorite in the area. There are so many ice cream flavors and toppings to combine, the possibilities are endless! Peanut butter lovers should definitely try the Reese’s dream. Ice cream enthusiasts also enjoy the blueberry cheesecake. 

Read More: Best Jersey Shore Boardwalk Spots to Visit

South Street Creamery | 146 South Street, Morristown

South Street Creamery is a staple for locals in the Morris County area. The flavors are so wholesome and rich, and visitors will want to go back for another scoop. There is also a cafe that has delicious, healthy menu options including pizzettes, sandwiches, and crepes. If you’re looking for ice cream for a larger group, then try South Street Creamery’s catering option (minimum of 10 people).

Taylor’s Ice Cream Parlor | 18 Main Street, Chester

Taylor’s might be one of the most quintessential small-town stops in New Jersey. Located on the Western edge of Chester’s adorable main street, it’s a watering hole for the locals, especially after sports games. Open year-round, it’s great to order one of the many delicious flavors and sit outside on the benches (first-come, first-served). The options seem endless from bubble gum to mocha chocolate chip. There are even ice cream cakes to try. 

The Chocolate Bar | 112 Quimby Street, Westfield

Technically this is not ice cream, but it’s gelato and extremely delicious. Opened since 2020, this place not only has gelato, but it also has hand dipped chocolate delights and coffee too. There are so many gelato flavors to choose from, but guests love the classic chocolate.

Thomas’ Ice Cream Cafe | 214 Jefferson Street

Talk about indulging — Thomas’ Ice Cream Cafe is the ultimate place to lean into your cravings. Not only does this spot serve up delicious ice cream, but it also makes gourmet flatbreads and pizza. There are a ton of ice cream flavors on the menu —from classics like chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry to more interesting flavors like cinnamon bun, coffee Oreo, and Nutella. There’s a soda float, a shake float, and a malted shake on the menu to dip into some nostalgia. Plus, any spot where you can get pizza and ice cream is a winner

Torico | 20 Erie Street, Jersey City

ice cream torico jersey city

(Photo credits: @toricoicecream)

Anyone in downtown Jersey City has seen the endless line for Torico ice cream during the hot summer days. Ordering inside as the line wrap around the small storefront is great, but coming up to the window to get your scoops makes it feel almost as if you aren’t having ice cream in the big city, it gives small-town nostalgia. The flavors change depending on the season, but there are always amazing options. Come to Torico for more than just a cup or a cone; there are also cakes, ice cream sandwiches, and even sundae boxes with all the fixings to make a delicious ice cream sundae at home. 

Van Dyk’s | 145 Ackerman Avenue, Ridgewood

At Van Dyk’s, guests can order cones, cups, cakes, sundaes, milkshakes, and quarts/pints to go. Make sure to bring cash though, because this place does not accept credit cards. Here, guests can find classic flavors like chocolate and vanilla, or more rare tastes like peppermint stick and key lime pie.

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