We love these ice cream shops for their outstanding atmosphere, taste, variety, and innovation. And when we say ‘ice cream’ we mean it to cover ice cream, gelato, Italian Ice, frozen yogurt, and custard—summertime in a cone! There is no possible way to rank these because they are all worth going out of your way for.
Grab a frozen custard from Abbott’s and walk on the pier, or a gelato from Royal Café on the canal. Try a specialty flavor like Concord Grape from Lynnie Lou’s, Lavender Goat Cheese from Eat Me, or Cookie, Fig and Honey from Hedonist. Or try several with a flight from Lake Effect or Spotted Duck. Keep these in mind for National Ice Cream Day on the third “Sundae” in July.
This map includes these featured shops and more!
Best Handcrafted Ice Cream Shops in the City of Rochester
Rochester’s South Wedge Neighborhood – Innovative flavors have included Salted Caramel, Cinnamon Chipotle, Lavender Lemongrass, Lemon Thyme, Afternoon Tea Truffle, Malted Chai, Cookie Fig and Honey, and Raspberry Passionfruit Champagne Sorbet. We craft our small batch, super premium ice creams and sorbets in the heart of Rochester, NYs South Wedge neighborhood. We use local cream and the finest natural ingredients to create decadent flavors that bring pleasure with every bite.
Rochester’s EMMA Neighborhood – Innovative flavors have included Lilac, Bourbon Vanilla Bean, Caramel Smear, Crystallized Ginger and Cashew Curry Coconut, Lavender Goat Cheese, Spring Garden, Sweet Corn, and Olive Oil & Basil. Eat Me is dedicated to cultivating and inspiring creative thinking and imagination. Taste is a gateway to discovery and ice cream is the perfect medium. We spin out funky, fabulously fresh ice cream in NYS dairy and dairy-free each week. Lick, savor and cry with us.
Rochester’s South Wedge Neighborhood – Build your own Thai Fresh Rolled Ice Cream from innovative flavors including Green Tea Mania, Peanut Delite, Thai Chi, Beez, and Chunky Monkey. Choose from 9 Yen Specials, 8 Popp’n Flavors of Boba Tea w/ popp’n boba, with 30+ flavors.
Best Handcrafted Ice Cream Shops in Monroe County Towns & Villages
Pittsford, Henirietta – Pittsford Farms Dairy uses milk from their grass-fed dairy cows, and sells milk to other Rochester-area ice cream makers. There are 60+ flavors available! In an article by Edible Finger Lakes, Charles Jr. says. “It’s unbelievable. I mean, people like our milk, but everyone—and I mean everyone—will do three flips backwards for ice cream.” Fire Crust in Henrietta serves Pittsford Farms Dairy Ice Cream and Custard.
Henrietta – Choose from roughly 20 hand-dip flavors like Bubble Gum, Cake Batter, Snickers, and Orange Pineapple, plus soft serve and ices. Treat your 4-legged bestie to a Doggie Delight cup with soft vanilla and a bone! All of our frozen products are homemade on the premises.
Henrietta and Webster – Flavors have included Graham Central Station, White Raspberry Truffle, Wedding Cake, Tin Lizzy, Jamaican Me Crazy, Deep Dish Apple Pie, and Coffee Cake Streusel to name but a few. We believe there’s no richer reward in life than the smooth, creamy pleasure of fresh ice cream. Each tantalizing treat is skillfully created in-house with the care and affection that defines Bruster’s.
Fairport – Our signature flavors, like Espresso with English Toffee and Wicked Chocolate, are joined by seasonal favorites and fun and imaginative limited editions to ensure both ice cream traditionalists and adventurers find just the right treat. Flavors change daily, but may include Malted Chai, Olive Oil & Honey, Raspberry Passionfruit, Strawberry, Toffee Almond Chocolate, and Ginger Pear sorbet.
Penfield, their soft-serve is homemade, and their hand-dip is Perry’s (Akron).
READ PART 1
30 Day Trips within
30 Minutes of Rochester
Best Ice Cream Shops serving Regional & Local Brands
Irondequoit, serves Perry’s (Akron) – Netsins Ice Cream was established by 2 Irondequoit firefighters. There is nothing like having a neighborhood ice cream parlor to create lasting memories!
Spencerport, serves Perry’s (Akron) – From classic favorites like Chocolate and Vanilla, to exotic tastes like Oregon Blackberry Cheesecake, to wild and wacky flavors like Superman, at LuGia’s we have something for everyone.
Henrietta, serves Ben & Jerry’s (Vermont) – Located in the Student Alumni Union, Ben & Jerry’s offers over 30 flavors of Vermont’s best ice cream. A variety of different dairy and non-dairy ice cream options, shakes, sundaes, smoothies, cookies and cakes are available.
Brockport, serves Perry’s (Akron) – Our ice cream parlor [has] several varieties of ice cream from rich and creamy custard to many flavors of hard ice cream. Finish off your treat with a fresh baked waffle cone!
Irondequoit, serves Purity (Ithaca) – We serve hard ice cream, soft serve, razzles, sundaes, shakes and more. Flavors change with the season so stop by and see what we have today!
15. Byrne Dairy
Chili, Gates, Brockport, serves Byrne Dairy (Syracuse) – Since 1980 we have been producing our own Ice Cream with our fresh cream and milk from our local family farms.
16. iKON Ice Cream
Scottsville, offers over 100 custard flavors plus serves Perry’s (Akron) hard ice cream.
20 Monroe County Parks
Best Custard in Monroe County
Lake Ave original location – There’s a reason Abbott’s is in 12 Bill Gray’s restaurants, and 10 stand-alone franchised locations. It’s delicious! And summer would not be the same without the Abbott’s on Lake Ave opening for the season, roughly April-October. At Abbott’s, everything we do is dedicated to ensuring our frozen custard is the very best. This starts with our secret family recipe, churned fresh every day in each one of our stands. Our frozen custard is the way ice cream was meant to be.
Best Gelato in Monroe County
Fairport – I’m thinking if you only get one chance you should try the Spaghetti Ice Cream Sundae: Vanilla gelato, strawberry sauce, grated white chocolate, brownies in chocolate sauce.
19. Oriens Café
Greece – At Oriens Café you will find authentic Sicilian pastries and 24 flavors of Gelato made fresh on site daily, using recipes designed by Italian Pastry Chef Master Salvatore Garofalo.
Best Frozen Yogurt in Monroe County
Fairport – Yummies offers an ever-changing array of delicious treats, both cold and hot!
Best Italian Ice in Monroe County
Brighton – You really have to try one of their specialty drinks where the Italian Ice is combined with Frozen Custard, like the Gelati. It’s magical! Real Italian ice made with fresh fruit and made fresh daily!
Best Ice Cream Shops outside Monroe County
These locations are a bit further out of town, but are worthy of mention because people plan day trips around them!
Naples – Take advantage of our Drive-Thru service or come inside and see all the flavors for your self! You can relax and watch the world go by on one of our Adirondack Chairs on the hill, or an outdoor picnic table.
Canandaigua – Choose from our great selection of home churned ice creams, non-dairy Dole Whip, and soft-serve custard.
25. Spotted Duck
Penn Yan – Over 95% of our ingredients are either certified organic or grown following the same guidelines. What this means for you is the healthiest ice-cream you can find that actually tastes good! Our lovely Ancona ducks supply us with delicious, rich eggs that make the creamiest custard, and our gardens provide us with delectable fruits.
26. Seneca Farms
Penn Yan – All ice creams are hand swirled with their goodies of fruits, nuts, fudges, or candies and are made fresh on the premises every week!
Bloomfield – All Dole Whip flavors are Lactose Free, Fat Free, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, and Cholesterol Free. All of our ice cream is available in a regular cone, waffle cone, or in a dish. Or you can try our waffle bowl sundaes, shark bites, or a traditional sundae.
28. Purity Ice Cream
Ithaca – In 1998, Bruce and Heather Lane bought Purity with an eye towards revitalizing this Finger Lakes icon. We still use Leo’s original recipes for ice Cream the way it used to be made–small batches, with local, high quality ingredients, including BGH-free milk from upstate NY farms.
Interlaken – Homemade flavors include exceptional versions of the classics as well as unique and seasonal offerings such as Lavender, Maple Bacon, Ultimate Fudge Brownie, and our famous Seneca Salt Caramel. Flavors (currently over 200!) are produced on a rotation, with about thirty scooped at a time.
Lockport – We partner with the remarkable amount of talent in our hometown to create amazing frozen creations with a Buffalo twist. Our shop is located right above the historic Flight of Five lock system on the Erie Canal.
Lewiston – Hibbard’s Original Frozen Custard has been family owned and seasonally operated since 1939.
Corning – Purity creations served in the charming ambiance of a Victorian Ice Cream Parlor.
33. Chill & Grill
Palmyra – Aside from the fact that they make amazing ice cream cakes, they also sell enormous ice cream cookie sandwiches that are straight out of your dreams. (onlyinyourstate.com)
Dansville – serves Perry’s (Akron) ice cream.
35. Dippity Do Dahs
Corning – It all starts with a local dairy co-op in Western, NY. We add premium ingredients from around the world and across the street.
Caledonia, serves Gifford’s (Maine) ice cream. 50s style atmosphere with period-correct beverages, malts, floats, phosphates, and egg creams.
You can’t buy happiness but you can buy ice cream and that’s pretty much the same thing.