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!
Table of Contents
- Best Handcrafted Ice Cream in the City of Rochester
- Best Handcrafted Ice Cream in Monroe County
- Best Regional Ice Cream Brands in Monroe County
- Best Custard in Monroe County
- Best Gelato in Monroe County
- Best Italian Ice in Monroe County
- Best Ice Cream Outside Monroe County
There is no possible way to rank these because they are all worth going out of your way for. Keep these in mind for National Ice Cream Day on the third “Sundae” in July.
You can’t buy happiness but you can buy ice cream and that’s pretty much the same thing.
Best Handcrafted Ice Cream Shops in the City of Rochester
1. Hedonist Artisan Ice Cream
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.
2. Eat Me Ice Cream
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.
Best Handcrafted Ice Cream Shops in Monroe County Towns & Villages
3. Pittsford Farms Dairy
Pittsford & Henrietta
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.
4. Bruster’s Real Ice Cream
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.
5. Moonlight Creamery
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.
6. Sweet Mist
Every custom ice cream creation is made fresh right in front of you, and completely customizable with over thousands of combinations compiled of various flavors, mix-ins, and toppings. They use liquid nitrogen to prepare the ice cream! Brought to you by the owners of Thali of India in the same plaza.
Best Ice Cream Shops serving Regional & Local Brands in Monroe County
7. Scoops on Gibbs
City of Rochester
Serves Gifford’s (Maine). Located in the old Tavern 58.
8. Netsins Ice Cream
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!
9. LuGia’s Ice Cream
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.
Serves Perry’s (Akron) hard ice cream, plus frozen custard, Italian lemon ices, shakes, flurries, floats, sundaes, ice cream cakes, turtle bars, wheels, and more!
Open year round, cash only.
12. iKON Ice Cream
Offers over 100 custard flavors plus serves Perry’s (Akron) hard ice cream.
13. Green Acre Farm & Nursery
14. i-Scream for Ice Cream at I-Square
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. Dipper Dan
Moffitt Family Owned and Operated for over 20 Years! Dipper Dan is open seasonally from April to October each year.
17. M. Sweet Retreat
18. Ben & Jerry’s RIT
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.
Best Custard in Monroe County
19. Abbott’s Frozen Custard
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 mid-April through 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
20. Royal Café Gelateria
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.
21. Oriens Café
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 Italian Ice in Monroe County
22. Rita’s Italian Ice
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!
23. Lynnie Lou’s Homemade Ice Cream
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.
24. Shark’s Ice Cream
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.
Sprinkles serves Purity, Upstate Dairy, Gifford’s, and Dole Whip.
26. Cheshire Farms Creamery
Choose from our great selection of home churned ice creams, non-dairy Dole Whip, and soft-serve custard.
27. Spotted Duck
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.
28. Seneca Farms
All ice creams are hand swirled with their goodies of fruits, nuts, fudges, or candies and are made fresh on the premises every week!
29. Yia Yia’s Ice Cream Shoppe
Serves Hershey‘s Ice Cream.
30. Purity Ice Cream
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.
31. Cayuga Lake Creamery
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.
32. Lake Effect Ice Cream
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.
33. Hibbard’s Custard
Hibbard’s Original Frozen Custard has been family owned and seasonally operated since 1939.
34. Old World Café & Ice Cream
Purity creations served in the charming ambiance of a Victorian Ice Cream Parlor.
35. Chill & Grill
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)
36. Middleton’s Frozen Custard
Serves Perry’s (Akron) ice cream.
37. Dippity Do Dahs
It all starts with a local dairy co-op in Western, NY. We add premium ingredients from around the world and across the street.
38. Nick Charlap’s Ice Cream
Family owned & operated for over 50 years! Nick Charlap’s specialty is producing premium homemade hard ice cream (40+ flavors), which has become widely known for it’s creamy decadence. Flavors like Cinnamon, Bourbon Praline Pecan, Cotton Candy, Peppermint Stick, and Cashew Caramel Crunch have put our small family business on the map.
39. Reminisce Soda Fountain
Serves Gifford’s (Maine) ice cream. 50s style atmosphere with period-correct beverages, malts, floats, phosphates, and egg creams.
40. A’s Sweets and Treats
A’s Sweets -n- Treats is a special place reminiscent of the 1930’s. Upon entering, classic hits play in the background. When you see the penny candy and novelty toys that are for sale, you will fall in love with our environment. Grab a burger or other delicious food item from our full menu or grab an ice cream while you enjoy the antique decor and the quiet, quaint dining room. Of course, you can always eat outside under the shade of an umbrella.
Enjoy all of our homemade ice creams and we offer custard in 48 plus flavors, with a variety of drinks and snacks!
42. Kish-a-wa Creamery
Come and enjoy an Artisan Crafted Creation, an Old Time Favorite or just a Ice Cream Cone. We carry Upstate Custard, Gifford’s, Perry’s, Ashby’s Sterling, Dean Farms, Turkey Hill – over 40 flavors. Hand crafted Ice Cream Creations using Upstate 12% Custard and Perry’s Hard ice cream. Unique and different combinations of inclusions – and willing to create combinations you suggest.
43. The Great Escape Ice Cream Parlor
Serves Hershey‘s Ice Cream. Our unique ice cream parlor is a must-see when visiting. A family owned and operated business for over 38 years, we’re proud to serve homemade ice creams, novelties, cakes, and Italian gelato, as well as a variety of popular vegan and non dairy options.
44. Bee Tee’s Drive-In
Serves Perry’s (Akron) ice cream. Try a Flying saucer…Mini Melts…or Flizzard, along with many other Bee Tee favorites. Family owned and operated, you get small town charm with big time value.
45. Mr. Coolee’s
They have 73 flavors of soft serve, 23 flavors of hard ice cream, lactose free Dole Whip (flavor will change periodically), Slushies, Sundaes, Shakes, and Floats.
46. Papa Jack’s
Serves Perry’s (Akron) ice cream. Papa Jack’s Grill is run by Nick and Kathy Cretekos, along with Papa Jack’s Ice Cream, which is right next door. The family has a long history in the restaurant business. Nick’s father, Jack, ran a restaurant in Rochester from 1964 to 1970. The family moved to Victor in 1970 when he and Nick’s mother, Anastasia, opened Cretekos Restaurant at 34 E. Main St. About seven years later, that business was sold and they moved to 14 Railroad Ave. where they opened the Whistlestop Arcade, which today is home to Mickey Finn’s restaurant.
47. Minnehan’s Restaurant and Fun Center
Serves Gifford’s (Maine) Premium hard ice cream, with chocolate and vanilla soft serve, blizzards and smoothies.
48. Reese’s Dairy Bar
There is much that makes Reese’s Dairy Bar unique in Cayuga County, first and foremost being the HOMEMADE products. Reese’s Hard Ice Creams, Hard & Soft Sherbets, Sorbets/Italian Ices, Ice Cream Cakes, Ice Cream Cupcakes, French Custard, Cremesicle Twist, Soft Black Raspberry, Very Berry Twist, Ice Cream Sandwiches, Chipwiches, Cremewiches, and Berrywiches are all made right at the 1422 Clark Street Road location, from family recipes that have been handed down, tinkered with, and perfected over the years.
49. Blondie’s Sip-n-Dip
Blondie’s has been a family run business for 20 yrs plus thank to Greg and Anne Miller and Peggy Johnston. My husband and I (Andy and Laura Pedro) purchased it in Dec of 2019.
Where are your favorite ice cream shops?
Share your thoughts with us in the comments. Your insight and experience is invaluable!