A consumer and her dog stand outside of Main Street Creamery & Cafe in Wethersfield. The two stopped in to get an ice cream after a grueling workout at Mission Fitness in Glastonbury
Ice Cream has become the unofficial food of summer ever since Howard Johnson, Billy Moll, and Robert King released their smash hit Ice Cream (I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream) in 1927. So this week we take a break from our normal fitness series to replenish some of the calories that we’ve lost, as we try to settle the great ice cream debate. Here’s our cold take of the top 10 local creameries in the area and what people are saying about them. The list below is in alphabetical order, so ranking them from 1 to 10 is up to you. Enjoy.
Cromwell Creamery: 2 Willowbrook Rd, Cromwell
Family-owned establishment that has been in the delicious diary business for over 40 years. Proudly uses real milk fat to make a premium ice cream and other frozen desserts, including soft served. Large selections of flavors, including a variety of special flavors depending on the season. Cute venue with a walk-up window and welcoming staff. A must visit for any chilly confection connoisseur.
What people are saying…“This ice cream is the real deal. Expect a crowd if it's a nice evening. If you are trying to decide between Cromwell Creamery or the Friendly's across the street, this would definitely be my preference of the two - shop & eat local! It is cash only, so don't forget to check your wallet before heading out.” -Victoria E, Cromwell
Froyo World: 1107 Silas Deane Hwy, Wethersfield
One of the first frozen yogurt places to open locally and the self-proclaimed #1 frozen yogurt in New England and Puerto Rico, according to their website. Nice blend of frozen yogurt and sorbet flavors, as well as a vast variety of toppings. Perfect place to go with the kids because of the possibilities are endless. Also great for a date, because they’re open late.
What people are saying…“Kids love these frozen yogurt places because they get to assert their independence and autonomy by piling an assortment of discordant flavors into a cup. Mine is no exception. I get the privilege of paying for this frozen soup by the ounce. These places are all the same. Decent variety of frozen yogurt flavors, too many candy toppings and not enough fruit and pleasant enough staff.” –Ashika B, Hartford
Kiwi Spoon: 397 Cromwell Avenue #5, Rocky Hill
Frozen yogurt shop with a twist, offering acai bowls and a juice bar with smoothies. Lots of options to choose from and the do-it-yourself mix-and-match is a hit for all ages, especially kids. The inside has a cool vibe with appealing colors and there is plenty of outside seating as well. Great name, location, and atmosphere.
What people are saying…“Best Froyo this side of the Mississippi! Well I don't know if that is geographically correct but I do know it’s GOOD! The only place I know that has a scoop for the cookie dough (yes not the little dry bits but actually scoopable cookie dough!) This place is great, and the prices are reasonable for froyo, on Tuesdays they have $7 all you can fill! If you are ever in the Rocky Hill area don't hesitate to try it out, it’s great stuff! ” –Samantha V, Hartford
Main Street Creamery and Café: 271 Main St, Wethersfield
Fixture of Old Wethersfield with over 50 flavors of ice cream made locally, using many regional ingedients. Soft-serve, sorbet, non-dairy, vegan, and gluten-free options available as well, and coffee and espresso made to order. Outdoor seating is available and the curb appeal is second to none. Hard to beat, especially in the heat.
What people are saying…“This is a great shop for ice cream lovers of all ages. Walking toward the cases, I spied; ice cream sandwiches, ice cream cakes, 6 or 7 cone choices, hard ice cream, soft serve & toppings galore! I say this was the creamiest ice cream that I have ever had. There are other food and candy options, if you're not a fan of ice cream. Tip: There is an ATM, if you don't have a check or cash on you.” –Janice M, Middletown
Mortensen Dairy Ice Cream: 3145 Berlin Turnpike, Newington
A tradition unlike any other, serving homemade ice cream in Connecticut for over 100 years. All of the charm of a traditional ice cream shop with the freshest in local ingredients and the décor to match the charm. Specialize in seasonal flavors with one of the friendliest staffs around. A favorite local hangout with a tradition unlike any other.
What people are saying…“This place is great! It's been around forever, the ice cream is homemade, the medium is the size of larges at some other places and there are soooooo many flavors! The employees are helpful and will let you sample several flavors until you make up your mind. There's some seating indoors as well as outdoors to fit whichever mood you're in. You can even get a four scoop sundae or cup of ice cream! They have an Almond Joy flavor and Coffee Oreo I love, and I especially love Roasty Toasty Coconut. Mmm, but the Graham Central Station is pretty amazing too. Then they have flavors like peach or banana, made with real fruit! If you've never been here, you're missing out!” –Tiffany G, Newington
Scoops and Sprinkles Ice Cream Shop: 2229 Silas Deane Hwy, Rocky Hill
This gem on the Silas Deane offers a little of everything. Plenty of ice cream flavors and other creative creamy specialty drinks, along with candies, chocolates, baked goods and more. Walk-up window with outside seating and plenty of room in the interior. Local hot spot with endless frozen possibilities.
What people are saying…“Great ice cream, great service and very friendly family oriented place. Wouldn’t go anywhere else.” -Eric M, Rocky Hill
“One word - Yum!!! Popped in late night for a sundae - left with a happy belly. There's a bunch of flavors to choose from [which can make it tricky] so if you always get the same thing, try something new! Throw some toppings on there, get crafty with it. It hit the spot.” –Michelle R, Rocky Hill
Stew Leonard’s: 3475 Berlin Turnpike, Newington
Not quite the inventory of the other ice cream shops, but they make up for it with amazingly creamy concoctions. 40-year tradition of serving tasty soft serve on the go, with a handful of toppings and cone options. A shopping trip to Stew’s wouldn’t be complete without a stop at their dairy bar. Moo is the word at Stew’s.
What people are saying…“Going to Stew Leonard’s is an event and I like atmosphere when you go to the ice cream section. I’m not a big ice cream fan but for some reason when I go to Stew Leonard’s I seem to stop off there. I think their Sundaes are great, and as far as local ice creams go Stew Leonard’s is one of, if not the best.” –Cody B, New Hartford
sweetFrog: 34 Shunpike Road #28, Cromwell
Bright colors and super clean environment make for both a fun and worry-free experience. Expect regular visits from the companies’ loveable mascots, Scoop and Cookie, and changing flavors to fit the season. Fun fact…The F.R.O.G. in sweetFrog stands for Fully Rely On God.
What people are saying…“Seriously how can you not be satisfied with something you make yourself and get exactly what you want. The toppings are always full and the place is clean. Seeing the waffle cones as an option was a reminiscent throw back for me to when there was a TCBY only a few doors down from here.” Edward L, Berlin
Vecchitto's Italian Ice: 323 deKoven Drive, Middletown
Middletown landmark that dates back to 1930 and the only place on the list that specializes in Italian ice. Traditional recipes are still used and the place is packed, especially on weekends. Also serving gelato, Vecchitto’s is only seasonal and closes in September so there’s no time to waste.
What people are saying…“Always fresh, never crunchy ice. The people are always super friendly. Treat yourself to Almond flavor. It's one of the few places in the country that sells it! An absolute summer treat!” –Rachel S, Denver (CO)
0degree: 312 Main St, Middletown
Newest ice cream craze has reach Middletown. Thai ice cream is an interactive way to watch decorative ice cream being made in a funky, new wave setting. Preset options make ordering very easy and then the show begins. Ice cream artists put on a personalized show with every order. A mixture of dessert and entertainment on Main Street, how do you go wrong?
What people are saying…“A unique, interesting way to get your ice cream fix! I've never had Thai ice cream prior to visiting 0degree, so it was a completely new experience for me. Basically, you walk in, tell them what you want from the menu board, they put the liquid dairy mixture on a frozen surface, then they mix it around until it can be scraped off into cool ice cream rolls (no pun intended). After, you get to put more toppings on and dig in! It's not exactly cheap, but it's also not too expensive for what you get (freshly made ice cream right in front of your eyes to your specifications). The ice cream looks pretty, is fresh, and tastes great! If you're ever in the area, it's definitely worth a try. The only downside is that if there are a lot of people in the shop ordering ice cream, you're going to be waiting a while because the ice cream is made-to-order.” Ariel R, Middletown
Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin