Best ice cream on Long Island

"Your Favorite Sunday" with two scoops of homemade chocolate ice cream, hot fudge, whipped cream, a cherry and sprinkles at Star Confectionery in Riverhead. Credit: Randee Daddona

No matter where you are on Long Island, you're never far from homemade ice cream. Here's a sampling of independent shops that make it.

NASSAU

Krisch's Restaurant & Ice Cream Parlour

11 Central Ave., Massapequa

As seen on "Man vs. Food," this family-friendly ’50s-style diner boasts two food challenges: the Massapequa Monsta cheeseburger that you eat in an hour for a free T-shirt, and the Kitchen Sink challenge, a 10-scoop banana split served in a portable kitchen sink that they crown with a raging sparkler. There's more approachable kitsch, too, like cotton candy and Rice Krispies ice cream as well as 20 different sundaes including the mini waffle ($9.50). More info: 516-797-3149, krischs.com

Classic toasted almond and coconut ice cream at Krisch's in...

Classic toasted almond and coconut ice cream at Krisch's in Massapequa.  Credit: Jeremy Bales

Frozen Cow Ices and Cream 

300 Lido Blvd., Lido Beach

It took some serious scoops to open an ice cream store a block away from Lido Beach's Marvel, but the owners of Frozen Cow have an entirely different approach. The emphasis is on inventive flavors such as sea-salt caramel, and a breakfast special, made with maple syrup and bits of bacon and Belgian waffles. More info: 516-665-3997, frozencowicesandcream.com

Itgen's

211 Rockaway Ave., Valley Stream

Itgen's serves what may be Long Island's best hot fudge. It's deep, dark and not too sweet, and, as is proper for hot fudge, it solidifies upon contact with ice cream. This is not to slight the homemade ice cream, hand-whipped cream or old-fashioned desserts such as the Flat Car (pound cake, ice cream, hot fudge and whipped cream) and the Park Avenue (chocolate and lemon ice creams, sliced bananas, marshmallow sauce and whipped cream). In 2018, ownership passed from the Itgen family to Grace Zhao and Yan Zhang, who have ever so slightly modernized the dining room but haven’t changed the food one bit. More info: 516-825-7444, itgensrestaurant.com

Marvel Frozen Dairy 

258 Lido Blvd., Lido Beach and 1 National Blvd., Long Beach

Lido Beach's iconic Marvel ice cream stand got new owners in 2014, but aside from a fresh coat of paint, the Fragioudakis family hasn't changed a thing. Folks still line up to get Marvel's signature brown bonnet, wherein a fully loaded cone or cup is upended and then dipped into a vat of melted chocolate that instantly hardens, forming a crisp shell. More info: 516-889-4232 (Lido Beach), 516-240-1159 (Long Beach)

The signature brown bonnet cone at Marvel Frozen Dairy in...

The signature brown bonnet cone at Marvel Frozen Dairy in Lido Beach is dipped in chocolate and sprinkles. Credit: Bruce Gilbert

Henry's Confectionery 

8 Glen St., Glen Cove

Henry's has been serving Glen Cove residents since 1929. For years, the store was owned by the Wolke family; Joseph Valensisi bought it in 2000 and has continued the tradition of classic luncheonette fare and homemade ice cream. More info: 516-671-3222, facebook.com/henrysconfectionery

Hildebrandt's 

84 Hillside Ave., Williston Park

Recently revamped by its new owners, the iconic Hildebrandt's has a gorgeous tin ceiling that gives the 96-year-old restaurant an air of sophistication. New co-owner Spencer Singer is still dedicated to making homemade ice cream and fountain drinks, like the syrupy sweet lime Rickey, a tall glass of tangy cherry soda in a glass that sits in a retro steel holder. It's not on the menu board but if you ask, the server will still make you a pie smash ($8.50), putting a slice into a steel shaker to be smashed together with ice cream. More info: 516-741-0608, hildebrandtsrestaurant.com
 

Smusht

158 Main St., Port Washington

For decades, Steve Edelson had a vision for a shop where homemade ice cream would be smushed (smusht!) between homemade cookies and then rolled in the topping (siding?) of your choice. In May 2023, that vision became a reality. Choose chocolate-chip (regular or vegan) or funfetti cookies and fill them with any one of a score of flavors such as Aztec chocolate, blueberry and dulce de leche. More info: 516-234-0580, smusht.com

Sweet Treats on the Wharf 

405 Main St., Port Washington

In the nearly two decades that Douglas Shepardson has run Sweet Treats on the Wharf, he has produced most of the frozen desserts known to man: ice cream, soft serve, frozen yogurt, Italian ice, sorbet and shave ice, a Hawaiian specialty in which finely ground ice is topped with sweet, colorful, fruit-flavored syrup, resulting in a refreshing solid-going-slushy beverage. Buy a cup, then stroll onto Inspiration Wharf for one of the best views on the North Shore. More info: 516-708-1706

Chocolate chip ice cream is served in a cookie cone...

Chocolate chip ice cream is served in a cookie cone at Sweet Treats on the Wharf in Port Washington. Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

International Delight Cafe 

322 Bedford Ave., Bellmore

The frozen treat here falls somewhere between ice cream and gelato. Like gelato, there's very little air whipped into it, but most of the flavors have a fat content (12% or more) that put them in the ice cream category. Flavors are numerous and Baroque, as are the frozen desserts made with them. More info: 516-409-5772, idcgelato.com

Hicksville Sweet Shop 

75 Broadway, Hicksville

The unassuming shop is a throwback to when luncheonettes made their own ice cream, sauces and syrups as well as candies and molded chocolates. That blue-collar spirit still stands at the almost century-old shop, which has been run by Phillip Zouras and his family since 1974. He not only makes his own ice cream, but also his own syrups and chocolate treats sold at the front of the store. The chocolate ice cream and chocolate syrup make for outstanding malteds and sodas. Cash only. More info: 516-931-0130

Frozenside

3286 Long Beach Rd., Oceanside

Charlie Mattina evolved this former Carvel to make his own flavors in his own way with his own ingredients, such as fresh bananas in his banana ice cream. Mattina also makes his own syrups and sauces and his own Italian ices. More info: 516-286-0077, frozenside.business.site

Cotton candy and cookie monster ice cream at Frozenside in Oceanside.

Cotton candy and cookie monster ice cream at Frozenside in Oceanside. Credit: Brittainy Newman

Marshall's Ice Cream Bar 

4276 Merrick Rd., Massapequa

Marshall's is the sweet rejoinder to the savory Massapequa landmark, All American Burger, that shares its parking lot. The building retains the look and feel of the Carvel it started as in 1952, but this is an independently owned shop that makes its own ice cream. Marshall's makes a mean malted. More info: 516-798-9723 

SUFFOLK

Coyle's

75 Howells Rd., Bay Shore and 509 Main St., Islip

Coyle’s does not stick to the keep-it-simple school of ice cream making. Kathy Manzione and John Proto, who took over from the Coyles in 2017, have only upped the ante on the 60 flavors (witness Mama K’s peanut butter and jelly, Al’s dirty banana) and concoctions such as the waffle-bowl sundaes and strawberry shortcake ice cream cake. But you can still get classic sodas, shakes, malteds and egg creams. More info: coylesicecream.com 

The "Monster Mash" sundae with chocolate ice cream, broken waffle...

The "Monster Mash" sundae with chocolate ice cream, broken waffle cone, caramel, fudge, peanut butter sauce and marshmallows at Coyle's in Bay Shore. Credit: Daniel Brennan

Ice Cream Cottage

1590 Montauk Hwy., Mastic

This little Mastic "cottage" has been making ice cream since 1980, serving it in an unparalleled variety of cones including sugar, wafer, double wafer, waffle, chocolate waffle, chocolate chip, chocolate wafer, pretzel and M&M's. Ice cream flavors include chocolate overdose (fudge, chips, brownies), black forest (black Bordeaux cherries and broken-up chocolate shell) and chocolate peanut-butter cup. More info: 631-395-3580, icecreamcottage.net

Bridgehampton Candy Kitchen 

2391 Main St., Bridgehampton

Little has changed at Bridgehampton Candy Kitchen since it opened in 1925, the ice cream is still homemade. Fruit flavors, often made with local fruit in season, are a specialty. More info: 631-537-9885

Alkemy

260 Main St., Huntington

Individual portions here are made to order and in less than a minute — thanks to the use of liquid nitrogen — freeze instantly. And the ice cream isn’t just “cool,” it’s made from scratch using local dairy, organic fruit, vanilla from Madagascar and chocolate from Belgium. More info: 855-255-3690, alkemyicecream.com

S’mores at Alkemy in Huntington.

S’mores at Alkemy in Huntington. Credit: Randee Daddona

Greenport Creamery 

142 Main St., Greenport

Since 1979, Sandpiper Ice Cream has kept Greenport in cups, cones and sundaes. In 2019, Lillian Stachtiaris, a Nassau pediatrician and the daughter of founders Lillian and Achilles Stachtiaris, renovated and relaunched the shop as Greenport Creamery, still serving homemade ice cream. More info: 631-333-2818, greenportcreamery.com

Strong Island Ice Cream 

127 Smithtown Blvd., Nesconset

Strong Island opened in late 2019. Its owner, Paul Cairo, used to be a partner at Krisch's in Massapequa and at the new shop, he's making about 30 flavors of hard ice cream and plans to introduce soft serve soon. More info: 631-656-5930

Ice Cream Social 

1153 Jericho Tpke., Commack

The successor to Granny’s Ice Cream is owned by Rob McCue, a veteran chef whose innovative flavors include blueberry-lavender, lemon-poppyseed and Mexican hot chocolate (with chilies and cinnamon). It’s not only McCue’s imagination that runs wild, it’s his subconscious. This was the case with strawberry-Oreo with marshmallow swirl, whereas pecan-maple-bacon was the product of his waking mind. Also on offer are vegan "ice cream," Dole Whip, the cult pineapple-flavored soft-serve, handmade chocolates and custom ice-cream cakes. More info: 631-543-7501, icecreamsocialli.com 

A cone of vegan ice cream at Ice Cream Social...

A cone of vegan ice cream at Ice Cream Social in Commack. Credit: Randee Daddona

Lics 

74 Main St., Northport

Lics ("Little Ice Cream Store") has been making ice cream, gelato, ices and frozen yogurt for more than two decades. More recent developments include vegan offerings. More info: 631-757-9099, licsicecream.com

Milky Ways Ice Cream Cereal Bar

22 Clinton Ave., Huntington and 2229 Rte. 112, Coram

Placing an order here requires a number of decisions. Do you want your "swirlz" in a cup or an artisanal Brooklyn Konery cone? Your ice cream (vanilla, chocolate or strawberry) will be scooped into a churning contraption along with one of 18 breakfast cereals and then one of the friendly crew will pump it out, soft-serve-style, into your chosen receptacle. At which point it’s time to choose your toppings (various fruits, nuts and candies) and drizzles (chocolate, grape, caramel, strawberry, honey, marshmallow and peanut butter). 

Snowflake

1148 W. Main St., Riverhead

Snowflake's sundae flavors follow the North Fork's fruit harvest. The summer starts with strawberries and ends with peaches. Try either fresh fruit topping with your favorite flavor ice cream from the list of classics or the flavor of the week, or be a seasonal-fruit purist: strawberry ice cream with strawberry sauce, peach with peach. More info: 631-727-4394, snowflakeicecream.com

A sundae at Snowflake in Riverhead.

A sundae at Snowflake in Riverhead. Credit: Gordon M. Grant

Magic Fountain

9825 Main Rd., Mattituck

This North Fork ice cream stalwart is famous for its unexpected flavors. The roster is long and changes frequently, but it may include kulfi (an aromatic Indian confection), rainbow cookie, coconut jalapeño, olive oil or Grape-Nuts. Dairy-free varieties, such as vegan raspberry, also are available. More info: 631-298-4908, magicfountainlongisland.com

Pam’s Ice Cream Shoppe

195 Carleton Ave., East Islip

Pam’s started life as a Carvel and has been serving up homemade ice cream for more than 50 years. Among the signature flavors are cookies ’n’ mint, banana walnut, buried treasure and both chocolate and vanilla peanut-butter-chocolate chip. Have yours in a cup, cone, shake or soda or in a sundae topped with everything from hot fudge and butterscotch to black cherry and pineapple. Ice cream cakes and mudd pies too. More info: 631-581-9345

Old Fashioned Ice Cream 

1025 Straight Path, West Babylon

This neighborhood mainstay has hard and soft ice cream, ice cream cakes and more. The banana ice cream is a standout. More info: 631-669-3020

Cake sundae with yellow pound cake, cookie monster ice cream,...

Cake sundae with yellow pound cake, cookie monster ice cream, strawberry ice cream, whipped cream, strawberry drizzle, chocolate drizzle and a cherry on top at Old Fashioned Ice Cream in West Babylon. Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

McNulty's Ice Cream Parlor 

153 N. Country Rd., Miller Place

Opened in 1991, the shop's signature flavors include vanilla peanut butter, mint chunk, cherry vanilla, butter pecan, raspberry truffle and moose tracks. A favorite: the sandpail sundae, which comes complete with shovel and rake and a cherry on top. More info: 631-474-3543 

The Ice Cream Chick

46L Gerard St., Huntington

The Ice Cream Chick, which succeeds Herrell's Ice Cream, is descended from Long Island ice cream royalty. Owner Christine Cairo is a veteran of Krisch’s in Massapequa (which her brother owns) and is married to Paul Cairo (another Krisch’s alum who now owns Strong Island Ice Cream in Nesconset). She’s found a less-traditional ice cream culture in Huntington than she knew in Massapequa. Accordingly, she has introduced Twinkie (pound cake and pools of marshmallow crème) and chocolate mint cream (with green-hued buttercream and crushed Andes chocolate mints). The only holdovers from Herrell’s are the beloved chocolate whipped cream and the genuine chocolate (not chocolate-flavored) Guittard sprinkles. One item lifted directly from Krisch’s is the monumental "kitchen sink" sundae containing 10 ice creams, three toppings, two bananas, waffle wedges, whipped cream, sprinkles and cherries. More info: 631-673-1100, theicecreamchick.com

Mia’s Ice Cream Kitchen 

1245 Middle Country Rd., Selden

When Rich Lombardi first decided to open his shop, he figured he’d bring in the ice cream from a reputable producer. Then he fell down the ice-cream-making rabbit hole and discovered that it provided a perfect outlet for his creativity. “It’s like that saying about poker: It takes five minutes to learn, a lifetime to master.” Among his signature flavors are honey-sweetened lavender sky, Jack and Coke, cookie eruption (a tribute to Eddie Van Halen boasting four types of cookie) and South Asian-inspired rose-pistachio, orange-cardamom and kulfi. More info: 631-846-6452, miasicecreamkitchen.square.site

A chocolate ice cream cone at Mia's Ice Cream Kitchen...

A chocolate ice cream cone at Mia's Ice Cream Kitchen in Selden. Credit: Morgan Campbell

Roger's Frigate 

99 Main St., Port Jefferson

Roger's Frigate does it all: hard ice cream, soft serve ice cream, yogurt, candy, chocolates, gelato, popcorn, fudge, smoothies, cookies, chocolate-covered pretzels. For those seeking a slightly more restrained confection, there's the fruit cream blast, a combination of soft-serve vanilla ice cream and fruit sorbet blended — but not all the way — so you can discern the creaminess of the vanilla from the iciness of the sorbet. More info: 631-474-8888, portjeffersonfrigate.com

Sip'n Soda 

40 NY-27A, Southampton

This Southampton stalwart has been in the Parash family since 1958; little has changed since then. The "four queens" sundae features homemade chocolate syrup — a rarity — poured over four scoops of homemade ice cream, with whipped cream and a cherry. More info: 631-283-9752, sipnsoda.com

Star Confectionery 

4 E. Main St., Riverhead

Known by the locals as Papa Nick's, Star Confectionery has been in the Meras family since 1920 and is a landmark of downtown Riverhead. Inside is a long counter with wooden bar stools still attached to the mosaic tile floor, where patrons sip their malteds and milkshakes and party "like it's the 1920s," as the menu says. Homemade ice cream flavors include pistachio and butter pecan, and arrive in a decked out banana split called the Banana Royale ($12.50). More info: 631-727-9873

"Your Favorite Sunday" with two scoops of homemade chocolate ice...

"Your Favorite Sunday" with two scoops of homemade chocolate ice cream, hot fudge, whipped cream, a cherry and sprinkles at Star Confectionery in Riverhead. Credit: Randee Daddona

Sweet Sensations

36 E. Main St., Babylon

Tucked away in a little shopping center off Main Street, this may be the best-hidden ice cream parlor on Long Island. But once you’re inside, Sweet Sensations wows you with dozens of flavors of hard and soft ice cream (with plenty of vegan options) plus sundaes and shakes, ice cream cakes, Italian ices, coffee drinks and much more. More info: 631-893-0350, sweetsensationsofbabylon.com

Tipsy Scoop

891B W. Beech St., Long Beach

Booze-infused ice cream is the lingua franca at this cute shop, where surfboards and giant colored sprinkles provide the decoration. Vanilla bean bourbon, cake-batter vodka martini, tequila Mexican "hot" chocolate and spiked hazelnut coffee are among the flavors, and on the dairy-free front, sorbet (strawberry white sangria and mango margarita) abides. More info: 516-608-0578, tipsyscoop.com

Northport Sweet Shop

55 Main St., Northport

In business since before World War II, this luncheonette's homemade ice cream is crafted into all sorts of old-fashioned concoctions such as "milk frosts" (a milkshake garnished with a scoop of ice cream) and French ice cream sodas (topped with fresh whipped cream). Also: a unique lemon custard and a sundae with divine hot fudge. More info: 631-261-3748, northportsweetshop.com

Pete Panarites makes a hot fudge sundae at Northport Sweet...

Pete Panarites makes a hot fudge sundae at Northport Sweet Shop. Credit: Linda Rosier

Andi Berlin contributed to this story.

 
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