The Top 4 ice cream joints near you in New Jersey
🍦 These are TripAdvisor's top four NJ ice cream shops broken down by region
🍦 Some not only have rich ice cream, but also a rich history
🍦 One shop is cash only
As we get ready to dive into summer, it’s time to start thinking about the season’s food staples: hamburgers, hot dogs, watermelon, and yes, ice cream!
There are so many ice cream shops in New Jersey to choose from, it’s hard to go wrong when ordering a cone, a sundae or a milkshake.
But TripAdvisor has picked the four best ice cream joints in New Jersey by region: North, Central, South, and the Jersey Shore, of course.
Here are their picks. Do you agree?
Denville Dairy (Morris County)
34 Broadway #A, Denville
Open Sunday, Tuesday to Thursday 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Closed on Monday.
In business for over 50 years, Denville Dairy is a family-run establishment that prides itself in making the best possible ice cream, sherbet, and Italian ice. According to the website, the Fine family rotates through over 100 specialty and seasonal flavors. 28 flavors are available at any one time.
You can also shop a full line of take-home orders including cakes, pies, and pre-packaged ice cream. Enjoy ice cream sandwiches, mini sundaes, Dixie cups, as well as fresh fat-free, low sugar and sugar-free products.
The Sherbet Cooler Dessert Cake is very popular. For $33.45, there are two flavored cakes of your choosing. One is a homemade orange sherbet and vanilla ice cream cake topped with an orange-flavored whipped topping. The other is the homemade watermelon sherbet and vanilla ice cream cake topped with a watermelon-flavored whipped topping.
Expect a wait during the summer!
Here’s what some people are saying about Denville Dairy on TripAdvisor:
"Both the hard and soft-serve ice creams made here exceeded our expectations. Lots of homemade flavors to choose from, too!"
"Best ice cream I have ever had. Great toppings and variety and is excellent. 1,000,000 out of 10. I would really suggest going here"
"I must visit Denville Dairy, even on a cold February day. The place is always clean and bright. The service friendly and helpful. The are plenty of flavors to choose from. The ice cream itself is fresh, smooth and creamy....so good."
"They have great milkshakes and ice cream here and the owners are good people! I held a giveaway at this place and everyone that had the ice cream loves it!"
Polar Cub (Hunterdon County)
388 U.S. Highway 22 W, Whitehouse Station
Open 7 days a week from 12 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.
Polar Cub has been around since the 1950s. Its current owner purchased the shop in December 1998.
“It is our hope that we continue to embody the values that we instilled around 70 years ago and that we continue to give every customer the best experience possible,” according to the website.
Hard and soft ice cream flavors are available, as well as sundaes, shakes, flurries, ice cream cakes, ice cream sandwiches, dipped bananas, and non-dairy options too.
Don’t forget. It’s cash only!
Some TripAdvisor reviews:
"Polar Cub has the best ice cream in NJ! Love the soft-serve especially. I have been a customer for over 20 years."
"Delicious ice cream, local, been around A LONG TIME, can be long line but goes fast. Terrific prices, lots of variety, small shaded area w tables for seating"
"This is the place for a sprinkle soft serve. Peanut butter shake was sweet and perfect. Adorable and great price"
"Always a treat. Cash only, fresh ice cream, families have been eating here for generations. The line moves fast. Excellent soft serve. If you are watching your weight get the baby cup, not as bad."
Leo’s Ice Cream Company (Burlington County)
7 Tomlinson Mill Road, Ste 5, Medford
Open Mon-Thurs 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday 12 p.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Leo’s Ice Cream Company is not only rich in ice cream, but it’s rich in history. The ice cream company is also the maker of Leo’s Famous Yum Yum since 1936.
What is a Yum Yum? It’s like an Italian water ice, sherbet, and gelato all rolled into one, but not really. It’s very unique with a taste all its own. Leo’s Famous Yum-Yum was invented by Giovanni Leo, who sold it to street vendors in metal cans packed in wood barrels surrounded by ice and salt, according to the website.
The dessert lasted on ice for about 14 hours, and became the leading frozen dessert treat not only in Camden in the 1950s, but in all of South Jersey. No other ice cream shop has been able to copy the smooth texture and taste of the Yum-Yum, they wrote.
“Since 1980, using Giovanni’s original recipes, Leo’s Ice Cream Company has contributed to expand through his grandchildren and great-grandchildren,” it read.
There are 28 Yum Yum flavors to choose from including bubble gum, cotton candy, orange-pineapple, root beer, coconut and amaretto.
Enjoy more than 75 flavors of ice cream including mint chocolate chip, vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, blueberry, aging balsamic strawberry, coffee toffee and The Sinatra (peach ice cream with chunks of dark chocolate).
There is something for everyone at this classic ice cream joint!
Here are some TripAdvisor reviews:
"Our family loves Leo's ice cream. It is all homemade and there are some really great flavors. A favorite is 'Sinatra', which is a peach ice cream with chunks of dark chocolate. Can't beat the mint chocolate chip or coffee chip flavors! It is a must - from spring to fall."
"We travel a lot and we love ice cream. None of it compares with the quality and the balance of Leo's!!"
"A little spot that is a magnet for locals who know authentic, homemade ice cream. Nothing fancy here, just great freshly made products, lots of smiles, a couple of tables inside, a couple outside, and lots of people enjoying a special treat most summer evenings. If you are in Medford, or near it, don't pass this place by."
"Leo's makes great ice cream classic flavors as well as some unusual and unique flavors. I had a Sea Salt Carmel ice cream and also tasted their Key Lime ice cream. Both were delicious, but I really enjoyed my choice. They also make gelato in several flavors."
Day’s Ice Cream (Monmouth County)
48 Pitman Avenue, Ocean Grove
Open Memorial to Labor Day 7 days a week from 12 noon to 10 p.m.
Day’s Ice Cream is a gem at the Jersey Shore with a long, rich history. In fact, it is Ocean Grove’s oldest continuously operating business.
For 138 years, Ocean Grove residents and visitors have been flocking to Day’s for ice cream.
“Day’s opened at its original and current Pitman Avenue location in August 1876, according to an undated newspaper article in the archives of the Historical Society of Ocean Grove.
After opening the business, brothers William and Pennington Day branched out and opened an ice cream garden in Asbury Park.
For years, customers have wanted another Day’s. So, in 2017, Day’s Ice Cream opened its new outpost in Ocean Grove at 4 North End Boardwalk at the Dunes Café.
But in April 2019, the Dunes Café suffered a massive fire and all was lost. So, now Day’s Ice Cream continues to operate out of its original Pitman Avenue location.
Enjoy a piece of Monmouth County history while enjoying some of the best ice cream flavors around including toasted coconut, black raspberry chocolate chip, almond joy, salted caramel pretzel, hazelnut truffle latte, and more.
There are also milkshakes, floats, sundaes low-fat frozen yogurt, sugar-free ice cream, dairy-free soy, coconut milk, and almond milk options.
So take a step back in time and enjoy..
"We have already been here 3x this week! The best ice cream. Well worth waiting in line. Fun to meet others waiting with their dogs."
"Great variety and creamy ice cream. Very quaint. My grandkids were smitten. Made me think a bit of Disney."
"LOVE Day's Ice Cream! The only ice cream I eat from May to October. So many flavors to chose from but, for this chocolate fan I repeatedly have Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel Truffle, Milky Way Bar, Chocolate Midnight Cookie, Chocoholic and Frozen Hot Chocolate (when available). I've been visiting Day's for years not only because of the exceptional ice cream, but the outstanding owners and staff. Day's Ice Cream is a great little piece of heaven in Ocean Grove."
"Delicious ice cream! Many unique flavors. Fast and friendly service. Nice covered sitting area to enjoy on a hot day. Highly recommend"
Do you agree with TripAdvisor's four New Jersey regional picks? Whatever you decide or wherever you go, you're sure to get a great ice cream dessert in New Jersey this summer.