With all of the local desserts that Montclair and the surrounding area has to offer, it is only fitting that the Essex County food scene has a variety of ice cream choices and cold treats during the warm New Jersey spring/summer months. Residents and visitors can find endless spots to get their ice cream fix – from soft serve to any topping imaginable – there are some local spots in Essex County that are surely the “cream” of the crop in North Jersey. Read on for our guide to all things ice cream in Essex County.
APEM Creamery | 870 Broad Street, Bloomfield
(Photo credit: APEM Creamery)
Fear not, this Bloomfield creamy is reopening in April 2022 for the warmer months ahead. APEM Creamery is a gelato and sorbet shop brought to the area by Jersey native Alex Saneski. After operating a gelato business in California and traveling the world, he decided to come home to New Jersey and provide seasonal and simple treats. Vanilla bean, salty caramel, and other seasonal options are just a few of the must-try flavors.
Applegate Farm | 616 Grove Street, Montclair
(Photo credit: @applegatefarmic)
Applegate Farm – a local staple – recently celebrated its 173rd anniversary as it continues the motto of serving #SweetScoopsFromThePast. The summer hotspot has almost every variation of hard ice cream, soft serve, and toppings one could possibly dream of in an old-fashioned farmhouse-style venue. The farm store also sells pies, ice cream cakes, chocolates, apple cider donuts, and other novelties.
Absolute Zero Ice Cream | 410 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair
(Photo credit: @absolutezeroicecream)
The staff hand-makes ice cream rolls, starting with fresh milk and cream to create a base. The shop proceeds to mix in fresh fruit or cookies for additional flavor before rolling up the mixture to create Thai-inspired ice cream rolls. These treats are unique to the area, and a bonus: there are rotating vegan options.
Benvenuti Montclair | 20 Church Street, Montclair
(Photo credit: @benvenutimontclair)
Two first-generation Italian-American families — the Browns and the Mazzeos — bring an authentic Italian gelato and café experience right here to the heart of New Jersey. They were inspired by the quintessential Italian experience of strolling through town, after dinner, enjoying gelato. The gelato is made in-house, and flavors change regularly. There are also vegan, gluten-free, and CBD-infused gelatos available.
Dippy Sippy | 290 Elmwood Ave, Maplewood
A sweet addition to Essex County, Dippy Sippy is the place to be on a warm NJ night. Known for its open mic nights, this local eatery is serving up more than just ice cream. Dippy Sippy is a fun place for the whole family to hang out, plus both the ice cream and desserts are the best way to satisfy that sweet craving.
Read More: The Ultimate Guide to Desserts in Montclair
Guerriero Gelato | 571 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair
(Photo credit: @guerrierogelato)
This local franchise originally started in Caldwell and has made its way to Montclair providing locals with dozens of gelato, hard ice cream, and Italian ice flavors. The shop even represented New Jersey in the 2021 Gelato World Masters. There are vegan and gluten-free options, and patrons can pre-order treats online.
Holsten’s | 1063 Broad St, Bloomfield
(Photo credit: @holstensicecream)
Satisfy your sweet tooth like Tony Soprano would. While Holsten’s is known for being the site of the finale of HBO series The Sopranos, this full-fledged restaurant is particularly known for its homemade ice cream. The Bloomfield staple boasts popular ice cream flavors including vanilla fudge, mint chip, coffee chip, and butter pecan.
il laboratorio del gelato | 598 Valley Road, Montclair
(Photo credit: @icecreamlabmontclair)
Newer to the Montclair dessert scene, il laboratorio del gelato has already been making waves in North Jersey. The authentic gelato shop follows the original artisanal Italian method of gelato-making in order to create exceptional gelato and sorbet which includes dense texture, superior consistency, and pure flavors. The shop sources ingredients locally to ensure its freshness and create the ice cream from scratch.
Let’s Yo!! Montclair | 31 Valley Road, Montclair
(Photo credit: @letsyomontclairnj)
With few locations in New Jersey, this shop is known for its extensive options of self-serve nonfat, low fat, no-sugar-added, tart, and premium frozen yogurts with unlimited toppings including sweet treats, and healthier fruit and nut options. While we know it’s not *technically* ice cream, Let’s Yo!! Montclair has can’t miss vanilla and chocolate plant-based options – along with a handful of custards, gelato, ice cream, and dairy-free sorbets are also regularly available in-store and for delivery.
Livingston Creamery | 129 S Livingston Avenue, Livingston
(Photo credit: @livingstoncreamery)
A family-owned neighborhood ice cream shop, Livingston Creamery has a ton of interesting, unique, and vegan options galore. The staff is incredibly friendly, and will be patient with you while you taste test some of the ice cream flavors (the best part of going for ice cream!) By the way, don’t sleep on their ice cream cakes for your next birthday celebration – yum.
Mark + Julie’s | 476 Pleasant Valley Way, West Orange
(Photo credit: @markandjulies)
Ice cream cones, sundaes, milkshakes, smoothies, frozen chocolate-covered bananas, oh my! Mark and Julie’s Homemade Ice Cream is exactly what you’d expect from your local gem. This West Orange spot has been rated some of the best ice cream by NJ media outlets, and once you visit – you’ll understand why.
Mosi 55 | 113 S Livingston Avenue, Livingston
(Photo credit: @mosi55livingston)
Find rolled ice cream, bubble tea, and other tasty unique treats at this Livingston shop. The presentation of this rolled ice cream is exactly what you’ll be craving on a summer night. And you name a topping, this shop will probably have it.
Nasto’s Ice Cream Co. | 236-40 Jefferson Street, Newark
(Photo credit: @nastosicecream)
Founded in 1939 by the late Frank Sr. and Angelina, Nasto’s Ice Cream Co. began as a neighborhood mom and pop. Nasto’s is not only a little piece of history in Newark, but it offers endless options of creative ice cream and gelato flavors such as holy cannoli, sea salt caramel pretzel, guava, and more.
The Towne Scoop | 542b Bloomfield Avenue, Verona
(Photo credit: @thetownescoop)
With the nickname “Verona’s Favorite Ice Cream Parlor”, The Towne Scoop is an ideal old-fashioned, hometown ice cream gem. You can expect expert scoopers sporting crisp white shirts with a maroon apron and a fancy black bow tie. Oh, and delicious soft serve, hard, and Italian ice flavors.
The Village Ice Cream Parlour | 185 Maplewood Avenue, Maplewood
Family summer night hack — take your favorite ice cream or frozen yogurt treat to the train station parking lot, where you can sit on a bench and watch the trains arrive/depart. Village Ice Cream Parlour is right across the street from the Maplewood train station, and it’s the perfect place to treat yourself this season. We should also mention that the staff is just wonderful at this local gem.