We all scream for ice cream. But which Central New York ice cream shops make us scream the loudest? Granted, I haven’t visited every single ice cream parlor in the area but these are my personal choices for most creative flavor selection, most popular, best homemade hard ice cream and most authentic gelato.
Most Creative Flavor Selection: Kimberly’s Ice Cream Factory
With unique and regional choices like the FM Buzz and NY Maple Syrup Walnut, what’s not to love? Kimberly’s used to have two locations: one in Manlius and one in Cazenovia. Now only the Manlius location remains, but the ice cream is better than ever. My personal favorites are Nutty Peanut Butter Cup and Lemon Crème, but there are over 25 delicious flavors to try. Be sure to start out with a ‘small’ as the ice cream is quite creamy, heavy and fulfilling!
8240 Route 92 Manlius, NY
Most Popular: Sno Top
Right in the heart of Manlius, Sno Top seems to be packed at all times of day. There are especially long lines on warm summer nights but the service is quick and the lines are orderly. They don’t make their own ice cream but the soft serve, especially the black raspberry flavor, is delicious. It’s hard to make a visit without running into someone you know!
315 Fayette Street Manlius, NY
Best Homemade Hard Ice Cream: Gannons Isle
Hands down, Gannons is delicious. I have fond memories of devouring favorites like Rocky Mountain Raspberry and Almond Bark after exhausting swim meets. With its bountiful outdoor seating and its 27 homemade flavors, Gannons is a must for all ice cream buffs.
1525 Valley Drive Syracuse, NY (315-469-8647)
4800 McDonald Rd. Shadybrook Plaza Syracuse, NY (315-475-1250)
Most Authentic Gelato: Gelato (Geddes Bakery)
If you have never experienced the phenomenon that is gelato, you must make your way out to North Syracuse to the Geddes Bakery. Gelato is an Italian delicacy that is softer and often healthier than ice cream. It is created with fresh whole milk, eggs and sugar and is flavored naturally with fruits and nuts. With 24 flavors, the gelato counter at the Geddes Bakery is brimming with bold and delicious tastes. I have tasted gelato in the Italian speaking section of Switzerland and I found no difference between Geddes’ gelato and the authentic treat served in Europe.
421-423 S. Main Street North Syracuse, NY