8 really cool Pittsburgh ice cream spots where kids can chill out
Photo courtesy of Custard’s First Stand.
This article first appeared in NEXTpittsburgh, a media partner that focuses on the people advancing the Pittsburgh region.
With summer in full swing, what better time to compile a list of cool-as-ice cream spots in Pittsburgh? These places go to the extreme to help you and the kiddos chill out.
Custard’s First Stand has been dishing out dairy delights for decades. Get all the classic Hershey’s Ice Cream flavors in a cone, cup, pint or quart, order a Slush Puppie or a novelty item or mix it up with a Glacier. And if “I scream” is also your style, head across the street to Time Bomb Toys, a store that sells horror movie merchandise.
Swirl Penguins waddled into town in June, bringing hand-rolled ice cream to East Carson Street. The spot serves nine different flavors. Try one of their specialties such as the Morning Latte, coffee ice cream topped with chocolate chips, whipped cream and condensed milk, or the Giant Green, green tea rolls with marshmallows, whipped cream and green tea pocky. Sign your name on the wall while you eat your sweet treat.
Feelin’ the burn? Head to Churn. The local chain, which has locations in Fox Chapel, Cranberry and Gibsonia, will soon open a South Side spot. Since 2015, owner Kelley Costa has been crankin’ out cones, sundaes, floats, banana splits and milkshakes along with hot options like cappuccino, espresso, lattes and chai tea.
Caustelot Creamery takes the ice cream truck concept to a new level. The business ditches the novelty items and serves its own brand of creamy delights that are made with liquid nitrogen right in front of your eyes. Look for the “fastest ice cream in town” at a community festival or special event near you.
Pile in the car and crank up the AC for a trip to The Snowman. Located right off the I-79 exit near Moraine State Park, the 13-foot, custom-built roadside stand serves shaved ice, milkshakes, smoothies, ice cream cones and frozen novelty treats directly from good ol’ Frosty’s tummy. The Snowman also has a concession trailer that rolls through the area like a blizzard every summer. Cool!
Ice cream is the food of joy. Lifelong North Side resident Galen Moorer, whose father owned Rita’s Italian Ice on East Ohio Street, has been bringing his own brand of sugar-induced happiness — and charity work — to the neighborhood since March 2020.
Regular flavors include triple chocolate mousse, cherry vanilla and birthday cake along with dairy-free options such as almond milk soft serve, lemon water ice and Dannon Yocream Frozen Yogurt. There’s also an assortment of ice cream cakes, ice cream sandwiches and specialty treats like the Twister, a combo of any soft serve, hard ice cream, any flavors of water ice and toppings.
Take a step back in time at Remember When’s new location in Robinson Town Centre. Make memories year-round over Pittsburgh’s largest ice cream cones, along with Dole Whip, floats, frozen yogurt, ice balls, ice cream sandwiches, parfaits, slushes and even scoops for your pooch.
No summer is complete without a trip to Page Dairy Mart. The family-run operation has been giving Pittsburghers — including vegans (and pups!) — the scoop since 1951. Stop by soon for limited releases, such as fresh blueberry ice cream or a Shark Attack, a mix of blue raspberry and cherry slush with gummy sharks and a very unlucky Sour Patch Kid. Just when you thought it was safe to go back on a diet.