Katherine Curry’s Journal News Ice Cream Odyssey took her on a delicious journey all around the Lower Hudson Valley this summer. Here are her picks for great ice cream in Rockland, and, when available, links to her original blog posts on these venues.
Take it away, Katherine:
Temptations serves Jane’s Ice Cream, made in the Hudson Valley. Jane’s, founded in 1985 and based in Kingston, uses fresh, local and organic ingredients whenever possible. It’s kind of fancy-pants ice cream, served at old-school, swanky Manhattan spots like Saks and The Carlyle. It’s also just about the best ice cream I’ve ever eaten.
The ambience is adorable and funky at this full-service casual restaurant, perched near the end of Main Street. But atmosphere is just the icing on the cake when there are 18 flavors of Jane’s Ice Cream to choose from, including the profoundly rich peanut butter fudge and decadent coconut Almond Joy.
Temptations also has soft serve ice cream and frozen yogurt and lots of specialty sundaes. But when I go, I’m happiest with a simple bowl of one of my favorite flavors, like coffee or pralines and cream. And come autumn, this is my go-to spot for the best pumpkin ice cream around.
Details: 80 1/2 Main St., Nyack. 845-353-3355.
This roadside stand, all lit up at night like an ice-cream beacon, is a nostalgic blast from the past. The parking lot and picnic table area gets packed in summer evenings as whole families stop by.
The hard ice cream is the super-sweet Perry’s, made in upstate New York. The sales rep for Perry’s must be very persuasive, because more than half the ice-cream shops in Rockland are scooping this brand. What Perry’s excels at is extra goopy flavors like Mint Ting-A-Ling, a bright green, mint ice cream studded with chocolate-covered candy.
But when I go to King Kone, I’m there for the frozen custard. It isn’t easy to find frozen custard in our area, and it’s even harder to find good frozen custard. The custard at King Kone is creamy, lush and richly flavored. Four flavors are on hand at any time, but I’m a fan of the classic vanilla and chocolate twist,
Frozen custard should be extra creamy and dense. And since it’s custard, it’s made with eggs. King Kone’s custard is an excellent example of what old-fashioned frozen custard is supposed to be.
Details: 136 N. Middletown Road, Pearl River. 845-620-0728.
Katherine’s picks on other great ice cream spots in Rockland, after the jump…
Banana Split Ice Cream Café
There’s plenty of room for Little League teams at this spacious ice-cream parlor. The ice cream may not be unique (Edy’s and Gifford’s), but this is that rare Rockland ice-cream parlor not serving Perry’s. Twenty-six flavors are available, plus water ice, soft serve and even hard frozen yogurt.
Details: 86 Route. 303, Tappan, 845-359-6700.
More than a dozen flavors of the ubiquitous Perry’s ice cream are available as well as soft serve and Italian ice. Over-the-top flavors are what Perry’s specializes in: Muddy Sneakers is white chocolate ice cream with chocolate peanut candy, milk chocolate pieces and caramel.
Details: 747 W. Nyack Road, West Nyack, 845-353-4800.
Flip ‘N Dip
If there’s such a thing as a bargain ice-cream spot, Flip ’N Dip is it. The prices are extra low at this little walk-in shop, which serves Steve’s hard ice cream (made on Long Island) plus 36 flavors of Italian ice, 10 flavors of soft serve, and frozen yogurt.
Details: 296 Route 59, Airmont, 845-709-0957.
This seasonal roadside ice-cream shop, founded in 1952, sports an iconic neon ice- cream cone sign that summons ice-cream lovers of all ages. Soft-serve cones are the ideal summer treat, but the hard ice cream from Perry’s comes in flavors like White Lightning, a dark chocolate ice cream with streaks of mint.
Details: 17 Route. 9W, West Haverstraw, 845-947-3652.
Patisserie Didier Dumas
Known for its knockout French pastries and crepes, this patisserie also makes fresh gelato every other day, with six to nine flavors available. The coffee gelato is made from the shop’s own coffee, so you know it’s excellent. Fruit sorbets like black currant and pink grapefruit are perfect summer refreshers.
Details: 163 Main St., Nyack, 845-353-2031.
Twist & Shake
Like many of Rockland’s ice-cream shops, roadside stand Twist & Shake serves Perry’s hard ice cream. Also on hand are soft-serve and Columbo fat-free yogurt. A cute summer spot, but the price list can be confusing. The soft-serve is $2.40 and it’s 60 cents extra for hard ice cream or yogurt.
Details: 243 S. Main St., New City, 845-638-3264.
Walk up to Wally’s take-out window and start trying to figure out what to order. The options are seemingly endless: 18 flavors of ice cream, soft-serve, sherbet, milkshakes, sundaes and smoothies. The frozen novelties are varied and delicious, including Wally pops, raspberry sandwiches and frozen bananas. The doughboy is vanilla ice cream on a stick, coated in cookie dough pieces dipped in chocolate.
Details: 145 S. Main St., New City, 845-634-3001.