Who's Got Great Ice Cream? Here's the Scoop

Whether it's in a dish or on a cone, we've licked our way across the Valley to find the best places to cool down with a tasty frozen treat.


Who’s Got The Ice Cream?

Here’s The Scoop!


The secret to satisfying summer ice cream cravings in the Valley is in finding the gems. Some are off the beaten path or have a bland exterior, while others are a little harder to miss. But there are decadent offerings inside each of these popular spots


By Vanessa Geneva Ahern


Dutchess County

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Del’s Dairy Creme

6780 Rte. 9, Rhinebeck, 845-876-4111


This old-fashioned stand serves a variety of hard and soft ice creams, as well as frozen yogurt. The blue and white color scheme gives it a Cape Cod feeling. Sandwiches, wraps, salads, and burgers are also on the menu. Kids love Dora and Sponge Bob popsicles. Outdoor seating available. Best-sellers: Pick your poison from a slew of decadent sundaes including Peanut Butter Hot Fudge, Pineapple, and Blueberry.


Summer hours: Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Sun. 12-10 p.m.


Debra T’s Café

141 Overlook Rd., Poughkeepsie, 845-471-3357


This whimsical wonderland has a fire engine and train that kids can explore while parents indulge. Owner Debra Travis serves over 30 flavors of hard and soft ice cream, fat-free soft-serve, Italian ices, and sorbets — and claims that “total strangers” declare her ice cream cakes are “the best.” Those looking for something a bit more filling can try burgers, burritos, salads, or fish sandwiches. Best-sellers: Homemade brownie sundae, Cookie Crumble sundae, Reese’s Peanut Butter sundae, Take-5 Candy Bar sundae. Kids will beg for the Mighty Mouse and Dirty Squirm sundaes.


Summer hours: Wed.-Sun. 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.


Holy Cow

7270 S. Broadway, Red Hook, 845-758-5959


Owner Pat Bowman dishes up 11 flavors of hard ice cream, complemented by Flavorburst, chocolate, cherry, and butterscotch dips, and the popular vanilla and chocolate soft-serve. Best-sellers: Milkshakes, sundaes, and ice cream cakes are doled out to satisfy the line that constantly stretches out the door of this popular, inexpensive spot.


Summer hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily.


King Kone

Rte. 52 & Rte. 9 (next to Via Nove Restaurant),

Fishkill, 845-896-3068


King Kone scoops up chocolate and vanilla soft-serve and a variety of sundaes. Owner Molly Gallagher says that many people start off with a bratwurst, hot dog, or chicken sandwich. Best-sellers: The ever-popular S’mores (vanilla ice cream, graham crackers, marshmallows, and hot fudge). Kids love the Cookie Monster sundae with Oreo cookies and marshmallows. Your pooch will pant for a “dogwich” (vanilla ice cream  between two dog bones).


Summer hours: Mon.-Sat. 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun. 12-10 p.m.


Joe’s Dairy Bar

550 Rte. 82, Hopewell Junction, 845-221-0488


In operation since 1957, this drive-up dishes out 11 flavors of hard ice cream along with vanilla and chocolate soft-serve and fat-free yogurt. Sample a slush puppy or a Black Angus beef burger at one of their outdoor picnic tables. Other offerings include ice cream cakes, homemade chili, pizza, and nachos. Best-sellers: The classic soft-serve twist is a favorite, and kids love the novelty pops with characters like Snoopy and Dora. Flying saucers (ice cream sandwiched between two cookies) and banana splits are popular.


Summer hours: 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. daily.


Putnam County

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Mr. A’s Chicken & Ice Cream

4 Cherry Lane & Rte. 6, Mahopac



Tom Peruso and his daughter Veralynn own and operate Mr. A’s, which has been open for 12 years. A popular destination for  Little Leaguers, this stand offers 26 different hard flavors. Feeling famished? Try the 24-ounce Chabonga burger, with your choice of toppings (finish it in less than 30 minutes, and win a free T-shirt). Indoor and outdoor seating available. Best-sellers: Moosetracks, Cotton Candy, Peanut Butter Cup, and Crazy Vanilla.


Summer hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily.


Columbia County

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Happy Clown

Rte. 9H/Rte. 82, Livingston/Bells Pond



Robert Stickles has owned this ice cream stand for 20 years, and serves a dozen different hard ice cream flavors, along with slushies, milkshakes, sundaes and sodas. There’s outdoor seating with a play set for children. Best-sellers: Vanilla/chocolate soft-serve, Flavorburst, Blue Goo soft-serve cotton candy ice cream, Moose Tracks hard ice cream.


Summer hours: Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun. 12-9 p.m. Closed Tues.


Keeler’s Eskimo Bar Drive-Up

14 Rte. 9H, Claverack, 518-851-7520


This ’50s-style drive-up offers six hard ice creams, three soft-serve flavors, eight types of Flavorburst, slushies, flurries, milkshakes, non-dairy Dole-Whip (flavors change weekly), dips, and even sugar-free hot fudge. They have fresh strawberry and peach sundaes in season. Warning: Their 44-ounce black raspberry milkshake will send you into orbit. (Buffalo chicken subs and fish fry are among other specialties.) Best-sellers: Fresh fruit sundaes, S’mores sundae, Apple Pie sundae.


Summer hours: Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun. 12-9 p.m.


Greene County

• • •

Cone E Island Ice Cream

Corner of W. Bridge St. & W. Main St., Catskill



“Ice cream has become a destination for families here,” says co-owner Craig Remaley. Come relax by the Catskill Creek at this very kid-friendly Coney Island-themed stand. Let the kids work off the sugar on one of 12 coin-operated mechanical animal rides. The stand offers a variety of soft-serve flavors including Pistachio Nut, Butterscotch, Coffee and Cream, and Banana Ripple. Soda floats, banana splits, and egg creams are also available, as well as simple fast food like hot dogs and fish fry. Best-sellers: Blue Goo soft-serve, which tastes like cotton candy, and their famous brownie sundae.


Summer hours: Sun.-Thurs. 11 a.m.-10  p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-11 p.m.


Kaatskill Cider Mill

4953 Rte. 32, Catskill, 518-678-5529


Have a seat at the 1950s-style ice cream counter and schmooze with the locals who come in to sample the 43 flavors of hard ice cream. Thomas Baldwin Jr. has owned this ice cream and souvenir shop for 25 years. Along with key chains and mugs, you can pick up a hamburger or hot dog. It’s a great place to stop after visiting the Catskill Game Farm. 


Best-sellers: The old classics, chocolate and vanilla, sell well here, but if you have a weakness for coffee ice cream, try the Cappuccino Crunch, which is full of dark chocolate chunks.


Summer hours: 10 a.m.-10 p.m. daily.


Orange County

• • •

What’s the Scoop?

80 Matthews St., Goshen, 845-294-8935


This stand serves about two dozen hard ice cream flavors, including homemade creations like “Smurf” (a kid favorite concocted of blue raspberry ice cream with marshmallows and Nerds candies). Owner Elizabeth Gerasolo, who is celebrating her 10th season, takes pride in using the highest quality ingredients. Best-sellers: Cake-tastic, chocolate chip mint, coffee, and vanilla/chocolate soft-serve.


Summer hours: 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m. daily.


Cherry Top

949 Rte. 32, Newburgh, 845-564-6340


This shop offers 21 hard ice cream flavors, three soft-serve flavors, and a mini-golf course that kids and adults can enjoy before, during, or after slurping. Best-sellers: Banana Boat and Worm & Dirt. “Our Grape Nut ice cream has a small but very loyal following,” says Carolyn Best-Hall, who owns the place with hubby Mark. Hamburgers, nachos, and other fast food is also available.


Summer hours: Sun.-Thurs. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-11 p.m.


Lickity Splitz

31 Lake St., Monroe, 845-781-7310


Join the “Lickity Splitzers” in the town of Monroe at this rock-and-roll oldies style ice cream joint. Owner Dennis Hamundson serves up custard, gelato, and hard ice cream in over 30 flavors. Best-sellers: Tiramisu or canoli gelato, and custard flavors Cake Batter, Mint Oreo, Double Espresso, Funky Monkey (chocolate, banana, walnut, marshmallow), and Elvis (peanut butter and banana). For a lighter treat, try a fruit-flavored sorbet such as kiwi, mango, pink grapefruit, or watermelon.


Summer hours: Mon.-Thurs. 1-9 p.m., Fri.-Sun. 12-10 p.m.


Ulster County

• • •

Jane’s Ice Cream

305 Wall St., Kingston, 845-338-8315


The 12 flavors of Jane’s famous homemade ice cream can be found at farm stands, scoop shops, and delis across the Hudson Valley and even in New York City, but this country-chic café is their home. They also serve fresh sorbets, and breakfast and lunch fare such as the popular Thai chicken wrap. If you can’t make it to the Wall Street spot, call for the location nearest you. Best-sellers: Killer Chocolate, Coconut Almond Joy, Cappuccino Kahlua, Hazelnut Fudge, Dulce de Leche, and Blueberry.


Summer hours: Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.


Frosty Rock Creamery

247 Main St., New Paltz, 845-255-4145


A newcomer to this college town, Frosty Rock serves over 40 different flavors of homemade ice cream, and also offers sugar-free and low-fat options for calorie counters.


Best-sellers: Cake Batter, Key Lime Pie, and Pumpkin Pie. With over 70 different ice cream toppings (such as pie crust and gummy worms that can be mixed before your eyes), you’ll be overwhelmed with choices.


Summer hours: Mon.-Thurs. 12:30-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 12:30-10:30 p.m., Sun. 12-10 p.m. (Also located at 255 Dunning Rd., Middletown, Orange County; 845-342-5700.)


Boice Brothers Dairy

62 O’Neil St., Kingston, 845-340-2018


Now in its third generation, this family-owned dairy has been in business since 1914. The store sells milk, ice cream, and ice cream cakes. Outdoor seating is available. Best-sellers: The chocolate-vanilla soft-serve twist, and Double Chocolate hard ice cream. Kids love the pistachio soft-serve. If you want the best value, go for the colossal sundaes.


Summer hours: 8 a.m.-10 p.m. daily.


The Jolly Cow Drive-In

Rte. 9W (next to Adam’s), Lake Katrine



This stand serves shakes, floats, soft-serve, and hard ice cream. Look for their fresh flavors of the week, like Cheescake, Blueberry, and Coconut. Try a hot dog with their homemade Texas hot sauce if ice cream doesn’t appeal. The parking lot of this drive-in is never empty, but service is fast and friendly.  Best-sellers: The vanilla malted milkshake will make you very happy. 


Summer hours: 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. daily.


Chocolate Cheers

875 Rte. 28, Kingston, 845-338-3368


“Chocolate is the food of the gods,” says owner Jan Campbell. This chocolate factory-cum-ice cream parlor triggers Willy Wonka fantasies in both kids and adults. Try not to drool over the 45 toppings at the make-your-own-sundae station. There are 14 flavors of homemade super-rich ice cream (the Heavenly Hazelnut is worth every sinful calorie) and 80-100 homemade chocolate candies. Don’t resist the urge to take some home.


Careful: The friendly staff will seduce you with free samples. Best-sellers: Classic vanilla and chocolate, Oreo Madness, Mint Chocolate Chunk, Chocolate Raspberry Truffle.


Summer hours: Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun. 12-7 p.m.



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