Pittsburgh is a hotbed of cold treats these days. Rivendale’s ice cream is now at Giant Eagle and they’re partnering with the Milk Shake Factory on its expansion. Next month, you can even attend a festival dedicated to the dessert. Here are five ice cream shops worth visiting that weren’t on our list last year.
Sugar Spell Scoops, Sharpsburg
Ever since Sugar Spell Scoops opened last summer, vegans can now chill out on a hot summer’s day with a frosty treat. The shop specializes in dairy-free frozen confections made from cashew and other nut milks that are sweetened with a combination of agave, maple syrup and organic sugar. One taste and you’ll agree: it’s pretty magical.
Sub Zero Nitrogen Ice Cream, Upper St. Clair and Shadyside
Combine science and dessert with a trip to Sub Zero Nitrogen Ice Cream. The national chain, which uses liquid nitrogen to flash freeze its treats, launched in 2004 and now has 50 locations, including two in Pittsburgh. Customers choose from a bunch of flavor bases, mix in other ingredients and watch as the concoction is zapped with the odorless, colorless, tasteless and non-toxic gas, creating an end-product with less air and fewer ice crystals than some ice creams and even more taste.
Frio Creamery, Lawrenceville
Get schooled on ice cream at Frio, which opened at the end of last summer. The Butler Street storefront serves ice cream and milkshakes straight from the famous Penn State Berkey Creamery in University Park. You’ll find 22 flavors, including a trio of vegan options, and enough toppings to fill Beaver Stadium. Can’t make it to Lawrenceville? Frio delivers via Grubhub. (Home delivery of delicious treats seems to be the new trend.)
LaScola’s Italian Ice & Custard, Highland Park
Highland Park got a lot cooler when the LaScola family opened their shop in 2007. The business scoops out handcrafted Italian ice and custard (The Twisted Italian is a combination of both!), plus coffee drinks and frozen specialties like their custard-filled cannoli. If you haven’t been there already, it’s worth a visit on a hot day (those really are coming, we promise) this summer.
Pittsburgh Ice Cream Company, Market Street Grocery, Downtown
Tucked inside a specialty grocery store in Market Square, Pittsburgh Ice Cream Company is a farm-to-cone operation that sources ingredients from local growers, artisan food producers and distillers. The Landlocked Vanilla isn’t your typical scoop: Wigle Whiskey produced the flavor extract using its barrel-aged Landlocked Rum. Their ice cream makers are hard at work concocting new dairy and non-dairy offerings (care for a Blueberry Basil Sorbet, anyone?) and opened for the season on June 1.
This list is just the tip of the iceburgh. If you’re hungry for more frozen confections, check out our list of 15 more super-chill places for great ice cream.