Glen’s Custard, Springdale and Lower Burrell

If ice cream isn’t quite rich enough for you, then it’s time to try custard. Though it looks like classic soft serve, frozen custard adds eggs to the mix, creating a thicker, less airy dessert. And in Pittsburgh, nobody does custard better than Glen’s. For almost 70 years, folks have flocked to Springdale for sundaes, cones and a few rounds of mini golf. And with a second location in Lower Burrell (which boasts a full menu of burgers and sandwiches), Glen’s won’t be making a last stand for custard anytime soon.

Antney’s, Westwood/Crafton

Antney’s looks like any other roadside ice cream stand. Take a glance at the menu, however, and you’ll quickly realize that Antney’s is something special. For starters, they make their ice cream on the premises rather than dumping a pouch of mix into a machine. And their menu, which changes daily, brims with flavors that you won’t find anywhere else, like Caramelized Banana and Lemon Poppyseed with Rose Petal Jam Swirl.

A cool cone at Sugar and Spice in Baldwin.

Sugar and Spice Ice Cream, Baldwin

Summer in the South Hills wouldn’t be the same without this 1950s-style ice cream parlor (opened in 1984). Sugar and Spice features 24 flavors of soft serve, plus lots of hard ice cream. Flavors change frequently but lean towards the classics, like the Grasshopper (mint with Oreos), cinnamon, and Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake. They’ve got a huge array of sundaes and a surprising selection of cones. Besides the usual sugar and waffle, you’ll find pretzel cones, cones with M&M’s baked in and cones covered with chocolate.  

NatuRoll Creamery, Lawrenceville

People kind of went crazy for rolled ice cream, when NatuRoll first opened — this story was one of the most-read things ever on NEXTpittsburgh. They serve ice cream in a style common in Thailand, where a cream base is selected, then spread onto a super cold ice pan, then mixed with fresh fruit, Nutella, cookies and other ingredients. It freezes up very fast, and is scraped off the pan into little rolls of ice cream. They’re plopped ends-up into a cup and covered with more toppings. Try the Tortoise, which features ground pecans and a swirl of caramel.

Betsy’s, Mt. Lebanon

One of Pittsburgh’s best all-around ice cream spots is in Mt. Lebanon, which could easily be rebranded as The Ice Cream District given the density of icy treat spots nearby. Expect super deluxe scratch-made ice cream in amazing flavors like Lemon Rosewater, Smoked Maple Almond, Cannoli and Toasted Coconut Latte, as well as all the usual ones. They’ve also got a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) that delivers four pints to your door for $25 a month.

Dave & Andy’s, Oakland

The real entrance to Dave & Andy’s Homemade Ice Cream isn’t the door on Atwood Street in Oakland — it’s when you first encounter the smell of homemade waffle cones somewhere down the street. It’s small, there’s no parking (it’s in Oakland) and there’s usually a line of college kids stretching out the door. But ambiance is for amateurs. The homemade waffle cones are without equal. The ice cream flavors are outstanding, ever-changing and frequently surprising (lychee fruit? maple bacon?). But it’s the old standbys like the chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream that are simply unbeatable. You can get toppings, but you won’t need them. As a special bonus, there’s an M&M at the bottom of each cone to keep it from dripping.

A handspun “s’mores” shake from The Milk Shake Factory. Photo courtesy of The Milk Shake Factory.

Milk Shake Factory, South Side and Downtown

They’ve always made the most delicious ice cream-filled milkshakes in town. But soon, this humble chocolate candy and milkshake shop will have that reputation in many towns all over the country. The company, with an investment by Steelers minority owner Thomas Tull, plans a rollout of 25 new locations using ice cream made from milk at Tull’s Rivendale Farms in Washington County. At their current locations, try the Bananas Foster — a vanilla shake with caramel, fresh banana, toffee syrup, banana syrup, cinnamon and topped with whipped cream and a bananas foster truffle. They also make great ice cream sundaes like the Cold Brew, with cold brew coffee poured over vanilla ice cream and crushed cookies-n-cream, topped with whipped cream and an espresso sea salt caramel.