The only logical way to escape Pittsburgh’s hot weather is to enjoy a scoop of ice cream! With endless amounts of flavors and preparation methods, it’s a diverse dessert that everyone can appreciate. Here’s the scoop on where to get the best ice cream in Pittsburgh!
The original Klavon’s opened in 1923 and served residents of the Strip District until its closure in 1979. After sitting quiet for two decades, Klavon’s reopened in 1999. Original features such as the bottle cap stools, fountain equipment and phone booth give visitors a glimpse into the past!
The ice cream here is as good as it was back in the 1920s. The Retro Float – cherry syrup, vanilla syrup, Coca-Cola and vanilla ice cream will transport you back in time! Whether you choose a classic sundae, ice cream soda or float – Klavon’s Ice Cream Parlor is guaranteed to bring out in the inner child in you while you dine on some of best ice cream in Pittsburgh!
Gus and YiaYia’s on the Northside is as synonymous with Pittsburgh as our yellow bridges and three rivers! Gus Kalaris has served delicious sweet treats in Allegheny Commons for nearly seven decades. Since its inception in 1934, the stand’s menu has stayed the same – ice balls, peanuts and popcorn. There are a total of 12 fruit-flavored syrups all of which can be mixed into your own creation. Kalaris makes the syrups by hand, daily, ensuring the best possible flavor!
Did you hear the “scoop?” Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream serves up some of the best ice cream in Pittsburgh! Owners Chad and Lauren Townsend make each sweet treat with love and all natural, real ingredients. They work with local purveyors to source dairy, eggs, and seasonal produce which enhances the taste of their treats. Since opening in Shadyside in 2016, Millie’s has grown to 3 store fronts, 4 kiosks and a food truck!
Dogs are welcomed at Millie’s and are known to eat a scoop of vanilla (or two). They also offer multiple dairy-free options (we suggest the berry chocolate)! We know that you will have a gelato fun a Millie’s!
How about a side of pizza with your ice cream? Mercuiro’s in Shadyside and Fox Chapel creates a truly authentic Italian experience by serving traditional Neapolitan pizzas and artisan gelato!
Gelato, which means frozen in Italian, is truly an art form. While gelato and ice cream will both satisfy your sweet tooth, they are different in many ways. True gelato contains less than 8% butterfat (Mercurio’s is 7%) and has 20% air pumped into the liquid when its being frozen. This technique ultimately creates a creamy product with an intense flavor! For comparison purposes – ice cream must have a minimum 10% butterfat with 50%-100% air pumped into the liquid while freezing!
Mercuiro’s flavors rotate frequently but our favorites are the Tiramisu, Strawberry Cheesecake and Death by Chocolate! Honestly, what’s better than eating some of the best ice cream in Pittsburgh AFTER eating a pizza pie?
Oh happy day! I mean ice cream makes any day happy, right?! If you haven’t already gotten your hands on some of this creamy deliciousness then you MUST!
Happy Day Dessert Factory serves Premium Homemade Hard Ice Cream as its signature product. We suggest trying the Ice Shakes – a blended mix of water ice and custard!
This family-owned operation is a true hidden gem! Joe Zeppi’s opened in 2002 and has since developed a reputation as a “go-to” spot in the North Hills for ice cream and Italian ice! Joe Zeppi’s milkshakes have a thick, creamy texture and their soft serve delivers the same level of creaminess. While their menu changes weekly, its a guarantee that whatever you choose will be delicious!
Page Dairy Mart is one of the best places you can go to get a refreshing treat! The original business started as a small store that would cater to the steel mill workers. Unfortunately, the building was destroyed by the Saint Patrick’s Day flood in 1936. Afterwards, the Page family built a small gas station on the property, and added a soft serve ice cream stand in 1951. Sadly, in 1958, a gas leak destroyed the original Page Dairy Mart but Page family still remained strong through difficult times.
Fast forward to present day, and the Page family is still operating this quaint and beloved ice cream shop. The staple of the South Side creates hand-spun milkshakes, a variety of soft serve, sundaes, and ice cream sandwiches!
Sugar and Spice has been a South Hills staple since 1984. This ice cream parlor transports visitors to the 1950s through its classic interior decor. Sugar and Spice is known for its classic flavors and recently placed third in Klavon’s Ice Cream 2nd Annual Small Ice Cream Shop Competition!
Sugar and Spice features a delicious Grasshopper (mint with Oreos), Penguin crunch (french vanilla with health crunch and chocolate chips), and many more! The menu changes daily but will always offer a selection of soft-serve, sherbet, yogurt, and dairy-free option.
Betsy’s Ice Cream in Mount Lebanon, offers homemade ice cream that “starts with a custom-blended, hormone-free and all-natural base of the finest milk and cream from forms in the Pittsburgh area.” Betsy’s is so delicious that VisitPA ranked them number 4 on a list ranking the best ice cream places in PA! In total, the shop has 28 flavors that rotate daily, as well as, frozen yogurt, shakes and other sweet treats!
Is it just us or are you craving ice cream now? We truly hope you have a gelato fun taste testing the best ice cream in Pittsburgh.
Looking for some summer fun? Try to visit 9 shops featured in this article and see which one is your favorite! We know you cone do it! We have faith in you!
For more fun things to do in Pittsburgh, check out our weekly guide – which is constantly updated with the latest and best activities! Plus follow us on Facebook and Instagram and download the UNATION app!
Lover of Pierogis | Student at University of Pittsburgh | Adventurer | Foodie | H2P