For every bad day or every hot summer afternoon, with magical comforting powers and the ability to make a good day even better, ice cream in every form is a good idea. On this snowy December day lets take a moment to bask in the memories of days spent in the hot sun, with a nice soft serve ice cream cone, sprinkles dripping slowly off the edge. Just because the weather has cooled off doesn’t mean that we can’t indulge in this creamy treat. Here’s a look at some of the best places to experience the magic of ice cream in the Capital Region.
A conversation about ice cream in Upstate New York must start with Stewart’s. The convenience store boasts one of the best selections of hard ice cream in the area and brings back fond memories of ice cream socials and birthday parties of your youth. Get a cone at the counter, pack your pint, or buy it by the 1/2 gallon, from mint cookie crumble to crumbs along the mohawk, there’s nothing better.
When it comes to hard ice cream though Stewart’s isn’t the only option. Emack & Bolio’s on Delaware Avenue in Albany has always been a favorite of mine. We share the same name (emack) and the love of ice cream, so it really is the perfect fit. Some of my favorite flavors include Grasshopper pie and salted caramel chocolate pretzel. What’s great about Emack & Bolio’s is that it isn’t just an ice cream stand or convenience store, they sell baked goods, chocolates, and they offer live music!
Hard ice cream honorable mentions: Kilwin’s in Saratoga, of course Ben & Jerry’s in Albany/ Saratoga, and The Dutch Udder in Troy. Click here to read more about The Dutch Udder.
While there are great hard ice cream options open all year round, unfortunately the soft ice cream stands are only available from early spring to fall. Because of this limited time, I’m always sure to make my rounds.
Each spring, I kick off the season with a small twist in a cone topped with rainbow sprinkles along the Mohawk River at Jumpin’ Jacks in Scotia. Jumpin’ Jacks is a former drive-in, famous for not so healthy but satisfyingly bad for you food, like the jack burger and twister fries.
Guptill’s Coney Express is perhaps the most famous ice cream destination around. With hundreds of flavors, both hard and soft, and commercials that you can’t escape. Guptill’s is a must visit. Plus, they are open the latest in the season, serving up cones until Halloween!
Soft ice cream honorable mentions: Kurver Kreme in Colonie and Curry Freeze in Rotterdam.
Topped with hot fudge and whipped cream, in a cake, in a shake, or straight out of the carton, there’s no wrong way to eat ice cream. What’s your favorite flavor? Let me know in the comments and as always, follow along on Instagram.