HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >


homemade ice cream Bmore

  • l

I realize its the middle of winter, but I was wondering if anyone knew of a really good non-chain ice cream place in Baltimore?? I;m thinking of a Dumsters in Ocean City, type of place. Most places I have visited have great family run type places to get shakes and banana splits ect and have been around for 40+ years...have snowballs taken over ice cream here?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Try Moxley's in Towson and Sylvan Beach ice cream (locations in Mt Vernon & Mt Washington).

    6 Replies
    1. re: tennisgal1206

      I second both of these, but only the Mt Vernon Sylvan Beach is open in the winter (it's on Preston St near the Theatre Project)

      1. re: crowsonguy

        This _might not_ be accurate. Has the Mt. Vernon Sylvan reopened after renovations? And I was just at the Mt. Washington location a week before Christmas. Obviously, they could still close... Perhaps I'll confirm this later in the day.

        1. re: paulyr

          Mt. Washingtom Sylvan Beach is open with shorter hours. I was there a couple of weeks ago.

      2. re: tennisgal1206

        Moxley's for sure! I love the coffee mojo flavor. Also I have heard that a place called Beach Bums on York Road in Towson is really good, but I have never been.

        1. re: tennisgal1206

          Sylvan Beach's Mt. Vernon location is still undergoing renovations, they claim to be opening in the fall. The Mt. Washington shop is open through the winter on the weekends only. The hours sign says Sat and Sun 1-5. They may only be selling packed ice cream (pints and quarts, etc.) for the winter, but don't quote me. It is by far the best homemade ice cream in Baltimore and worth checking out. Hope this helps.

          1. re: kelmusica

            They're still making cones, etc. at Sylvan Beach.

        2. Daily Scoop in Pasadena (worth the drive from Baltimore, I promise)

          1 Reply
          1. re: jes

            I second the Daily Scoop! If you are in Anne Arundel County, this place it great. Locally run by a husband and wife, supports the local town etc. and they make pretty good homemade ice cream. The favorites in our house are the Toasted Coconut, the Rum Raisin and the White Blizzard. Very tasty!

          2. North Pole Ice Cream Co. on Eastern Ave. in Highlandtown serves Moxley's ice cream and has that old time ice cream counter feel to it. I always indulge in a great banana split when I'm there.


            1. Dunno if they're still open, but Beach Bums in Fed Hill is INCREDIBLE.

              1038 Light St. Federal Hill Baltimore, MD 21230 410-528-8300

              1. Pitango Gelato in Fells' Point is excellent. Absolutely prime ingredients.

                It's Italian-style gelato, which isn't quite the same American ice cream (but somewhat healthier!).

                1 Reply
                1. re: Roland Parker

                  I second Roland's recommendation of Pitango Gelato. Interesting flavors. Good ingredients. Personally speaking, I choose not to patronize any place serving Moxley's because the quality isn't there to my palate.

                2. It ain't near B'more but HOFFMANS near Westminster has been there since about 1957!!!!

                  1. In my opinion the best ice cream in Baltimore is Sylvan Beach.

                    I will completely and totally own up to being a snob about ice cream because I care a lot (too much?) about this topic. I grew up in Cincinnati, home of the incredible Graeters ice cream. My grandmother grew up clearing tables at the Hyde Park parlor for 10 cent tips. Before moving to Baltimore, I lived in Columbus for the past 10 years, home to the even better Jeni's Ice Cream. But maybe the biggest reason I'm so passionate about ice cream is that I make my own.

                    That being said, I heard a lot about Moxley's when I moved here and I was eager to check them out, but in my opinion it's just too heavy handed and obvious with its flavors and texture. That might sound like a strange way to put it and I'm sure some people (and kids) like it very much. I just wouldn't consider it very inspired.
                    Sylvan Beach manages to be delicate and very flavor-intense. I've also never seen artificial coloring at Sylvan Beach which is a dead giveaway of the level of quality you can expect from an ice cream.

                    Also, unfortunately I think Beach Bums in Federal Hill closed sometime before last winter. I had been advised to check it out and when I visited, the deli that occupies the space now said they served Hershey's ice cream.

                    Pitango Gelato in Fells is very good, but it's not ice cream. (At least not to me.)

                    12 Replies
                    1. re: locustpointgirl

                      What a wonderful song of praise to good ice cream, locustpointgirl!

                      1. re: locustpointgirl

                        Has it been a while since you've been to the Queen city?
                        We used to live near the Hyde Park Graeters, as well as the Clifton store and miss Graeters a lot. (we even miss UDF!)

                        Isn't Graeters is custard-based?
                        Anyone know of any custard-based ice creams in Baltimore?

                        1. re: smt

                          I grew up in Cincinnati and its a beautiful city, but I haven't lived there since I graduated from high school. We were there for a few days visiting my family over Christmas though.

                          Graeters Ice Cream is a French Pot ice cream, so yes they have a wonderful custard base. It's very thick. Their Black Raspberry Chip is one of the best flavors of any ice cream. (Huge dark chocolate chunks — chips really aren't an accurate way to describe it.)

                          And I do think UDF has it's place. They have a very comforting (if a little too green) mint chocolate chip. The chips in that are so fine and irregular, they're almost flakes.

                          I miss my Cincinnati ice cream, but what I really miss are Skyline Chili, LaRosa's pizza and Montgomery Ribs. I have a stockpile in my basement of cans of skyline and Montgomery Inn BBQ sauce. Seriously, Like and entire shelf.

                          1. re: locustpointgirl

                            Ah, locustpointgirl, you bring back the Cincinnati memories! I lived there for only two years but how I still miss chili cheese sandwiches. What I wouldn't give for a Skyline or a Gold Star chili around here! But as far as ice cream - Graeter's was amazing, but IMO Aglemesis Bros. was even better. (Graeter's had the astounding chocolate "chips" but Aglemesis had an even deeper richness of flavor.) I also had the good fortune to sample Jeni's in Columbus and it is perhaps the best of the entire lot.

                            FWIW, all three places do mail order (yes, I've ordered from all three!)

                            In B'more, I have had Moxley's, Beach Bums (the Towson location) and Sylvan Beach, and I have to say that none are quite as good as the Ohio ice cream places - not only in terms of depth of flavor, but also the texture. That said, I would consider all three to be the best that B'more has to offer (at least that I've tried). ;)

                            1. re: MDS

                              We lived near Aglemesis in Oakley Square and really loved the ice cream as well as the "old school" fountain atmosphere.

                              Not sure if anyone has mentioned these Baltimore ice creams but Woodberry Kitchen has great ice cream and Springfield Farm in Sparks, MD. sells ice cream, but I do not know where it is from.

                              1. re: smt

                                Woodberry Kitchen's ice cream is unbelieveably good. I think I read someplace that it is homemade.

                                1. re: tennisgal1206

                                  Yes. It is made at the restaurant.

                                  The only time we did not like the ice cream at WK was when they combined the ice cream onto a sheet of chocolate and then mixed it all together somehow. My experience was that is was too icy; I imagine from some melting and refreezing during and after the preparation.

                                2. re: smt

                                  Springfield Farms sells ice cream from Trickling Springs dairy, which is just across the line in PA. It's very good and obviously made very fresh, but I'm not sure it's ice cream-snob worthy. Their milk is definitely milk-snob worthy however. I've done blind taste tests, it's amazingly better than any other milk around.

                                  1. re: pigtowner

                                    I use Trickling Springs milk and cream in the ice cream I make and it is incredibly awesome. Their butter is great too.

                                3. re: MDS

                                  Aglemesis Brothers is one of my favorite spots. Neither the atmosphere of the old-timey ice cream store, nor their homemade chocolate bittersweet sauce can be beat. I've toyed (dreamed) with the idea of having my own ice cream store in B'more and the Aglemesis parlor is certainly rooted deep in my subconscious as the kind of place I would want. That being said, I don't think I'm ready for that step quite yet.

                                  That and South Baltimore seems pretty attached to the shaved ice....

                                  1. re: locustpointgirl

                                    UNless things have changed drastically over the last 20 years......I would not consider Baltimore to be an ice cream "mecca" like either Cincinatti or Boston. I was very involved in the "home made" ice cream scene in Baltimore in the late 70's and 80's.
                                    The reason really good ice cream stores have not been financially successful is because Baltimore is basically a "weekend: town...especially during non-summer months. Its very hard for an ice cream business to survive from Halloween till mid April selling $100 worth of product per day. For some reason......people in New England value ice cream more and will eat it in any type of weather.

                            2. re: locustpointgirl

                              Beach Bums is still there. It's changed ownership at least twice since they made their own ice cream. They don't anymore, and it's only average.

                            3. What happened to Beach Bums? They changed management? Does anyone know the story there?

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: kelmusica

                                No, but there was an older couple that ran it with their son (?). Not positive of the relationships there. All of a sudden they were replaced by an Asian couple.

                                The good news is that the new people are much friendlier. The bad is that they often seem overwhelmed. The place was never all that fast, but it's gone to pre-global warming glacial. It's not the place to stop when you're in a hurry.

                                On balance I'm more likely to stop in there now though, because the new people are just so sweet. None of the food has changed as far as i can see.