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Central Jersey Ice Cream

I saw a lot of Cold Stone Creamery ice cream stores have gone out of business in NY, especially in Westchester County. How are they doing in NJ?

Can anyone give me some tips where to get non-overpriced, good tasting ice cream in Middlesex, Mercer and Somerset counties? I like Confectionarily Yours on Rt 27 and Halo Pub in Hamilton Square, but I'm looking for others that don't charge $6 for a small scoop. I used to love the love the Jahn's on 86 Street in Brooklyn and would love to find one like that in Central Jersey.

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  1. Bent Spoon in Princeton is the best damn ice cream on the planet. Not the cheapest however!!!!!!!!

    1. Jersey Freeze in Freehold. personal favorite of mine.

      4 Replies
      1. re: yankeefan

        Jersey Freeze was sold and a chain is moving in. (Chili's? I forget which one.) Attempts were made to stop this, but I believe they all failed. In any case, in previous years it probably wouldn't be open quite yet.

        If anyone knows if it is still in business, let us know, but I believe this info is up to date.

        1. re: cantkick

          I stopped in about once a month all winter and early spring for a cone after having lunch in Freehold. It didn't seem to me that the ice cream side closed at all for the season. Now that the nicer weather is here and there's more to do outside, I haven't been by in a month or so, but I *think* I saw customer cars in the lot last time I drove through the area.

          1. re: JessKidden

            Yes, it is still open for this season. Very sad that it is closing- there is already a Chili's there but Im sure some other chain is taking over Freehold. The amount of chains in that area has become ridiculous but hey, people are waiting forever at each and everyone of them. amazing.

      2. There's a new Scoop Shop on Main St. in Cranbury... Gil & Berts.
        They sell a brand from Maine (can't remember name at the moment).

        They're right next to the Post Office.

        1 Reply
        1. re: cranrob

          The pastry shop across the street has good ice cream too !

        2. Paulie's in Hamilton closed. It was homemade ice cream that was spectacular. I think his location was simply not visible enough. I am still in mourning, but a bit thinner. I'll second the Bent Spoon recommendation, but it's not cheap by any means. I've heard Maggie Moo's (a chain) in Robbinsville is good. I myself frequent Carvel anymore because it's the only place that serves Chocolate Marshmallow - my all-time favorite flavor.

          1. Unfortunately, the Cold Stone Creamery out here in Hunterdon (Flemington) continues to operate. Maggie Moos in nearby Whitehouse has long gone. IMO, both these chains use inferior ice cream but manage to disguise this fact by adding, and charging exorbitant prices for, various things that should never touch high quality ice cream.

            If you don't mind driving just a few miles west of Somerset County, you should try The Polar Cub, a local institution that should satisfy your craving for good ice cream. It's on Route 22W, just before you get to Whitehouse. Be warned, however, that the lines can be long, especially on a warm summer night. Parking can also be an issue at times.

            3 Replies
            1. re: ambrose

              I gotta just out out there my vote for any of you choosing the NJ shore this summer...Hoffman's in Point Pleasant..very very good...unique combinations as well. My ultimate was a place in New Hope PA ....I think its called Gerundsens or soemthing like that on the main drag. For me Cold Stones were good for kids but not necessarily suitable for us adult chowers...Read this future entrpreneurs.....NJ needs something in the Ice Cream genre in the midsection for us foodies!

              1. re: BaconGuy

                Gerenser's is the place in New Hope, or was. It closed recently due to a dispute with the Board of Health over whether or not it needed to get hooked up to city water or something like that. And yeah, Cold Stone is just waaaaay too sweet for grown ups.

                1. re: BaconGuy

                  Hoffman's is GREAT! Very good fresh peach milkshakes, YUMMY!

              2. Magnifico's on 18 in East Brunswick.

                2 Replies
                1. re: RPMcMurphy

                  wow, I despise this place and have only gone 2 or 3 times living in EB. Based on this post, will give another try.

                  1. re: yankeefan

                    well, its only soft serve,but they change up the flavor frequently. I like it because of the atmosphere too.

                    going to an ice cream shop in a "shopping mall" just doesn't do it for me....I need flourecent lights, and a long line...and kids making fools out of themselves.

                2. The Cold Stone in East Windsor, NJ (Mercer County), abruptly went out of business after being open maybe a year. I've seen a few others go the same route. Don't see a good future for them!

                  Gil & Bert's opened in Cranbury, NJ, on Main Street. Small place where you order at a window & eat outside, but good ice cream and good prices. The people that work there are very nice to boot. I get a kid's size for my son & it's $1.25. A one or two scoop is $3.25 or so, and LOADED!

                  If ever on Rt. 9 in Howell, NJ, go to ice cream on 9.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: jethro

                    How about Luigi's on Route 9 in manalapan area? Ive driven by several times and have not tried. I figured they would be pretty good but didnt know if they were more of an italian ice type place?

                    Not sure if it also counts, but LBI is chock full of good ice cream joints if anyone were interested or in the area. It may be poo-pooed but the Ben and Jerry's there always has the freshest tasting stuff. Not sure why.


                  2. Ice Cream You Scream in Bordentown on Farnsworth located in the building in front of Joe Salera's cigar shop called Ashes to Ashes. Owned by Joe's wife and serving genuine NJ ice cream from Arctic in Trenton. Great stuff and cheap! -mJ

                    1. Have you tried a tub of Capogiro from Wholefoods?Technically it's Gelato (better imo) I know they used to carry it.

                      1. I love Swals Dairy on Main Street in Allentown. Its worth the trip!

                        1. Bent Spoon in Princeton is the best ice cream anywhere. Not cheap, but nobody else I know of cares more about the ingredients and puts as much passion into making it. Where else can you have ice cream where the almost ALL the ingredients come from organic NJ sources (sans the sugar) and they only make small batches. The quality is as good as it gets. Ice cream is a treat...spend the extra $2 and treat yourself.

                          1. I can eat ice cream several times a day. I love it. You will catch me eating ice cream in the dead cold of winter. However, when the summer rolls around I prefer something on the lite side. That said, try Ralph's Italain ices in either Marlboro/Manalapan on ROute 9 South, technicaly Monmouth but close to the Monmouth/Middlesex border. Both their cream and water ices are awesome. religiously went to the original location from as far back as I can remember back in my staten island days. Enjoy.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: angelo04

                              Ralphs gets my vote too. I go to the one in hazlet. Is it just me or do the ones at Rita's not even compare? Went to the Rita's in Union Beach...service was top notch but both the ice cream (custard) and the Ice was terrible. Support Ralphs the flavors are great and its made in smaller batches.

                              1. re: BaconGuy

                                Today we went to the Bent Spoon in Princeton....I have to say, better than Capogiero. I think Capogiero is AWESOME, but the Bent Spoon never ceases to amaze me with their extremely interesting flavors. Today I got the Burban Vanilla Salted Caramel and the Chocolate Habenero....both were Excellent!

                                In my visits to Philly lately, I have been choosing Capogeiro over Bassetts because it is more interesting flavor wise....but I live so close to Jersey Freeze....I will be very sad to see it gone. In my humble opinion, Jersey Freeze is the best soft ice cream. Bassets is the best hard ice cream and the Bent Spoon is the best gelato!


                                1. re: MishyPoo

                                  Now you've got me thinking about their lavender mascarpone ice cream. That flavor is just heavenly!

                            2. Ice cream on 9 in Howell is really pretty good. They make all of their own ice cream with alot of pretty exotic flavors. I have found them to be just as good as coldstone, if not better, and definitely cheaper.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: stuffed_belly

                                they are my FAVORITE ice cream place to go to....and they're actually about a half hour away from where i live. i get extremely bummed in the winter when theyre not open.

                              2. Nagle's in Ocean Grove. It's also some sort of American restaurant but I've only ever gotten thte ice cream. For real, the ice cream is extremely delicious and filling. I always order the orange and cream which is thick and has little cups of orange flavor filled white chocolate cups. Plus, it's about a dollar a scoop, last I checked, and they serve huge scoops. I always get a small and I'm filled. Great part about it is walking around the area it's simply adorable.

                                1. A pretty good place on Rt 27 in Franklin Park is Confectionary Yours, in the former Aranka's restaurant building. But by late August, they are moving a bit south into the old Stop & Shop/Edwards shopping mall, by Steinmart. (at Middlebush Road)

                                  Great Rum Raisin.

                                  1. Does anyone know if Jersey Freeze is still open? I've seen many posts that it was closing, only to be replaced by some restaurant chain, yet I did a Google search and it appears that it may still be open. Saw a clip about it on the Food Network not that long ago, and my family and I were planning an end of summer trip down there to try their ice cream, which has gotten many great reviews. Don't want to drive all the way down there to see a Chili's or Olive Garden instead!

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: tonyv

                                      Yes, still opened. Last fall, they had a hand written sign on the inside window of the Ice Cream section that said something to the affect that "We will be open next season."

                                      Just stopped in last week for a Strawberry cone with rainbow sprinkles, in fact.

                                      Currently, there's no signage (that I've noticed) or any other mention of closing. For more info and a chronological history of the possible sale, see http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/435454 Notice that the last post in that thread is a link to an April, '09 story where the JF owner still seems anxious to sell the property to another business, however.

                                    2. It's in Monmouth County, but "Beach Plum Icecream" is my favorite! It's only open in summer/early fall. I LOVE the Malt Crunch flavor, and also Coconut. For the "smal"l size you get 2 good size scoops - can even be 2 flavors. I would put them almost at par with the creaminess/consistency as Ben & Jerry's/Haagendaz quality. All that for about $2.75. Cheaper, better and more icecream than most any other place I've found around here.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: LynnAG

                                        HALO PUB....OMG!!!!!!
                                        my new favorite place!