HOME > Chowhound > Southern New England >


Best ice cream in CT

I personally like Rich's in Oxford. Any other bests out there?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. We-Lik-It in Pomfret.

    1. I nominate:
      Sweet Claude's, Cheshire, CT
      Big Dipper, Prospect, CT
      Wentworth Homemade Ice Cream, Hamden, CT.

      2 Replies
      1. re: DonShirer

        Where about in Prospect is Big Dipper?

        Sweet Claude's and Wentworth are both good as well.

        1. re: DonShirer

          I second that! Sweet Claude's in Cheshire!!

        2. Ridgefield Ice Cream Shoppe, Route 7, Ridgefield, homemade soft serve vanilla or chocolate.

          I drive past this place daily, but am avoiding dairy these days... the soft serve is quite good.

          1. Buttonwoods...I think it's in Griswold. It's in the middle of nowhere, but totally worth the drive. They have about 40 flavors, and amazing waffle cones.

            1 Reply
            1. re: theferlyone

              Their ice cream was decent - not great, but not bad either - but holy moly, they charge an arm and a leg for it! We were there recently over the summer, and a small cup, one little scoop, was $4 and change. I don't think that's a fair price for decent ice cream.

            2. The best ice cream in CT can be found at Doctor Mike's in Bethel. The entire operation, including the machines that churn the ice cream fit in a space that is smaller than your average bedroom.

              5 Replies
              1. re: EastRocker

                We like Dr. Mike's too....not only is it good quality, but the prices are reasonable... and that is a rarity these days.

                1. re: EastRocker

                  Roadfood is currently doing a "best ice cream in NE" thing with many CT choices. I'm driving to RI in a few weeks but I'm going to make a detour for Buttonwoods (I'd never heard of it before!) Looks good!


                  1. re: MrPhil

                    Wow! They really covered the great spots in the state. I went to Ashley's in New Haven and really enjoyed it.

                    1. re: MrPhil

                      Just don't go right after a meal expecting a nice light dessert...a two-scoop waffle cone IS a meal. Their pumpkin ice cream is one of my favorites, and love that they have peppermint stick "off-season". Enjoy!

                    2. re: EastRocker

                      I totally agree. The chocolate lace at Dr. Mike's is my hands down favorite bowl of ice cream. They also have a location in Monroe, at the intersection of Routes 25 and 59, which is less of a hike coming from southern Fairfield County or New Haven County. The ice cream is made in Bethel and delivered to the Monroe location each morning, so there is no appreciable difference in quality between the two.

                      1. Hallmark, on Route 156 in Old Lyme, gets my vote. Fresh Peach ice cream, or Ginger...

                        1. dr.mike's in monroe gets their ice cream delivered from bethel twice a week.. fridays and mondays, i believe. the same guy who makes it in bethel makes it for monroe. monroe is a little bit more expensive, due to the bethel store raising the cost of the tubs they sell to monroe. [gotta make money somehow i guess!] totally worth every dollar, though. chocolate lace is the most popular favorite. if a chco lover- def go for the rich choc. bring the kids! there are bubbles and chalkboards outside for the children after theyve finished their huge scoop.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: soccergirl57

                            When you say the Bethel store sells the ice cream to the Monroe store, does that mean the ownership has changed? Bob Allison still owned both back when I was in high school, but that was about a decade ago. The way it used to work was that they would deliver ice cream to Monroe on an as needed basis, rather than on a set schedule. During the summer that meant deliveries just about every morning, and in the winter it was sometimes only once a week.

                          2. Ferris Acres Creamery, route 302 in Newtown...soooooo much better than Dr. Mike's!

                            1. My top choice would be Wentworth's in Hamden

                              1. Robb's farm in glastonbury has great homemade ice cream. We love it and it is such a beautiful location. Jay

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: JayCT

                                  Hey Jay.....Gbury is close to me, where abouts is Robb's?

                                  1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                    It is on Wassuc Road (No. 91) which is an extension of New London Turnpike just south of Manchester Road. It is just off Route 2 near Country Club Road. Note that the hours are limited (I think 6:00 to 9:00 Tueday to Thursday, 2:00 to 9:00 on weekends) and it is not open on Mondays. It is great. Jay

                                2. peaches and cream in torrington on rt. 202 the best in ct

                                  1. I have to agree with Dan06492. I go to Rich Farm in Oxford from Stamford with a cooler. I have never tasted better ice cream.

                                    1. ....I can't believe nobody has mentioned Ashley's in new Haven and Branford. Also, the UConn dairy bar in Storrs makes dynamite ice cream.

                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: stormshadow

                                        There was another thread about CT ice cream last year, http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/405253, in which the claim was made that the UConn Dairy Bar no longer actually produces their own ice cream. They claim otherwise, and definitely still have a good sized herd of milk producing cows (I think Friesians and either Guernseys or Jerseys). Anyone know for sure?

                                        1. re: danieljdwyer

                                          UConn Dairy Bar ABSOLUTELY makes their own ice cream, from their own base made from their own milk. Fantastic stuff.

                                          1. re: danieljdwyer

                                            UConn was selling ice cream in supermarkets that was outsourced. The Dairy Bar still makes their own stuff.

                                          2. re: stormshadow

                                            I have to second Ashley's, but I'm somewhat limited without a car. Still, Ashley's butter crunch with waffle cone on top is pretty danged hard to beat.

                                            1. re: junipersong

                                              Ashley's is now sold in an ice cream store on Farmington Ave. in the center of West Hartford. They used to get their ice cream from the UConn Dairy, but the Dairy isn't selling it to retailers anymore.

                                          3. No Manchester resident would be without the ice cream at Shady Glen (2 locations) - they have, without a doubt, the best chocolate peanut butter anywhere - how they get those shavings of peanut butter to remain separate is a mystery. Worth a detour.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: philbkr

                                              I would have to second Shady Glen - I love their mint chocolate chip and pistachio ice creams....and my fiance loves that chocolate peanut butter.

                                              I also really like the gelato from cold fusion gelato, which i think is out of Rhode Island but they also have gelato bars at the Whole Food Markets in CT - it is soooooo good.

                                            2. i like tullmeadow farm in simsbury.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: japhyryder

                                                Found this place yesterday during the warmest part of the day. Finally decided on a small dish of raspberry chocolate chip ice cream. Ahhhh, soooo smooth and creamy, and the chocolate chunks just made it even better. If you're in the Simsbury area, it's on Village Farms Road and easy to find.

                                              2. I still like the Old Lyme ice cream shop in Old Lyme.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: DrTomG

                                                  I'm a big fan of Kelly's Kone Konnection in Hamden, right next to Glenwood Drive-in. i believe Kelly is the daughter of the owner of Glenwood. Their chocolate has won several regional awards. Great assortment of flavors - some change daily. All made in-house. DH loves it that they make a black raspberry milkshake for him!

                                                2. Salem Valley Farms in.... you guessed it.... Salem. Their Cappuccino Fudge Crunch is amazing!!

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: kubasd

                                                    I vote for Salem Farms also. The cherry has big chunks in it and is GREAT. I also like Hallmark a lot...and Pralines and...you guessed it, I haven't found many ice cream shops where I threw the ice cream away. :)

                                                  2. PRALINE'S ICE CREAM is the BEST! I have been visiting my local Praline's in Wallingford for 25 years now! They also have been voted 1st place, the best ice cream 6 years in a row by the reader's of the Record Journal Newspaper. No other ice cream compares! Go check them out!

                                                    1. Collins Creamery in Enfield gets my vote with the Uconn dairy as runner up with their toasted almond being the gold standard.

                                                      1. I'm partial to Ferris Acres in Newtown.

                                                        But if I happen to be in Oxford, Rich's is the place.

                                                        5 Replies
                                                        1. re: harrie

                                                          Searching finds no mention of Mortensen's in Newington and Cromwell on this post. I hope other Hartford Metro folks will comment on this--I've been there a couple times lately and find the ice cream--2 to 3 dozen flavors-- to be top quality. I ordered Black Magic today (mocha cheesecake) and had a sample of Boston Blackout (brownie bits in chocolate), both very creamy and delicious. They also have sherbets, yogurts, and low-fat. Locals should make a beeline for the Berlin Turnpike and get treated!

                                                          1. re: philbkr

                                                            I agree about Mortensen's.....nice big selection and good portions! If I'm in town, I go there. Otherwise, I am partial to Wentworth's with Durham Dari-Serv and Les' in Meriden for soft serve.

                                                            1. re: jquest619

                                                              Mortensen's is a good place for ice cream with meals (light years ahead of Friendy's, etc) , but there are many smaller ice cream stands around CT with a superior product. While on the subject of Mortensen's, a few years back, I ordered a large drink while at the Newington location and my wife ordered a small drink. Mine came in a large, thick-walled glass, my wife's in a shorter, thin-walled water glass. After our meal, out of curiosity, we filled her glass with water and transferred it to mine. Hers actually had more volume, but was in a smaller glass. Mine was simply a larger glass. To this day, we still joke about ordering a large when we are not so thirsty.

                                                              1. re: Clams047

                                                                I have three words to describe Mortensen's: chocolate almond fudge.

                                                                It's crazy good. I've never tried another flavor there - I don't have to. I have found my nirvana...

                                                                Try it.

                                                                1. re: lifespan

                                                                  Used to frequent Mortensen's at least once a week when I lived in Hartford. Really good ice cream; especially the coffee. Food is decent too.

                                                        2. In Milford, the Walnut Beach Creamery was a great surprise. The Honey Vanilla is amazing - made with local honey.


                                                          1. The Gelato place on Hebron Ave in Glastonbury Center right next door to Starbucks and Sauce and across the street from Whole foods (aka whole paycheck). They are delicious! And at 30 calories per serving (fruit flavors) and $1 a scoop Wednesdays, you can't go wrong!

                                                            1. I haven't been to a lot of these places, so don't know how my recent find- Walnut Beach Creamery on East Broadway in Milford- compares, but the ice cream is rich, delicious and inventive. The service friendly (family owned and operated), and the prices ridiculously cheap!!! I stopped there with a friend the other day - we each had a (generous) single in a cup. When the kid said $3.18, I said "no, we're together", but that was the real price- for both of us! I had the "Dirty Little Pecan" and my friend had "Bedrock"- yummy!

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: JenJeninCT

                                                                I'll second that - Walnut Beach creamery is some of the best ice cream I've found anywhere.

                                                                1. re: JenJeninCT

                                                                  The only trouble with Walnut Beach Creamery is the ice cream is so good it never lasts the three blocks to Walnut Beach!

                                                                  Walnut Beach Creamery
                                                                  17 Broadway, Milford, CT 06460

                                                                2. I love the ice cream in Salem. . If you go to the beach via route 2 from the Hartford area and take route 11 to route 85, you will find it. Take a right onto route 85 and one of the next lefts to get to the store. They have manywonderful flavors, use all natural products, and the ice cream is delicious. I'm amazed that no one mentioned this place before. The name of it may be Salem Ice Cream, but I'm not sure about that.

                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                  1. re: aldente1

                                                                    Rayliene in Putnam CT. Ri Border. If you're a Hershey fan, you'll like it. Icecream.

                                                                    Or Ekonk Turkey Hill farm in CT. Homemade, and on a farm. You can taste the difference compared to grocery store ice cream by how rich and thick it is. Really flavorful too, doesn't taste watered down or blah. Maple Walnut is made with real maple, chocolate is great, chocolate chip has HUGE and LOTS of big chips..can't even find basic chocolate chip anywhere else anymore!

                                                                    Only flavor I wouldn't recommend is the cookie dough icecream..tastes kinda..salty. Like a cheapy batch of homemade cookie dough.


                                                                    1. re: no0b

                                                                      Got to the farm and cafe today. Waffle cone freshly made with my order of a combination of coffee and chocolate chip ice cream. The chocolate is truly chips; a great mouth feel when chewing down on the chunks amongst the smoothness of the ice cream. Only problem, the cone was warm enough to quickly start the ice cream melting--fortunately, I had sat down outside on a circular bench under a great shade tree and the earth got a bit of a treat!! They also have homemade apple cider donuts (with or without sugar coating) and there were some beautiful homemade pies sitting in the case. You won't find this place with a GPS; take the 14A exit from 395, then head east and you'll come to the intersection of Route 49, headed south. The Cafe is on the right in about a mile or so. You'll also see free-wandering chickens and a "demo" cage of turkeys.

                                                                    2. re: aldente1

                                                                      I haven't been in a long time, but fondly remember Salem Valley Farms (that's the name of the place you're describing). Used to love their creamline milk in glass containers, too. Well worth the trip if you are remotely near Salem...I used to live in Portland and made many a road trip for no other reason than to get this ice cream. :)

                                                                    3. Tulmeadow farms in West Simsbury is my fave. Made with fresh summer fruits.

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: rdesmond

                                                                        Old Lyme Ice Cream Shoppe, is awesome! Love their expresso bean or chocolate raspberry truffle ice cream! My husband loves their blueberry sweet cream!

                                                                        Also, DrawBridge Ice Cream in Mystic is a favorite!

                                                                        1. re: MissJersey

                                                                          I've eaten at a lot of CT ice creams and Collins Creamery in Enfield gets my vote.
                                                                          Dr. Mike's is also worth a trip. There's another place near Dr. Mike's too but I'm blanking on the specifics. For full sundaes, A.C. Petersen's in West Hartford is worth a stop, and Mortensen's if you are on the Berlin Turnpike. Rich Farm is not worth the hassle.

                                                                      2. Do we have to pick one best place? There are a number of good places to get ice cream in Connecticut. We're an ice cream kind of place. We have an ice cream kind of culture. This is not so everywhere. In Arizona, for example, there aren't so many ice cream places, which is surprising considering the heat. Then again, there is The Sugarbowl in Scottsdale... but I'm getting off track.

                                                                        Ashley's for coffee ice cream. None better. But of late I'm seduced by a new flavor of their's: BOURBON BROWN SUGAR. OMG!!! Try it with some of their bittersweet hot fudge sauce and you will swoon.

                                                                        I haven't been to Sweet Claude's in a long, long time. Not since I used to rollerblade on the rail trail out that way. After twelve miles or more of skating, I figured I'd earned a cone. I don't recall which flavor was my favorite. It was all great stuff. They actually even made tofutti that was good. Dunno if they still do.

                                                                        Wentworth's, for my money, was too cloying.
                                                                        I like Dr. Mike's chocolate lace, but it's just a bit too rich. And the deck at their Monroe store wasn't cleaned often enough. I don't like to sit in sticky when I eat my ice cream. For this reason I much prefer the York Street Ashley's to the Hamden Plaza Ashley's. Fact is, the Hamden Plaza is charmless.

                                                                        I love the UConn Dairy's ice cream. Their peach is heavenly! Just sometimes you have to hold your nose on the way in because those cow barns get seriously smelly.

                                                                        Up in Griswold there's a great place called Buttonwood Farm. They make an ice cream soda (a dying art, more's the pity, the perfect beverage of the gods) so big that you can hardly finish it.

                                                                        Griswold is a gorgeous area. And if you time your visit to Buttonwood farms just right, you'll get to eat your ice cream across from a glowing field of sunflowers. Delights for the tongue, the tummy and the eye!

                                                                        Buttonwood Farm Ice Cream
                                                                        471 Shetucket Tpke, Jewett City, CT 06351

                                                                        1. Tina's Ice Cream on the Granby Green...Brand new ice cream parlor in an old general store...They serve Bliss Bros. Dairy ice cream which has been around since the 1920s! It is fabulous...
                                                                          The shop is charming and in a "sweet" location....

                                                                          1. Is there any authentic gelato in Fairfield County? I've never had anything like the real thing in Italy in these parts. It's always irritating when Italian restaurants/shops call their ice cream gelato when it's much more than just the Italian way of saying ice cream.

                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                            1. re: alexinct

                                                                              there is an excellent gelato place in New Canaan, Gelatissimo on Forest St

                                                                              1. re: jfood

                                                                                Second Gelatissimo. Excellent gelato

                                                                            2. Our fave is Il Bacio in Danbury (Germantown). Great homemade & creamy, plus italian ice.

                                                                              1. Just had the ice cream at Stew Leonards....and YUM! Also there is a place in Westport caled Sunny Daes that is doing very well right now and I have tasted a lot of the flavors.

                                                                                Sunny Daes
                                                                                808 Post Rd, Fairfield, CT 06824

                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                1. re: taboo

                                                                                  Taboo, I am assuming you didn't try Stew's strawberry ice cream. One of the worst ever.

                                                                                  1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                                    I had the vanilla which was great and my BF had the chocolate...very creamy, yet light.

                                                                                  2. re: taboo

                                                                                    if it's like the rest of the sunny daes locations, I'd pass - overly sweet without much flavor

                                                                                  3. You can get Dr. Mike's ice cream at Marge's on East Main Street in Stratford.

                                                                                    1. Sweet Williams Bakery in Salisbury is making ice cream sandwiches with their cookies. The shortbread ones are outstanding. Bliss. Heaven. Today I had mixed berry ice cream on almond shortbread. So so so damn GOOD.

                                                                                      They do chocolate chip cookie ones too, but really, trust me, you want WANT the shortbread.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: Pipenta

                                                                                        Same picture twice. Damn. That's what you get when you chat and post at the same time.

                                                                                        Here's the other shot:

                                                                                      2. I live in the New Haven area and also like Rich's, although I'm happy to settle for Wentworth's or any Ashley's location ;) I'm still waiting to find that elusive place that makes real frozen custard like I remember from my Virginia childhood. I've tried the Rita's frozen custard franchise in Branford, and wasn't particularly impressed. Maybe I should go again.

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: valrichardson

                                                                                          I've tried a lot of ice cream around CT, but Rich's is the best. Also an amazing price for the amount of ice cream!

                                                                                        2. Buttonwood Farm in Jewett City has the best ice cream I have ever tasted. The assortment of original flavors is OOTW (out of this world) and is worth every minute you will wait in line (and you will).