When Mother Nature brings the heat, we all scream for ice cream. Chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, peanut butter cup—few things are better on a hot day than a couple scoops of your go-to flavor (sprinkles and candy optional, but recommended). From the quaint parlor on Main Street you’ve been going to since before you could see over the counter, to the just-opened creamery with creative flavors that would make even Ben & Jerry swoon, your favorite Long Island ice cream shops are ready to help you keep your cool when the mercury rises. Just make sure to say yes to the cherry.
Bridgehampton Candy Kitchen, Bridgehampton
The out East dining scene can change more quickly than the weather around here, but Bridgehampton Candy Kitchen has stood the test of time and done so on its own terms. Stools at the popular corner shop that opened on Main Street in 1925 are still hard to come by, but the delicious homemade ice cream is anything but. No need to dress up, the unpretentious classic diner vibes are perfect for beach-goers in need of a frozen treat. Go.
Coyle’s Homemade Ice Cream, Bay Shore and Islip
Sixty homemade options can make it hard to choose, so try to narrow it down a little, then order the famous Banana Split Cake, which comes with 20 flavors. Sharing would probably be a good idea, but that’s entirely up to you. Go.
Five Pennies Creamery, Rockville Centre
Rockville Centre has been known for its delicious and upscale restaurants, but when Five Pennies opened about five years ago it became a hotspot for Gold Coast frozen treat lovers too. Five Pennies rotates between 100 flavors like Cotton Candy, Banana Pudding, Snowman and classics like chocolate and vanilla. The small tables are perfect for catching up with your best friends. Go.
Listen: not everyone can bring themselves to say, “calories don’t count” when it comes to ice cream, no matter how lust-worthy it looks (and tastes). It is summer, after all. Granny’s gets it and has stocked the menu with an option for every dietary need–think gluten-free, low-fat and even vegan, without making guests sacrifice flavor. Go.
Herrell’s Ice Cream, Huntington
Steve Herrell, who opened his first shop near Boston in 1973, isn’t one to shy away from creativity. Over the years he’s churned out everything from Jalapeño and Cheesecake Cream to Malted Vanilla and Chocolate Pudding, all while keeping his signature rich, creamy, low-air taste. Go.
Magic Fountain, Mattituck
Tile shingles and no-frills decor fit perfectly in the heart of the North Fork, but Magic Fountain isn’t resting on its classic, small-town laurels. Some of the thick, creamy offerings include Chocolate Raspberry Truffle and Cherry Pistachio, which has notes of lavender and cherry bourbon. Your usual suspects are for the ordering too, of course, as are cakes to take your summer party to mouth-watering new heights. Go.
Marshall’s Ice Cream Bar, Massapequa
For the ultimate 1950s experience, grab a bite to eat at All American Hamburger Drive In, then head to neighboring sister store Marshall’s Ice Cream Bar to satisfy your sweet tooth. The counter, flanked by soda fountains and bright menus, is known to be manned by some of the fastest scoopers around. It’s a good thing because the place tends to be packed. Go.
Northport Sweet Shop, Northport
Northport Sweet Shop has been serving up homemade ice creams and countertop classics like sundaes, sodas and floats since 1929. If you keep hearing your Mom’s voice in your head telling you not to eat dessert before dinner, opt one of the oft-praised sandwiches and burgers before you order a crowd-pleasing treat like lemon custard or French ice cream soda topped with fresh whipped cream. Go.
Frigate, Port Jefferson
Walk into this Long Island shop and age becomes nothing but a number. Everyone is a kid in a candy shop at Frigate in Port Jefferson, where the candy containers are filled to the brim with chocolates and gummies, old-fashioned fudges are sold by the bite or bundle and the ice cream is so good people take the ferry from Bridgeport just for dessert. Go.
Sweet Treats on the Wharf, Port Washington
Hanging light fixtures, old records, a gumball machine and framed faded newspaper clippings on the wall give Sweet Treats on the Wharf a quaint feel on the inside. Once you’ve got your cone or cup, taking a stroll to the water’s edge comes as highly recommended as the Chunky Doughboy Delight. Go.
Sip ’N Soda Luncheonette, Southampton
Get four spoons with your banana split, slide into an oak wooden booth and enjoy some comfort food in a pleasantly modest respite from the summer hustle of the Hamptons. Craving something sweet on a welcome balmy day in October? Order a strawberry ice cream—the staff freezes local strawberries each summer so they can treat guests to some local summer flavor all year round. Heads up: it’s cash only. Go.