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Cool treats for a hot summer: A guide to Cape May’s ice cream parlors

When the weather warms up, our taste buds crave something cool. It may be anything from smoothies to salads to seafood, but most certainly ice cream. Once seven o’clock rolls around our summertime minds go straight to those frosty sweet treats and Cape May offers plenty of options on that cold front! From water ice and custard on a hot beach day to an evening stroll on the Washington Street Mall with a cone of your favorite flavor, this local ice cream parlor guide can help you decide where to go.

Ben & Jerry’s

414 Washington Street

Among Cape May’s many locally owned small businesses, there are a few well-known brand names. This popular ice cream parlor chain famous for their creative and witty flavor names has a spot on the Washington Street Mall. There is a variety available from classic flavors like Half Baked and Cherry Garcia to non-dairy options like Cookie Dough. A notable highlight is their cone options, both hand held and cone bowls, with icing and sprinkle rims. They have a freezer with pints of icecream for sale that rotate flavors and is usually stocked with the Ben & Jerry classics. There is seating both inside and outside. This location takes cash and card. Their off season is shorter than most ice cream parlors, only being closed from roughly December through March. 

What you can expect according to their website, “With exclusive flavors loaded with chunks and swirls plus a range of your favorites, you can have it served up in a dipped waffle cone, swirled into a milkshake, decadent in a sundae, or keep it simple in a classic cup.”

Cione Gelato

315 Ocean Street #10

Located in the Washington Commons, at Cione you can enjoy authentic Italian ice cream and more. They have a variety of delicious gelato flavors including Blueberry Cream Cheese Pie and Cannoli along with dairy-free options like sorbet. Beyond their creamy and fresh gelato flavors they also serve bubble waffles, boba tea, and crepes. There is limited seating inside and they accept both cash and card.

Dry Dock Restaurant

1440 Texas Avenue

This popular restaurant on the east side of town doubles as an ice cream parlor. They offer everything ice cream-from sundaes to milkshakes to toppings as well as soft serve. There are alternative gluten free and egg free options. Plenty of inside and outside seating is available. They accept both cash and card and expect to be closed from around mid October to April. According to their website, “The Dry Dock Restaurant has been owned and operated by the Matthews’ family since 2000. The Dry Dock Restaurant also features a large ice cream and toppings bar and features our famous old fashioned milk shakes.” 

Fine Fellows Creamery

313 Beach Avenue

Right across from Stegers Beach amongst the other shops in this beachfront plaza with a rainbow flag proudly waving is Fine Fellows, serving Bassetts Ice Cream. They offer waffles, shakes, sundaes, smoothies, and cones with vegan and gluten-free ice cream options. The majority of their selections are gluten free. You can cool off and sit inside to enjoy your scoops. They accept both cash and card. They are closed November through April. 

King’s Ice Cream Parlour

401 Lafayette Street

The newest ice cream shop in Cape May has opened its doors and is receiving lots of positive local feedback. Micky Chew of Bigwave Burrito and Aloha Smoothie Company has expanded his business pursuits with this cotton candy colored castle. Only two blocks from Bigwave Burrito, across the street from Rotary Park, this parlour is easy to access with available parking. Inside you will find an adorable shop with toys, merchandise, and candy for sale to your right. There is seating to your left, and the ice cream counter straight ahead. They offer dairy free and homemade selections with plenty of toppings and sauces. Their premium soft serve is blended in house and mixed with toppings to create their signature “swirls”. They accept both cash and card. They plan to be open until Christmas.

Kohr Brothers Frozen Custard

512 Washington Street & 722 Beach Avenue

Known for their original frozen custard, this Coney Island family business has expanded since they began in 1919 and now has two locations in Cape May. If you want something sweet, soft, and swirly-maybe even with sprinkles—this is the place! According to their website, “We offer single flavors or twist combinations—from traditional vanilla and distinctive chocolate to our wide variety of real fruit and other delicious flavors.” They stick to their original recipe so all of their frosty products contain egg, milk, nuts, and wheat. This should be noted for any customer with allergies. There is no seating. They accept both cash and card.

Peace Pie

326 Carpenters Lane

Enjoy a unique take on ice cream sandwiches with Peace Pie. Their tagline reads “the ice cream sandwich with a layer of pie filling.” Using ice cream, pie filling, and shortbread cookies, these pre-made treats await your order with an array of delicious flavor combinations. They stay open all year during the weekends and are open every day from May until roughly the end of the year. This establishment does not offer dairy free options. They’re located in the heart of town across from the Washington Street Mall and accept cash and card. This is over-the-counter service with no seating. 

Rita’s Italian Ice

707 Beach Avenue

This famous chain has a location in Cape May right across from the beach and Convention Hall. Here they offer their popular water ice and custard options. They also offer a variety of cold treats like frozen drinks with plenty of toppings. There is limited seating inside and designated seating outside. 

Scoops on Sunset

102 Sunset Boulevard

Located in the Sunset Plaza on Sunset Boulevard, Scoops on Sunset offers the quintessential delights of an ice cream parlor. They have sundaes, cones, milk shakes, and even homemade pup cups for your furry friends. They also offer several vegan ice cream flavor options and water based Philadelphia Water Ice. They do not have soft serve. The outside offers limited seating and they accept both cash and card. Scoops is usually closed from mid September to mid May. 

Uncle Charley’s Ice Cream

306 Washington Street

This locally owned ice cream parlor is stocked with a majority of homemade ice cream, with a few selections of Jack & Jill flavors (in the red tubs). Their dairy free products include sorbets and italian ice options which are both not homemade. The selections of sherbets and yogurts are also not homemade. They accept both cash and card and are usually closed from the middle of October to early May. They have plenty of outside seating including a giant ice cream themed bench great for a photo op. There is limited air conditioned inside seating. 

With the same owners only a couple shops down on the other side of the building is Crepe May. They are not an official ice cream parlor, they’re highlights are crepes, bubble waffles, and smoothies, however they do offer a few ice cream flavors to pair with these other tasty snacks. 

Not Parlors but Noteworthy:

The Grille

502 Sunset Boulevard

The Grille is a restaurant located right on Sunset Beach with a perfect view of the wreck of the SS Atlantus. The selection is slim but they offer vanilla and chocolate soft serve ice cream, novelty frozen treats like ice cream sandwiches and Klondikes, Philadelphia Water Ice, root beer floats, and milkshakes. It is over-the-counter service with plenty of beachfront outside seating.

Madison’s Bakery

505 Carpenters Lane

Unlike their location on Beach Avenue, their shop on Carpenter’s Lane does serve ice cream. They have a few selections of Hershey’s ice cream including dairy free and gluten free options. You can dress up the ice cream with toppings or blend into a milkshake. What makes this location stand out is their ice cream filled donuts. They also make waffles with ice cream. They accept both cash and card.


702 Beach Avenue

With a large nautical sign mounted on the front of the restaurant, Mermaids is easy to spot, and their to-go counter service area also offers ice cream. They have milkshakes, floats, sundaes, and water ice. Outside seating is available.

The Original Fudge Kitchen

513 Washington Street 

Located at the back of the store you’ll find a freezer filled with Edy’s Ice Cream. They offer milkshakes, soft serve, cones, and toppings. There are no dairy alternatives and no seating. You can pay with either cash or card.

Specific hours are subject to change depending on the individual business.