Sweet Treats: A guide to Pittsburgh Ice Cream

By May 28, 2019 May 29th, 2019 2 Comments

A vegan blueberry and mango soft-serve swirl at Millie’s Bakery Square pop-up. (Photo by Haley Frederick)

By Haley Frederick
Pittsburgh Current Managing Editor

Look, when it comes to ice cream, you can’t really go wrong. But in our humble opinion, some shops stand out in certain categories. Here’s where we think you should go for the best experience in your desired medium of ice cream consumption. You can disagree, but let’s not scream over ice cream.

Scoops: Antney’s Ice Cream

1316 Poplar St, Westwood

This family-owned ice cream shop serves homemade ice cream, sorbet and frozen yogurt. Their recipes are spot-on and the flavors are fantastic. Antney’s always has chocolate, vanilla and strawberry to cater to those who want the classics, but they rotate between more than 100 others for the 13 remaining scoop selections they offer each day. These unique options include varieties like Glazed Donut, Hot Chocolate, Tiramisu, Ice Cream Sandwich and Sesame Honey Brittle. Every time you visit Antney’s, you’re sure to see something you haven’t seen before.

Currently, Antney’s is closed due to a family medical emergency. They will post updates on Facebook about when you can expect them to reopen.

Soft-Serve: Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream

151 Bakery Square Blvd, Larimer

We all know Millie’s for their delightful scoop shops in Shadyside and Downtown, but this summer they’re introducing a new pop-up called Summer of Soft-Serve. The new spot, which will stay open through October, is serving up swirls of homemade soft-serve—both vegan and dairy flavors are available each day. Put it into a classic hot fudge or tin roof sundae, add toppings to a regular cone or make it into a float with Millie’s fresh lemonade. It’s a fun, colorful atmosphere with picnic tables perfect for summer evenings.

Sundaes: Page Dairy Mart

4600 E Carson St, South Side

Another family-owned spot, Page’s has been on the South Side for 68 years. Sure, they have great soft serve and Arctic Swirls, but are you really making the most of a trip to Page’s if you’re not getting a sundae? The Nancy B’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Sundae brings together the scrumptious warm cookies from the Homestead bakery and cold, creamy vanilla soft serve. The Yinzer Sundae features blondies from Pastries A-La-Cart in Pleasant Hills and hot caramel. And let’s not forget the Raspberry Almond Torte, Hot Cinnamon Bun, Strawberry Shortcake and Hot Apple Dumpling sundaes, too.

Vegan: Sugar Spell Scoops

1014 N Canal St, Sharpsburg

The first all-vegan ice cream parlor in Pennsylvania, Sugar Spell Scoops is the place to go for plant-based or dairy-free folks in need of their ice cream fix. Using fresh cashew, hemp and nut milks, Sugar Spell is able to make their scoops satisfyingly creamy. The flavor lineup changes each week, but expect creative creations like Cosmic Brownie, Carrot Cake and Freckled Mint. Their spring hours are limited to Friday through Sunday, but expanded summer hours are on their way.  

Old School: Klavon’s Ice Cream Parlor

2801 Penn Avenue, Strip District

The Klavons first opened their apothecary and ice cream shop in 1923. It closed in 1979, and re-opened in 1999 as a soda fountain. Now, nearly 100 years after it started, Klavon’s is a time capsule of the traditional ice cream parlor experience. Picturesque sundaes are served in tall, elegant glasses with a swirl of whipped cream and a cherry on top. Klavon’s is also known to offer up over-the-top milkshakes and classic floats, all made with their homemade ice cream.

Sandwiches: Leona’s Ice Cream

In Pittsburgh Stores/Restaurants

Leona’s started selling their ice cream sandwiches in 2012. Not only are they making unique flavors like Malt Honeycomb and Black Sesame, they’re also using a unique process that allows them to make real dairy ice cream with no lactose. A natural enzyme breaks down the lactose, making their ice cream safe for those with sensitivities to enjoy. Leona’s doesn’t have a shop—instead, their sandwiches are stocked in stores, coffee shops and restaurants across Pittsburgh and beyond. A complete list of where you can find them is available on  

Milkshakes: The Milkshake Factory

1705 East Carson Street, South Side

Using quality ice cream from Washington County’s Rivendale Farms, The Milkshake Factory creates decadent handspun shakes. The South Side location opened in 1978 and was revamped to focus on shakes in 2003. Since then, they’ve opened up locations in Downtown, Oakland and East Liberty, too. Classic flavors like Strawberry and Cookies & Cream are available in regular and vegan varieties. And a new Lemon Meringue Pie shake is in shops this summer.


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