Cream of the Crop
Take a Tasty Tour that Samples “Scream-Worthy” Frozen Treats
Sunny summer days are meant for cruising the countryside and, while you’re at it, scoring some ice cream. Luckily, we have the best of both right here in Frederick County, providing an opportunity to reconnect with the beauty and bounty around us, as well as treating the taste buds.
To help you create your own tasty tour, we’ve gathered details about many local favorites. Sample some or all or pick a new place to try. Keep in mind, this list is just a starting point and not meant to be all-inclusive. There’s just too much ice cream out there, which isn’t a bad thing!
South Mountain Creamery, 8305 Bolivar Road, Middletown
The Sowers family started farming in 1981. By 2001, they added Maryland’s first on-farm dairy processing plant. Now, guests can visit the farm, pet the cows and see daily milking or feeding. The farm market carries its own glass-bottled milk, cheese, yogurt, meat and more, along with ice cream by the scoop or container. Its newest venture is Frederick’s Hometown Harvest Kitchen, which also offers sweet treats among its offerings.
More’s Ice Cream, 13 W. Main St., Middletown
“You’ll want more” is the motto here. Jim Kehoe opened shop in June 2014, serving indulgent ice cream by Garber’s of Winchester, Va. Walls are decked in photos celebrating Middletown High School sports, so patrons have plenty to peruse while noshing on hand-dipped shakes, scoops, sundaes and parfaits laden with locally picked fruit. We can vouch for the Sweet & Salty Caramel Pretzel with a cascade of peanut butter sauce.
Kulfi, 5241 Buckeystown Pike, Westview Promenade
Channeling the ghost of Maggie Moo’s, complete with optional mix-ins mashed on a frozen slab, Kulfi is India’s version of ice cream. Traditionally made with simmered, full-fat milk, patrons who grew up in India say it’s a taste of childhood. Kulfi delivers an international twist; blends with rose syrup, mango, sweet cream and brilliantly brickle butter-scotch, in addition to popular flavors such as Cotton Candy, Red Velvet and Birthday Cake, all made on site.
Beef ‘n Buns ‘n Paradise, 1201 E. Patrick St.
This jumping joint boasts an ample menu of “Fresh Food—NOT Fast Food,” including made-to-order burgers with locally raised beef. Flavor Burst Soft Serve stars in myriad variation with stripes of black cherry, Blue Goo, bubble gum, butter pecan, coffee and cream, orange, raspberry, strawberry, classic chocolate or vanilla, and a weekly special. Options abound to customize boats, floats, chillers and sundaes with your favorite flavors.
Frederick Fudge & Ice Cream, 253 E. Church St.
This sweet shop is dangerously close to Frederick Magazine, beckoning the neighborhood to premium hand-dipped scoops and 24 flavors of seasonal soft serve goodness, plus malts and shakes, parfaits, and house-made waffle cones. That is, if you can get past the intoxicating smell of house-made fudge, aligned in colorful blocks. The shop stocks top-of-the-line specialty chocolates, hand-squeezed lemonade and other candy treats. Look for the mascot, Theodore Bear, to mark the spot.
Serendipity Market & More, 14 E. Patrick St.
Known for strong community focus, this hip general store stocks a little of everything. There’s art and dry goods mingled with locally made/grown agricultural products and crafts. The café includes veg-friendly food and Moorenko’s of Silver Spring ultra-premium ice cream and sorbets. The “ultra” means higher milkfat and less air whipped in for a richly satisfying treat. Flavors may include Cookie Overload, Lavender and Honey, Damson Plum, Grapefruit Compari or Strawberry flecked with rose petals.
Pretzel & Pizza Creations, 210 N. Market St.
This place is well-known for its made-to-order pizza, pretzels, dogs and sandwiches, but it also offers an extensive array of Hershey’s ice cream. Patrons can choose from 24 flavors, like Graham Central Station (graham-flavored ice cream with a crunchy graham cracker swirl and chocolate-covered honeycomb candies), Brown Butter Bourbon Truffle, Heavenly Hazelnut and Raspberry Roadrunner.
North Market Pop Shop, 241 N. Market St.
Ice cream float? Yes, please. This stop is a bright spot inside and out. Shelves are lined with a dizzying variety of bottled craft, retro and vintage sodas to tickle the senses. Simply pick a bubbly flavor, then pair it with a scoop of premium Trickling Springs Creamery Ice Cream from Chambersburg, Pa. There are also vegan and lactose-free options using soy, rice or coconut. You could opt for a dish/cone with toppings or float your favorite ice cream in coffee for a bracing affogato.
Fantasticks, 200 Shorebird St.
Creative and fun, Fantasticks puts a decadent spin on deep freeze desserts. It shares space with Manhattan Pizza off Md. 26. Pick a gelato pop from flavors like Salted Caramel, Kiwi- Orange or Guava. Then choose a creamy coating and up to three gourmet toppings, such as dried raspberries, Reese’s Pieces or culinary rose petals. Top that with another flavored accent drizzled over all for a picture-perfect treat.
Gateway Candyland, 14802 N. Franklinville Road, Thurmont
Candyland releases the inner child. Modeled after attractions from the heyday of family road trips, this place is packed with nostalgia. There are mountains of hard-to-find candies, candy-making supplies, country crafts, fresh farm produce and ice cream. Of course, they have classic flavors of chocolate and vanilla, in addition to peanut butter, cool mint or tangy raspberry and more, in soft serve and hand-dipped. Opened in 1983, you’ll find generations of fans gathering here.
Sweet Babe’s Creamery, 3534 Urbana Pike, Urbana
Family and fellowship make this a neighborhood chill spot. It’s tucked into Casa Bella Commons and there’s a sweet story behind the name. “That’s what my parents called each other,” says owner Debbie Duncan, whose mom is now battling cancer, the same disease that took her dad years ago. The shop carries 10 percent milkfat soft serve from Baltimore’s Cloverland Dairy. Daily flavor specials may include Double Dutch Chocolate or mango, along with lactose-free options. Most popular is the “Sweet Babe,” a cup of ice cream blended with choice mix-ins. Cash only.
Derby Cone, 83 W Main St., New Market
Formerly Milo’s, The Derby Restaurant & Bar kept the cone zone established by previous owners, adding new touches for a truly family-friendly affair. Guests can play lawn games, like giant Jenga and Connect 4, or spread a blanket and enjoy free family movie nights while digging into any of 20 South Mountain Creamery flavors, gourmet ice cream sandwiches or food from the restaurant. Cash only.
Rocky Point Creamery, 4323A Tuscarora Road, Tuscarora
Fresh from the source, this family farm started in 1883. Today, the fourth generation milks 175 Holstein cows and farms 700 acres, churning out 80 varieties of ice cream without antibiotics or hormones. There’s “fried” ice cream and specialty sundaes alongside a small selection of fresh milk and frozen meat. This cavernous shop includes a party room, tractor-themed play area and cute cow-shaped benches. Fans in line eagerly recommend their favorite flavors: Almond Amaretto, Salty Caramel Pretzel, Cookies & Cream or homey Banana Puddin’.
Towpath Creamery, 12 S. Maple Ave., Brunswick
Steps from the Brunswick train station, locals and visitors to the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal towpath find refreshment here. The creamery dishes up ice cream from Trickling Springs, like Indonesian Vanilla Bean and natural strawberry. Get your choice wedged between two freshly baked cookies, blended into a shake or loaded onto a sundae. The “Towpath” version combines vanilla ice cream, banana bread, blueberries, granola and local honey. Brunswick College Ice is an old-time favorite with layers of crushed ice, ice cream and syrup. Dog-friendly Pupcups are available, too.
Little Red Barn Ice Cream Cafe, 4610 Lander Road, Jefferson
This cozy, restored barn serves homestyle eats like grilled cheese, hot dogs, hearty sandwiches and Belgian waffles. Breakfast bagels are served all day. For dessert, choose soft serve South Mountain Creamery or Hershey’s hand-dipped ice cream. Try a milkshake blended with locally roasted coffee for a real kick. Fans can sometimes find them across the street on Wednesday afternoons, dipping scoops at the Jefferson Maryland Farmer’s Market.