Thursday, June 18, 2015

Best Connecticut Ice Cream Shops

Ice cream season is upon us, and we asked our members to give us their favorite local spots for the best ice cream in the state.  Here's our top 8 spots you need to hit this summer.

1. J. Foster's (Avon and Simsbury): Thick and creamy, J. Foster's ice cream is not to be missed.  "We begin with the finest dairy products available: pure bourbon and tahitian vanillas, imported cocoas, fresh roasted nuts and premium in season fruits to create ice cream that is unequaled in quality and taste.  Unlike most others, we minimize the amount of air whipped into our ice cream. As a result our ice cream is denser, creamier, richer in taste, and full of flavor."

2. Tulmeadow Farm (Simsbury):  Set in West Simsbury, you can visit the cows that produce the milk across the street from the farm store.  "In August of 1994, we began making ice cream at the farm.  Our goal was to make really great ice cream, so that our customers would want to come back again and again.  We make over 50 different flavors of very rich 16% butterfat gourmet ice cream.  Our top selling flavor is Red Raspberry with Chocolate Chips."

3. The UCONN Dairy Bar (Storrs): Located on the beautiful campus of the University of Connecticut, the Dairy Bar is a staple for students and visitors alike.  Visit the cows and other animals in the bars out back.  "The UConn Dairy Bar opened in 1953 to sell dairy products that were made by the Creamery. The Creamery was established in the early 1900s and operated all the way up until 1991. Today, the Dairy Bar makes ice cream according to its original recipe and sells this ice cream through the Dairy Bar retail establishment, along with a variety of cheeses.  The Dairy Bar still manufactures ice cream according to its original recipe from the early 1900’s.  Today, over 200,000 customers visit the Dairy Bar every year to enjoy 24 different flavors of freshly prepared ice cream treats."

4. Salem Valley Farms (Salem): Tie dye is in fashion at Salem Valley Farms!  "We produce everything on premises, with about 80 flavor selections at our peak in summer.  Spring and Fall seasons may have less, but there is always plenty to choose from, including premium ice cream, sherbet, sorbet, low fat ice cream, low fat frozen yogurt and even dairy-free/vegan choices.  All our ice cream is handmade on premises just two tubs at a time. This is how we’ve done it since 1988, and will continue to do so. We use the best ingredients we can find for the flavors we offer, and all candies, nuts, and such are added by hand AFTER the ice cream comes out of the machine. What this means to you is lots of large chunks, not ground up tiny bits."

5. Ferris Acres Creamery (Newtown): "Come and relax in the heart of our picturesque farm. While you leisurely eat your ice cream, you can watch the cows grazing nearby.  We serve premium ice cream made fresh daily in our shop. Many of the flavors are our own family recipes."

6. Michael's Dairy (New London): "Michael's Dairy has been in operation for over sixty years and has been located adjacent to Mitchell College since the founding of the institution in 1938. The Buscetto family acquired the dairy and the property from the Mitchell family in 1943 and renamed the Mitchell Dairy to the present name. Michael's Dairy was the last milk processing dairy in New London and continued that tradition into the 1970s. In May 2006, Mitchell College acquired Michael's Dairy which has been managed by the Department of Hospitality & Tourism and operated by Mitchell College students."

7. Grass Roots Creamery (Granby): Located right in the center of Granby, this spot is known for its friendly servers and eclectic, ever-revolving selection of flavors.  The ice cream is supposed to be one of the creamiest around, with completely all-natural ingredients- no artificial flavors or colors allowed (and that goes for the toppings, too).

8. Walnut Beach Creamery (Milford): "Your local ice cream shop, the Walnut Beach Creamery, operates in what used to be the old Walnut Beach Post Office in Milford, CT.  Having opened in 2007, we are happy to share in our 8th season of ice cream with you! Our mission is to make every batch of ice cream by hand with a single batch freezer, using the best and freshest ingredients we can find. We are always changing flavors and finding fun twists.  Located only one block from the beach, we’re also a community here in Milford."

Did we miss any?  Tell us who your favorite Connecticut ice cream maker is!

All photos are credited to the individual shops' webpage or Facebook.


  1. I want to visit every single one! It's now on my summer to-do list!

  2. How is Buttonwoods Farms not on this list?! They're doing their sunflowers right now too


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