4 Perfect Places to Have Your First Scoop of Spring

It’s been a long, hard winter; get ice cream as soon as you can.

Kip's photo by John Altdorfer


We’ve certainly earned spring this year, haven’t we? And where there’s spring, there’s ice cream. Here’s the deal: We’re not just going to walk to the chain ice cream joint down the street. Not that those spots aren’t good; they have their place. But spring is a time for so much more than things that are good and have their place. We’re going on a real adventure. We’re going to eat housemade ice cream. We’re going to sit outside. Grab your cash dollars (most of these places don’t take plastic) and your family and friends. Buckle up. Roll down the windows. Let’s go for a drive.

Remember When Ice Cream
3860 Chartiers Ave., Windgap
Is there anything better than open windows after a long winter? Remember When closes in the colder months, so visiting is a doubly exciting treat. Remember When started as a last-minute revision to what was planned as a barbershop in 1960. The shop has a full menu of hard ice cream (made on-site), sundaes and hot food, but your best bet is its original item: soft-serve. You can go vanilla, you can go chocolate, you can swirl. You even can get what’s alternately known as the “Memory Cone” or “Pittsburgh’s Largest Ice Cream Cone” — 13 inches of soft-serve that must be delivered via the side door because it’s too tall to fit through the service window.

1136 Thorn Run Road, Moon Township
Kip’s is for people who can’t decide which they love more: ice cream or dogs. As in, you might get distracted by the pup-themed accessories and movie posters (remember “Air Bud?”) and forget that you’re supposed to be ordering from the extensive menu. Don’t worry — the people at Kip’s are very patient. Consider a milkshake in a slightly unusual flavor, such as black raspberry. The texture and taste of the treats recreate the fleeting perfection of the hand-cranked olden days without the sore muscles.

539 Allegheny Ave., Oakmont
Here’s a place that could have been lifted right off the boardwalk. The lack of errant sand sticking to your skin as you sit at one of the umbrella-covered tables is the only thing keeping you from thinking you’ve been magically transported to the shore. Keep that fantasy going with one of the Brr-Kees specialty sundaes. The lemon chiffon shortcake sundae tastes as bright and light as the season itself, with lemon chiffon ice cream on shortcake with marshmallow topping, whipped cream and rainbow sprinkles. Happiness.

Page Dairy Mart
4600 E. Carson St., South Side
This is not your Friday-night adventure to the South Side. You’re more likely to have passed Page Dairy Mart when making a Sunday drive between South Side brunch and Waterfront shopping. Yes, that place — the one you’ve always been meaning to check out as you speed past. This is the month to finally stop at the mid-century building that’s straight out of your grandparents’ courtship. As in your grandmother’s kitchen, you’re in for a special treat when you order the chocolate chip cookie sundae. The ice cream is fresh and cold. The cookie is homemade and warm. We’re not really sure what else you could want.

Categories: Eat + Drink Features