I scream, you scream, we all scream, for a delicious, cold treat. Ice cream! With warmer weather hopefully here to stay, one of the best ways to combat Pittsburgh’s hot, humid summers is with a frozen dessert. Here are a few standout ice cream shops open in the ‘burgh. 

Happy Day Dessert Factory (North Side)

Image via: Happy Day Dessert Factory, Facebook

One of the newest sweet treat shops in Pittsburgh (opened in March 2020, right at the beginning of the pandemic) is Happy Day Dessert Factory. Found in the North Side, this Black-owned ice cream shop offers a rotating cast of flavors, like almond milk and a recent limited edition Taylor Gang selection, and makes it a point to give back to the local community. In the short time the shop has been open, Happy Day has participated in a toy drive, a diaper drive, and for a week gave a percentage of profits to the homeless, among others. Oh yeah, and the owner is only 20. 

Scoops Pittsburgh (Multiple locations)

Image via: Scoops Pittsburgh, Instagram

Scoops there it is!… In Bloomfield, Brookline, Mt. Lebanon, Bellevue, and Carnegie. Started in Mt. Lebanon in the 1930s, Scoops Pittsburgh has grown to populate multiple neighborhoods in Pittsburgh. According to their website, “each location was uniquely designed around the neighborhood, and not all of our flavors are the same.” So the best way to experience the variety is by visiting all of the five shops. (Maybe all in one day, or maybe over time. That’s your call.)

Sugar and Spice (Baldwin)

Image via: Sugar and Spice, Instagram

Have your attempts at time travel been unsuccessful? Well, maybe Sugar and Spice can help create the illusion of going back in time. Upon entering this Baldwin ice cream shop, visitors are greeted with a 1940s soda fountain, black and white tile floor, and retro decorations. WIth new flavor offering every week, available in sundaes, floats, and more, you can enjoy a cool nostalga inducing treat.

Leona’s (Multiple locations)

Image via: Leona’s, Facebook

While Leona’s doesn’t currently have an official dine in shop, their 100% real dairy, 100% lactose free ice cream and ice cream sandwiches can be found at restaurants, breweries, grocery stores, and shops all around Pittsburgh. (You can check out a map here.) Each location carrys different Leona’s flavors and products (some just sandwiches, some just pints, some make an affogato aka espresso poured over vanilla ice cream), and not all flavors are available at all times. That’s because Leona’s is a locally-based company that makes small batch ice cream sandwiches and pints, and they use local dairy and ingredients whenever possible. 

Glen’s Frozen Custard (Multiple locations) 

Image via: Glen’s Frozen Custard

In the market for ice cream’s cousin, custard? Look no further than Glen’s Frozen Custard in Springdale and Lower Burrell. First opened by a man named Glen in 1948 (orginally in Cheswick, they moved to Sprindale in 1959 and opened the second location in 2010), the shop changes their featured flaavors daily and offers Glenwiches, Julie Bars, Tartans and frozen custard birthday cakes. What’s the difference between ice cream and custard you ask? Frozen custard has less air in it than ice cream, making the frozen desser creamier and thicker. Bonus points, Glen’s Spingdale location has a mini golf course. 

This content was provided by a local, independent contributor to Made in PGH, a lifestyle blog.
Jordan Snowden

Jordan Snowden is a Pittsburgh transplant who loves all things literature and music-related. She runs @jord_reads_books, a thriving bookstagram (book Instagram) account where she shares her love for reading and connects with other bookworms. You can usually find her at a concert, nose-deep in a book, or hula hooping.

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