The Definitive New Haven Ice Cream Rankings

A bold choice for a title, I know.

But I have done exhaustive research. And by that, I mean I asked Facebook what everybody’s favorite New Haven ice creams were, and only one person made a disgusting comment about a family member. Which by internet standards, is actually pretty good.

“But Josh, how can we trust your friends don’t have horrible taste?”

Great question. When you meet someone without horrible taste, you let me know, cause they’ll be the first.

So without further adieu, here is my extremely scientific results, with a P of 0.02.

(I don’t know that that means, I just know it needs to be official.)

5. Libby’s Gelato/Italian Ice (6 pts) – 139 Wooster St, New Haven, CT 06511

Why not start this Best Ice Cream in New Haven list with a Pastry Shop which doesn’t technically sell ice cream. Curveball!

In truth, I asked for Best Ice Cream but people loved Libby’s Gelato and Italian Ice so much it was mentioned several times despite not technically being ice cream. One friend strongly recommended the frozen Cappuccino, which is made with gelato.

Libby's Italian Ice
Like an oasis in a weird dessert full of pizza
(Image courtesy Libby’s Facebook page)

There are few better reliefs on a hot summer day in New Haven’s Little Italy than their selection of Italian ice and gelato. The nice thing here is you can go get one of the greatest pizzas in the entire world, and then follow it with some awesome frozen treat.

You’ll get in shape next year.

4. Milkcraft (9 pts) – 80 Crown St suite 100, New Haven, CT 06511

The new kid in town, hailing originally from Fairfield, Milkcraft is the ice cream which Does It For the ‘Gram. Does it taste good? Who cares. The most precious resource of all is Likes.

If you’ve ever said to yourself hey, this waffle cone is pretty cool, but couldn’t it be even better if it was a comically oversized bubble cone? No? Well, someone did.

Milkcraft Cereal

Milkcraft, which opened its third location in New Haven, uses liquid nitrogen-infused ice cream to make a bunch of insane flavors such as Blue Cookie Butter, Milk and Cereal, and S’mores.

Plus it’s only like 30 dollars or whatever.

(7.95 for one scoop)

3. Bill’s Carousel (12 pts) – 1185 Whalley Ave, New Haven, CT 06515

It’s 11:30pm and all the ice cream spots are closed. You gently sob to yourself, knowing your future is a pint of some ice cream at Walgreens. Which means you have to go to Walgreens. It’ll probably be full of those Explo kids. Why even live, really.

But the you remember, isn’t Bill’s Carousel in Westville open until like…. whenever?

I once asked the guy working there, as it was around 1 am, when they closed. He was like

“Oh you know… it depends.”
“On what?”
“If there’s people hanging out and eating ice cream, we’ll just stay open.”
“Until when?”

He just shrugged at me.

That’s the kind of service you get on Whalley Avenue. And the only place with an ice cream drive through. Really, who’s trying to get exercise on their ice cream trips? Nobody.

Bills Drive Thru
Finally, a way to avoid accidentally burning calories while eating ice cream.

Go through, get that chocolate/vanilla swirl with the hard chocolate casing. For a few brief moments, you’ll forget all about those the insane world you live in.

2. Ashley’s Ice Cream (20 pts) – 280 York St, New Haven, CT 06511

It’s a two horse race and as much as it breaks my heart, Ashley’s came in second.

Named after famous adorable dog Ashley Whippet, Ashley’s has been a staple in Connecticut for over 30 years, often winning Best Ice Cream in the Best of New Haven Poll. Which is absolutely a fair rating and not at all a popularity contest where any blog even if they aren’t really related to New Haven at all can win Best Blog cause they have a ton of readers who eat that Clean Eating shit up.

Ashley’s, which has ice cream for dogs (as well as humans I guess), has that kind of old-timey feel you expect from an ice cream parlor. As well as pictures of dogs. So many dogs.

Dog eating ice cream
This dog will go on a diet next year.

Their hot fudge and peanut butter sauce are the Truth, no offense to Paul Pierce.

It’s my own personal favorite, but ultimately, who am I to stand in the way of science.

1. Arethusa Dairy Farm (29 pts) – 1020 Chapel St, New Haven, CT 06510

While it may have been a two-horse race, it was Arethusa who pulled away, easily. Time after time, person after person, probably half my friends who can’t read that I actually wanted THREE answers kept just giving me one word: Arethusa.

People love it for the high quality, generous portions, and insanely cheap price.

It doesn’t hurt that they literally have no idea what one scoop is.

I was like hey can I get two scoops he’s like are you sure you don’t want one scoop it’s a lot and I was like okay and then he proceeded to give me two giant scoops which begs the question what even is a scoop anymore.

Arethusa Ice Cream Cones
Arethusa considers this all one collective scoop

Still, you can’t argue with the price, and the ice cream is absolutely delicious, which explains why there’s often a line out the door.

Arethusa is co-owned by George Malkemus and Anthony Yurgaitis, who co-own designer shoe company Manolo Blahnik.

That’s right. Once they conquered the world of high-class stilettos made famous by Sex and the City, they knew they needed a greater challenge. But what? What is next for us, the Kings of Heels?

A dairy barn in northwest Connecticut. Of course.

Arethusa Ice Cream and Cows
Honestly this picture just makes me uncomfortable.

Inevitably, that led us to the New Haven Ice Cream Scene. A summit they have now ascended.

Dare I say this is their biggest accomplishment yet. Well done, Mr. Malkemus and Yurgaitis. You are the true New Haven Ice Cream Heroes you always envision. When you first made that fancy shoe.

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