soft serve

It's the curl on top of the cone that gets us every time.

One of summer's joys is reaching out your hand to grab a cone of soft-serve ice cream, its icy sweet swirliness towering up to a little curl at the top.

Are you vanilla or chocolate? A combination cone? Or do you branch out to another flavor, adapted to soft-serve ice cream style?

We asked around for some of your favorites — here are seven of your selections. But we'll bet you have other suggestions, too. Share them in the comments below; maybe we can inspire a summer soft-serve tour. One perk about places that have soft-serve ice cream on the menu: They're often small places that have been part of their local communities for years.

1. House of Pizza, 2419 Willow Street Pike, Willow Street / 464-4949

Yes, they have pizza and stromboli, subs and hand-cut french fries, but House of Pizza also has soft-serve (the soft raspberry has a fan club all its own). But plan ahead with your cravings: They're closed Mondays.

2. Pretzel Hut, 2224 Furnace Hills Pike, Newmanstown / 627-4887

Just as House of Pizza has been a Willow Street-area mainstay for years, so has Pretzel Hut, just north of Brickerville and just over the county line into Lebanon. There's always vanilla and chocolate soft-serve, along with two other options that change — this week, they're teaberry and peanut butter.

Add a little candy or cookie to your soft-serve in a Pretzel Hut concoction called a Tumble, then head out to visit the collection of animals, hang at the picnic tables or head out for a walk on the Horseshoe Trail nearby.


Think you know where to get the best cheesesteaks in Lancaster County? Tell us! Email your suggestion to or tweet it to Jen Kopf at @jlkopfLNP.

3. Twin Kiss, 309 S. Main St., Manheim / 665-2897

For years, this has been a go-to place in this small town — non-chain fast food at Manheim prices. Come for a burger or the great fried chicken, and do not forget the ice cream ... and how can you resist a place where the logo is, yes, an old-fashioned couple kissing?

4. Leola Freeze and Frizz, 2250 New Holland Pike, Leola / 656-4491

The inside of the Freeze and Frizz looks exactly like a place that has soft-serve on the menu should: a long, narrow space with a wall of windows on one side and a counter stretching the full length on the other, and cheerful summer-job kids behind the counter to take your order. If you need air conditioning, eat indoors. Otherwise hope for a spot at one of the many picnic tables outdoors. Grab the raspberry-vanilla swirl cone.

5. Yogurtworks Cafe, 108-I N. Reading Road, Ephrata / 721-6314

This place fits the bill for those looking for a nondairy soft-serve option. Open just a few years, it has 21 self-serve flavor choices, more than 50 toppings, with gluten-free, nondairy and no-added-sugar options in custard, frozen yogurt and creamy gelato. Just time your cravings right: They're closed on Sundays.

6. Son's, 319 W. State St., Quarryville /786-5665

1991 Miller Road, East Petersburg / 569-0009

Anyplace that has both mocha cappuccino and blue goo soft-serve flavors (plus at least seven other regulars and some extras) needs to make the list. The Quarryville location is the original, opened on South Hess Street in 2003; it moved in 2006 and the East Petersburg location opened that same year. It's all about the icy treats!

7. Hiester's Soft Serve, 37 S. Market St., Elizabethtown / 287-3126

Proving that new soft-serve joints aren't just a thing of the past, Hiester's is coming up on its first anniversary in July. You can get the usual combos like sundaes and banana splits, or splurge on the Nor’Hiester: your choice of ice cream and a topping, blended and whipped together.

Do you have another spot you love? Share in the comments below and spread the word. The summer is long, and we don't want to miss a chance to hear about another favorite!