Put down the Ben & Jerry's and go to these Philly ice cream spots instead
Let me start out by saying that I actually love Ben & Jerry's. I went on the tour in Vermont and it was absolutely magical. I will eat a pint of Imagine Whirled Peace any day of the week. BUT, there are too many great ice cream spots in Philly for you to be relying on the freezer section of Acme. So retire your Chunky Monkey for a night and stop by these local ice cream shops instead.
9 W Girard Ave
Get an ice cream sandwich. Just do it. I stalk their Instagram to see their newest flavors, and once called my boyfriend at work to make sure he could pick me up a chocolate and blue cheese ice cream sandwich before they sold out. Yeah, they do some, uh, unique combinations, but they make the classics as well. If you're not in the mood for an ice cream sandwich, you can also get ice cream by the cup or cone.
116 Market St
Is it kind of a tourist trap? Yeah, and I also don't care. It's a classic for a reason. They're doing traditional flavors right, their milkshakes are good and their sundaes are gigantic. Plus, the shop is fun and makes you feel like you're in an old-timey soda fountain. So if you're too cool for Franklin Fountain then fine, that just makes the line shorter for the rest of us.
2311 Frankford Ave or 4903 Catharine St
I'm conflicted about Little Baby's. I used to be a huge fan, but sometimes their flavors are just...weird. I took a few friends there once and all they had were flavors like "pizza" and other strange, non-ice cream flavors. But when they're good they're great, like their bourbon vanilla ice cream, so maybe just try calling ahead before making the trip to the shop.
Big Gay Ice Cream
521 S Broad St
Technically this is a New York chain, but it's in Philly now so it counts. Whether you're a soft serve fan or not, holy crap is this soft serve amazing. They have a bunch of flavors but, at least the first time, get the Salty Pimp. Just trust me. The last bite of my cone, filled with warm dulce de leche, almost had me in tears.
224 N 10th St
Maybe you haven't heard, but rolled ice cream is kind of a "thing" now. Just kidding, you've definitely heard about rolled ice cream. My personal favorite spot is Ice Land in Chinatown, partly because it was delicious and partly because it didn't have the insane line that Sweet Charlie's had. Get the Matcha Kingdom, a weirdly addictive mix of green tea ice cream, red bean and mochi.
51 N 12th St
Bassetts is kind of a Philadelphia institution. And though you can get it at selected ice cream shops around the country, the best place to try it is right here in its home city. If you're willing to brave the crowds at Reading Terminal, join the line of fellow ice cream eaters and get a scoop at their outpost (but seriously, be prepared for a line).
119 S 13th St
Typically, I'm not really a gelato person. Call me crazy, but I prefer good, old-fashioned ice cream (mostly because gelato is too rich to eat a ton of, and I like to eat my ice cream one giant scoop at a time). Even I have to admit that the gelato at Capogiro is worth a try, though. There's a couple of locations around the city (I got the amaretto and chocolate caramel at their shop on 13th), and apparently National Geographic once named it the #1 ice cream spot in the world.
Must-try: V Street
126 S. 19th St
I've been to V Street for drinks and snacks, but I haven't gotten a chance to try their vegan soft serve yet. If it's half as good as it looks on their Instagram, however, I need it in my life ASAP. So if you decide to check it, make sure to invite me.