The Great Frozen Custard War in Northwest Philly

2010/04/20 16:17:30
Places that sell real frozen custard are hard to find any more.  Two of the best are neighbors in the Manayunk-Roxborough neighborhoods of Philadelphia.  They used to be (almost) directly across Ridge Avenue from each other going head to head.  They both sell ice cream and frozen desserts but the custard is what they started with and it's the real thing: homemade eggs, cream and sugar (and not too much sugar).  I never could develop a preference for custard at one or the other.  Often my choice depended on which way I was driving on Ridge (I'd take the one on the right).

Still on Ridge is Custard & Cakes Creamery (frozen cakes) at 5641 Ridge Ave (at Hermit) in Roxborough. 

The other is Dairyland Frozen Custard 4409 Main Street in Manayunk.  I think Dairyland lost out in relocating.  They are now in Manayunk's somewhat trendy stretch of boutiques and restaurants.  The former location is now Rita's Water Ice (they sell something they call "custard" but avoid it) across from C&C Creamery.  Custard & Cakes still remains in a diverse residential neighborhood where kids and families can walk (or bike) over to get custard.  Still if you are looking to explore Manayunk, Dairyland is worth a stop.
mayor al
Fire Safety Admin
Re:The Great Frozen Custard War in Northwest Philly 2010/04/22 15:40:45

  When I first read of the Frozen Custard I mixed it up with the old-time favorite "hard ice cream" flavor--Frozen Pudding, which when paired with Grape-Nuts as the alter-ego flavor was the traditional New England flavors of a generation ago.

Then I met up with the 'soft-serve' Frozen Custard here in the MidWest. Great stuff.  I give my top recommendation to Ted Drewes in St Louis. Followed closely by Kopps in Milwaukee. Culver's the FF chasin does a good job with theirs too, the big advantages for me in choosing Culvers in the top group is the access. Drewes is 250 miles away..Kopps is further...but I have a Culver's just 13 miles west of here !!!  It sure beats the best that Dairy Queen can offer as a substitute.
Fire Safety Admin
Re:The Great Frozen Custard War in Northwest Philly 2010/04/23 21:36:37
I have tried Rita's in several states.  My first was in Pennsylvania and it was great.  They recently opened one in Knoxville and I sample their good stuff at least once a week.  Their custard is very good and their Italian Ice is even better.
I also like Culver's, Kopps and others.  They are very good but mostly in the north of Tennessee.
Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:The Great Frozen Custard War in Northwest Philly 2010/04/23 22:43:16
Michael, could you explain what the "war" is over? We have read many posts on this forum about two or more specialized Roadfood-type places located in the same general area, with factions favoring one place over another. But, rarely do we hear about a war.
Re:The Great Frozen Custard War in Northwest Philly 2010/05/08 06:24:44
David, I borrowed the "Great ______ War" from a local publication which had a headline a while back: "The Great Cheese steak War" about two cheese steak places (Chubby's and Dalesandro's) across the street from each other in the same neighborhood (Roxborough) as the two custard stands.  The respective cheese steaks have each received multiple "best of" awards from local publications.  The situation seemed to parallel the two custard stands.

Cheese steak with frozen custard about two minutes away: A complete Roadfood meal covering seven of the four basic food groups.
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:The Great Frozen Custard War in Northwest Philly 2010/05/08 07:00:50
Don't be misled. There is no frozen custard war in the Roxborough (or Northwest Philly as the original poster called it) section of Philadelphia. 

There once were two establishments serving similar products across the street from each other - now there isn't. I can name many other instances in the Phila area where this has happened with water ice, ice cream, and pizza and steak shops.