There’s so much good beach region ice cream without venturing south over the Indian River Inlet Bridge in Millville to seek it, but this small-batch creamery is so good (and so are all the fun attractions like mini golf, arcade, and live-music events at The Millville Boardwalk), it’s worth a voyage. Plus, the drive is super pretty! Fun fact: The word “Agape” means the highest form of love, also having the mouth wide open because of wonder, surprise and shock.
Cup’r Cone Ice Cream
A mobile truck most often found parked in downtown Lewes, it checks all the boxes, even on the go. Fun fact: As of May 2023, a tiny window-service brick and mortar of the same name opened on Rehoboth Avenue, so you can satisfy your craving without tracking down the truck.
The only national franchise we included due to the popularity of its landmark location just steps away from the Lewes beaches. Making a post-beach day pilgrimage to grab a signature shake or a soft serve cone is a vacation tradition we don’t want to mess with. Fun fact:The original Lewes Dairy Queen opened its doors in 1954, one of the first franchises in the Cape Region.
Located in Dinah Lingo’s Grocery in downtown Rehoboth, get your fix of Hershey’s flavors. Fun fact: Vibrant, beachy murals adorn the walls.
Hopkins Farm Creamery
Ice cream made with local ingredients and sold from a walk-up window in Lewes on a (previously) working dairy farm. Fun fact: An on-site playground is the perfect place for kids when lines get long.
The Ice Cream Store
A walk-up Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk mainstay featuring a zany selection of 70+ flavors with off-the-wall names that are almost as entertaining as the ice cream is delicious. Fun fact: Daredevils and thrill-seekers revel in the Ghost Pepper flavor that’s so hot, it requires you to sign a waiver.
King’s Homemade Ice Cream
Three generations of King’s have kept this local, homemade tradition running for more than 50 years, operating with locations in Milton and Lewes. Fun fact:The Milton shop is housed in the oldest existing commercial building in Sussex County, dating back to 1830.
The nostalgia of Kohr Bros. frozen custard is burned into the memories of many beachgoers. Those who prefer chocolate, vanilla, or twist soft serve would argue this is the best. There are two iconic locations to grab it, one sandwiched between the old Dolle’s Salt Water Taffy building and Thrasher’s French Fries in Rehoboth Beach. Fun fact: Open in the beach region since 1919, Kohr Bros. can be seen among other old businesses on the Boardwalk, pictured back in the ‘80s (flip to page 12) beneath the Sunview Motel along Wilmington Avenue.
The newest kid on the block, located in the adorable little yellow truck next to Station on Kings in Lewes, rotates unique flavors made from locally sourced ingredients. Fun fact: Expect tasty assortments of small batches using peaches and blueberries from Bennett Orchards in Frankford, strawberries from Fifer Orchards, melons from Kalmar Farm in Harrington and herbs from HSEN Organic Farm in Selbyville.
Nana & Pops Ice Cream & Italian Water Ice
This off-the-beaten-path locals’ hotspot is the perfect place for boaters coming off the water to end their day on the bay. Fun fact: This is, quite literally, the most “mom & pop shop” of them all. If you get lucky, you’ll catch Nana herself slinging homemade water ice and cones of Hershey’s flavors from their Millsboro walk-up window.
Starkey’s Ice Cream
A Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk staple for over 25 years, this walk-up window-service shop is as historic as its cones, sundaes and shakes are yummy. Milkshake fans seek this place out for its self-proclaimed “Best Shakes on the Boardwalk.” Fun fact: In a photo from the ‘80s (see page 12), an ice cream sign can be seen near the end of the building that is home to Starkey’s Cones.
A Rehoboth Beach-owned franchise offering Thai-inspired ice cream rolls. Fun fact: The rolls are made by pouring a thin layer of liquid ice cream onto a well-below-freezing, stainless steel circle and then rolling up the ice cream after it freezes.
Vanderwende’s at Dewey
This family-owned business has been bringing the homemade goodness straight from the farm in Bridegeville for three generations. Their popular Dewey Beach location offers signature flavors like mint chocolate chip and Rocky Road. Fun fact: The Vanderwende Farm has 225 cows that are milking and 250 calves and heifers (at press time) – that’s a lot of milk.