Arctic Scoop – Philadelphia, PA

Arctic Scoop is an eclectic ice cream shop located on the bustling Passyunk Ave in Philadelphia. We visited this cute ice cream shop on National Ice Cream Day as a way to celebrate and enjoy their three-scoop sampler sale.

They are known for their exotic ice cream flavors and they definitely did not disappoint with the variety of fun and new-to-us flavors (Sesame Butter, Pandan… see reviews below). You also get a topping and a drizzle with your selection, which is fun way to add some additional crunch or flavor to the ice cream.

We stuck with the traditional cups and cones during this visit, but Arctic Scoop specializes in Hong Kong Style Egg Waffles and Thai-inspired Coconut Bowls (served in an actual coconut!). Their waffle cones come in four flavors, so we did try a Salted Blue Corn waffle cone. The other waffle cone flavors included Toasted Coconut, Green Tea Matcha, and regular. There truly is something for everyone!

One of the best parts of the visit was the cute, outdoor seating area. Not only was there a bench outside of the shop, but also there were separate “pods” that had half walls and more benches to allow patrons to sit together in groups. We loved that there was so much space to sit and eat our ice cream, and the pods were very cutely painted a bright blue and decoraded with flowers/plants. Honestly, we could have sat there for quite a while!

How cute is this??

The Flavor Review:

Sesame Butter (Natalie): This was an instant must try for me! This scoop was less sweet than I expected and had a bold roasted nut flavor. I overall enjoyed it because of how different and unique it was, but found the addition of sesame seeds to be a bit weird for my liking (I know I know, I usually love mix-ins).

Sesame Butter (Rebecca): This was the highlight of my ice cream experience at Arctic Scoop. I didn’t really know what to expect, but the flavor had a yummy, slightly sweet base that paired well with the nutty flavor of the sesame. It was delicious. The nutty and slightly sweet flavors made for a dreamy (and very unique) combination. I thought the sesame seeds throughout were a fun addition as they weren’t over powering and added a slight bit of texture.

Pandan: I definitely had to google what Pandan was while waiting in line, so I’ll save you the google search and sum it up for you: Pandan is a tropical plant often used for flavoring in Asian cooking. The plant is bright green, so of course my ice cream scoop was a very bright (almost neon) green. I did not look up what Pandan tasted like until after trying it, but it was a simple flavor with underlying tones of sweet coconut.

Cookie Dough: Admittedly I was disappointed by this flavor. It was a typical cookie dough flavor with a vanilla base and chocolate pieces and cookie dough dispersed throughout. The cookie dough tasted processed and slightly gritty (it just didn’t have that smooth/fresh/buttery flavor that I think cookie dough should have). And the remainder of the flavor was just an average cookie dough ice cream. To be honest, I’ve had better cookie dough ice cream from a grocery store.

Vanilla: This was a classic vanilla, and ultimately when compared to my other flavor choices, it was boring. It did not carry a strong vanilla flavor which made it too plain for my liking. It was good with sprinkles on top though, so I definitely recommend a topping and/or sauce if you order vanilla here.

Chocolate: This was a fine chocolate ice cream. It tasted like chocolate and carried the chocolate flavor throughout. It was nothing terribly special, but it was certainly an averagely good chocolate ice cream.

Salted Blue Corn Waffle Cone: This cone was so unique that it deserves its own review! It was definitely very different, which inspired us to try it. It was quite crunchy and the flavor was reminiscent of cornflakes cereal. It was a novel experience and we were glad to try it, but we’d probably stick to regular waffle cones in the future. (Although the blue color made for some of the most unique ice cream pictures we have!)

Overall Scoops (out of 5):

Natalie3.5 Scoops: I love a good deal and Arctic Scoop provides great options for people who want a cool cone, multiple toppings, and sauces. I think that those things are fun, but am usually just after the ice cream and wasn’t overly impressed with their ice cream texture. It was less creamy than I would have liked and I thought the flavors lacked boldness. It was a fun experience, they had great options, a cool ambiance, and lots of outdoor seating, but the ice cream was not my favorite.

Rebecca2.5 Scoops: First, the Sesame Butter was the highlight of this visit for me! It was delicious, nutty, and unique, and I would absolutely eat again. But besides for that (and the fun outdoor seating area) I wasn’t impressed with the rest of the visit. It felt as if they were trying to do too much (with all of the flavor/cone/drizzle/topping options), and so everything just ended up being average. At the end of the day, I’m here for the ice cream, and it seemed like the focus on great ice cream came second to having a vast array of cone/drizzle/topping options.

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