Growing up in Trumbull, only a town over from Fairfield, I would consider myself a seasoned veteran in the realm of local ice cream. On weekends, whenever my friends and I would hit the town for dinner, it became a ritual to experiment with all the amazing ice cream options that Post Road has to offer.
With that in mind, I should preface that no ice cream parlor on this list is bad by any means; the establishments listed here are the four best that Fairfield has to offer, in my opinion. If you have not tried any of these, I urge you to give each of them a shot and see how they stack up against my rankings.
#4- Sunny Daes
I grew up eating Sunny Daes ice cream, so this pick carries a bit of sentimental weight for me. This is just your good old-fashioned ice cream place, which has a variety of different items like cups, cones, shakes, and even birthday cakes. Around Halloween time, their pumpkin-flavored ice cream really hits the spot. Their offerings are relatively inexpensive, and the portion sizes are actually very good for what you pay. I will leave you with one more recommendation, though: if you don’t live near a Sunny Daes at home, get a tub of their vanilla or chocolate soft serve before you depart from Fairfield University for the summer. I guarantee that you and your family will enjoy it.
Milkcraft has one major quality that sets it apart from the other three on this list: its trendiness. With that, however, comes a higher-than-average price point. Just because Milkcraft is on the back half of my list does not mean that it is bad at all; you absolutely get what you pay for. The high price point is matched with possibly the most photogenic ice cream cone you’ll ever have the pleasure of eating. The uniqueness of the experience is pretty unmatched, as well. The ice cream is frozen with liquid nitrogen and placed in a large bubble cone, and it tastes amazing. The store off of Post Road is a very polished place, with a small outdoor patio outside and plenty of seating. Out of the different places on this list, it has one of the most unique ranges of flavors, from “milk and cereal” to “strawberry balsamic.” Out of all, I am personally partial to the “Sea Salted Caramel” menu item, as the combination of flavors is truly something spectacular that you won’t find in many other places. Although the trip to Milkcraft is somewhat hard on the wallet, it is undoubtedly worth it.
#2- 16 Handles
If I were making this list based on consistency and reliability, 16 Handles would be at the number one spot; when considering other factors, though, it falls at number two. Its close proximity to many popular restaurants downtown like Old Post Tavern, Colony Grill and Flipside Burgers and Bar make their frozen yogurt a satisfying treat after a tasty meal. With plenty of locations around southern Connecticut and New York, it is not difficult to find one if you are looking for a quick dessert. This establishment follows the common layout of a frozen yogurt bar, where the customer fills up their cup with any flavor of their choice by pulling down the corresponding lever and choosing the toppings you want. Payment is based on the weight of your cup, so going light on the toppings is probably not a bad idea if you are on a budget; however, you have to treat yourself once in a while! Their literal 16 “handles” that you pull to fill up your cup have a wide variety of flavors and even some dairy-free options with almond milk, oat milk, or cashew milk. My go-to order is the classic vanilla frozen yogurt with strawberries and chocolate chips on top, but with all the sweet toppings available, the possibilities are endless.
#1 -Saugatuck Sweets
And that brings me to the best Fairfield ice cream store: Saugatuck Sweets. Before you even step inside the building, the vibe is amazing. On weekends, it is common to see a DJ running impromptu karaoke sessions outside. Stepping inside the building, on the other hand, is like a time portal back to childhood; the vintage feel of the decorations coupled with the 1950s themed upstairs seating area is sure to delight. The entire process of getting ice cream is fast, and the actual ice cream is fairly priced. In addition, the ice cream tastes the best compared to the other places I mentioned. I recommend the “oreo bomb” dessert, as it is the absolute greatest cookies-and-cream ice cream you will ever eat. After getting ice cream, customers can sit around the gazebo across the street or enjoy their cold treat upstairs at an old-fashioned diner seating area. This is some of the best ice cream I have ever had, and if you are an average ice cream eater or even an enthusiastic critic, then this is the place for you.
Of course, I’m no professional food critic, but I feel like I have eaten enough of Fairfield’s finest in order to give my (quite possibly unpopular) opinions. Each and every ice cream shop in Fairfield has its very own unique offerings, and I advise that you set out on a journey to try them all yourself!