There’s nothing better than enjoying a sweet, cold treat on a sultry summer day in New Jersey. Whether it’s milkshakes or a popsicle, there are plenty of options to choose from. If you are looking to try out something new for the season, gelato can satisfy your sweet tooth cravings. However, one should not confuse it with classic ice cream. While gelato is also a delicious, creamy frozen dessert, it’s in its own category. Read on to learn about this delicious treat and where to get gelato in the North Jersey area.
What is gelato?
Gelato—the Italian word for “ice cream”—originated in Italy during the 16th century. All of the ingredients used in ice cream—such as cream, milk and sugar—are also used to make gelato. However, there are two notable differences. The gelato recipe doesn’t normally call for eggs, which can be found in custard-base ice cream recipes. Gelato also calls for more milk and less cream than its frozen dessert counterpart. These differences make gelato more dense and rich in flavor.
Where to Find Gelato in North Jersey
Jersey & Co. Gelato – Jersey City, NJ
To kick off our list, Jersey & Co. Gelato, located on Mallory Ave. in Jersey City, offers a range of rich gelato flavors. Some of their gelato flavors are tiramisu, ube, mango, matcha and chocolate. They even have special dietary alternatives to choose from for those who seek low-sugar and vegan options. Among their vegan selection, they have coconut and pistachio flavors. As for their low-sugar options, they have hazelnut and stracciatella flavors. Gelato is typically enjoyed in a cup or cone, but Jersey & Co. takes it a step further.
The “Boba’lato” is a unique combination of both gelato and bubble tea. Their featured flavors are Thai milk, coconut, taro, ube, matcha, tiger sugar and mango. For a classic option with an Italian twist, try their gelato milkshake.
Jun’s Macaron Gelato – Hoboken, NJ
Jun’s Macaron Gelato celebrates European confections by offering sweet desserts from either Italy or France. Customers can order the shop’s homemade gelato in three different sizes: small, medium and large. Featured gelato flavors include cookies and cream, brownie batter, vanilla, coffee, mint chocolate chip and butter pecan. To top off your gelato, you can choose from a variety of flavored macarons such as vanilla, coconut, raspberry or dark chocolate. Other menu items include mini gelato cakes and macaron gelato sandwiches.
Guerriero Gelato – Montclair, NJ
Originally known as Gelotti Ice Cream, this Montclair locale was rebranded as Guerriero Gelato when owner Mike Guerriero took over in 2014. Recognized by several news outlets like The Washington Post and ESPN, this frozen treat shop offers a rich, authentic taste of gelato.
Guerriero Gelato has a wide selection of both classic and unique flavors, ranging from blueberry basil and cherry vanilla to cannoli cream, espresso chip, vanilla bean and strawberry shortcake. Additionally, a dairy, nut, and gluten-free gelato formula is made from pea protein, tapioca and coconut oil for those who have dietary restrictions.
Gio’s Gelato & Espresso Bar – Franklin Lakes, NJ
Located in Franklin Lakes, this gelateria’s mission is to bring a real, authentic taste of Italian gelato to New Jersey. Gio’s Gelato & Espresso Bar owner and gelato expert, Raffaele D’Angelo, has even studied in the Italian regions of Sicily and Rimini to gain experience in making the traditional dessert. Some of their gelato flavors include vanilla, chocolate, salted caramel, tiramisu, pistachio, forest berries and hazelnut. Gio’s Gelato & Espresso Bar also makes custom gelato and sorbetto cakes for any kind of special event.
The Chocolate Bar – Westfield, NJ
From March to October, The Chocolate Bar offers their homemade Italian gelato. They serve over 25 rotating flavors. Their wide variety of mainstay flavors feature cookie dough, peanut butter cup, blueberry swirl, strawberry, lemon meringue, whiskey cream, vanilla caramel swirl and raspberry chocolate trifle. But you must keep an eye out for their limited-time flavors. S’mores, pumpkin pie, coconut, banana chip, apple cider donut and candy cane are some of The Chocolate Bar’s unique flavors.
Gelato Envy – Rockaway, NJ
To get in the summery mood, Gelato Envy will now open from Mondays to Sundays starting May 30. You can find all of their available flavors through their Instagram and Facebook pages. Some of their listed flavors are cookies and cream, cherry almond, blueberry basil, brownie batter, coffee toffee and chocolate hazelnut. Also, the shop acquires pistachios from Bronte, Italy, and walnuts from Sorrento, Italy. Besides your regular gelato cup, they sell gelato-inspired cakes and hot gelato donuts.
APEM Creamery – Bloomfield, NJ
Owner Alex Saneski grew up in New Jersey and went culinary school in New York where he met his wife, Jennifer. The couple then later moved to California where they opened up their gelato shop, Cremeux Ex Machina. They eventually made their move to the East Coast and settled in Bloomfield, NJ. Then, APEM Creamery was born. Their gelato flavors include vanilla bean, caramel macchiato custard, and Maracaibo chocolate, to name a few. Mandarin orange and chocolate mint stracciatella are some dairy-free options, or you can try out their sorbetto lineup. If you want to take APEM Creamery home, they have specially curated gelato and sorbetto pints.
Vico Gelato & Caffé – North Bergen, NJ
Named after a town in Italy, Vico Gelato & Caffé opened its doors just over a year ago. Owner Giacomo Vanacore wanted to bring a piece of Italy to North Bergen, NJ. Vanacore brought in special machines and other equipment imported from his home country of Italy to help prepare fully authentic gelato. Nutella, rum raisin, coffee, coconut, strawberry, and unicorn are some flavor options customers can choose. Multiple gelato sizes are available such as small, medium, grande and pint.
Il Laboratorio del Gelato – Montclair, NJ
This beloved gelato shop originally got its start across the Hudson River in New York City during the summer of 2002. Il Laboratorio del Gelato, which translates to “ice cream lab,” eventually made its way to the Garden State in 2021. Once you step foot in the store, you will notice the vast selection of gelato flavors. First, you have fruit-inspired flavors such as apricot, blackberry, chirimoya, blood orange, pear, pomegranate and watermelon. If you are bold enough to try savory flavors, Il Laboratorio del Gelato offers brown butter, olive oil, cheddar cheese, ricotta and mascarpone.
You can choose to get your gelato in a cup, sugar cone or waffle cone and also select two to four different flavors. You can top your sweet treat with your choice of either almonds, bananas, cherries, hot fudge, walnuts, whipped cream, toasted coconut or rainbow sprinkles. Other gelato-related items featured at the shop are milkshakes, sandwiches, smoothies, cakes and floats.
Bianco Nero Gelato – Englewood, NJ
If you live in or near the Englewood area, you need to check out Bianco Nero Gelato. The shop releases new flavors daily. Among their selection, there’s Belgium dark chocolate, cotton candy, crunchy matcha green tea, yogurt pomegranate, amaretto arancia, white mocha and more. At Bianco Nero Gelato, there’s a lot of gelato to go around. There’s even gelato for your furry friends. This shop offers a selection of Mr. Oliver Dog Gelato cups. These dog-friendly treats come in banana honey, strawberry pineapple, peanut butter maple, mango coconut, green apple carrot and greek yogurt blueberry flavors.
Café 360 – Freehold, NJ
Located in the downtown Freehold area, Café 360 has over 32 flavors which include gelato, sorbets and sugar-free options. Their gelato is presented in different sized cups ranging from junior to large. Other desserts include shakes, sundaes, floats and root beers. You can even get the classic banana split, where ice cream is replaced with three scoops of creamy gelato topped with hot fudge, strawberries, pineapples, whipped cream and chopped walnuts. For coffee enthusiasts, there is the “Affogato,” which is one scoop of gelato topped with one shot of espresso.
Gia Gelato & Cafe – Jersey City, NJ
Located in the heart of downtown Jersey City, Gia Gelato & Cafe is a European-themed café that serves a range of drinks, salads, sandwiches, Italian espresso coffee and of course, the delectable Italian sweet treat: gelato! They have 40 kinds of gelato and sorbetto flavors which include dulce de leche, Amarena cherry and gianduia. You can either get your gelato in a cup or a crunchy waffle cone.
Benvenuti – Montclair, NJ
To round out our list, Benvenuti is a gelateria shop proudly founded by two Italian-American families in Montclair, NJ. These families celebrate their culture by bringing a taste of Italy to the Garden State. On a day-to-day basis, gelato is freshly churned at this shop. Many of their flavors include gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan options. Benvenuti has strawberry, vanilla, hazelnut, salted peanut butter, espresso stracciatella and pistachio-flavored choices.
If you are vegan, feel free to try out their matcha gelato made with coconut milk, or their sorbet flavors such as dark chocolate and limoncello. CBD gelato is also available and comes in a salted caramel flavor. Also, Benvenuti offers catering for special events at your request.
Will you be getting gelato at any of these North Jersey places? Let us know in the comments!
About the Author/s
Bertha is currently a junior at Rutgers University-Newark. She is interested in writing about fashion, lifestyle, arts / culture and most importantly - food! When she's not writing, she loves spending time with her golden retriever dog, Gizmo.