Philadelphia: Classy Retro Vibe and Well-Crafted, Vintage Flavors at Franklin Fountain
Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The first time SCOOP Blog stepped into Franklin Fountain, we wondered whether we had stumbled through a vortex and traveled backwards through time. Walking through the door of this cherished Philadelphia parlor, you are instantly transported to the beginning of the 20th century, when Egg Creams and Phosphates (home-made sodas) were all the rage at the local soda fountain. This shop is serious about its retro vibe, and it is even more serious about its ice cream.

Founded in 2004 by two Philadelphia brothers, one could easily be convinced that the location had been around since 1920. The shop fits right in with several other Philadelphia institutions that have made their home over the past century along lower Market street, a popular section of Old City. This shop is one of the classiest ice cream joints you might ever come across, and the servers also play their parts, donning traditional soda fountain uniforms.


There is a SERIOUS retro vibe at this place, and it looks great!

But don't get too distracted by the digs, because the most magical thing about Franklin Fountain is their Ice Cream. They have perfected the classics. Don't expect to find flavors like Fois Gras or Purple Andalusian Truffle here. Franklin Fountain truly shines with balanced, straightforward flavors. All their ice creams have great mouthfeel and texture, with good density and pure flavor. If you are looking for a novelty flavor, check out their Teaberry. Teaberry has a flavor reminiscent of mint, and is the main ingredient in Clark's Chewing Gum - a popular brand in the Northeast that has been around since 1900. Their Hydrox Cookie Ice Cream is one of the best "Cookies and Cream" style ice creams SCOOP Blog has reviewed, combining dense, smooth vanilla base with Hydrox, the predecessor to Oreo.

Flavor Tasting Notes


Lots of classic flavors, all done extremely well

Hydrox Cookie

Think of this as Cookies and Cream, taken to the ultimate level. The vanilla base is smooth and denser than normal, but the stars of the show are the glorious chunks of Hydrox Cookie, the predecessor to Oreo. The cookie has been perfectly preserved, tasting like fresh cookies out of the box. This Ice Cream avoids the pitfall so many Cookies and Cream variants run up against, freezing and moistening the cookie too much. The texture melds perfectly with the ice cream base.

Teaberry

Anyone who stops by Franklin Fountain and wants the full nostalgic effect should try Peaberry. The flavor screams retro, and is a traditional flavor in the Northeast that you don't see much of anymore. While not for everyone, this flavor is loved by many and a house special.

Pumpkin

Wonderfully balanced, with a great pumpkin flavor. The cream adds an extra dimension to the Pumpkin, with a well-integrated nutmeg flavor providing additional layers of flavor.

Raspberry

Very creamy, perfectly smooth texture. The raspberry flavor is good, but could be more concentrated. There seems to be a bit of vanilla in this one, which distracts from the purity of the fresh raspberry.

Toasted Corn

An experiment gone wrong. Though the cream base has perfect texture, the bits of toasted corn taste like Corn Nuts and are too burnt. The texture of the corn is too tough, and does not blend well with the cream base.

Maple Walnut

Great, pure maple flavor with rich, creamy texture. The walnuts are well-integrated.

8
Final Score: 8/10

Franklin Fountain

116 Market Street Philadelphia, PA 19106