Written by Verena Zurakowski
With Princeton’s vast selection of ice cream shops, it’s easy to overlook the one store that prides itself in understatement, but Halo Pub’s cult-like local following makes sure that never happens.
Halo Pub (located at 9 Hulfish Street, Princeton) hasn’t changed much since the day it opened in 1992. The walls are covered in all kinds of cow and dairy paraphernalia (a practical and most charming distraction during long summer lines), and the old-style dark-stained countertops and furniture make you feel like you’ve just wandered into an old English Pub. But you won’t find any stouts or ales here – just 48 flavors of delicious, all-natural ice cream and a full offering of espresso and coffee.
The Pub’s 48 flavors of ice cream and sorbet – everything from vanilla and chocolate to peanut paradise and organic mango chunk (but sorry, no cotton candy or bubblegum!) each start with a base of five simple ingredients: eggs, cream, milk, sugar, and either vanilla or chocolate; after that it’s just add-ins, maybe some chocolate chips or a peanut butter swirl, but no unpronounceable chemical names or stabilizers.
Jerry Reilly, the owner/founder of Halo Pub and Halo Farm, takes pride in using only the highest quality ingredients. Coffee is no exception.. The coffee and espresso beans come from La Colombe, a specialty roaster in Philadelphia, and are fresh ground just before brewing. (Inside Scoop: when you buy a coffee or espresso drink, you get a free pastry. The pastries are baked fresh in-house every morning, and paired with a coffee or latte, practically guarantee a great day.)
If you’re looking for a more old-fashioned ice cream experience, take a look next door at Halo Fête where you can find a large selection of ice cream cakes and pastries. The Fête’s principle idea is to offer beautiful, yummy ice cream cakes and tortes that aren’t piled high with super sugary icing, but rather use ice cream and fruit, coffee, nuts or chocolate. Simple and so tasty!
The very best part of Halo Pub, however, is that while providing fresh, quality ingredients in a vast range of choices, Mr. Reilly manages to keep the prices low enough to qualify as pocket change; a one-scoop cone of ice cream is $1.75 and a small coffee is $1.20. Halo Pub proudly takes the cake as the cheapest ice cream in town. And if that’s still too steep, watch out for the Halo Pub cow around Princeton this summer and score some coupons. If you can’t make it to Princeton, check out the Hamilton Square Halo Pub (Nottingham Point & Route 33), or visit the original Halo Farm (90 Spruce Street, Lawrenceville) for the very freshest dairy products.
Verena Zurakowski holds the proud title of PrincetonScoop intern for the summer. She writes a few personal blogs and lots of papers at Trinity College where she is pursuing a degree in English. She grew up here in Princeton and has eaten her fair share of ice cream around town.