Dave & Andy’s voted best ice cream in 2022 ‘Best Of’ survey


Hannah Wilson | Senior Staff Photographer

Dave & Andy’s Homemade Ice Cream on Atwood Street in Oakland.

By Alexandra Ross, Staff Writer

Dave & Andy’s Homemade Ice Cream is located on Atwood Street, just a few feet off of Forbes Avenue, placing it right in the center of Pitt’s campus. But according to Dave & Andy’s crew member Emily Wallace, most of the shop’s customers aren’t Pitt students.

“The people that come in are really nice,” Wallace said. “Mostly local, which you’d be surprised, on a college campus, you’d think it’s mostly college students, but a lot of local Pittsburghers come through here and they’re characters, so it’s kind of cool to meet them and stuff.”

Nonetheless, Pitt students voted Dave & Andy’s as the best ice cream in The Pitt News’ 2022 “Best Of” survey. The award comes as no surprise to Wallace, an undeclared sophomore, who called the shop a “classic.”

“I’m not surprised [that Dave & Andy’s won],” Wallace said. “This place is a classic. It’s been around forever. We have all kinds of awards on the walls you can look at, just kind of documenting all the success through time.”

Dave & Andy’s has earned the reader-voted award many times. Several “Best Of” plaques hang on the shop’s walls, among other recognitions from local outlets such as the Pittsburgh City Paper and PA Eats.

Dave & Andy’s opened for business in Oakland in 1983, under the ownership of Andy Hardie and Dave Tuttle. Almost four decades later, Hardie — who has been the sole owner since the early 1990s — said he still likes running the ice cream shop.

“I still enjoy it, so that’s half the battle,” Hardie said. “I’ve had a lot of good workers over the years, and that’s been a bonus also.”

According to Hardie, some of the things that make Dave & Andy’s special include its location in Oakland and homemade ice cream products — especially the waffle cones.

“I think it’s the location of the shop, and then the fact that we do make the waffle cones and make all the ice cream from scratch,” Hardie said. “And the waffle cones specifically, you get the smell of it and it draws people in.”

Wallace said making ice cream and waffle cones in-store has helped Dave & Andy’s win the “Best Of” award so many times. Not only is the ice cream high-quality — according to her, it is also made with love.

“Everything here is homemade, our waffle cones are homemade, so it’s very, like, gourmet ice cream in my opinion,” Wallace said. “It’s made out of love and passion, you know?”

Adam Henderson, who visited Dave & Andy’s on Friday while in Pittsburgh for a wedding, said the shop’s ice cream reminded him of the historic creamery at Penn State. He said he could tell that both ice cream shops put a lot of care into their final product.

“I went to school in State College for graduate school, and there, having the Creamery on campus … the ice cream kind of reminds me of that, like that kind of fresh ice cream made with care, you know?” Henderson said. “So it has that same level of like, going to the Creamery, you’re like, ‘You really care about this and love what you do.’”

Wallace, who has worked at Dave & Andy’s since August, said she eats a lot of ice cream since she works at Dave & Andy’s — especially her favorite flavor, the classic cookie dough. After about seven months, Wallace said she still hasn’t gotten sick of eating the homemade treat.

“I don’t ever get tired of it, really,” Wallace said. “It’s always, like, a nice snack to take home while I’m doing my homework.”

The menu of Dave & Andy’s Homemade Ice Cream. (Hannah Wilson | Senior Staff Photographer)

Ranya Khouri, a local high school student who stopped into Dave & Andy’s on Sunday for some scoops of birthday cake and brownie fudge ice cream, said she was born in Oakland and grew up going to Dave & Andy’s. She said she associates the ice cream, especially certain flavors, with her childhood.

“I would say one of my favorites [flavors] is cookies and cream or birthday cake, and because they just remind me of my youth, because I always chose those two flavors when I was younger,” Khouri said.

According to the shop’s Facebook page, Dave & Andy’s features more than 200 flavors of homemade ice cream. This includes classics such as chocolate, vanilla and chocolate chip cookie dough, but also more distinct flavors, such as Thai iced tea or pumpkin pie. As for Hardie, he said his favorites are the coffee-flavored ice creams.

“I like coffees a lot, like kahlua cookies and cream is real good,” Hardie said. “And then we make a lot of funky ones too. My mom, before she passed away, her favorite was honey apple cinnamon granola. So we make a lot of different ones and we just keep experimenting.”

Not all 200 flavors are on sale at once. Instead, certain classics are always on the menu while other flavors are cycled in and out. Wallace said the variety and rotation of ice cream flavors keeps customers coming back to the store to see what new items are on the menu.

“We don’t have like, typical, you know, store bought flavors,” Wallace said. “We have one that’s like, spicy habanero, or I think it’s white cinnamon habanero. We just have all kinds of random things, so it kind of keeps people interested in what’s coming up next.”

Besides the shop’s “really good” homemade ice cream, Khouri said she kept coming back to Dave & Andy’s because of all the memories she has associated with it. She said what makes the shop so special is how friendly the staff is.

“It feels like a family,” Khouri said. “Everyone is so friendly.”