“Where’s the best place to eat in Hammondsport?” is probably the number one question we get here in the visitor center on a daily basis. “Um, all of them?” How could we ever choose! Timber Stone Grill, The Park Inn, and The Village Tavern Restaurant & Inn offer warm and inviting atmospheres, the Union Block Italian Bistro presents an exquisite menu, you can never go wrong with Burgers & Beer of Hammondsport or Wise Guys of Hammondsport (I’m getting hungry just thinking about it), and all of our waterfront restaurants are simply amazing. We couldn’t pick a favorite and you won’t be disappointed wherever you choose to dine around Keuka Lake.
By now, you’ve probably heard of the Crooked Lake Ice Cream Company that reopened its doors in February of 2018 after almost a year of renovations. While I’ve probably been there at least 30 times in the past year (what can I say, I have a weak spot for ice cream), I had the opportunity to sit down with Crooked Lake’s marketing person, Samantha Reed, to learn more about the creative process that went in to turning this beloved ice cream shop into a Glenn H. Curtiss–inspired family favorite diner.
Crooked Lake Ice Cream Company was purchased by a local family in the summer of 2017 and renovations began soon after. It was a huge undertaking that the team dedicated 7+ months of hard labor to. The results are stunning. Old carpet was removed and the floors were leveled; now you’ll find classic, shining tiled floors. The wallpaper was removed and new drywall was installed throughout the entire restaurant, with one wall now boasting an impressive mural of Glenn Curtiss (learn more about Hammondsport’s hometown hero by visiting The Glenn H. Curtiss Museum) on a bicycle, holding an ice cream cone towering with gravity-defying, colorful scoops. But not everything is brand new. In fact, the classic booths and bar received a much needed facelift. The bar stools were reupholstered and additional seating was added directly in front of the bars along the window, which completes the vintage look of this beloved ice cream parlor.
Crooked Lake reopened and welcomed locals and visitors in late February of 2018. And it’s not just the place to get ice cream in town; you can also stop in for breakfast or lunch anytime between 7AM-2PM. And yes, breakfast is served ALL DAY. I’m told that you’ve gotta try “The Fastest Man on Earth Skillet” (named after Glenn Curtiss who became the fastest man on earth in 1907 after he clocked in at 136.3 mph on his V8 powered motorcycle!), a house specialty that consists of corned beef, bacon bits, smoked ham, home fries, two eggs, and cheddar cheese sauce. Another favorite, which I had the pleasure of trying myself, is the Crooked Lake Turkey Club –house smoked turkey breast, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and mayo with your choice of white, wheat or rye bread and served with house cut fries. Did I also tell you how generous they are with the fries?
Aaaand then there’s the glorious ice cream and the reason I’m there on a regular basis. You’ll find a variety of classic and seasonal flavors from Gifford’s, a small batch company and family-owned creamery out of Maine. Can’t decide? No problem. Just order an ice cream flight and you’ll get to try up to four generous scoops of different flavors. It’s the perfect way to sample both regular and seasonal offerings —last autumn I thoroughly enjoyed the pumpkin, s’mores, mint chocolate chip, and moose tracks flavors. I recommend splitting the flight with a friend; it’s so much ice cream! The ice cream doesn’t stop there. There’s an entire menu dedicated to sundaes, banana splits, multiple toppings, milkshakes, floats & coolers, ice cream nachos and even doggie dishes for your beloved fur-baby (vanilla ice cream topped with whipped cream and a milk bone —how cute!).
“You’ll never go hungry in Hammondsport” should honestly be one of our slogans. We might be a small village but there really is something for everyone in Hammondsport when it comes to dining options. We invite you to come and see for yourself!
Before and after pictures of Crooked Lake Ice Cream Company