Feeling Like a Kid Again: Friendly’s New Spring Menu

The writer was invited to Friendly’s, and the meal was complimentary.

Before writing this article, I hadn’t stepped foot in a Friendly’s in years. I remember loving their ice cream as a kid. No summer party at my house was complete without a Friendly’s watermelon roll ice cream cake! and I can still remember those catchy “I Wanna Go to Friendly’s” commercials. Getting to visit the Toms River location to taste the new spring menu brought it all back. 

Friendly's, Toms River, NJ, new spring menu, Jersey Bites

A Brief History of Friendly’s

Founded almost 90 years ago, beloved ice cream manufacturer Friendly’s has humble beginnings. When Friendly’s first opened, it was a small, standalone ice cream shop in Springfield, Massachusetts. The founders were the Blake brothers, who were just 18 and 20 years old at the time.

At this point, the ice cream shop that we have come to know and love went solely by the name “Friendly.” In fact, it wasn’t until 1989 that the restaurant’s name changed to “Friendly’s.”

Friendly’s has quite a resume. It became a New England trendsetter by offering the take-home half gallon, and years later set the Guinness World Record for largest dessert party.

These days, Friendly’s has 100s of restaurants and famously packages 3,600 gallons of ice cream an hour across all locations…that’s a lot of ice cream!

Friendly’s Spring Menu

Friendly's, NJ, new spring menu, Jersey Bites, over the rainbow refresher

During my Toms River visit, the first item I tried was the Over the Rainbow Refresher: a blue raspberry lemonade topped with blue Jello, whipped cream, and rainbow candy. It’s delightfully sweet and bursting with flavor. Topped with an adorable candy topper, this drink sparks joy: it’s fun, colorful, and the perfect amount of sweet. 

The first food item on the new spring menu is the turkey wrap: sliced turkey breast with mild cheddar, diced applewood smoked bacon, lettuce, diced tomato, and ranch dressing, wrapped in a flour tortilla. The wrap comes with a side of perfectly golden fries. The perfect pairing!

Friendly's, turkey wrap, NJ, new spring menu, Jersey BitesFriendly's, shrimp po'boy, NJ, new spring menu, Jersey Bites

Next up: the shrimp po’boy! Made with fried shrimp and clam strips, lettuce, tomato, and fried onions on a grilled ciabatta roll, the best feature of this option is Friendly’s Signature Sauce. You’ll find it on both the sandwich and on the side, just waiting for someone to dip some fries into it.

Friendly's, tuna melt, NJ, new spring menu, Jersey Bites

Next for the new spring menu is the tuna melt: a lunch classic! This melt includes tuna salad, tomato, and melted American cheese on grilled sourdough bread. And, yes, it arrives with those delicious golden fries. 

Friendly's, strawberry salad, NJ, new spring menu, Jersey Bites

For lighter fare, try the strawberry salad. Made with spring mix tossed in balsamic vinaigrette and topped with walnuts, feta cheese crumbles, and fresh strawberries, you can add chicken or salmon for an extra boost of protein.

Wrapping Up with a Classic

Friendly's, banana cream pie Fribble, NJ, Jersey Bites

After checking out the new menu items, I was thrilled to end with a true Friendly’s classic, the banana cream pie Fribble. If you’ve never had the pleasure, here’s the inside scoop: this memorable dessert is made with fresh banana and banana cream pie ice cream. It’s topped with caramel and crushed graham crackers. Dangerously tasty, this is perfect sweet treat for satisfying that sweet tooth. 

Friendly's, Toms River, NJ, new spring menu, Jersey Bites

Whether you’re feeling nostalgic or you’re itching to try something new, checking out your local Friendly’s is worth the trip.