Long before the days of upscale ice cream shops serving up scoops of ice cream flavored with mocha and salty caramel, there were the classic roadside ice cream stands providing syrup, sprinkles, and joy through a sliding window. And those places still have a hold on us. Maybe it’s the iconic soft- serve twist on a cone on a hot summer day, or perhaps it’s a distant memory of you and your friends scrounging up coins, then riding bikes to the nearest ice cream shack, and sitting on sticky picnic tables to share a treat.
Regardless of how you know these places, these now-nostalgic spots were once the height of any casual summer day. And this isn’t to say we don’t love all the incredible variety of frozen desserts now available. But when it comes to ice cream, it was never broken (unless it’s the machine at McDonald’s), so why fix it? You probably don’t need your bike to get to your nearest ice cream stand anymore, but these places are still worth the trip.
DOUBLE HAPPY | 1280 BROWN RD.
Just southwest of Columbus on Brown Rd. is the little ice cream shop Double Happy. On the menu here is a wide variety of options ranging from sundaes to the classic banana boats, but the big seller is more than 25 different flavors of milkshakes, with customer feedback or suggestions sometimes shaping the menu. The mixed berry features vanilla soft-serve with blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries making it almost taste like a berry creampop. Other options, like the honey-roasted peanuts milkshake, taste identical to their name. And if you’re feeling wild, try the spicy peanut shake. In addition, the menu also features Belgian waffle-style brownies topped with your choice of vanilla or chocolate soft serve, homemade chocolate and caramel sauce, whipped cream, sprinkles, and a cherry.
THE DAIRY HUT | 42 S MAIN ST.
Most old-school ice cream stops are on the smaller size, and the tiny, red- roofed Dairy Hut in Pataskala certainly fits that picture. However the menu is large and impressive with options like black raspberry soft serve in a waffle cone and actual malted milkshakes. And what’s an Ohio ice cream shop without an homage to the beloved buckeye? At The Dairy Hut, your Buckeye Sundae is layers of vanilla soft serve, hot fudge, more vanilla soft serve, peanut butter sauce, crushed candy buckeyes, and whipped cream for the extra calories you have to spare.
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MICK’S 1872 | 1872 CHERRY VALLEY RD.
With an ice cream shop attached to the side of a pizza shop, Mick’s 1872 offers a little bit of everything. The ice cream menu here offers plenty of classic treats like chocolate or vanilla cones dipped in flavors like chocolate or butterscotch sauce, as well as insanely decked out ice cream parfaits. In particular, the Snickers parfait is a layer of vanilla soft serve with crushed Snickers, more vanilla ice cream, chocolate and caramel sauce, more vanilla soft serve, more crushed Snickers, and topped with more chocolate and caramel sauce. Top it all with some chocolate candy eyes and you have a cavity-inducing monster looking you dead in the face. But, like the sign on the ordering window of Mick’s says, “Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart.”
CONES N’ CONCOCTIONS | 15000 E BROAD ST.
At Cones N’ Concoctions, it’s all about options. If you or your little one is looking to add a little flair to a cone, the dipped cone options here include birthday cake and the elusive, vintage, bright-red, child-appealing cherry. Also on the menu are flurries, or if you’re a kid, it’s known as “I definitely can eat a large!” The options for flurries range from standard Oreo to tempting cheesecake. Beyond the little kid options, there are the big kid options like banana splits, peanut butter parfaits, and turtle parfaits. And if you haven’t learned from your little ones at this point, these options are always best with a little help. But not too much, because, well, it’s your ice cream after all.