See what ice cream shops all over Des Moines are serving. Susan Stapleton/Videolicious
The hottest days of summer await, and ice cream shops around the Des Moines metro area stand ready to cool off their visitors. Whether hard-pack ice cream or soft serve delights are more your speed, ice cream shops in Des Moines can cool you off. Here's a look at seven of the shops dedicated to chilling you out all summer long, all listed in alphabetical order.
This fan favorite of the Iowa State Fair, with its peppermint bars, features a nostalgic soda fountain where guests can belly up to the bar for homemade hard-packed ice cream made in the back of Bauder's. Do try the ever-changing flavors, including seasonal strawberry and peach, when it ripens. Co-owner Kim Robertson says the chocolate soda is one of the best treats on the menu. When the Iowa State Fair rolls around, pick up Bauder's peppermint bars, thick sandwiches of peppermint ice cream, hot fudge and Oreo cookies.
Find It: 3802 Ingersoll Ave.
Black Cat Ice Cream
A homemade frozen treat from Black Cat Ice Cream isn't exactly unlucky. In its second year, people in Des Moines already know that a summer afternoon stroll through Pappajohn Sculpture Park is not complete until you cool off with one of Black Cat's old-fashioned hard-pack flavor explosions. Available in cups ($5) or waffle cones ($6.50) its constantly-rotating selection of six to seasonally-inspired ice cream flavors are sure to please every age range. Can't decide on a flavor? Get six of them by ordering the new Cat Box ice cream assortment, served in a six-compartment carton ($12).
Find it: 1501 Grand Ave, Des Moines
Info: (515) 720-2672
Classic Frozen Custard
Watch custard made before your eyes at this favorite on the south side. While the menu of flavors changes all the time, do try cookies and cream, watermelon, black raspberry or New York cheesecake in one of the scoops, sundaes, shakes, malts, banana splits or sodas. Employees here say the turtle sundae with hot fudge, caramel and pecans is one of their favorites.
Find It: 4000 SE 14th St.
This east side tradition serves up soft serve treats such as the Monster Cookie and Jolly Rancher Tornado, with ingredients blended into the ice milk sans milk for an extra-thick treat. The Monster Cookie version features M&Ms, Reese’s Pieces, oatmeal and peanut butter in one of three sizes. It’s location near the state fairgrounds makes it a natural choice on the way home.
Find It: 2219 E. University Ave.
Granny's Sweet Freeze Shoppe
Soft serve ice cream in an adorable setting comes in different flavors every week. Always on the menu? Vanilla, but look for weekly specials such as blueberry, black cherry, lemon, raspberry whip, banana and strawberry. Try the banana split, stacked in a Styrofoam cup, or order up one of the slushies or shaved ice.
Find It: 3417 Hubbell Ave.
Over The Top
Head out to Pleasant Hill for family-owned ice cream that covers more than 30 hard-pack ice cream flavors. Guests can watch the ice cream being made through a picture window. Try one of the seasonal flavors, such as lemon lovers' delite, strawberry cheesecake and muddy sneakers with marshmallow ice cream with graham cracker crunch, chocolate chunks, chocolate pretzel balls, mini caramel cups and caramel swirl.
Find It: 955 NE 56th St., Pleasant Hill
Info: 515-266-3313; overthetopiowa.com
Snookies Malt Shop
This Beaverdale favorite opened in 1986 with its menu of soft serve dishes. Try the malts, shakes, cones and more and bring the family dog for a free pup cone.
Info: 1810 Beaver Ave.
Find It: 515-255-0638
Van Dee’s Ice Cream Shoppe
This soft serve destination in Johnston features the Blitz — its version of the DQ Blizzard. Pick up one of the popular chippers to go, and make sure you eat the sugar eyes adhered to every cone. Bonus: You can sit inside at the bar stools or tables instead of sweating it out on the patio.
Find It: 5915 Merle Hay Road, Johnston