Central Iowa boasts a wide array of ice cream shops and eateries that specialize in milkshakes. Whatever flavor combinations you are craving, these places have you covered. Here are seven local joints serving up milkshakes to help you stay cool in the weeks ahead. Brian Taylor Carlson/The Register
Silky smooth and ice cold, milkshakes can be found on menus across the metro and nearby towns. This blended ice cream treat is one of America's favorite desserts in a cup. Some people even order shakes as an accompaniment for their burger and fries.
Whether they're made with hard-pack ice cream or soft-serve, they're bound to satisfy your sweet tooth and cool you down from the summer heat. And your options are practically endless, with many flavors to choose from and toppings and add-ins like marshmallow fluff, brownie chunks, peanut butter and fresh fruit — and some can even be spiked with spirits for a frosty adult beverage.
Here are seven places where you can indulge in a milkshake in your favorite flavor combinations. And if you don't see your favorite milkshake emporium in this list, please drop it in the comments so we can all enjoy some blended ice cream goodness.
Since opening in 1987, this nostalgic 1950s-style diner in the Drake University neighborhood has become a local tradition. Blended with your choice of Blue Bunny ice cream flavors and Anderson Erickson milk, one milkshake is enough to share between two people ... or you can keep it all for yourself ($5.79). Try a chocolate-espresso milkshake for a caffeine kick.
Location: 1111 25th St., Des Moines
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday, 7 a.m. to noon
This ice cream shop in Grimes always draws a crowd looking for frozen treats. A wide assortment of standard milkshakes is available, using both hard-pack and soft-serve. But people rave about the crunch shakes: milkshakes blended with hard chocolate dip so that the crunchy bits are mixed throughout. Try the Black Raspberry Explosion with vanilla ice cream, chocolate dip, hot fudge and black raspberry syrup (regular shakes: $3.75 for small, $4.25 for medium, $4.75 for large; crunch shakes: $4.25 for small, $4.75 for medium, $5.50 for large).
Location: 105 E. 1st St., Grimes
Hours: Monday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Contact: (515) 986-5407; Facebook
Billy's Ice Cream Store
This ice cream store in Adel is totally worth the drive, but it's also on the bike trail network. The milkshakes are blended using soft-serve in myriad of classic flavors, including cherry and mint. But a new shake has made its debut on the menu: called the Butterbeer, it combines vanilla ice cream with root beer and butterscotch and topped with whipped cream and butterscotch syrup ($2.99 for small, $3.59 for medium, $4.29 for large).
Location: 308 Nile Kinnick Drive South, Adel
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Contact: (515) 238-2302; Facebook
Zombie Burger + Drink Lab
Zombie Burger + Drink Lab has become a Des Moines institution. Both classic and zombie-themed shakes are available, like the Zombie Unicorn, with vanilla ice cream, marshmallow fluff and Fruity Pebbles cereal ($5.25; spiked with liquor, $8.25). Zombie Burger has two other locations in the area — one in West Des Moines and one in Ankeny — so check for the location and hours on the website before going.
Location: 300 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to midnight
Snookies Malt Shop
This well-known ice cream establishment in Beaverdale has been around since 1986, serving up frozen favorites to locals and visitors alike. With two windows for service, the lines move quickly — there's even a drive-thru window. And each shake is topped with a cookie. Try a caramel-pecan milkshake ($4.06 for small, $4.58 for medium, $5.99 for large).
Location: 1810 Beaver Ave., Des Moines
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 1 to 10 p.m.
Over the Top
You can watch the ice cream for your milkshake being made right before your eyes at this emporium in Pleasant Hill. Both indoor and outdoor seating and a drive-thru window are available, as well as a space for private parties. Try the peanut butter or the coffee milkshake, or blend the two for a fun melding of flavors ($4.65; $4.72 for two-flavor specialty shakes).
Location: 955 NE 56th St., Pleasant Hill
Hours: Monday through Sunday, noon to 9 p.m.
Granny's Sweet Freeze Shoppe
Granny's has created many childhood (and adult) memories on Des Moines' east side. It's been at the same location for more than 33 years. There's limited seating, but that doesn't stop people from lining up to sample its silky shakes. The Oreo cookie-mint shake is a house favorite, as well as the orange "dream twist" ($3.10 for small, $3.85 for medium, $4.40 for large, $6.60 for jumbo).
Location: 3417 Hubbell Ave., Des Moines
Hours: Monday through Saturday, noon to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 1 to 10 p.m.
Contact: (515) 266-0887; Facebook