To me, ice cream and summertime go hand-in-hand. I remember the Dennis the Menace-branded twist ice cream cones and the lime push-ups at Dairy Queen fondly. We weren’t as conscious about fats and sugar back then. But, even in today’s health-aware society, my daughter and I take at least a weekly trip to a Des Moines Metro ice cream or frozen yogurt shop. It’s fun, it’s time spent together, and let’s be honest — it’s really yummy.
Here’s a roundup of some great places to get ice cream or other frozen treats on a hot Iowa summer day.
Billy’s Ice Cream Store – 308 Nile Kinnick Drive S., 515-993-4000
We visited this cute little shop on the Raccoon River Valley Trail recently. My daughter and I enjoyed the Butterfinger “Chilly Billy.” Yum!
Bauder Pharmacy – 3802 Ingersoll Ave., 515-255-1124
You may know the Bauder name from the Peppermint Ice Cream Bar they sell at the Iowa State Fair. But, the Ingersoll location features homemade ice cream and an old-fashioned soda fountain.
Classic Frozen Custard – 400 SE 14th St., 515-287-1194
This is a south side gem known for its rich, creamy custard. My husband took me on a surprise stop here when we were first dating. Can you see why I kept him?
Dairy Zone – 2219 E. University Ave., 515-265-7824
DairyZone is known for their “Tornadoes” which are soft serve ice cream whipped up with all kinds of goodies. Their most popular are Monster Cookie and Jolly Rancher.
Granny’s Sweet Freeze Shoppe – 3417 Hubbell Ave., 515-266-0887
This east side shop has been a family business for more than 30 years. They have a vast assortment of ice cream, old-fashioned sodas, doggie dishes, and arctic swirls.
Snookies Malt Shop – 1810 Beaver Ave., 515-255-0638
We lived within walking distance of this Beaverdale landmark… and now we don’t (tear). Snookies is so yummy, and it has a huge menu. My favorite is a simple soft serve cone with crunch coating. And, I know dog lovers appreciate their pup cones.
Heavenly Delights – 105 E. 1st St., 515-986-5407
Nestled in quaint Grimes, this shop has “Monster Cones” that have little candy eyes. I also just read that they have Bourbon Pecan Pie AND Blueberry Cream Pie as ice cream flavor options.
The Outside Scoop – 602 N. Jefferson Way., 515-689-1890
I’ve had several people brag this one up. I believe there’s a shop in Indianola and also a truck that travels all over the metro area. I’m told the Apple Crisp Ice Cream is a must-try.
Van Dee’s Ice Cream Shoppe – 5915 Merle Hay Road., 515-276-1040
More candy eyes are featured at Van Dee’s with their “Eye Scream” cones. I’m told their ice cream cookie sandwiches are delish as well.
Over the Top – 955 NE 56th St., 515-266-3313
They make all their own ice cream and waffle cones here. And, “over the top” of your scoop of ice cream, they put a small bite of a different flavor for you to sample as well!
Waukee Ice Cream Shoppe – 530 Walnut St., 515-987-8504
We moved away from Snookies and sought refuge at the Waukee Ice Cream Shoppe. They have hard and soft serve — lots of different flavors! My daughter likes the red, yellow, and blue “Superman” ice cream. I’m a fan of the almond soft serve.
West Des Moines:
Rita’s – 9250 University Ave. #109, 515-987-4444
Italian Ice, anyone? I have a lot of Rita’s fans in my circle of friends, and their faves are the pear and cotton candy. This is a great choice for those lactose intolerant sweet tooths.
The Des Moines area has some amazing local shops for frozen treats. There are also several chain locations that are good as gold like Baskin Robbins, Coldstone Creamery, Dairy Queen, Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt, and Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt.
Bonus: If you like gelato, be sure to check out Chocolaterie Stam!