You can really tell that Ohio is a farmbelt state when you consider their ice cream. Each town boasts the best ice cream parlor, and all are truly excellent, made with real cream and prepared the old fashioned way, without pumping in unnecessary air and corn syrup. But don’t take anyone’s word for it, go ahead and try them all for yourself.
Jeni’s Ice Cream
Jeni’s ice creams is the brainchild of Jeni Britton Bauer, a former pastry chef. She is committed to making delicious ice cream from local ingredients and is so serious about her pledge that she does not serve strawberry ice cream in the winter. Jeni’s ice cream stores are filled with wild flavors like lavender, goat cheese and cherries, and pear riesling, in addition to more traditional flavors like vanilla and milk chocolate. Kids will love tasting all the exotic flavors before committing to their favorite topped with sprinkles. Five locations in Columbus.
Graeter’s ice cream has been an Ohio insitution for over a century. They still make every batch using a time consuming French pot process that makes two gallons of ice cream at a time. Graeter’s is beloved not only for their deliciously rich ice cream, but also for filling it with the largest chunks. Locations throughout Ohio.
Culver’s serves up delicious butter burgers and frozen custard with a decidedly cheery attitude. The burgers and fries are really good, but the custard is the real draw. You can have it as a soft serve treat, or better yet, as a mixer with your choice of blended candies. Locations throughout Ohio.
Ye Olde Mill in Licking County is the home of the Velvet Ice Cream factory. 150,000 visitors are drawn there yearly to learn about how the Dagan family has been making ice cream with real cream since 1914 and is now the official ice cream of many events in Ohio including the Ohio State Fair. Hours vary. Closed November through April.
Young’s Jersey Dairy is a working dairy farm with plenty of activities for the family. After seeing and petting their cows, you can sample any of the 110 different rotating flavors made from their milk like cake batter rainbow chip, cow chip, and wooly wonka. If you’re hungry for more than ice cream, you can have a full meal at their restaurant. Open 10AM through 10PM. Tours are available weekdays April – October. Grounds admission is free. Most activities are $5. Open daily from 6880 Springfield-Xenia Rd Yellow Springs, OH 45387 (937) 325-0629
The iconic blue and white striped awning advertises plainly the great ice cream found inside of Handel’s. Since the 1940s, their ice cream has been made fresh every day in exciting flavors like Bananas Foster, Smores, and Pumpkin Pie. There are close to 30 locations throughout Ohio.
The Dietsch motto is simple, “Make every day a sweet day.” And they certainly try to help, by offering homemade chocolate and ice cream. Flavors range from the typical vanilla to the more exotic like Red Hot Cinnamon and German Chocolate Cake. They are a landmark of Findlay, Ohio. (Tues.-Fri. 9:00 am – 9:00 pm, Sat. 10:00 am – 9:00 pm, Sun. 12:00 pm – 5 pm, CLOSED MONDAYS) 419-424-5597 400 West Main Cross Street, Findlay, Ohio 45840
In the heart of Amish Country, Mrs. Yoder’s Kitchen is synonimous with comfort food. They offer full meals and leave you full with Amish desserts like seasonal pies. 8101 State Route 241, Mt Hope, OH 44660 Phone: 330-674-0922 M-Sat, 7 am to 8 pm
Toft Dairy is the only locally owned and operated dairy on Lake Erie between Cleveland and Toledo, and the oldest operating dairy in the state. In addition to delivering milk to local schools and businesses from their dairy that is over 100 years old, Toft’s also makes delicious ice cream. 3717 Venice Road, Sandusky, OH 44870 Phone: (800) 521-4606, Phone: (419) 625-4376, Fax: (419) 621-2010
Tom’s is an institution in SouthEastern Ohio. It’s a real old-time ice cream parlor, complete with soda fountains. Your kids will love a special trip for a Sundae at Tom’s. 532 McIntire, Zanesville, OH 43701 (740) 452-5267