Summer is made for ice cream. Well, I think all seasons are made for ice cream. But summer just seems to beg for it a little more.
You can buy ice cream at the store, but there’s something special about the experience of going to an ice cream shop and making your selection after peering through the glass into the freezers full of flavors just waiting to be chosen. Indiana has a number of iconic shops that have been fulfilling ice cream wishes for generations.
Try one of these:
Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor and Museum, Columbus, IN — This place just might be the granddaddy of all Indiana ice cream shops. Opens since the 1900s, Zaharakos draws you in with stained glass, oak and marble furnishings and the music of a Welte orchestrion, a self-playing pipe organ.
Bubbles Ice Cream Parlor and Pie Shoppe, Michigan City, IN — A mere infant compared to Zaharakos, Bubbles still serves up lick-worthy ice cream. Our family discovered it on a vacation to the area about five years ago. The kids had a blast trying to pop the soapy bubbles that floated at the entrance to the shop.
Alexander’s on the Square, Noblesville, IN — Every small-town city square should have a restaurant like Alexander’s, where it’s perfectly acceptable to eat dessert before, or instead of dinner. Sit at the counter or pull up one of those cute, wire chairs with the heart shape in the middle.
Mrs. Curl Ice Cream Shop and Outdoor Cafe, Greenwood, IN — Now this is ice cream old school. Mrs. Curl’s has been a staple in Greenwood for over 40 years. Its all outdoor seating makes it pet-friendly, so you can treat Rover to a dish of vanilla on his birthday if you’d like. But only if Rover’s birthday is in season. Mrs. Curl’s closes October 31.
Polly’s Freeze, Maplewood, IN — Just across the Ohio River from Louisville, Polly’s Freeze has been serving up delicious brain freeze since 1952. Visitors will find a menu of rotating ice cream and sherbet flavors. Orange sherbet twisted with vanilla ice cream is available daily. Check out the website for the day’s menu.
This is only a sampling of the great ice cream shops found in Indiana. What’s your favorite?