National Ice Cream Day is just a few days away, and there’s no better way to celebrate than with a scoop (or three) from the best ice cream shops in central Ohio.
I asked NBC4 viewers what their favorite locally-owned places to get their ice cream fix are, and here’s what they said:
Johnson’s Real Ice Cream has been serving up dreamy desserts for nearly 68 years. The business was founded in 1950 when Robert N. Johnson and his son-in-law, James Wilcoxon, Sr. opened the first shop’s doors in Bexley. Johnson’s is still family-owned and operated with three locations throughout central Ohio. Viewers love the banana cream pie ice cream and the hot fudge sundae.
Okay, okay — I know it’s not technically ice cream, but if you live in central Ohio and haven’t stopped by a Whit’s Frozen Custard location yet, you’re missing out. Whit’s began in 2003 with one shop in Granville and has expanded to nearly 30 locations across the Buckeye State. This central Ohio staple is often thicker, smoother and creamier than ice cream and Whit’s uses the finest ingredients around and offers all of the mix-ins you could want. Try the Buckeye Madness.
Just a short drive from Columbus, Tom’s Ice Cream Bowl in Zanesville is hands-down one of the best ice cream shops in central Ohio. The shop first opened its doors at its current location in 1950 and quickly became a Zanesville tradition. The shop was even featured on a Food Network program called “Ice Cream Nation” last year.
If you’re looking for handmade ice cream in the Hilliard area, make sure to stop by The Little Ice Cream Shoppe. Patrons love the customer service and, of course, the ice cream itself. If you’re looking for a little caffeine buzz with your sugar high, try the espresso chip.
Weldon’s has been serving old-fashioned ice cream in Millersport, Ohio since 1930. The old-timey shop is the perfect place to cool off after a long day on Buckeye Lake. No time to stop by the factory in Millersport? You can get Weldon’s at Minutemen Pizza in Pickerington, Coop’s Corner in Thornville, LunchBox in Baltimore, Smitty’s On the Lake in Millersport and Lancaster’s Friday Night Band Stand.
Jeni’s founder, Jeni Britton Bauer, has more than 20 years of experience in the ice cream industry. The powerhouse of Columbus frozen desserts opened in 2002, offering something new: whole ingredients and dairy from pasture-raised cows. She combined those with unique and interesting flavors that gave way to the artisan ice cream trend. Jeni’s now has more than 30 locations throughout the United States. If you have been under a rock for the last decade and haven’t had Jeni’s yet, try their best-selling Salty Caramel.
Cream & Sugar has been serving up delicious ice cream in Columbus’ west side since 2014 when single mother Rachel Upton decided to start her own business. The shop has the classic ice cream parlor look, with both a walk-up window and a drive-through. Upton tries to make sure to use only local ingredients when possible, and the shop also serves Stauf’s coffee, another Columbus favorite. Make sure to get the best of both offerings with the Iced Coffee Float.
Located in the Northern Lights Shopping Center, Clown Cones & Confections is one of Columbus’ best-kept secrets. The shop has been serving Columbus since 1976. With a huge selection of ice creams and candies to choose from, friendly service and reasonable prices, you won’t be disappointed.
With two locations in Columbus, Dulce Vida is putting a Latin spin on ice cream. The ice cream is rich and dense, and there are a plethora of flavors from which to choose. Their portion sizes are huge but are definitely worth it. Customers love the paletas (Mexican-style popsicles) and the bionicos (a fruit salad-like dessert with Mexican crema and condensed milk).
Mona’s has been a Grove City favorite for more than 70 years. They specialize in hard and soft-serve ice cream and have a ton of flavors. Customers rave about the Mediterranean Dessert (Baklava with one scoop of ice cream, topped with whipped cream and a cherry.)