HOME > Chowhound > General Midwest Archive >


old fashioned ice cream parlors with old fashioned ice cream sodas, sundaes and banana splits

  • m

looking for them anywhere in the 13 state area covered by this board.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Caruso's in Dowagiac, MI--they even make candy in-house. Hand dipped ice cream, milkshakes in the silver canister...

    Dowagiac is very non touristy but has some nice lakes nearby.

    1. The Parlour in Jackson, MI. (used to be Loud's and then All Star Dairy, but still has kept old fashioned feel, recipes)

      1. Village Ice Cream Parlor, Lebanon, Ohio. Featured in a few Hollywood movies as a setting.

        1. Crown Candy Kitchen 1401 St. Louis Avenue, St. Louis, MO

          Homemade ice cream, hot fudge, butterscotch...malts served with a glass and the tin for refills. Banana splits with just vanilla ice cream- pineapple, strawberries and a split banana along with whipped cream and crushed nuts.

          3 Replies
          1. re: lrstl

            I'm not sure that Crown Candy's really "old-fashioned". It's really just genuine. Semantics, I know. If you can make it, this place is well worth a detour. (Also, get the BLT. Holy cow!)

            1. re: JohnnyKBar

              It opened in 1913. I'd call it "old fashioned." :) How do you consider it not? Really curious. It's handmade ice cream treats at a soda fountain. Juke boxes at the tables (not that they work.) Original tin roof restored after the fire.

              1. re: lrstl

                Sorry. Just trying to be cute. I was trying to differentiate between a parlor fashioned to look old and one that's really old and hasn't changed over the years.

          2. Aglamesis in Cincinnati - they actually have a few locations now but they are the BEST! !!!! especially their sodas as those are my favorite.

            2 Replies
            1. re: AMFM

              I completely agree with that one. I had a date take me there when I was going to school in Cincinnati. I love that they bring you a menu for sundaes. And they mix the flavors into the whipped cream to order. Mmmm.

              1. re: dematteosm

                mmmm... wish we had ANYPLACE like it here in Richmond.

            2. malley's on lorain road in north olmstead, ohio (a far western suburb of cleveland). it's a famous local name in candy, and there are quite a few branches at this point. the north olmstead outpost is also an old-fashioned ice cream parlor with lots of atmosphere.

              1. Ray's Ice Cream in Royal Oak, MI, is one that I think would count.

                1. Mary Coyle Ice Cream
                  780 West Market Street, Akron, OH 44303

                  (330) 253-1511 They are period correct down to the scroll back chairs.

                  Taggarts Ice Cream Parlor
                  1401 Fulton Road Northwest, Canton, OH 44703

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Kelli2006

                    We drive from Kent to Canton justs for TAGGARTS!

                  2. Sarris Candy and Ice Cram Parlor in Canonsburg, PA.-just off 79 south of PGH. Everything is excellent. Been around a lonnnng time. Love the coconut clusters! The sundaes are huge. Good thing I don't live there anymore.....now I am craving it!

                    1. Wilton's Candy Kitchen in Wilton, Iowa, about 30 miles west of Davenport in the eastern part of the state. In business since 1910. http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Overv.... As authentic and old-fashioned as they get.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: sigerson57

                        Seconded. I just stopped by there a few weeks ago and had an awesome Black Raspberry Float, where the man that made the float picked the berries. They don't call them floats though... ice cream soda perhaps? I'd call ahead, though. They play it pretty fast & loose with the opening hours.

                      2. Mundt's in Madison Indiana-part of the wonderful historic district, as a bonus.


                        1 Reply
                        1. I cannot recommend Franklin Fountain in Philadelphia enough...they are old school all the way. They have an antique cash register, everyone that works there is dressed as if they are stuck in the 30's and they went to great lengths to re-create old favorites. Even there website is cool - www.franklinfountain.com

                          My favorite dish there is an ice cream sandwich - they layer fresh, hot waffles with your choice of ice cream...I always go for maple walnut. This place is a must try if you're in Philly. It's in Old City...if it's nice outside, be prepared for a line out the door.

                          1. Not sure where you are from, but there is at least one in Indianapolis. It's located in historic Fountain Square. They also offer duck pin bowling for recreation.

                            1. Ditto Crown Candy Kitchen in St. Louis and their huge BLT also.

                              1. Old Mill Tasty Shop, 604 E Douglas, Wichita. 72 years in same location, original soda fountain, blue plate specials. Yummy yummy.
                                11a-3p M-F 8a-5p Saturdays

                                1 Reply
                                1. The Saugatuck (Mi) Drug Store has a 50's ice cream soda counter with original sodas, shakes, malts, all hand packed. Because it's staffed by high school kids, it only operates on the weekends during school; every day during the summer. These kids are well trained and the sodas are terrific. I'm 64 and they are identical to the ones I used to have at McDaniel's pharmacy in Overland Park, Kansas in the 50's.

                                  1. Bauder's Pharmacy, Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines, Iowa. Bauder's still makes their own ice cream from "secret" family recipes. They are best loved for their fresh peach and stawberry ice cream made during the season. And with that starberry malt, make sure you have a tuna melt!


                                    1. Minnesota--Brooklyn Center--50's Grill is the restaurant. Great Malts and poodle skirts and excellent atmosphere, service. And did I mention great malts?
                                      Where's the Dairy Queen? She should know the best ones in Minneapolis...

                                      1. There is a fin de siecle working ice cream parlor (authentic to my untrained eye) at the Kansas City Museum.

                                        1. Here's a list of Iowa soda fountains I was given a year or two ago:

                                          Iowa soda fountains:

                                          Getter Pharmacy
                                          McMahon’s Drug

                                          Council Bluffs Drive-Inn
                                          1130 W. S. Omaha Bridge Rd.

                                          Des Moines
                                          Bowder’s Pharmacy

                                          Stoner Drugs

                                          Ida Grove Pharmacy

                                          Mars Daisy Bar

                                          George Jay Drugs

                                          Penn Drugs

                                          In Omaha, the Durham Western Heritage Museum has one in the restored railway station, as seen below.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: sigerson57

                                            There is a great little soda fountain/candy store in LaCrosse, WI right on the Mississippi River called the Pearl. There is also one in Mantiowoc, WI but I can't remember the name. I think it was in RoadFood though.

                                          2. Can't think of the exact name right now, but Ripley, located on the Ohio side of the Ohio River about an hour or so East of Cincinnati (and with a very important role in the Underground Railroad) has an old fashioned ice cream place located right by the river. Rockin' Robins or something like that is the name.

                                            1. Lagomarcino's in the Quad Cities, notably the original location in Moline Illinois.


                                              I believe the Corner Sundry in Indianola Iowa will have what you're looking for as well.

                                              1. Knapps Dairy Bar - Main Street Rochester Michigan. True soda fountain also serving killer burgers and season fries.

                                                Moomers ice cream - Traverse City, Michigan.

                                                Stevens and Dawsons - Grayling, Michigan

                                                1. Central Dairy in Jefferson City MO - the real deal. YUM!

                                                  1. In St. Louis, "Fountains on Locust" is a new ice cream parlor, but looks old and the ice cream is wonderful. The owner did a wonderful rehab on the building and is Art Deco themed.