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Aug 24, 2013 12:25 PM

Favorite milkshake in Raleigh-Cary-Durham area?

Looking for recommendations of places that make really good milkshakes. Most important is the quality of ingredients... Real ice cream and milk, flavorings that aren't gloppy super-sweet syrups. Proper ratios so it ends up thick but drinkable.

If you have a particular favorite flavor that stands out, feel free to post that as well.

Sonic and Cook Out chains are notable for advertising lots of flavors, but I am not a fan of their industrial overly sweet flavoring syrups.

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  1. I"m not a fan of milkshakes myself, but all during my high school years I worked at a Haagen-Dazs. And, if they are still owned by the same company, I would buy their product anywhere. They use real milk, the ice cream is top notch, and the syrups (if used) are (were?) all kosher and not overly sweet. They are also the cleanest places I've ever worked (and I've worked at a few restaurants/food places).

    I know you're looking for something smaller and not chain-ish, and I hope someone can give you the info you want, but I really would stand up for my old corporate employers (many, many years ago) any day. Totally quality stuff.

    1. Chuck's in Raleigh makes a good one. I don't know if Parlour in Durham does, but I'd bet if they do its good

      1 Reply
      1. re: brsmith2

        Parlour definitely has milkshakes. I got a ginger dulce de leche milkshake there yesterday. Ridiculously good!

      2. Go to Hayes Barton Cafe and ask Frank to make you an Espresso die for.

        1. Goodberry's does a great shake, and one of my favourite malts in the area.

          1. In Durham, The Parlour and Ox & Rabbit.

            20 Replies
            1. re: bbqme

              OX and Rabbit is no longer around.

              That being said. My wife and I have been hitting up Cook Out more than we care to admit for milkshakes. One of our friends liked a place but I don't recall which one but anyways he liked it cause they use chocolate ice cream in his chocolate malted milkshake instead of vanilla with choc. syrup.

              1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                See, now that is a matter of taste. If I was making a milkshake I'd ask if the person ordering a chocolate shake wanted chocolate or vanilla in it. Some prefer the vanilla with chocolate syrup. I think you should mention to your friend to always make sure to make it clear to whoever is making the shake that this is the way he/she wants it.

                1. re: LulusMom

                  The chocolate/chocolate vs. vanilla/chocolate is a North/South thing. To my everlasting regret, I have more experience in working an ice cream store than I'd like to admit. I caught on to that regional difference very early on and whenever a customer asked for a chocolate shake I always asked which version they preferred. I tried to teach the staff to do the same. Southerners tended to look at me quizzically and ask for vanilla with chocolate. Northerners smiled gratefully and gleefully asked for chocolate/chocolate. Myself, I consider chocolate/chocolate the only drinkable version. :-)

                  However, IMHO, I believe that 2 factors make the difference in a quality shake. The first and foremost is the quality of the ice cream. As with most things, GIGO. Even with the best ice cream, though, the skill and experience of the person making the shake is a huge factor. A little bit of great ice cream with a ton of milk does not yield an acceptable shake. Knowing the correct proportions of milk:syrup:ice cream makes a big difference.

                  1. re: rockycat

                    Geez, Rocky. I want to party with you! We both appreciate fine milkshakes, both worked in ice cream parlors, and both appreciate and lament the absence of good Jewish deli around here.

                    1. re: rockycat

                      Another north/south thing in ice cream: jimmies or sprinkles. Same thing, different name.

                      Totally agree with everything you've said (except that if I was forced to drink a milkshake, I'd go with vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup). Too much milk - yuck.

                      1. re: LulusMom

                        In my experience you need to get to New England to find jimmies. In New York they are sprinkles.

                        1. re: boaviagem

                          They are the same thing - just a different name. I'd have people ask for jimmies and point at what I called sprinkles (in Washington DC) and happily put them on for them.

                        2. re: LulusMom

                          I thought jimmies was strictly New England. I'm a native Masshole, and grew up with jimmies, but don't recall seeing them when I lived in NY/NJ/PA region. Then again, I was quite a bit older then, and less interested in such things.

                          1. re: Remsleep

                            grew up in NYC where they were sprinkles, college in Boston. jimmies are New England for sure like rickeys.

                            1. re: Rory

                              And frappes, known nearly everywhere else as milkshakes. Never ask for a milkshake at Brighams if you expect to get ice cream in it.

                              1. re: rockycat

                                I was in DC, and we'd get the occasional person asking for an egg creme (cream?). We figured out how to make them, but it happened so rarely that it was always weird.

                                1. re: rockycat

                                  rockycat; oh gosh, frappes, yes!, forgot about that and Brighams Harvard Sq. lime rickeys...I feel so nostalgic...

                                  LM; the egg cream is just utterly New York, funny when I had a chocolate soda it was always vanilla + chocolate syrup.

                                  1. re: Rory

                                    If you are in Asheville go to Chai Pani. Get a sev batata puri and a lime rickey. You can thank me later.

                                2. re: Rory

                                  Rickeys? As in Lime Rickey?

                                  I had these growing up in NY.

                                  1. re: boaviagem

                                    Thats what I've heard from other New Yorkers..

                                    1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                      bbqme, never been to Asheville; now I want to go, that sounds so good....

                        3. re: burgeoningfoodie

                          i just called ox and rabbit - they are still open, and they still make milkshakes. not sure where you got the info that they are closed.

                          1. re: cervisiam

                            I thought I had read that they were closing shop.. My brain is a bit mush with a new addition.. maybe I was wanting to go and was told they were closed and person meant for that given time.

                            My father is a native new yorker and has called the jimmies and sprinkles. I did not know that rickey's were strictly new england as I've only had it in NY.

                            I've seen frappes listed along with milkshakes. Though it was maybe a ratio thing. I think it is a frozen fruit thing though. This might need a new thread all its own as far as terminology.

                            Said friend went to school at Brandeis and The OSU.. so I guess he's had his malteds done both ways. Personally I wouldn't have known the difference if not having mentioned. I would have just been glad to have one.

                        4. re: bbqme

                          I wonder if S&T Soda Shoppe in Pittsboro does a traditional milkshake (i.e. not overly industrial). The atmosphere sure makes it a nice place to visit and well the $8 banana split would be probably $15 bucks anywhere else in the world.

                          1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                            They do a delicious milkshake, and the pimento cheese sandwich isn't too shabby, either.