When the steamy Midwest summer has you aching for a cup or cone of your favorite frozen treat, look no further than Warren County. Home to a number of long-standing ice cream shops, Ohio’s Largest Playground is sure to hit the sweet spot! Here’s the full scoop on five local favorites.
Ask around and you’ll quickly learn that the name Graeter’s is synonymous with ice cream in Ohio. Originally founded in 1870, the Cincinnati-based brand has since spread its reach throughout the nation, gaining a dedicated following of sweet-toothed fans along the way. Its unique production process, known as the French Pot method, churns out notably thick ice cream in a variety of tasty flavors, ranging from classics like chocolate and vanilla to my personal favorite, Black Raspberry Chip. With locations in both Springboro and Mason, Graeter’s has your ice cream cravings covered no matter where your travels take you.
Tucker’s Whippy Dip
Want a twist cone with sprinkles? You’ve got it! Want it to look like an elephant? You’ve got that too! Just down the road from Graeter’s in downtown Mason sits Tucker’s Whippy Dip, a lively, two-window storefront that serves up everything from classic soft serve to artfully-crafted, animal-shaped creations. Lines form quickly in the summer months, as both locals and visitors relax on the shop’s umbrella-shaded front patio, spoons in hand. Conveniently priced and always tasty, Whippy Dip is as good a choice as any for your ice cream fix.
Village Ice Cream Parlor
If it’s the full ice cream experience you’re looking for, Village Ice Cream Parlor in Historic Downtown Lebanon is the place to go. Since opening its doors on Independence Day in 1969, the old fashioned soda fountain has served up both classic ice cream creations and award-winning burgers, all while maintaining its uniquely vintage atmosphere. Whether it’s a malt, float, sundae or sandwich you’re looking for, you’re sure to find something tasty at the Parlor. My suggestion: take the kids along–it’s a history lesson disguised as an ice cream trip!
Whit’s Frozen Custard
Ice cream, frozen yogurt, custard…they’re all basically the same, right? Not so fast. Whit’s Frozen Custard, located just two doors down from Village Ice Cream Parlor in Lebanon, serves a unique brand of frozen treat that’s…well…custard-y. Typically featuring two weekly flavors, plus a handful of every day options, Whit’s blends any of its custards with your choice of tasty toppings (peanuts, gummy worms, you name it) to create cool, customizable treats. Personally, I went with their Buckeye Whitser (peanut butter custard blended with Reese Cup candies–and some mixed nuts for good measure). I’ll be heading back soon.
An ice cream landmark founded in 1963, Franklin, Ohio’s Mr. Frosty keeps it simple, serving up real dairy soft serve to crowds of hungry customers. Ready for the twist? They’re also known for their pulled pork sandwiches and other hearty lunch options. Whatever you’re craving, savory or sweet, hot or cold, Mr. Frosty makes for a great summertime standby.
So, which of Warren County’s creameries ranks the coolest? That’s for you to decide, but maybe it’s just best to try them all…you know…just to be sure.
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