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With its sprawling farmland and knack for industry, it comes as no surprise that Ohioans can combine the best of both worlds by creating some of the most delicious ice cream in the country. While some people take wine tours in California or create seafood tours along the East Coast, Ohio is one of the few places in the United States where you can embark on a full-fledged ice cream tour.
Whether you live just outside of Cleveland or you will be heading down to Cincinnati for your summer vacation, you will find that every region of Ohio boasts authentic ice cream shops with handmade creations. We’ve compiled a list of the best ice cream shops in Ohio that you simply can’t ignore.
Discover These Flavorful Scoops in Northeast Ohio
From the Rock-and-Roll Hall of Fame to the breathtaking Cuyahoga National Park, northeast Ohio is home to plenty of attractions that entice people to visit and explore the area. As a result, a plethora of locally-owned ice cream shops and regional chains have popped up in this region, and each one offers a unique take on the ice cream experience.
Toft Dairy – Sandusky
Many people are driving through Sandusky in order to spend their day at Cedar Point, which is a local amusement park that is known as America’s Roller Coast. While this iconic attraction may be the reason for coming to Sandusky, no visit is complete without a stop at Toft Dairy.
Having been an integral part of the community since 1900, Toft’s is the oldest dairy in Ohio. You will always find 50 flavors of ice cream on the menu, as well as dozens of toppings.
Grab a Cone at a Local Ice Cream Shop in Southeast Ohio
Southeast Ohio is full of charming towns and picturesque rural views, making it the ideal place for local ice cream shops to pop up on the roadside. After a laid-back day of exploring or relaxing on the farmhouse porch, there is nothing better than a sweet treat.
Velvet Ice Cream – Utica
In Utica, locals and visitors alike know that the best place to get ice cream is at Velvet Ice Cream. This family-owned ice cream shop has been part of the community since 1914. For four generations, the Dagar family has been creating handcrafted ice cream that has a distinct velvety texture.
The unique ice cream experience that this shop provides has earned quite the reputation, and people across the Midwest are now able to purchase a pint of Velvet Ice Cream from their local retailers.
Those who are searching for the most authentic Velvet Ice Cream experience can visit the Utica location and try its eclectic flavors, such as Buckeye Brownie or Elephant Ear.
Michael’s – Jackson
Another Southeast Ohio ice cream option is Michael’s, which is a family restaurant and ice cream parlor located in downtown Jackson, Ohio. Michael’s is known for its delicious ice cream specialty products, such as the Bubble — which is a scoop of French vanilla ice cream topped with marshmallow sauce, hot fudge, and fresh-roasted peanuts.
Feast on a Frozen Delight in Southwest Ohio
Cincinnati may be located at the southern tip of Ohio, but this metropolitan area is one of the places that put the state on the ice cream map. Some of the best local brands of ice cream in the state originated in this city, and their flavors have spread throughout Ohio and into the bordering Midwestern states.
Graeter’s – Cincinnati
For example, Graeter’s is a nationwide chain that began as a locally-owned ice cream parlor in 1870. For four generations, the Graeter family has continued the tradition of creating ice cream that is smooth, flavorful, and indulgent — the perfect frozen treat for the young and the young at heart to enjoy.
Today, Graeter’s has neighborhood scoop shop locations in five different communities in Ohio, as well as in Illinois, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Indiana.
While every flavor of ice cream is delicious at Graeter’s, some of its most famous flavors include Banana Chocolate Chip and Peach.
Aglamesis Brothers – Cincinnati
While Graeter’s may be the most well-known ice cream maker in Southwest Ohio, there are other local ice cream shops in the region that stand apart from the competition. Aglamesis Brothers in Cincinnati is another prominent ice cream shop in the community and has been serving up its scoops since 1908.
In addition to its thick, creamy ice cream, this shop also specializes in authentic Italian ice in flavors such as champagne, lemon, pineapple, and peach. Keep in mind, this ice cream shop only creates its frozen concoctions with fresh, seasonal ingredients, so your favorite flavors will only be available for a limited time.
Visit Western Ohio for Unique Ice Cream Concoctions
In western Ohio, ice cream is so popular that the community of Dayton has designed its own ice cream trail in order to outline the best places to visit for a cone, a cup, or a special treat.
Young’s Jersey Dairy – Yellow Springs
Young’s Jersey Dairy is a dairy farm in Yellow Springs that has been serving up fresh dairy products from its Jersey cow milk for more than half a century. In addition to bottles of milk, this farm creates homemade ice cream that is beloved by locals and visitors alike.
Every flavor that is served at Young’s has been handcrafted on the farm using a butterfat mix that creates a thick, rich ice cream. The farm has dozens of flavors available on any given day, such as Cherry Vanilla, Key Lime Crunch, or S’mores.
Jubie’s Creamery – Fairborn
While many of the best ice cream shops in Ohio have been serving up scoops for a century, there are some newcomers that have made a splash on the scene. Jubie’s Creamery in Fairborn, Ohio is one of the most recent additions to the ice cream trail, and it’s worth the stop.
Jubie’s always has multiple flavors of ice cream and custard available, but it’s perhaps most famous for its Cookie Sammie. Patrons who order this treat can choose an ice cream flavor and have it sandwiched between two homemade cookies.
Dip Your Spoon Into These Delightful Treats in Northwest Ohio
Whether you have spent your day at the Toledo Zoo or you are taking a day trip to Findlay, you will find that Northwest Ohio boasts some of the best ice cream shops in Ohio.
Homestead Ice Cream – Archbold
Homestead Ice Cream is a quaint ice cream parlor in Archbold, Ohio that is open seasonally each summer. In addition to being a classic ice cream shop, this brand also is a wholesale manufacturer that ships its ice cream across the state.
The people who frequent Homestead are often in search of classic ice cream flavors that are done right. The most popular flavors at this shop include Vanilla, Butter Pecan, and Peanut Butter Cup.
Dietsch Brothers – Findlay
In Findlay, the ice cream shop that you need to put on your list is Dietsch Brothers. Established in 1937, this ice cream shop is known for its fine chocolates and ice cream cone options.
This is the kind of neighborhood ice cream shop that feels nostalgic and timeless, and its most famous flavors include Toffee Caramel Crunch and Strawberry Cheesecake.
Find Your New Favorite Ice Cream Flavor in the Greater Columbus Area
Situated in the heart of the state, it comes as no surprise that the Greater Columbus area is home to some of Ohio’s most famous ice cream shops.
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream – Columbus
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream, for example, was established in Columbus in 2002 and quickly grew to be a household name throughout the country. Its smooth ice cream made with a buttercream base and all-natural ingredients makes it stand out from other scoops that you may have tried.
With eight scoop shops in Columbus alone, you will also find that it’s one of the most convenient places to get your favorite frozen dessert.
Don’t forget to try one of the limited edition flavors at Jeni’s. These additions to the menu won’t last for long and may include unique options like Rocket Pop or Wedding Cake.
More Amazing Ice Cream in Ohio
The fact of the matter is, there is a difference between good ice cream and great ice cream. Fortunately, there is amazing ice cream in Ohio located throughout the state, ensuring that you can get a hand-packed scoop of your personal favorite flavor, no matter where you are at the moment.
Whether you need to cool off after a day spent at Cedar Point or King’s Island, or you want a refreshing summer treat after a hike through Hocking Hills, you will be able to indulge in a few delicious scoops of ice cream that are sure to hit the spot.
Where is your favorite ice cream shop in Ohio?