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Best Ice Cream in Ohio: Local Shops to Sample this Summer

July is National Ice Cream Month, established by President Ronald Reagan in 1984. To celebrate this quasi-month-long holiday, we discovered and sampled some of Ohio’s best ice creams (jealous yet?). So here is Heritage Ohio’s list of the best ice cream parlors in Ohio.

Best Ice Cream in Ohio - Dietsch Brothers

photo via TripAdvisor

Dietsch Brothers Fine Chocolates & Ice Cream – Findlay

Dietsch Brothers has been serving ice cream and chocolates using family recipes since 1937. The popular Findlay store has been repeatedly named a “Top 10 Ice Cream Shop” by TripAdvisor and their chocolate-covered pretzels are a favorite of Bette Midler. In addition to ice cream cones, the store offers a variety of sundaes, old-fashioned sodas, and a unique banana split.

Locations

400 W. Main Cross St. & 1217 Tiffin Ave., Findlay

 

Best Ice Cream in Ohio- Aglamesis Brothers

photo via Cincinnati USA

Aglamesis Brothers – Cincinnati

A Cincinnati tradition since 1908, Aglamesis Brothers is an ice cream lover’s paradise. The Oakley Square location, opened in 1913, is mostly unchanged since its opening, decorated with bright colors and warm marble. Beyond the traditional ice cream flavors you would expect are several creative flavors including pineapple pecan and banana chocolate chip. They also offer a good selection of Italian ices.

Locations

3046 Madison Rd. & 9899 Montgomery Rd., Cincinnati

 

Best Ice Cream in Ohio - Jeni's Ice Cream

photo via Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream

Jeni’s Spledid Ice Creams – Columbus & Cleveland

James Beard Award winner Jeni Britton Bauer opened her first scoop shop in 2002, offering what was at the time a truly innovative approach to ice cream making. Ice cream at Jeni’s is made from grass-fed cow milk and whole ingredients, as well as a whole lot of creativity. The stores offer classic Jeni’s flavors like salty caramel and the milkiest chocolate in the whole wide world, as well a rotating collections of ice cream that offer some truly unique flavors such as sweet corn with black raspberry and banana with honey. We may be biased as Columbus locals, but we think this is some of the best ice cream in Ohio. This isn’t your ordinary ice cream parlor and should be a destination for any true ice cream lover.

Numerous Locations in Columbus & Cleveland

 

Best Ice Cream in Ohio - Mitchell's Homemade Ice Cream

photo via Mitchell’s Homemade Ice Cream

Mitchell’s Homemade Ice Cream – Cleveland

After an evening of fruitlessly hunting for homemade ice cream in Seattle in the 1990s, Mike & Pete Mitchell decided to make the “best, most delicious ice cream.” They opened their first store in Westlake in 1999 and have been serving Cleveland ever since. The stores offer ice cream classics and unique flavors like porter chocolate chunk and vegan offerings as well. The Ohio City location offers several flavors that you can only find at that store, which is also an Ohio Historic Tax Credit project. Simply put, the next time you are in Cleveland, visit a Mitchell’s store and thank us later.

7 Locations in the Cleveland Metro Area

 

Best Ice Cream in Ohio - Tom's Ice Cream Bowl

photo via Tom’s Ice Cream Bowl

Tom’s Ice Cream Bowl – Zanesville

Tom’s has been a Zanesville fixture since 1948. The shop has a great retro vibe to it, inviting you to eat more ice cream. Tom’s offers a good variety of classic ice cream flavors, but many people go for the over-the-top sundaes. Either way, you’ll be happy you stopped by.

Location

532 McIntire Ave., Zanesville

 

Best Ice Cream in Ohio - Graeters at Union Terminal

photo via Thought & Sight

Graeter’s Ice Cream – Numerous Locations

When people talk about Cincinnati ice cream, you’ll undoubtedly hear that Graeter’s is the best ice cream in Ohio. Graeter’s traces its ice cream history back to 1868 when Louis Graeter started selling ice cream at street markets in Cincinnati. Starting in 1900, he and his wife started making ice cream using French Pots and the technique is still used by the company today. Vanilla and black raspberry chocolate chip are local favorites, but we suggest you try them all.

Locations in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, & Oxford

 

Best Ice Cream in Ohio - Taggarts

photo via Thought & Sight on Instagram

Taggarts Ice Cream Parlor & Restaurant – Canton

Opened in 1926, Taggarts has been a family favorite since day 1. The restaurant offers a large selection of soups and sandwiches, but the ice cream takes center stage here. The most popular item is ‘The Bittner’, a 3/4 lb. sundae of vanilla ice cream blended with chocolate syrup and topped with roasted pecans. Absolutely delicious.

Locations

1401 Fulton Rd. NW, Canton & 107 S. Main St., Magnolia

 

Best Ice Cream in Ohio

photo via Queen City Discovery

The Cone – West Chester

The origin story of The Cone has to be one of the more unique tales in Ohio ice cream lore. The owner wanted to open a new and unique ice cream store. When his parents were vacationing in Florida, they happened upon a ice cream cone-shaped building for sale. He purchased it, brought it back to Ohio and opened The Cone in 1995. The Cone is known for their soft-serve ice cream, especially the strawberry, made with real strawberries. The ice cream and shaved ice menu is extensive, so you will have no trouble finding something to put a smile on your face.

Location

6855 Tylersville Rd., West Chester

 

Best Ice Cream in Ohio - Hartzler Family Dairy

photo via One Tank Trips

Hartzler Family Dairy – Wooster

Just a few miles northeast of historic downtown Wooster is the Hartzler Family Dairy. The farm operates on the principle of “farming as nature intended,” so you won’t find dairy products made with antibiotics or pesticides used on crops. The family opened the dairy in 1996 to meet the demand for high quality dairy products. Hartzler’s Ice Cream Shoppe sells both food and ice cream. The centerpiece is the Barn Buster Parfait, an oversized hot fudge sundae with vanilla custard. Delicious.

Location

5454 Cleveland Rd., Wooster

 

Best Ice Cream in Ohio - Stoddards Frozen Custard

photo via Stoddard’s

Stoddard’s Original Frozen Custard – Kent

OK, ice cream purists, custard is not ice cream. But that shouldn’t stop you from visiting Stoddard’s, just outside of downtown Kent. To be clear, the shop does have ice cream too, but people absolutely love the frozen custard at this ice cream stand since it opened in 1948. It’s super creamy and delicious

Location

1321 W. Main St., Kent

 

Best Ice Cream in Ohio - Weldon's Ice Cream Factory

photo via Weldon’s Ice Cream

Weldon’s Ice Cream Factory – Millersport

Buckeye Lake is a popular summer destination for thousands of Ohioans each year. What many people who are visiting don’t know is there is a wonderful ice cream parlor on the southwest shore of the lake in Millersport. Weldon’s opened in 1930 and continues to churn out the same delicious ice cream.

Location

2887 Canal Dr., Millersport

 

Best Ice Cream in Ohio

photo via Citymaps

Bidinger’s Ice Cream – Wadsworth

Heading towards downtown Wadsworth on College Street, you’ll be greeted by a giant ice cream cone, letting you know you’ve arrived at Bidinger’s. The stand offers both hard-packed and soft-serve ice cream, but may astonish any visitor is the variety. Across the year, the store offers an ever-growing list of rotating soft-serve flavors including toasted coconut, creme brulee, and key lime, with all varieties available in a twist as well.

Location

410 College St., Wadsworth

 

Best Ice Cream in Ohio - Honey Hut

photo via Honey Hut

Honey Hut Ice Cream – Cleveland

Honey Hut opened in 1974 with two flavors, vanilla and chocolate. The menu options soon expanded with the owner testing out new flavors on local firefighters. Today, you will find local favorites such as honey pecan on the menu, in addition to vanilla and chocolate, as well as other frozen treats to try.

5 Locations in the Cleveland Metro Area

 

Best Ice Cream in Ohio - Cherry St Creamery

photo via Cherry St Creamery

Oser’s Dairy & Deli and Cherry Street Creamery – Canal Fulton

W are sure we’re committing a major faux-pas in the minds of locals, but we’re going to sit on the fence and say both Oser’s and Cherry Street Creamery are great. The two shops are located on opposite sides of the Ohio & Erie Canal that runs through the middle of Canal Fulton. Cherry Street Creamery is for fans of fresh-made custard and Oser’s serves hard ice cream devotees. Visit Canal Fulton and pick a side in this ice cream battle.

Location

Cherry Street Creamery, 136 Cherry St. W., Canal Fulton

Oser’s Dairy & Deli, 102 N. Canal St., Canal Fulton

 

Bonus: International Ice Creams

Tucked away in your city are many hidden ice cream gems you may have not discovered yet. We are talking about ethnic ice cream stands. You may have to find them by exploring your city or by word-of-mouth, but when you do find them, don’t be afraid to try them. They are always amazing. Since we are in Columbus, we will highlight just a few in our area that we think you should try, but find the ones closest to you! If you’re looking for more offbeat things to do in Columbus, Choosy Traveler has the lowdown on one of our favorite quirky statues.

 

Best Ice Cream in Ohio- Diamond's Mexican Paletas

photo via fitt.co

Diamonds specializes in Mexican ice cream, fruit desserts, and authentic paletas. The ice cream is excellent, but you really want to go for the paletas, which you will recognize as a popsicle, but a popsicle that is better than any normal popsicle you’ve had. Trust us. They come in a wide variety of flavors and are either milk-based or water/juice-based. There are dozens to pick from, so go wild and get a few to try.

Location

4561 Bethel Sawmill Center, Columbus

 

Best Ice Cream in Ohio - Belles Bread Matcha Soft Serve

photo via Thought & Sight on Instagram

This Japanese bakery is part of a larger Japanese menagerie of shops and restaurants in the Kenny Centre Mall. The store offers amazing cakes and baked goods, but they also offer soft-serve ice cream. You can get vanilla, matcha, or matcha-vanilla swirl flavors. For those of you who want the full Japanese experience, we suggest getting a matcha ice, which is shaved ice with matcha syrup, condensed milk, and azuki beans topped with matcha ice cream. Absolutely delicious.

Location

1168 Kenny Centre Mall, Columbus

 

Best Ice Cream in Ohio - Mardi Gras Indian Ice Cream

photo via WOSU

This Indian ice cream store has some of the creamiest ice cream you are going to find anywhere. They have the classic American flavors as well as a dozen or so Indian flavors such as rose, anjeer (fig), lychee, and Kesar Pista, a blend of pistachio, almond, saffron, and a pinch of cardamom. It’s some of the best ice cream we’ve had in Ohio. The owners are very proud of their ice cream and will let you sample them all to get the right one for you.

Location

1947 Hard Rd., Columbus

 

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