July is National Ice Cream Month and we are screamn’ with delight! I have to admit, ice cream is my all-time favorite food, and there’s no better time of year to indulge in a creamy cold treat than summer. We scoured the Des Moines area for the best ice cream shoppes and their specialties. (I know, I know, tough job, but someone had to do it, right?) Read on to get the scoop.
Classic Frozen Custard
4000 SE 14th Street • Des Moines • (515) 287-1194 • Faceook Page
Just remember, you can’t judge a book by its cover. Classic Frozen Custard shows it’s age, but don’t let that intimidate you or you’ll miss out on some of the best custard you will ever have. The custard is dense, rich, creamy goodness. A cross between hard packed and soft serve ice cream. We said hello to salted cashew, blood orange, and espresso waffle cones and a birthday cake dipped cone. There is no inside seating at Classic Frozen Custard. Make sure to load up on napkins as the custard melts fast on a hot day!
105 E 1st Street • Grimes • (515) 986-5407
A Grimes staple, this family business is best known for their hand packed ice cream. My family has ventured to Heavenly Delights a few times and it’s always worth the drive. No matter what kind of cool creamy treat you are craving, you will find it at Heavenly Delights. In addition to their hand packed ice cream, they also have soft serve and a large selection of ice cream novelties. We traditionally order their generous portioned sugar cones. My kids like the superman, which is rainbow ice cream. They have indoor and outdoor seating available.
The Outside Scoop
602 N. Jefferson Way • Indianola • (515) 689-1890 • Facebook
My personal favorite. Families show up for the unique flavors of homemade hand dipped ice cream at this fun and quirky shop. If you’re truly an ice cream aficionado, willing to go the distance, and impervious to brain freeze try the Mucho Grande. 20 bucks will get you eight scoops of ice cream, four toppings, two brownies, whipped cream, nuts, and of course, a cherry on top. If you break the record for fastest feasting, you’ll earn a $5 gift card. If you don’t happen to be in Indianola, keep an eye out for the Outside Scoop’s pink ice cream truck. They post where they will be around Des Moines on their Facebook page.
Over the Top – Fabulicious Ice Cream & Chocolate
955 Northeast 56th Street • Pleasant Hill • (515) 266-3313 • Website
Over the Top is a cute gourmet ice cream parlor that makes its own fresh homemade ice cream. Their 35 delicious flavors (including gluten-free options), have been super popular with local customers since 2010. In addition to ice cream they serve up non-dairy sorbets and a variety of chocolate confections. Kids will love the ice cream, but they’ll also be mesmerized watching the ice cream being made in their production facility through a large picture window.
Van Dee’s Ice Cream Shoppe
5915 Merle Hay Road • Johnston • (515) 276-1040 • Facebook
A good friend of mine worked at Van Dee’s when she was in high school back in the 80s. Van Dee’s has been a popular sweet stop for many families in Johnston for generations. It’s a traditional seasonal soft serve joint. The shoppe was sold in 2013 to new owners, but is still serving up pretty much the same menu, including their homemade waffle cones. If kids order an ice cream cone they come with candy eyes and if you have a sprinkle lover a must try is the Krunch Kote. Van Dee’s has both inside and outside seating. They also have a limited food menu that includes chicken strips, tenderloins, cheeseballs and other fried up goodness.
Waukee Ice Cream Shoppe
530 Walnut Street • Waukee • (515) 987-8504
From the blackboard menu to the swiveling stools at the small counter Waukee Ice Cream Shoppe plays up its small town Iowa charm. 10 flavors of hard packed ice cream and 32 flavors of soft serve ice cream are on tap. You can dream up countless creamy concoctions to fit in a cone, cup or bowl. My kids are a chip off the old block, as they favor the mint chip or mint flavored soft serve. One of my favorites is an espresso delight shake. There is lots of seating inside the ice cream shoppe and they also have seating on a small patio outside.
Please remember to bring cash before heading out to an ice cream shoppe. A few of the businesses listed don’t accept debit or credit cards.
Did we miss your absolute favorite ice cream shoppe? Give us the scoop in the comments below.