Ice cream for every mood in the Des Moines area

The Outside Scoop,

There are few things more satisfying on a hot summer day than a frosty ice cream. Whether you’re a tried and true chocoholic or love a funky new flavor, there’s no wrong choice when it comes to frozen treats.

And luckily for us, the city has no shortage of places where you can sweeten your season. Here are six Des Moines-area ice cream shops sure to satisfy your sweet tooth this summer.

Nostalgic vibes: Bauder’s

3802 Ingersoll Ave, Des Moines

If you’re searching for a taste of nostalgia, look no further than Bauder’s on Ingersoll. Originally a pharmacy, Bauder’s opened in 1916 and by the 1930s had started offering sweet treats at a soda fountain. Today the pharmacy is gone, but the ice cream remains. Grab a scoop of old-fashioned ice cream or indulge in a shake or malt. Plus, Bauder’s is the maker of the Iowa State Fair cult favorite peppermint ice cream bar, which you can now find at the shop year round.

Neighborhood favorite: Snookies Malt Shop

1810 Beaver Ave, Des Moines

Photo via Snookies Malt Shop on Facebook

You know that warmer weather is ahead when Snookies Malt Shop opens for the season. This Beaverdale fan favorite has been serving ice cream lovers for decades. Under the glow of Snookies’ iconic neon sign, you’ll find customers of all ages enjoying dipped soft serve cones (complete with Snookies’ signature animal cracker), sundaes, malts and more. And, if you happen to visit with your furry friend, be sure to grab a pint-sized puppy cone.

Innovative ice cream: Black Cat Ice Cream

2511 Cottage Grove Ave, Des Moines

Megan Bannister/Little Village

When you visit Black Cat Ice Cream, you’ll find amazing flavors made from quality ingredients. This Drake neighborhood shop serves up seriously tasty small batch artisanal ice cream and has the awards to back it up. Not only does Black Cat use grass-fed natural dairy sourced from local producers to create their ice cream, but they’re also always creating new flavors. From blackberry lemon sorbet to honey cornbread to red velvet Oreo, there’s something here for everyone. Literally — Black Cat typically has at least one or two vegan and gluten-free options on their menu. Plus, the shop is named after the owners’ own ice cream-loving cat Boo Bear. Seriously, how can you not love that.

Southside staple: Classic Frozen Custard

4000 SE 14th St, Des Moines

Megan Bannister/Little Village

With a slogan like “once you lick it, you’ll love it,” you don’t need much else. But when you visit Classic Frozen Custard on Des Moines’ southside, you’ll also find some truly remarkable sweets. All of the flavors at Classic Frozen Custard are made fresh daily and the menu rotates depending on availability. The shop offers a variety of sweet treats in truly hefty portions. Grab your custard to go at the walk-up or drive-thru windows, or stay to savor your treat at the shop’s picnic tables. Or, get custard packed by the pint or quart to enjoy at home later.

Eastside tradition: Dairy Zone

2219 E University Ave

An eastside tradition since 1990, Dairy Zone is an ice cream fan favorite. While this seasonal eatery does have some savory food options, like tenderloins and pizza pockets, what they’re truly known for is their tornados. These mixtures of sugary goodness come in a variety of flavors featuring different candy and cookie pieces.

Treats on the go: The Outside Scoop

602 N Jefferson Way, Indianola
2410 SW White Birch Dr Suite 100, Ankeny

For The Outside Scoop, what started as a small operation in Indianola has since expanded into a fleet of pink ice cream trucks, along with an additional brick-and-mortar location in Ankeny. Since opening in 2010, The Outside Scoop has become locally famous for its unexpected and inventive flavors — like Dutch letter and goat cheese with roasted cherry — and elevated ice cream trucks.

This article was originally published in Little Village Central Iowa issue 003.