Historic Ice Cream Parlors Across the USA



If you love your ice cream old-school, this guide is for you. From 160-year-old parlors serving up family recipes to retro soda fountains, prepare to satisfy your sweet tooth at these historic ice cream shops across the USA.

Bassetts Ice Cream (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

This family-owned joint in Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal Market is home to one of America’s oldest ice cream brands (they’ve been making ice cream since 1861)! Step up to the 125-year-old marble countertop and order flavors like Butterscotch Vanilla, Pomegranate Blueberry Chocolate Chunk, or Mint Chocolate Chip. Be sure to grab a scoop of the Guatemalan Ripple—a local favorite blending coffee, fudge, and truffle!

Fentons Creamery (Oakland, California)

If you’re a Pixar fan, Fentons Creamery may ring a bell—it was featured in the 2009 film Up! Located on the bustling Piedmont Avenue in Oakland, California, this retro diner and creamery was founded in 1894. Enjoy a cone of their most famous flavors like Toasted Almond and Swiss Milk Chocolate. Or, dig into one of their massive sundaes and banana splits – they’re large enough to feed a family of four! Looking for a bit of savory with your sweets? The creamery also serves sandwiches and salads (order the fresh crab salad).

Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor (Columbus, Indiana)

Serving up sodas and sundaes since 1900, Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor was the dream of three brothers from Greece. Today, the vibe is still charmingly old school, with the mahogany bar adorned with stained glass and mirrors to the marble counters and antique soda fountain collection on display. Enjoy a brownie sundae or classic soda made from the 1904 fountain, then check out the on-site museum that’s home to a mechanical musical library, rare syrup dispensers and a 1908 Welte Orchestrion.

Angelo Brocato (New Orleans, Louisiana)

Why go to Italy for authentic gelato when you can go to Angelo Brocato instead? A New Orleans staple since 1905, this pastel-pink parlor is known for its sweet and creamy gelato and authentic Italian desserts. Relax at a glass-topped table in the dining room, which exudes an Old World atmosphere from the apothecary jars filled with candies to the marble countertop. Grab a scoop of the amaretto or salted caramel. Or, try the tiramisu or cannoli paired with a piping hot cappuccino or espresso.

Wilson’s Restaurant & Ice Cream Parlor (Ephraim, Wisconsin)

Featuring a jukebox and an old-fashioned ice cream counter with a soda fountain, this restaurant and ice cream parlor in Ephraim, Wisconsin, will transport you to the 1950s! Open seasonally between May and October, Wilson’s has been serving sweet treats, burgers, and home-brewed root beer for over 117 years. If you love chocolate, the Midnight Dark Chocolate ice cream is a must – it’s made from three African cocoas. And for something fruity, the blueberry crunch delivers with its blueberry swirl and chocolate-covered waffle cone pieces.

Fair Oaks Pharmacy & Soda Fountain (Pasadena, California)

As you step into Fair Oaks Pharmacy, it’s hard not to feel a wave of nostalgia with its neon signs, old-school toys and massive candy collection. Scooping up sweet treats in South Pasadena since 1915, this popular spot is over-the-top retro with eccentric knickknacks galore. Enjoy a classic ice cream float or phosphate soda. Feeling adventurous? Fair Oaks serves up quite a few wild flavors, like the Buttered Popcorn Milkshake (it’s even topped with real popcorn).

Leopold’s Ice Cream (Savannah, Georgia)

A Savannah icon since 1919, Leopold’s Ice Cream is a must-visit for ice cream lovers who love all things old-school. From the marble soda fountain to the jukebox, Leopold’s is a throwback to a bygone era. Order a cone of their famous Tutti Frutti – a mix of rum ice cream, candied fruits and Georgia pecans. Seasonal flavors bring unique flavor profiles, like rose and lavender. And if you love chocolate, the Savannah Socialite is a dream come true with its blend of milk and dark chocolate, homemade bourbon, caramel and pecans. Be prepared – there’s usually a line out the door.

Graeter’s in Hyde Park (Cincinnati, Ohio)

Located in Cincinnati, Graeter’s was established in 1922 and maintains that mom-and-pop malt shop atmosphere to this day. Choose from over 15 chocolate chip flavors, including Coconut Chocolate Chip, Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip, and Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip. Or, sample classic flavors like Birthday Cake and Vienna Coffee. The 1870s Tower Sundae is a fan favorite – made with Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip ice cream, chocolate bundt cake, hot fudge, fresh whipped cream, and pecans.

Eddie’s Sweet Shop (Queens, New York)

Established in 1925, this Queen’s soda fountain and ice cream shop is the oldest in New York City! Enjoy a scoop of popular flavors like maple walnut or coffee chip at the retro counter. Try one of their towering sundaes or loaded-up banana splits (all the ice creams, syrups and whipped creams are made from scratch). Or, sip away on an old-fashioned egg cream – a mix of seltzer, chocolate syrup and milk.

Jaxson’s Restaurant & Ice Cream Parlor (Dania Beach, Florida)

Opened in 1956, this family-run restaurant and ice cream shop in Dania Beach, Florida, is packed with nostalgic memorabilia, like old license plates, street signs, and newspaper clippings. Enjoy the kitschy atmosphere as you indulge in scoops of bubble gum or fresh banana ice cream, half-pound hot dogs and blueberry waffles topped with ice cream. Up for a challenge?  Try the Kitchen Sink – this concoction boasts a pound of ice cream per person, plus bananas, whipped cream, mixed nuts, and cherries.

Take this guide with you via your iPhone with Apple Maps! Click here and enjoy these historic ice cream stops on the go!

Enjoying our content?

Subscribe and receive a weekly newsletter packed with awesome stories to inspire you!

Related articles

Love Lobster Rolls? Dig in at These Popular New England Joints!

Are you ready to feast? Check out these mouthwatering...

Sips and Sights: 10 Rooftop Bars in Nashville

Looking for cocktails with a view of the Nashville...

Hill Country Hopping: Three Days from San Antonio to Austin

Only 80 miles separate downtown San Antonio from downtown...

Explore The Crooked Road – Check Out Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail

Music, art and history await on Virginia's Music Heritage...

Celebrate Juneteenth at These Festivals in Colorado

Looking for some of the best Juneteenth celebrations in...

Popular experiences

Oregon Road Trip Series: Columbia River Gorge and Mt. Hood

The second stop on our Oregon Road Trip series...

Oregon Road Trip Series: Columbia River Gorge and Mt. Hood

The second stop on our Oregon Road Trip series...

10 of Colorado’s Best-Kept Secrets

Think “Colorado” and what likely comes to mind is...

Three Days of Family Fun in Boone, North Carolina

If you're seeking a long weekend getaway with your...

Discover St. John’s Shopping Scene in the U.S. Virgin Islands

If you’re looking for retail therapy in between the...

Why People Get Padre Island and South Padre Island Wrong

You've seen people say it on your social media...