6 of the Best Homemade Ice Cream Shoppes in Columbus

Eat & Drink, Family Friendly, For Kids


Written by Step Out Columbus

Published on June 5, 2024
Photo courtesy of Handel’s Ice Cream on Facebook

The cool and rainy shadow of spring has now cleared and the classic hot and humid summer weather that us Central Ohioans always seem surprised by has arrived.

When the thermostat starts reading anything above the mid 80s, there are only a few foolproof ways to cool down: air conditioning, driving with the windows down, and homemade ice cream. While the first two are great, my favorite method is definitely number 3… ice cream!

While there are tons of tasty homemade ice cream shoppes in Central Ohio, these ones are our personal favorites.

If you think there’s another shoppe that deserves to be on this list, be sure to let us know here! The only rules are that the shoppe needs to be founded in Ohio and the ice cream needs to be incredible.

1. Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream

Handel’s is home to far-and-away my favorite milkshake on the entire planet. I don’t need anything fancy, just a chocolate milkshake in the largest container they have. Something about the chocolatey and creamy flavor of their shake is unlike any other shake on this Earth. Plus, their other flavors are equally as tasty. I was especially partial to their chocolate chip cookie dough, but everything there is good. Plus, they’ve been around since 1945 and are further proof that Ohio has the best ice cream!

Photo courtesy of Handel’s Ice Cream on Facebook

2. Mardi Gras Homemade Ice Cream

Featuring both traditional and international ice cream flavors, this family-owned shop is truly a gem of a spot. This spot is so cool because, if you wanted to, you could stop in and try at least TEN new ice cream flavors that you’ve never had (or never even heard of) before. And did we mention how good each flavor is? There’s a reason they’ve been around for nearly 3 decades… it’s just that good!

Photo courtesy of Mardi Gras Homemade Ice Cream on Facebook

3. Whit’s Frozen Custard

Just like Handel’s, Whit’s is another success story that points to Ohio ice cream superiority. Founded in Granville in 2003, they have since exploded onto the scene, offering creamy goodness that most ice cream shoppes envy. Custard is more rich in flavor and dense due to the use of egg yolks and a high butterfat content, as well as the slower methods used to create it, which are purposefully implemented to prevent too much air into the mixture. The finished result is one of the creamiest and tastiest ways to cool off in the winter.

Photo courtesy of Whit’s Frozen Custard Clintonville on Facebook

4. Dulce Vida

Similar to Mardi Gras Homemade Ice Cream, Dulce Vida implements unique international flavors into their menu, drawing from their Mexican roots. With 40 unique flavors, ranging from tropical to spicy to creamy deliciousness, Dulce Vida delivers on the expectations set from being the highest rated Central Ohio ice cream shoppe on Yelp. Plus there are other classic Mexican dessert options like churros, paletas, and dozens more!

Photo courtesy of Dulce Vida Ice Cream & Treats

5. Johnson’s Real Ice Cream

Opened in Bexley in 1950, Johnson’s Real Ice Cream has expanded into one of the fastest growing ice cream shoppes in Central Ohio in recent memory. In just the past several months, they’ve opened shops in Dublin, Grandview, Italian Village, and Canal Winchester, and we think more are still to come. Why? Because their ice cream is so good that they’re going to have to keep up with increasing demand!

Photo courtesy of Johnson’s Real Ice Cream on Facebook

6. Toft’s Grand Scoop

Ohio’s oldest dairy farm just opened their first scoop shop in Central Ohio, making this the first chance Central Ohioans can get their hands on Toft’s famous ice cream outside of the grocery stores. Offering 24 flavors of ice cream, including seasonally rotating flavors, this scoop shop is not one to be missed, especially in the dog days of summer. You can taste the over 120 years of dairy farming in each lick!

Photo courtesy of Toft’s Grand Scoop on Facebook

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