Where to find creamy dreamy ice cream for a hot summer day in Des Moines – Des Moines Register

Whether you like hard pack or soft serve, frozen yogurt or gelato, here’s the scoop on plenty of summertime sweet shops around Des Moines serving frozen desserts all season long.
This local favorite features an old-time soda fountain behind its nostalgic bar. Its popular peppermint bars — thick sandwiches made with homemade peppermint ice cream, hot fudge and crushed Oreo cookies — are served both year-round and at the Iowa State Fair. These treats and other seasonal hard-pack selections such as peach and strawberry are made at its Ingersoll location. Don’t forget about the chocolate soda. Treats start at $1.85.
Location: 3802 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines
Hours: Wednesday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.; closed Sunday through Tuesday.
Contact: 515-255-1124; Facebook
Black Cat Ice Cream in the Drake neighborhood at 2511 Cottage Grove Ave. serves locally produced ice cream. Visitors can sample owner Alex Carter’s handmade flavors such as red velvet and Oreo, brown butter cookie dough and chocolate with ghost chili, rotated regularly. Ice cream is available by the scoop, pint, or in many specialty treats, including doughnut ice cream sandwiches and sundaes.
More:Black Cat Ice Cream returns in new location; Waukee welcomes Home Sweet Cone
Location: 2511 Cottage Grove Ave., Des Moines
Hours: Tuesday through Sunday noon to 8 p.m.; closed Mondays
Contact: 515-720-2672; Facebook
Chocolaterie Stam specializes in gelato and sorbetto made locally with fresh ingredients and milk from Picket Fence Creamery in Woodward. You’ll find 50 flavors at any given time from a rotation of more than 80 like forest berry, strawberry, chocolate-pepper, jalapeno-peach, grapefruit and Nutella. Other gourmet varieties include merlot, pistachio Milano and Champagne. All frozen treats are served in a choice of cups and cones (small, $3.95; medium, $4.50; large, $5).
Hours: Vary by location.
Contact: stamchocolate.com
Watch custard being made while you enjoy a sweet treat on Des Moines’ south side. Along with generous scoops served in sugar or waffle cones, you can order sundaes, shakes, malts, banana splits and sodas in a wide assortment of flavors that constantly rotate, including chocolate mint cookie, black raspberry, watermelon, birthday cake and New York cheesecake. One of the house favorites is the turtle sundae with hot fudge, pecans and caramel. Treats start at $2.55.
Locations: 4000 S.E. 14th St., Des Moines.
Hours: Open daily, noon to 10 p.m.
Contact: 515-287-1194; Facebook
Play games and eat ice cream at The Creamery Bar inside Smash Park in West Des Moines. The shop serves a variety of Homer’s hard-pack ice cream served by the scoop or in shakes and floats. More than 15 toppings include mini chocolate chips, Andes mints, Fruity Pebbles cereal and mango boba. Treats start at $3 for a single scoop.
Location: 6625 Coachlight Drive, West Des Moines
Hours: Monday through Thursday 4 to 11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 1 p.m. to midnight; Sunday, 1 to 10 p.m.
Contact: 515-313-0700; smashpark.com; Facebook
Dairy Zone is a neighborhood institution, serving soft serve in vanilla, chocolate or a twist of the two in a variety of creative frozen treats. Turtle sundaes are the most popular treat but hold out for a specialty like the Oreo Delight with twisted ice cream, hot fudge, marshmallow cream, Oreo cookies, whipped cream and a cherry. Or try a Tornado — your choice of toppings and flavorings, blended into a cool combination. Treats start at $1.79.
Location: 2219 E. University Ave., Des Moines
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 10 p.m.
Contact: 515-265-7824; Facebook
This ice cream stand in Jordan Creek Town Center features both crêpes and rolled ice cream. Choose one of eight specialty flavors and let the ice cream mixmasters prepare your ice cream treat before your eyes. Get the Oreo or S’Mores flavors. Or try the mango with whipped cream and mango syrup or the matcha tea with mochi — pounded sticky rice — and whipped cream. There are plenty of extra toppings to add if you so desire. Treats start at $6.98.
Location: 101 Jordan Creek Pkwy., West Des Moines
Hours: Monday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Contact: 515-822-0150; Facebook
Along with a wide selection of coffee, DSM Brew also serves gelato in flavors such as Caribbean coconut, Argentine sea salt caramel, cookies and cream and stracciatella (Italian chocolate chip). Gelati are served in cups or on waffle cones. For a pick-me-up, go for an affogato — a scoop of vanilla gelato topped with a shot of hot espresso. Treats start at $4.05.
Location: 300 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Pkwy. #140, Des Moines
Hours: Sunday through Wednesday, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday, 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Contact: 515-259-3634; dsmbrew.com; Facebook
Order soft serve in vanilla or chocolate and a limited assortment of hard pack ice creams in flavors such as Superman, moose tracks, amaretto-cherry and Michigan pothole — chocolate ice cream with dark fudge “tar” and chunks of “asphalt,” or fudge cups. Sundaes, shakes, malts, cones and custom ice cream cakes are all found here, along with Twisters — blended frozen desserts in an assortment of flavors like Butterfinger, turtle and banana split. Or try a Big Sky cookie ice cream sandwich. Treats start at $2.
Location: 7025 Douglas Ave., Urbandale
Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 1 to 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 1 to 9 p.m.
Contact: 515-410-1444; Facebook
This tiny soft serve shop is another neighborhood favorite, with single and double vanilla cones. Order from a wide assortment of dips and toppings, or go for the flavor of the week. The menu features something for everyone, including sundaes, malts, shakes, sodas, floats, slushes and ices. Arctic Swirls are Granny’s answer to a blended ice cream treat with Granny’s own secret recipe combinations like apple pie, cherry bon-bon and French silk pie. Treats start at $1.10.
Location: 3417 Hubbell Ave., Des Moines
Hours: Monday through Saturday, noon to 9 p.m.; Sunday, 1 to 9 p.m.
Contact: 515-266-0887; Facebook
You can find both hard pack and soft serve at this little ice cream shop in Grimes. Sugar cones and waffle cones can be dipped in chocolate or cherry. Or go for one of the specialty crunch shakes, blended with hard crunchy cone dip. One of the house favorites is the Black Raspberry Explosion made with vanilla ice cream, hot fudge and black raspberry syrup. Treats start at $3.
Location: 105 E. First St., Grimes
Hours: Open daily from noon to 9 p.m.
Contact: 515-249-9602; Facebook
Premium ice cream is up for grabs at this popular new spot for scoops in Waukee.  Flavors like salted Oreo, a sweet blend of Oreo cookies and sea salt, and coffee Heath with bits of Heath bar combined with smooth coffee ice cream, are featured on the menu. The shop’s all-natural ice cream flavors are made in-store daily off University Avenue. in Waukee.
Location: 1188 SE. University Ave., Waukee
Hours: Open Tuesday through Thursday from 4 to 9 p.m., Friday from 4 to 10 p.m., Saturday from noon to 10 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 9 p.m. 
Contact: 515-954-9144; homesweetcone.com; Facebook
Soft serve ice cream in vanilla, chocolate or a twist of the two can be found at LJ’s close to downtown. A full line of sundaes, blended frozen desserts called Avalanches, shakes and malts are available. Try a classic treat such as a banana split, brownie sundae or a parfait. Or go for a caffeinated pick-me-up with a frozen blended coffee in vanilla, caramel or mocha flavors. Treats start at $1.90.
Location: 3702 Second Ave., Des Moines
Hours: Monday through Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.
Contact: 515-288-8430; Facebook
Cool off with some Mexican ice cream in strawberry, coconut, pistachio and vanilla flavors or go for a native Mexican flavor such as mamey, guayaba or nuez. Sorbets come in lime, watermelon, melon and mango. Try some esquimales (popsicles) coated with coconut, chopped nuts or sprinkles. Aguas frescas can be found here along with malts and shakes. Treats start at $1.50.
Location: 2922 Merle Hay Road, Des Moines
Hours: Monday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; closed Tuesdays; Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Contact: 515-277-1826; Facebook
Molly’s in the East Village offers a line of homemade ice creams made on the premises in classic flavors such as vanilla and chocolate will be on hand but stay on the lookout for its “filled” ice cream flavors such as vanilla cake batter and caramel. Treats start at $3.25 for a cup with two and a half scoops.
Location: 215 E. Third St., Des Moines
Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Contact: 515-244-0778; icmollys.com; Facebook
Head over to Clive for paletas, a Mexican frozen popsicle made using fresh fruit juices, condensed milk and flavors such as chocolate and pistachio. Monarca lets you choose your flavor — with options ranging from from pineapple mint to banana filled with Nutella to strawberry cheesecake — followed by a dipping in white, dark or hazelnut chocolate or cookie butter followed by various toppings and drizzles.
Location: 9901 University Ave., Suite 150, Clive
Hours: Monday through Saturday 1 to 9 p.m.; Sunday 1 to 7 p.m.
Contact: 515-414-8200; Facebook
Since 2010, this ice cream shop in Indianola has been serving scoops of homemade hard-pack ice cream in 75 flavors. Two ice cream trucks help to share that variety throughout the metro. Order from 24 rotating flavors in its shop including a dairy-free option. Dutch letter, goat cheese roasted cherry and salted caramel are just a few of the options, and the homemade waffle cones draw a crowd from miles around. Sundaes, shakes, malts and blended frozen treats called Storms help to mix things up. Treats start at $3.25.
Contact: outside-scoop.comFacebook
Take a trip to Pleasant Hill to cool off with some hard pack ice cream in cups and cones in a full roundup of regular flavors such as Happy Wife Happy Life — dark chocolate fudge with Heath bar and chocolate-covered almond pieces with a caramel swirl. Or go for a dairy-free vegan option like watermelon sorbet. Order sundaes, shakes and floats as well. Treats start at $3.66. 
Location: 955 NE 56th St., Pleasant Hill
Hours: Open weekdays, noon to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, noon to 10 p.m.
Contact: 515-266-3313; overthetopiowa.comFacebook
This Mexican ice cream shop specializing in hard pack ice creams, or cremas, and sorbets, or aguas, is a hidden surprise in the Capitol East neighborhood. Cremas range from the familiar — like caramel, banana, strawberry and vanilla — to the unique, like mamey, a fruit from Cuba and Central America. Try the rompope, a crema made with an eggnog-like drink. Aguas come in various fruit flavors like pineapple, lime and mango with chile. Treats start at $1.60.
Location: 1552 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines.
Hours: Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Contact: 515-265-0696Facebook.
This Beaverdale favorite has been serving soft serve since 1986. And it’s used in all sorts of Snookie’s creations such as cones, cups, dips, shakes and malts. For a fun treat for the kids, get a peanut butter-dipped cone with animal crackers. Snookie’s even serves a cone for dogs. Treats start at $2.35.
Location: 1810 Beaver Ave., Des Moines
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, 1 to 9 p.m.
Contact: 515-255-0638; Facebook
This ice cream craze from Thailand swooped into the metro by way of an ice cream truck. First, choose the size and the ice cream flavor. Then select mixers that include candy bars, cookie dough and marshmallows. A mixer swirls the freezes the ice cream that’s rolled with a spatula. Treats start at $4.
Hours: Hours vary by location.
Contact: 515-964-2111; sweetswirlsrolledicecream.com
Ice cream sandwiches are the thing at Thelma’s. Anderson Erickson ice cream is sandwiched between two freshly made cookies. Try the signature snickerdoodle cookies with vanilla ice cream, peanut butter cookies with banana ice cream, or cayenne chocolate chip with vanilla ice cream. Sweet treats start at $3.
Location: 2323 Hubbell Ave., Des Moines
Hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Contact: 515-343-7388; thelmastreats.com; Facebook
This Merle Hay landmark serves soft serve sugar and waffle cones in vanilla, chocolate or twist flavors. Super sundaes come in eight varieties such as the fudgy-nutty turtle and the crunchy salted nut roll sundaes. Classic specialties such as peanut parfaits, banana splits and hot fudge sundaes make the menu, too. Drink your ice cream with malts, shakes, sodas and freezes in flavors including cherry, chocolate and caramel. Treats start at $1.90.
Location: 5915 Merle Hay Road, Johnston
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 9 p.m.
Contact: 515-276-1040; Facebook
This ice cream shop in Waukee serves a rotation of Kemp’s 40 ever-changing flavors of hard pack ice cream and 35 flavors of soft serve in German chocolate to grape. Banana splits, sundaes, floats and blended frozen treats called Blitzes are all found here, as well as Dole Whip. Drive-thru, patio seating and indoor seating available. Treats start at $1.
Location: 530 Walnut St., Waukee
Hours: 1 to 9 p.m. daily
Contact: 515-987-8504, waukeeicecream.comFacebook
Susan Stapleton is the entertainment editor at The Des Moines Register. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter or drop her a line at sstapleton@gannett.com.


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