This post is written by Jim Ellison. Jim is a respected food-blogger in Columbus, is the voice behind CMHGourmand.com , and editor/contributor for AltEatsColumbus.com , TacoTruckColumbus.com and StreetEatsColumbus.com . Follow Jim on Twitter @CMHGourmand .
Most residents of Columbus and a growing number of food focused visitors have heard of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream . Travelers frequently make a scoop of Jeni’s the prize of their tour of Columbus and/or North Market. Locally grown writer/blogger CMH Gourmand proclaims our town is the Ice Cream Capital of the World. Here are three other parlors that place Columbus as a world champion:
Four generations have scooped homemade, hand packed ice cream at Johnson’s Ice Cream since 1950. The oldest ice creamery in town has adapted to the times by adding new flavors, a deli and more. Johnson’s is most renown for Triple Vanilla Bean ice cream and large Buckeyes made of peanut butter ice cream covered in chocolate.
Johnson’s Real Ice Cream 2728 E. Main Street Bexley
The Vienna Ice Café debuted in Clintonville mid-summer 2011. While this is the newest shop in town, there is a long history behind the counter. The owners have operated Mozart’s Bakery in Clintonville for decades. For ice cream expertise they brought in a expert whose resume included work with G.D. Ritzy’s a defunct local favorite. The end result is a full service parlor serving homemade ice cream in dishes with silverware.
Vienna Ice Cafe 2899 North High Street Clintonville
Mita Shah crafts ice cream based on favorite recipes from India. About one half of the rotating cast of flavors include names such as Kesar Pista, Rajbhog and Falooda Kulfi. Other flavors might include chocolate or mango but expect bit of a twist in the “mainstream” selections or something more obscure behind the counter. There is a good chance at least one of the flavors will be blue. Mardi Gras can be overlooked in the Ice Cream Capital of the world but it is this shop that ensures almost all nations are recognized in dairy form.
Mardi Gras 1947 Hard Road Something Borrowed (honorable mentions)
There are many more great spots to get a scoop of Columbus in and around the city. Two spots based in Cincinnati but ubiquitous in Columbus deserve a mention: Graeter’s Ice Cream and United Dairy Farmers. Graeter’s has churned ice cream since 1870. The ice cream icon debuted in Columbus with their nationally famous, giant chocolate chip laden ice creams in the late 1980s. United Dairy Farmer’s is a large convenience store chain that has made ice cream on a large scale for over sixty years. Ice Cream enthusiast CMH Gourmand proclaims Coconut Almond Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip are the best commercially produced ice creams this side of the Mississippi. So bring along a spoon to see how right he is. Both UDF and Graeter’s scoop at dozens of locations inside 270. This sampling is just one scoop of the banana split of awesome ice cream choices in central Ohio.
Got Ice Cream? You bet Columbus does! Get your Ice Cream on anywhere…maybe that is why some call Columbus cowtown.