Let’s be honest: We don’t love sundaes for the ice cream alone. We love sundaes because they’re a socially acceptable excuse to smother ice cream in as much gooey fudge, fruit or caramel syrup as we desire. Grab a few extra napkins and dip your spoon into our favorite toppers.
If you decide to go classic at any parlor in the city, it has to be Johnson’s Real Ice Cream—where the family’s fudge formula hasn’t changed in 63 years. The secret, says fourth-generation proprietor Matt Wilcoxon, is pure Bensdorp cocoa powder imported from Holland, a healthier and more flavorful base than liquid chocolate laden with additives. johnsonsrealicecream.com
Bourbon Caramel Sauce
This topper, made with Watershed Distillery bourbon, is normally served with the delicious Apple Rum Bread Pudding at Latitude 41. Ask nicely, and you can get it drizzled atop a scoop of Jeni’s Ndali Estate Vanilla ice cream. More savory than sweet, you can taste the bourbon on your tongue right after each bite. latitude41restaurant.com
This sweet summer favorite at Velvet Ice Cream is made with freshly picked peaches from nearby Branstool Orchards. The peaches are sliced and tempered into a thick syrup that’s still chunky with fruit when it hits your ice cream (which marketing manager Nathan Arnold says should be the seasonal Peach Cobbler). velveticecream.com
Reese’s Peanut Butter Sauce
Sure, it’s easy to find Reese’s Pieces or chopped Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, but Cuzzins Yogurt is one of the only places around that can boast Hershey’s sticky peanut butter sauce. There are hundreds of ways to customize your yogurt, and this goes with almost everything, especially the hand-cut fruit. Try it on top of the Reese’s-flavored yogurt. cuzzinsyogurt.com
If you love chocolate, why not skip the syrups altogether and go for an entire brownie? Flip Side’s homemade brownies are served warm with a mound of Cleveland’s Country Parlor Vanilla Bean ice cream. Ask for your brownie on top of the ice cream; the contrast between the gooey chocolate and crisp vanilla makes this a great last course. flipsideburger.com