Visit these old-fashioned ice cream parlors for National Ice Cream Month

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

Before Jeni's turned Columbus into an ice cream capital, ice cream was scooped at family-owned, around-the-corner shops. Many of these businesses have stood the test of time and still offer old-fashioned treats that will make you feel like a kid again. This summer, pay a visit to these scoop shops that offer a real taste of nostalgia.

Johnson's Real Ice Cream

Located in Bexley for 65 years, this fourth-generation-owned ice cream parlor focuses on tried-and-true recipes with quality ingredients. Ingredients are sourced from regional dairies and purveyors, and the Wilcoxons still use some of their family's original equipment to make their ice creams. Dig into a scoop of their most-popular flavors like peach, triple vanilla bean or salty caramel chocolate pretzel ($2.95 for one scoop). If you have a more adventurous palate, try an orange cream shake ($4.15) or their pecan ball ($4.10), which features Johnson's famous vanilla ice cream, rolled in pecans and topped with hot fudge.

Knight's Ice Cream

The owners of this Westerville-based, one-room shop still make ice cream from a recipe book that has been with the shop through 60 years of business and four different families. While styles rotate, Knight's consistently offers more than 30 flavors, with Oreo and mint chocolate chip ($2.75 for one scoop) being most popular. Stop in for a few scoops, or try their Knight Sticks ($3.75 each), or homemade Drumsticks, that come in eight flavors like Snickers and Almond Joy, along with their frozen bananas ($2.95 each), dipped in chocolate and covered with crushed peanuts.

Velvet Ice Cream

In Utica, Velvet is an institution that has been making and serving ice cream for over 100 years, merging innovation and heritage. Visitors at Velvet's Ye Old Mill can see their favorite flavors being made on daily tours and sample flavors at the Ice Cream Parlor or Wheel Room Restaurant. Ye Old Mill currently scoops 44 different flavors, ranging from classics like Summertime Peach and Southern Butter Pecan to more creative flavors like Elephant Ear and Buckeye Brownie. In the mood for a real old-fashioned experience? Try The Famous Messy Mess Sundae ($6.99), featuring a nut- and hot-fudge-covered glass, or The Big Ice Cream Sampler ($6.99), which allows any ice cream lover to try five dips of their choosing.