Cedar Rapids’ Top 5 Old Fashioned Ice Cream Shops
Thank heavens the unbearable summer heat that engulfed us this past week has finally subsided. With temperatures climbing only into the mid 80s and with lower humidity as well, it certainly feels more like a typical Iowa summer rather than an insufferable Iowa summer.
But rest assured that as August approaches there’s still plenty of heat and humidity to come. To help you keep your cool, we’ve ranked the top five ways to beat the Cedar Rapids heat. Here are the top five favorite old-fashioned ice cream parlors in the metro area.
Kool Moo 1020 Old Marion Rd NE. in Cedar Rapids. Built in 1973, this small ice cream shop is locally owned by Mary Sasina. It's been a neighborhood favorite for many kids and adults. They feature swirly soft serve ice cream cones and a variety of flavored frozen yogurt. Their famous Kool Moo Bars come in three flavors: chocolate, cherry and butterscotch. You'll love everything on the menu, but remember to bring cash or checkbook, their Facebook page says don't take credit cards.
The Freeze 915 S. 11th St. in Marion. This years marks their 51st season as a Marion hometown favorite. The Freeze opened in 1969, the same year Apollo astronauts landed on the moon and the "Miracle Mets" won the World Series. They have a wide menu of out-of-this-world treats: Soft Serve Ice Cream Cones, Flavorburst Cones, Waffle Cones, Sundaes, Freezes, Shakes & Malts, Parfait Delights, Novelties, Slushies, Whips, Floats and more.
Parlor City Ice Cream Shoppe 1936 42nd. St. NE in Cedar Rapids. They've been around since 1962, and were once known as a "Tastee Freez" an ice cream chain that rivaled the Dairy Queen chain of ice cream shops. Parlor City is locally owned and still uses many of those original recipes. The make fresh Soft-Serve Reduced-Fat Ice Cream, and are famous for their Low-Fat Yogurt of the Day. They offer over 50 different flavors of Shakes and Malts. In 2013 they opened a second location at 955 29th Ave. in Marion, and were voted Best Ice Cream in 2016 and 2017.
Dairy Queen on 1st Ave. NE 3304 1st. Ave. NE in Cedar Rapids. This little DQ looks like something straight out of a time capsule. It's nestled next to the Starlite Lounge another old-school mainstay in a retro section of 1st. Ave. where classic cars cruise by on Saturday nights and lines of customers wait patiently for a chance to order sweet frozen goodies from the famous DQ menu. We love the chocolate dipped vanilla swirl soft ice cream cones, the always-popular Blizzards and the traditional DQ Dilly Bars.
Nelson’s Meat Market & Deli 1140 Old Marion Rd NE and at New Bo City Market. One of the first places I visited when I arrived in Cedar Rapids over 5 years ago. This place is iconic and sells high quality fresh meats, a full deli counter, awesome catering, BBQ, and oh yeah, homemade ICE CREAM! Nelson's New Bo City Market Shop is more of a full service ice cream parlor with malts, sundaes, cones and shakes, while you can get it to go at their store on the NE side. Owner John runs the best in town, a top shelf market that is truly one of a kind. And just look at all these flavors!