Cincinnati Screams for Ice Cream

July 14, 2018

Graeters Ice  Cream

Around these parts, a lot of culinary attention is paid to chili, beer, and goetta as far as things that are unique to the area. However, Cincinnati also knows a fair bit about ice cream thanks to Graeter’s, UDF, Kings Island, and the dozens of mom & pop stands that dot the Tristate.


Our friends at Graeter's have a long history in Cincinnati. It all began in 1870 when Louis Charles Graeter and his wife Anna started selling ice cream in Pendleton, now commonly referred to as the Pendleton Art District.

While hand-cranked ice cream machines had been around since the 1840s, the treat was still considered somewhat of a novelty. However, Graeter’s ice cream caught on and the couple soon opened a storefront on Sycamore Street.

Louis turned the business over to his brother Fred, moved to California for a time, only to return to the Queen City and the business around 1900. Along the way, Graeter’s developed what it calls the French pot process which makes the ice cream more dense than most others, with 20-25 percent air mixed in versus the standard 50 percent.

Today, the company is still family run and is known around the world for its awesome ice cream. Its famous fans include Oprah Winfrey and Harry Connick Jr.

United Dairy Farmers

Known also as a convenience store and gas station, United Dairy Farmers (UDF) opened its first location in 1940. The company’s main competition at the time was home-delivered milk. UDF offered milk much cheaper. All you had to do was come in and buy it. Eliminating the delivery man allowed UDF to pass the savings on to customers.

The company also started making ice cream and today offers not only its own brand but sibling nameplate Homemade Brands. Of course, ice cream products can also be purchased individually at UDF stores, and enjoyed by the cup, cone, or shake.

Kings Island’s Blue Ice Cream

Another unique Tristate ice cream treat is KI’s blue ice cream, known to many as Smurf ice cream. It started out in 1982 as a tie-in to a Smurf-themed ride at the park. While that attraction is long gone, the ice cream remains the park’s top treat while oddly sibling parks in the Cedar Point chain barely sell any of it.

Mom & Pop Shops

There are dozens of neighborhood ice cream shops and stands including, but certainly not limited to:

Aglamesis Brothers in Oakley and Montgomery.

Dari Bar, Silver Grove, KY.

Creamy Whip, Mt. Washington.

Whit’s Frozen Custard, Blue Ash

Street Pops, OTR and Oakley.

The Cone, West Chester.

The Rootbeer Stand, Sharonville.

Old Milford Parlor, Milford.

Dairy Whip, Loveland.

Dairy Corner, Newtown.

Aromas Gelato, Cheviot.

Dojo Gelato, OTR and Northside.

Putz’s Creamy Whip, Westwood.

Zip Dip, Cheviot.

Walker Brothers, Montgomery.

Hello Honey, Downtown.

These are only a few of the great places to get ice cream, of course. Let us know your favorites in the comments!

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