Well, we’ve made it. It’s officially May. At this point, it’s hopefully safe to say that winter has finally run its course. And as we kiss away our blizzard blues, it’s only natural to excitedly anticipate the coming months of summertime sanctity. The impending warmer weather will naturally bring thoughts of refreshing eats characteristic of the sweltering summer months. So basically, it’s time to talk about ice cream. Delicious dairy is made quite accessible in the great state of Wisconsin, but narrowing down the plethora of ice cream spots and flavors can get stressful. It’s weighty decisions like these that require some outside intervention. That’s where we come in.
Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream
Now that Chocolate Shoppe has locations on both State Street and a newly opened shop on Atwood, it’s the place to be. The staff are always willing to give out samples of their many flavors, and they’re often generous in the portion sizes. But it’s the ice cream itself that’s really fantastic. Every variety is so rich and flavorful that you will never leave disappointed. But don’t stop in without sampling their acclaimed Zanzibar Chocolate; it’s so incredibly dark, chocolaty and perfect. If the rich chocolate flavor is not your thing, check out some of their caramel apple pie, “This $&@! Just Got Serious,” Zoreo, caramel chocolatte, Zanzimint, espresso Oreo or mint avalanche. Don’t be overwhelmed by the great number of options because you can’t go wrong with any flavor, as all of them are equally delicious.
If it’s a lighter and sweeter refreshing treat that you crave, check out Forever Yogurt for the best frozen yogurt flavors out there. Seriously, they have pumpkin pie, turtle caramel, cake batter, campfire marshmallow, cinnamon cookie, Dutch chocolate, marshmallow, praline and pistachio. Yep. And that’s only about half of their rotating selection. Preposterously delicious.
Cold Stone Creamery
This place gives you a lot. And when it comes to Cold Stone, you will want a lot. As in, fill this cup with deliciousness till it’s teeming over the edges and begging to be eaten. It may be the richest, most butter-fatty ice cream out there, but it’s also like crack. What are the wondrous flavors this chain often has? How about mocha, pumpkin, marshmallow and my personal favorite recommended to me by a wonderful employee: cake batter ice cream with cinnamon swirls. Yes, it is glorious.
Come for the ice cream, end up buying half the store. Kilwins has nailed the art of enticing people into their shop. I bet half of their customers had no intention of stopping for dessert until they happened to peer into the glass windows that face State Street, exposing themselves to tray upon tray of freshly dipped and decorated caramel apples and just-crafted chocolates. That’s not to mention the ethereal smell of caramel and sugary goodness that wafts onto the sidewalk and entices you to enter the shop. Wow. But aside from the always wonderful chocolates, toffees and fudges, Kilwins has some mighty fine ice cream. At first bite, you will be oh-so- dangerously hooked on the cinnamon crumb cake flavor. When you combine hefty doses of cream and cinnamon then intersperse crumb cake pieces throughout, you’ve got a cup of something resembling ice cream but tasting much more like the best cinnamon roll ever. So incredibly good. Thank you, Kilwins, for feeding our addiction.
Babcock Hall Ice Cream
If you’re looking for ice cream that is (nearly) straight-from-the-udders creamy, look no further. As every University of Wisconsin student knows, Babcock ice cream is just about as fresh as it gets. This goodness has won over countless hearts and is reason enough to attend UW. With an incredible number of flavors, life cannot get difficult. How do you choose? You may find yourself thinking that a cookie would really hit the spot; that is until you remember that you are in Wisconsin, which makes you crave ice cream. The struggle is real. But have no fear, chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream is here to give you the best of both worlds. For a more sophisticated flavor, try out the mocha macchiato that delivers coffee, caramel and dark chocolate notes all in one perfect scoop. And for those times when you want Oreos and milk but you’re too lazy to dunk, cookies and cream has your back. Basically, every man, every woman and every child needs to experience the love that is Babcock ice cream.
In this city, there is plenty of ice cream love to go around. With so many shops and so many flavors, ice cream is a treat that can be enjoyed everyday from now until the bad, old winter returns. So we thank you, Madison, for being utterly delicious.