If you're melting in the middle of this hot and humid Indiana summer, you're not alone. I believe I was intended for colder climates (my mother's family is Swedish and Norwegian). In my parenting experience thus far, there's nothing quite so universally motivating to children than the promise of a trip to get ice cream (or gelato, or frozen yogurt, or ice pops - basically anything cold with sugar.) Here's the info on where to get the best frozen treats in Indy.
1. Cafe Nonna, Fletcher Place
This shop opened last summer at the intersection of Virginia Avenue & College Avenue in the Fletcher Place/Holy Rosary neighborhood. Cafe Nonna serves authentic Italian gelato in 30 flavors, made in an imported Italian gelato machine, and also some Italian pastries like cannoli and cappuccino cake. With good memories of the Italian-style gelato my friends and I consumed while studying abroad in Germany (almost every day), I am thrilled about this place opening here in Indy. The hazelnut, amaretto and tiramisu gelato are good and taste exactly like what I remember from living in Europe. Next time we go, I want to try the mascarpone and Sicilian almond. My 6-year-old picked the chocolate gelato and reported that it was delicious.
2. Lick Ice Cream, Circle City Industrial Complex
Lick Ice Cream has been around for several years at farmers' markets and at Best Chocolate in Town on Mass Ave, but several months ago, the two sisters behind this local gourmet ice cream brand opened their own shop inside the Circle City Industrial Complex at 1125 Brookside Ave, near the intersection of 10th & Mass Ave. Lick is very high-quality ice cream and holds the title for the most creative, gourmet flavor combinations of any in Indianapolis, with options like roasted balsamic strawberry, lavender lemon, milk chocolate goat cheese, cedar & whiskey, gorgonzola candied pecan, chocolate rosemary cashew, bacon & french toast, juniper berry, and fennel vanilla bean. Kind of makes you drool just reading the menu, right? I am beyond excited that the shop at CCIC has opened, and pints are also available at Wildwood Market in Fountain Square.
3. Wyliepalooza Ice Cream Emporium, Irvington
This cute brightly-colored shop, named for the owner's young granddaughter, has been open for almost two years on Washington Street in the heart of Irvington. There are a whole lot of flavors, including many gluten-free, egg-free and soy-free options, and they also do ice cream cakes. The shop has done so well that the owners have opened 2 additional locations, in Brownsburg and Fishers.
4. BRICS (Broad Ripple Ice Cream Station), Broad Ripple
Now for me, the fact that this ice cream shop is housed in a historic train depot along the Monon Trail is more than enough reason to go there... but for the rest of the world: there's also fair-trade coffee, free Wi-Fi, indoor and outdoor seating, 40 flavors of Sherman's ice cream (a legend in South Haven, MI) and a fireplace in the winter, because obviously the need for ice cream is year-round! Love it. These people really understand ice cream.
5. Goose the Market, Fall Creek Place
This neighborhood gem of a high-end deli & sandwich shop also serves 12 flavors of Palazzolo's artisan gelato (based in Saugatuck, MI). Very tasty, but to my knowledge there are no allergy-friendly options, so if that is an issue for you, be aware.
6. Yogulatte, Mass Ave
There are actually three locations: Mass Ave, College Avenue & 54th Street, and Main Street in Speedway. Frozen yogurt with lots of toppings, Italian creme sodas, lattes and espresso. Each location maintains a separate Facebook page updated with its daily flavors.
7. Pearings Cafe and Frozen Yogurt, Monument Circle
This lunch cafe + frozen yogurt and coffee shop is not actually right on the circle, but it's very close, on Washington Street near the corner of Meridian, right across the street from Circle Centre Mall. Serves Intelligentsia coffee, lattes, pastries, sandwiches and wraps as well as frozen yogurt with a variety of toppings.
8. Nicey Treat, Broad Ripple
I've never been much of an ice pop lover -- growing up, I would much rather have had any kind of ice cream or anything with chocolate in it. But Nicey Treats are a completely different story. If they are even related at all, they must be very distant cousins of the heavily processed, corn-syrup-based supermarket popsicles. These frozen treats are handmade with local and organic ingredients (including Trader's Point Creamery grassfed milk), fresh produce and high-quality Guittard chocolate. Their flavor combinations are stunning: mango ginger, strawberry mint, pineapple basil, Thai coffee, sweet black tea and lemon, blueberry buttermilk, pink grapefruit, avocado, passion fruit, dark chocolate chili. You can buy Nicey Treat pops in the Broad Ripple store on Westfield Blvd., from the Nicey Treat food truck around town & at street festivals, and at Foundry Provisions and Goose the Market.
9. South Bend Chocolate Cafe, Monument Circle
Of all the destinations on this list, this one has been around the longest, since the late 1990s (when I was in high school!). The company was founded in South Bend, Indiana, and its chocolate factory is located there. The cafe sells old-fashioned chocolates by the pound, hot chocolate, coffee and ice cream year-round in a charming historic building on the circle (next door to Au Bon Pain).
10. Graeter's, Butler-Tarkington
Delicious ice cream, gelato and ice cream cakes at this shop, which is a regional expansion of a well-known Cincinnati icon.
Did you see your favorite place for frozen treats on this list? If I missed something, please let me know! I hope you're enjoying your summer in Indy!