Clouds of cotton candy, swirls of rainbow gummies, multi-colored lollipops, and stacks of powdered doughnuts, balanced on a cinnamon roll. The brightly colored kryptonite ice cream base is so fitting of its name that I doubt Superman would be able to finish a milkshake of this magnitude. My kids were thrilled when they saw the amazing two foot tall treat that is the ‘Tears of Mermaid’ milkshake, featured at Big Hoffa’s Freezery in Westfield, Indiana. The Freezery offers classic hand-dipped milkshakes along with the ‘insane milkshakes’ that are large enough to feed two people.
The first time my family visited Big Hoffa’s ice cream shop, we were in awe of the milkshake creations. Since then, we have enjoyed finding other local shops that offer creative spins on the classic milkshake. We have compiled a list of some of our family favorites and as well as some exciting new options you will want to check out!
Looking for even more frozen treats? In addition to milkshakes, we’ve rounded up all the best places for ice cream around Indy!
Big Hoffa’s Freezery
As mentioned before, the milkshakes at Big Hoffa’s are truly mind blowing. Be sure bring your whole crew – you may need them to help you finish off one of these insane treats topped with sprinkles, candy, chocolate, cotton candy, and more! You can also choose a traditional hand dipped cone or ice cream float, if you prefer.
At the brilliant intersection of a train station, the Monon trail, and ice cream treats is the Broad Ripple Ice Cream Station (BRICS). Located in the historic Monon Train Depot, BRICS serves Sherman’s Ice Cream, produced in Holland, Michigan. In addition to delicious milkshakes, they also serve the community through giving back at least 5% of their annual sales to non-profits in the area. My family appreciated the focus on being environmentally friendly, with compostable cups and spoons and options to recycle. Vegan and gluten free ice cream and cone options available. BRICS also separates ice cream with nuts in a different case and uses designated scoops for those with nut allergies.
Downtown and Carmel
Owner Carl Gordon started Gordon’s Milkshakes by offering gourmet milkshakes at the location on Massachusetts Avenue, next to the Bottleworks District. A second location recently opened in Carmel, with both shops offering indulgent milkshakes, often topped with a cookie, cupcake, or other treat! When we visited the downtown location there was a long line, but we did not have any wait at the Carmel shop. Dairy free, gluten free, and vegan ice cream options available.
Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream
With locations in Fishers, Carmel, and Greenwood, Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream is known for its generous servings and freshly made ice cream. Milkshake options are numerous since you can order them with any of the hand-dipped daily flavors and syrup combinations. Though there might be a line on a hot day, it is worth the wait!
Mug N Bun
Indianapolis – West Side
An Indy favorite for almost 50 years, Mug n Bun offers a variety of milkshakes served in a vintage drive-in setting. While it is hard to pass on a Mug n Bun root beer float, they offer a variety of milkshake flavors including chocolate, vanilla, banana, cherry, peanut butter, lemon and butterscotch.
The most recent addition to the downtown Indianapolis sweet treat scene is the Sugar Factory. The Sugar Factory menu has a range of brunch, lunch, and dinner items as well as classic and insane milkshakes. Sugar Factory’s Insane Milkshakes are served in chocolate-covered mugs and feature flavors such as the Tie-Dye, Cookie Monster Make-a-Wish, and Nutella Banana Milkshake.
Sundae’s Homemade Ice Cream
This family owned store located in Geist prides itself on offering high quality homemade ice cream. They feature 32 rotating flavors such as Graham Central Station, Key Lime Pie, and Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie. Milkshakes can be made with any ice cream flavor. We have spotted Sundae’s ice cream at some of our favorite restaurants and local grocery stores.
TeeJay’s Sweet Tooth
Indianapolis – North Side
Once you discover this hidden gem, you will find yourself checking the flavors of the day and finding reasons to return. The specialty offerings at this ice cream parlor are delicious and change daily. Started by two dental hygienists, TeeJay’s looks to satisfy your sweet tooth with a variety of frozen treats like Donut Ice Cream Sandwiches, Frosted Animal Cookie Cups, Cotton Candy Burritos, and of course, milkshakes. In addition to the classic flavors, they boast the most unique: the Unicorn Milkshake is topped with pink whipped cream, sprinkles, and a golden horn. TeeJay’s Sweet Tooth is currently only operating via drive-thru.
Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor and Museum
A visit to Columbus is not complete without a visit to Kids Commons (home of kids museum with a giant toilet slide) and Zaharakos. Take a trip back in history by taking a seat at the antique marble counter and ordering ice cream sodas and milkshakes. The shakes are delicious and the setting is one-of-a kind. Please note Zaharakos is closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
Do you have a favorite milkshake spot? Please share it in the comment section below!