Kenosha's Tour de Ice Cream

7/9/2017 - Anna Hegland


Kenosha is known for being "Cooler by the Lake," but sometimes during the summer months it feels like even Lake Michigan can't quite take the edge off a particularly hot or humid day. Sometimes you need a little extra help cooling down, and in those cases nothing beats ice cream.

While I am a firm believer in ice cream year-round, there's just something about getting an ice cream cone on a hot summer day that hits the spot. I like to think that I have a discerning palate when it comes to frozen dairy treats (growing up in America's Dairyland and spending a college term in Italy surrounded by homemade gelato certainly helped in that regard), so for this post, I visited some of Kenosha's local spots to sample their ice cream. (Tough gig, right?)



Scoops-(1).JPGI tried Chocolate Cherry Bomb - which had large pieces of brownie and maraschino cherries in chocolate ice cream - in a sugar cone. They were making fresh waffle cones when I walked in, and offer a few flavors of cookie cones as well (including Oreo and m&m). I restricted myself to a single scoop (which will run you about $3.10) and was handed a very generously scooped cone. Scoops serves Chocolate Shoppe ice cream, which is super good and really creamy. If it's a really warm, there's plenty of room to sit inside, but on a nice day there are a few tables outside, too.

Scoops Ice Cream offers 40+ flavors, plus Italian ice and sorbet, ranging from classics like plain chocolate and vanilla to loaded flavors like Spumoni and French Silk - a mix of ice cream and mousse with chocolate flakes inside. Even better, they're very good about marking their gluten free, low sugar, vegan, and nut free options, so that everyone can enjoy a sweet treat.

Bonus: there's even some doggy ice cream options like peanut butter banana or peanut butter pumpkin, both made with yogurt. Pets are welcome at the outdoor tables but are not allowed in the shop.


Myrtle Mae's Sugar Emporium

I tried a scoop of Cookies and Cream (about $2.50), though this time in a dish so that I wouldn't get melted bits all over my fingers or my car! I love cookie ice creams, but normally find them a bit too chunky - I prefer my cookie pieces to be evenly distributed so I don't end up with just plain ice cream at the end - but Myrtle May's had me covered. Their cookies and cream had a nice mix of smaller and larger Oreo pieces, which meant the ice cream had tons of Oreos throughout. The ice cream here is made by Purple Door Ice Cream in Milwaukee, WI – so it’s a local product.

Myrtle Mae's Sugar Emporium is right next door to Elise Mae's pies and cannery, in the old Orpheum Theater in Downtown Kenosha. The two share a front entrance so you can stop by and grab some homemade jam or pie while you get your ice cream fix - they’re even offering the occasional “Road Construction Special” this summer.

If you're not sure you want ice cream (which apparently happens sometimes??), Myrtle Mae's also has plenty of homemade chocolates, cookie dough bars, and candies to satisfy your sweet tooth. This is a great shop for kids, with lots of colorful chairs and tables, as well as a mini theatre in one corner for cartoons. Plus with a wide variety of flavors and some kiddie-sized cups and cones, there's absolutely something for everyone.


Sandy's Popper

Popper-1.jpgSandy's sells more than just popcorn - they have ice cream, too! I tried their Cookie Dough ice cream (again, about $2.50), which featured nice chunks of chocolate chip cookie dough in vanilla ice cream. Sandy's serves Cedar Crest ice cream (another Wisconsin-based company), which has some of the best plain vanilla out there.

Because no one should really have to choose one flavor over another (and here there are 35+ to choose from at any given time), Sandy's Popper gives you the chance to try five all at once! Their five flavor sampler is really reasonably priced (under $3), perfect for sharing (or not), and helps you choose between all their delicious flavors! If you’re feeling really fancy, try their new loaded hurricane shakes.

After you pay, you're perfectly positioned to check out the flavored popcorns (another 50 flavors to choose from!) and treats on the other side of the store. Don’t let the road construction stop you from getting your fix - grab your ice cream to go and bring it for a walk along the lakefront since Sandy’s is just a block from the harbor promenade.


Common Grounds

Admittedly, Common Grounds does not serve ice cream. But one of my favorite things to do with friends is to sit out on the deck at Harborside Common Grounds with a massive fruit smoothie. Since it's still dairy-based and cold enough to leave a wet spot on the wooden tables from all the condensation, it's making it into the list. Variety is supposed to be good, right?

I usually order Strawberry Banana, but the Mango Peach and Wild Berry flavors are also delicious. One of my friends who’s moved out of state can’t come home without stopping by to get the Blueberry Pomegranate smoothie!

If you’re looking for something slightly different, Common Grounds also has seven flavors of blended java, as well as Italian soda and iced lattes.


Any time of year is perfect for ice cream, but summer is particularly great for taking a walk around Kenosha, grabbing a cone, and enjoying the lakeside weather. There are plenty of other ice cream shops to check out around the city as well, including Jack’s Cafe for a Black Cow, a Root Beer Whirl at The Spot Drive-In, a milkshake at Bristol 45 Diner, and the gelato at Mangia Wine Bar. No matter where you decide to go, it’s always fun to beat the heat and #eatlocal! 

Anna Hegland

Community Blogger

Kenosha Native with a love for baseball, ice cream, and the arts. Studied in Iowa, Italy, and England - returned to her hometown. Works for the Kenosha Public Museum and drinks too many chai lattes.