Ice Cream Hot Spots in Michiana


Did you know that January 15th is National Strawberry Ice Cream Day?  It’s pretty crazy that they’ve chose one of the coldest months to celebrate ice cream.  I don’t know about you but in northern Indiana, January is literally my least favorite month because it gets so cold!  And strawberries?  January has got to be the most out-of-season for that flavor.  Who knows!  I say the SUMMER is the time to bring on ice cream! Maybe the people who come up with these days thought it would bring us joy and help to brighten up the dull, dreary winter months, even if it does freeze us more!

Ice cream is a weakness for me.  I fall for that smooth, silky, creamy sweetness like a kid in the candy store.  Regardless of diet or not that stuff always seems to sneak into my life somehow.  It’s the foodie way.  Of course I have my favorite ice cream locations, and I’m willing to share them with you!  However, if you’re looking to fulfill your strawberry ice cream cravings, you might have to wait until Memorial Day weekend since the best of the best tend to close up shop between Labor Day and Memorial Day.  I’m prepping you.  Here is my favorite Michiana ice cream venues to get you motivated and excited about creating that summer bucket list, and you should totally add an ice-cream tour to that!

Ready…set…check them out:

The Chief Ice Cream – Goshen, Indiana  

Modest, family-owned, homemade ice cream shop.  You won’t find a website for them but they can be found on social media.   Yelp lists them as #1 for Ice Cream in Goshen with 4.5 stars out of 30 reviews and Google gives them a 4.9 stars out of 139 reviews! Hands down the most popular stop in Elkhart County but you’ll have to wait until the summer because their seasonal hours are May through September.  If you’re lucky, you can catch them open on various weekends selling pints – particularly during the city’s First Friday events.

Pint of Twix ice cream from The Chief

Rocket Science Ice Cream – Nappanee, Indiana  

Located in the Coppes Commons building in sweet, small-town Nappanee is a tiny ice cream shop that makes ice cream out of liquid nitrogen.  Whoa! A definite must-see, you order your ice cream (SO many flavors to choose from) and then watch them whip it up from cream to ice with a quick blow of some nitro.  It’s a favorite for kids as well.  How does it taste?  Delicious.  We tend to lean on the Oreo side there very often.  Yelp gives them a fine 5 stars out of 19 reviews.  Bonus for you java lovers:  they now serve coffee and specialty coffee drinks.

Making nitro ice cream at Rocket Science

Icy Bar – Mishawaka, Indiana

A small set-up inside the University Park Mall featuring Vietnamese rolled ice cream (and amazing bubble tea, might I add).  Again, another fun spot because you not only get to order your ice cream but you watch it be created in front of you.  They literally pour the cream onto frozen plates that begin the freezing process, it is as fresh as you can get it! The end result is a beautiful display of rolled ice cream and delicately placed toppings.  It’s artwork, really.  Slightly pricey in comparison to other mom ‘n pop locations and you might want to be prepared for a wait, but worth it for the end results!  Yelp gives them 5-stars!

Rise ‘n Roll Bakery – Middlebury, Indiana  

You may be wondering why I’m suggesting an Amish-town bakery as one of my top ice cream stops.  Well, they have the best donuts in American (in my humble option) and they make, brace yourselves…ICE CREAM DONUTS!  Oh my heavens, they are to die for!  And RICH, super rich.  They are definitely an indulgent treat and can be easily shared.  They have several donut flavors to choose from and after choosing one they fill it with a soft-serve vanilla ice cream.

Ice Cream filled donuts at Rise n’ Roll

The Dairy Barn – Goshen, Indiana  

You can only get them for 1 week out of the year.  I repeat, only ONE week. So be sure to remember this prime-time opportunity!  At the end of July in Goshen, Indiana, the Elkhart County 4-H Fair has several Dairy Barn at different locations within the fairgrounds.  I wish I could get this delicious soft-serve ice cream year-round but I’ll take what I can get and appreciate it, even more, when I do!  You can not beat $1 cones or small bowls.  You’ll only pay $1-3 for a generous serving of ice cream.  Flavors are limited to vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and swirl but they feature additional flavors every day the week of the fair.  You can upgrade to a sundae or indulge in their fair special for $2, this includes a grilled cheese sandwich, ice cream cone, and bottled water.  Who can beat that?

Caracas Bistro – Mishawaka, Indiana  

What does a Venezuela restaurant have to do with my favorite ice cream spots?  Oh, let me tell you!  They have fantastic milkshakes (with ice cream on top of them, might I add)!  I can’t even explain the complicity of these milkshakes, they are like gigantic pieces of food graffiti.  Just let the picture explain itself. These shakes can be shared with several people and are gut-filling good.

Brownie Milkshake at Caracas Bistro

There are plenty more ice cream spots in Michiana but these are my personal favorite.  For more foodie reviews and photos, please feel free to follow me on Yelp and Instagram. Enjoy and eat happy!



Dakota Corbin

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