Northeast Ohio is Filled with frosty fun.
There’s a perfect mix of old-time parlors (like East Coast Custard and the Chagrin Falls Popcorn Shop) that serve classic favorites and newer eclectic shops (like Jeni’s and Chill) who churn out gourmet goodies. Here’s a taste of a few tried and true local parlors to add to your summer bucket list.
Mitchell’s Homemade Ice Cream
When you ask Clevelanders about their favorite spots for ice cream, Mitchell’s always makes the list. A single visit to one of its eight shops throughout the Cleveland area makes it easy to see why. Somehow they manage to improve classic flavors like Rocky Road and Butter Pecan, making them even creamier and more dreamy than you thought possible. Yet they also keep things interesting with more creative creations like Banana Cream Pie, Bing Cherry Chocolate Chunk and seasonal flavors like Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp and Geauga Maple Walnut.
Perhaps it’s the focus on fresh, local, wholesome ingredients like grass-fed dairy from family farms in nearby Holmes and Wayne counties that makes Mitchell’s ice cream so special. Maybe Mitchell’s ice cream is so tasty because each flavor is made carefully, one small batch at a time right here in the city where Pete and Mike Mitchell were born and raised. Visit their Ohio City shop and kitchen and see for yourself how they use only pure ingredients your mom would cook with, like milk, cream, organic fair-trade sugar and eggs. Mitchell’s doesn’t plan to take over the world and put a shop on every corner of Main Street USA — they just want to keep improving their ice cream for the people of Cleveland.
“We just try to make the most delicious ice cream with ingredients we’re proud of,” says Pete Mitchell. Walking through the kitchen and sampling the brownies before they go into the Caramel Fudge Brownie ice cream, then watching baker “Big Mike” hand swirl the caramel ribbon into each batch, the pride that Pete and his brother feel for their product and their employees is evident.
Visit mitchellshomemade.com to view the ingredient lists and current seasonal flavors, to find the location or grocer nearest you or to schedule a tasting tour at the Ohio City kitchen.
Ice Cream Joy
Marissa Flynn, owner of Lakewood’s Ice Cream Joy, also considers herself a “flavor inventor.” Formerly an accountant, she always wanted to invent things, but didn’t realize until a few years ago that it would be ice cream flavors. Perhaps it was “mother’s intuition” that brought Marissa to discover her talent, as it was her mom who gave her an ice cream maker that sat on the shelf unused for five years. Soon, she began making so much ice cream she had to start giving it away to friends. And in 2015, the mother of two decided to make a career out of her gift for pairing seemingly uncomplimentary flavors to create genius combos like Strawberry Jalapeno Mimosa Sorbet, Vegan Cayenne Sweet Potato Pecan and Blackberry Dark Chocolate Balsamic Ice Cream.
You won’t find classic chocolate or vanilla here, but you will find a basket of “free sprinkles,” board games and a kid-sized ice cream truck for pretend deliveries. And if you aren’t okay with serving the kids ice cream for lunch, Ice Cream Joy has you covered. Get there before 2 p.m. to try its light “brunch” menu, where you can build your own “toast” or “oats.”
Ice Cream Joy is located at 15210 Madison Ave. in Lakewood. Visit iscreamjoy.com and follow the shop on Facebook and Instagram to stay up-to-date on its evolution of artisan and vegan flavors.
Created in 1973 when the Page family converted a shoe repair shop on State Road in Cleveland into an ice cream stand, Honey Hut once only sold two flavors: vanilla and chocolate. But Page soon began experimenting and conducted taste tests with the local firefighters. Honey Pecan soon became the signature flavor. Today, customers have many choices, including some classics like Mint Chocolate Chip, Cookies N’ Cream and Chocolate Peanut Butter, but also some more unique flavors like Sea Salt Caramel, Coconut, Banana and Orange Blossom.
On a cool, June weeknight the line was still out the door of Honey Hut’s Solon location. Gail and Nate Schneider of Orange came for a quick treat before Game 3 of the Cavs Finals. “I love the big nuts they put on top of their sundaes,” Gail and Nate Schneider say.
Deborah Kronstain of Chagrin Falls says Honey Hut has “the creamiest ice cream ever.”
Don’t forget to try a Big Bee Bar or one of the weekly special flavors like Key Lime Pie or Dark Chocolate Cayenne. Honey Hut has five locations throughout the region. Check
honeyhut.com for flavors and locations.
Feel like making your own concoction but don’t have an ice cream maker? Here’s a cool idea for whipping up your own frozen treat this season.
• 2 cups heavy cream
• 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
• 2 Tbsp. butter
• 2 cups marshmallows
• 1 cup Hershey’s chocolate bar, broken into pieces
• 1 cup graham crackers, broken into pieces
Pour sweetened, condensed milk into a large bowl. In a separate small bowl, add the butter and the marshmallows and microwave until melted. Add the mixture to sweetened, condensed milk along with chocolate bar and graham crackers. In a separate bowl, use a hand mixer (or stand mixer) to whip the heavy cream to stiff peaks. Gently fold the whipped cream into the condensed milk mixture and mix well to combine. Pour into a freezer safe container and freeze overnight. Serve in a cone or cup. Top with a sprinkle of the chocolate bar, graham crackers and marshmallows.