It’s been an, umm, interesting five months since the coronavirus pandemic struck, and I think we’re all feeling a little fatigued from the whole experience. Which means now is the perfect time to TREAT YOURSELF. We’ve compiled a list of our favorite ice cream shops to satisfy your sweet tooth cravings while keeping you cool in this summer heat.
Atwood, Fordem, Midvale, and State Street, plus Fitchburg and Middleton
With over 75 ice cream flavors, including several dairy-free options (and even a caffeinated one), Chocolate Shoppe is a popular go-to for ice cream lovers. Each of its Madison locations are currently open for takeout, and you can order either online or in person. There will also be a Chocolate Shoppe food truck at the Alliant Energy Center each Friday through October.
Atwood Avenue, Monroe Street and Schroeder Road
Michael Dix sold his only possession, a 1982 Toyota Supra, to open the first Michael’s Frozen Custard, and the restaurant has since become a Madison staple. The Monroe Street location is currently open for takeout only, while the Atwood and Schroeder stores each have a drive-thru option. You can also make a full meal out of it: Michael’s also sells burgers, hot dogs and more.
Late last year, the Atwood Scoop had an interesting introduction to the Madison community to say the least. (Anyone interested in starting an Ice Cream Wars podcast?) But the new shop is now open and ready to serve eager customers — by takeout only, of course; the building is tiny.
Garver Feed Mill
With funky flavors like Hearty Breakfast (consisting of french toast, bacon, and whiskey undertones) and Brandy Old Fashioned, Calliope is the perfect ice cream shop to spice up your summer afternoon. Tucked into the Ian’s Pizza location at Garver, Calliope is currently open for takeout — but the outdoor seating there is open for you to sit back and enjoy a cold treat.
Paradise Island serves a mix of ice cream and paletas, making it an awesome spot for any of your cravings, including those of the lactose intolerant kind. (Our deepest condolences if you can’t do lactose.) Paradise Island’s flavors come in vibrant colors, so be prepared for a color explosion.
Monona Bait & Ice Cream serves delicious homemade food along with ice cream, so it’s got your back for the entire afternoon or evening. They also sell live bait, so you can eat your ice cream while fishing if that’s something you’re into. And it’s funky yet homey vibe is a must-stop for your ice cream bucket list.