Growing up, I always looked forward to summer as a time to indulge in ice cream. So when I came to Fort Wayne for my summer internship this year, I was delighted to discover lots of unique, one of a kind ice cream shops—each with their own twist on the sweet treat.
But don’t take my word for it. Visit each of these five ice cream shops I’ve fallen in love with, and see for yourself.
1. Zesto’s Original Broadway Stand
2225 Broadway, Fort Wayne, Indiana
Zesto's original stand is at the corner of Broadway and W. Creighton Ave.
This ice cream shop is screaming with personality. You can’t miss the vibrant blue and white stripes running down the side of the rustic, walk-up stand at the corner of Broadway and Creighton Ave. It’s been said that the opening of Zesto’s is one of the first signs of spring in Fort Wayne, and I believe it. The ice cream stand is old and worn, yet spirited with life as neighborhood visitors line up on the sidewalk to order and hang out in the parking lot nearby.
Famous for its sundaes and shakes, Zesto’s offers a variety of soft serve ice creams and yogurts. They also have Razzles, which are their versions of DQ Blizzards. If your go-to ice-cream is sundaes, Zesto’s is a must, too. You can pick between a banana, black raspberry, butterscotch, cherry, chocolate sundae and more. In addition to the original stand near downtown, Zesto’s has several other locations throughout the region, so you can’t miss it.
2. West Central Microcreamery
725 Union St, Fort Wayne, IN 46802
If you can't choose which flavor to pick, West Central Microcreamery offers locally made ice cream flights.
If you’re not a local, this little shop is easy to miss. It’s tucked into the first floor of the historic Sheridan Court Apartments in West Central neighborhood. When you see picnic tables outside, you know you’re in the right place. Open the door, and the tiled floor brings out an antique aesthetic, while the wood and worn chairs make you feel right at home. What stood out to me the most about this creamery was its unique blend of flavors that change almost weekly. They offer mixture of ingredients you wouldn’t picture together, like blueberry and lemongrass. But when you try them, they’re surprisingly good. I ordered the mint Oreo ice-cream, and I was delighted by the wonderful, creamy blend. Admittedly, my choice was one of the lesser adventurous options, but if you want to test your taste buds with local flair, this is the place to do it!
West Central Microcreamery posts newly concocted flavors almost every week.
3. Just Cream Ice Cream Boutique
338 E. Dupont Rd, Fort Wayne, IN 46825
The Just Cream Ice Cream Boutique makes shakes overflowing with goodies.
To see an artsy, “insta-worthy” side of ice cream, visit the Just Cream Ice Cream Boutique on the north side of Fort Wayne. In March of 2017, this local company built on friendship and fun opened its first store, bringing fresh, unique flavors of ice cream to Fort Wayne all the way from the Chocolate Shoppe in Wisconsin. Customers can order ice cream pies, ice cream sandwiches, milkshakes, sundaes, and just about any combo of ice cream and coffee. They specialize in their made-to-order waffle-like bubble cones and extreme milkshakes that are often overflowing with goodies.
4. The Stand
5200 Bluffton Rd, Fort Wayne, IN 46807
The Stand offers its special “flavor burst” cones in a variety of sweet concoctions
At another, walk-up spot on the south side of Fort Wayne, two residents of Waynedale and their friends opened a shop that boasts “the best coney dogs and ice cream in Fort Wayne.” Simply known as “The Stand,” this local favorite offers a full selection of soft-serve ice creams and sweet concoctions, as well as yogurt cones and shakes. Its special swirly, twirly “flavor burst” cones are especially eye-catching and delicious! Try one in raspberry, butter pecan, blue goo, black cherry, strawberry, green apple, lemon, cotton candy, tropical orange, or cake batter!
5. Jukebox Ice Cream Parlor
1937 E State Blvd, Fort Wayne, IN 46805
The Eskimo kisses ice cream at Jukebox Ice Cream Parlor is a creamy coconut ice cream with thick chocolate fudge and chocolate truffles in a homemade waffle bowl.
“Nostalgic ice cream, coffee, and music” pretty much says it all. The second you step inside this shop you are transported to a classic 50’s and 60’s ice cream parlor, where couples might share loving glances over shakes with two straws. At the Jukebox Ice Cream Parlor, love is the big idea. It’s run by a husband and wife team who share a passion for music and sweets, so they opened this shop together to honor their first date. While listening to classic 50’s and 60’s music, they shared a banana split in the summer of 2004, which began their journey in life together. Now, they’re inviting us all to join in the fun.