Forget chocolate & vanilla—These Milwaukee ice cream shops serve funky flavors

Forget chocolate & vanilla—These Milwaukee ice cream shops serve funky flavors

Photo courtesy of Patrick Fore via Unsplash.

By Kristine Hansen

July 10, 2024

From “Beer and Pretzels” to “Fat Elvis,” these five Milwaukee ice cream shops serve up scoops of unexpected flavor combinations. 

It may be National Ice Cream Month, that time of year when there’s a spotlight on this delicious milk-based frozen dessert, but many Milwaukee-area ice cream makers and scoop shops are already ahead of the curve with off-beat flavor combinations. You might be surprised, given that Wisconsin’s largest city is an epicenter for the state’s most well-known treat: frozen custard. 

Here are some of the best and most unique ice cream flavors in Milwaukee to enjoy this month. Just don’t be disappointed if a flavor you’re seeking is out or temporarily unavailable (in other words: other ice-cream lovers got there first!). This only means you’ll have to come back later in the month. Many of these flavors are whipped up in small batches, relying upon Wisconsin milk, of course.

Purple Door Ice Cream

205 S 2nd St. Milwaukee, WI 53204 & 6300 W Mequon Rd. Mequon, WI 53092

Tucked into Milwaukee’s Walker’s Point neighborhood, this producer’s most unique flavors (clocking in at around 200) include those weaving in beer or alcoholic spirits. For example, patrons can choose from Beer and Pretzels, Brandy Old Fashioned, East Side Dark (featuring Lakefront Brewery’s beer of the same name), Chocolate Whiskey, Cinnamon Whiskey, and Whiskey. Yet there are also some savory flavors you’re not going to find anywhere else, like Basil, Earl Grey with Biscuit Bits, and Butternut Squash. If you really want to bite into proof this is the Dairy State, order Blackberry Quark, which folds in quark cheese (a soft cheese rarely made in the U.S.) by Wisconsin’s Clockshadow Creamery.

Joy Ice Cream Social

8334 W North Ave. Wauwatosa, WI 53213

This Wauwatosa scoop shop opened last summer, serving up Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream that’s made in Madison. Many of the flavors are named in such a way that they are wacky—and might need some explaining. That includes Exhausted Parent (espresso ice cream spiked with bourbon and featuring chocolate chunks) and This $&@! Just Got Serious® (salted caramel with salted cashews and sea-salt fudge).

Scratch Ice Cream

2205 N Calhoun Road Suite 6 Brookfield, WI 53005; 2238 N. Farwell Ave. Milwaukee, WI 53202; 636 S 6th Street Milwaukee, WI 53204; & 6918 W Becher St. West Allis, WI 53219

With scoop shops in Milwaukee, West Allis, and Brookfield, this ice cream maker—with a production facility in Brookfield—caters to those following a plant-based diet with 21 dairy-free flavors. Those include the obvious (chocolate and vanilla) but also Cotton Candy, Peanut Butter, and Dirt Cake. The most unique of the dairy flavors are Sponge Toffee; Cotton Candy; Carrot Cake; Cold Brew & Toffee, folding in organic coffee from Wonderstate Coffee in Wisconsin’s Driftless Region; Cereal Milk n Charms; and Ube, purple yam popular in the Philippines.

Babe’s Ice Cream 

2264 S Kinnickinnic Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53207
At this Bay View scoop shop—which serves Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream—there’s a commitment to always have around 30 flavors available for building a cup or cone. Ten flavors are vegan and just as unique as their dairy counterparts, such as Electric Watermelon and Blue Moon Oat. Then, for the other flavors, there are offbeat options like London Fog (with Earl Grey tea), Bourbon Pecan Pie, Cotton Candy Twist, Fat Elvis (an ode to the late musician’s favorite sandwich, it’s made of banana ice cream, salty peanut butter, and chocolate chips), Banana Cream Pie, Burnt Butterscotch and Witches’ Brew (espresso and pumpkin).

La Michoacana Plus

3142 S 13th St. Milwaukee, WI 53215

Located on Milwaukee’s South Side, this Mexican-inspired ice cream shop offers unique flavors such as Pink Bubble Gum, Goat Milk Caramel, Pina Colada, Granola, and Egg Nog. Order anywhere one, two, three, or six scoops in a cone or cup, offering a chance to try many flavors in one bite.

This article first appeared on Good Info News Wire and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.Forget chocolate & vanilla—These Milwaukee ice cream shops serve funky flavorsForget chocolate & vanilla—These Milwaukee ice cream shops serve funky flavors


  • Kristine Hansen

    Based in Milwaukee, Kristine Hansen has written about wonders around Wisconsin for,, and Milwaukee Magazine. She’s also the author of books about Wisconsin’s cheese, agritourism and Frank Lloyd Wright sites.

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