Amy Artisan

Family | Travel | Craft | Life | Books

Summer Scoops!

With the summer heat that has invaded Chicago over the last couple of weeks, icy treats are a good way to beat the heat. My favorite these days is iced coffee.

Another favorite summer cooler is ice cream – although I don’t seem to keep it in the freezer a lot these days. Ice cream from the grocery store freezer case is nice, but there is just something much better about ice cream from a fun shop or ice cream that you make.

Not too far from my home is an ice cream stand that is definitely a throwback to a different era. One Saturday this summer I ‘finally’ stopped in to check it out and it was worth the stop. On a hot summer day I thoroughly enjoyed my soft serve cone that had been dipped in butterscotch. Their menu was huge – I went with a standard favorite for this trip instead of something new. As I enjoyed this cone I thought on other favorite scoops from summers past. Grab a few napkins and don’t let the ice cream melt…

When I was in elementary school we would visit my grandparents in Akron, OH during the summer. I remember many a trip to Springfield Lake to play in the water and we would always stop at Strickland’s Frozen Custard on the way home. From then on, any frozen custard treats were always measured against Stricklands. Earlier this summer, Mom & Dad’s road trip included a stop back in Akron – so of course they had to enjoy some custard for old time’s sake. The expression on Dad’s face sums up this delicious treat.

Strickland's Custard

When visiting Harbor Country in the summer season, the weekend isn’t complete without a stop at Oink’s Dutch Treat for ice cream. Our trip this summer included visits on both evenings. (And I saw several other vehicles there on both nights – we weren’t the only ones indulging!)

Ice Cream at Oinks!

Without a doubt, one of my favorite summer scoop memories is the first gelato I had in Florence during my Italy/Greece trip in 2005. After a long time traveling, we finally arrived in Florence around 1AM and were quickly back up & ready to start touring with Rebecca’s school group. After a morning of touring the sites we had some free time and our first stop (before lunch even) was a gelateria that we had seen early on. After Jen, Greg, Rebecca & I ‘finally’ decided on our flavor selections the gal behind the counter was kind enough to take our picture. Throughout the rest of our trip we tried to eat gelato as often as we could; however, I’m not sure that any of them quite compared to the first scoops.

First Gelato in Florence!

Ok, I managed to make it through those frozen treats without a brain freeze or ice cream dribbling from the bottom of the cone. Now it is your turn…

What are some of your favorite summer scoops?


  1. I remember gelato in Florence. I was hot when I went last year, too and we had it every day. We found this “cheap” place with good gelato. Well, relatively cheap give other shops and the cost of a euro. Fun memories, though

  2. Ditto was Jessica said. There’s this place called Vivoli. Small, hard to find as it’s tucked away on a dead end side street but WOW! So good I’d marry it in a heart beat.

  3. Amen. There is nothing quite like ice cream…

    My favorite summer scoop memory is when my sisters and I would go to Baskin-Robbins when they had dollar scoop Tuesdays. We went like 8 Tuesdays in a row!

  4. Well, I’ll ditto Jessica AND Karen (I know Vivoli, too – delicious!!). Hard to pick a favorite ice cream or gelato moment, but recent ones would likely all include Italy. I had a particularly yummy coconut gelato at the Vatican on the same trip Amy referenced in her post…and my husband and I have been back many times to the gelateria pictured above – our first in Florence and still one of our favorites.

    That being said, I also very much enjoyed our Oink’s stops this summer – I’m not pictured above, because I was the one who snapped the photo. Nevertheless, I indulged right along with the other gals – I’m known for my high tolerance for sugar. 🙂

    Two more thoughts: Zarda ice cream in Kansas City and Braum’s in central Kansas and Texas.

    I wonder what I should have for dinner tonight….

  5. I am a sucker for Baskin Robbins Gold Medal Ribbon and Peanut Butter and Chocolate. I can’t get enough.

  6. I’ve been doing pretty well avoiding the ice cream shops this summer. Your post may be my undoing! I like all kinds of ice cream, but I’m most happy with vanilla ice cream drowning in Magic Shell.

  7. Duchess’ on Laramie and Division for the best soft serve – it was family owned and it’s gone now.

    Matthieson’s on Chicago and Long for home-made hand=packed. Also family owned and gone.

    Al Gelato on North Avenue in Elmwood Park for gelato.

    Dove Bars back when Dove had an ice cream store and wasn’t Mars.

    Peterson’s at Chicago and Maple or The Carriage House on Lake Street after my piano recitals. The Carriage House is gone, but Peterson’s is still there.

    Now I live in a neighborhood with only a 31 Flavors.

    Can you tell I was raised on the West Side?

  8. Linda in Chicagoland

    August 11, 2007 at 5:21 pm

    I was just in Ohio! It would have been so easy to visit Stricklands if I had only known. Did the Hall of Fame tour, drove from Cleveland to Canton right through Akron.

    Vivoli is fabulous but don’t miss the wild strawberry or the chocolate at Vestri also in Florence.

    If you find yourself in Madison, a visit to the Babcock Hall Dairy Store on the UW campus is a must. Yummers!

  9. I had my st scoop of frozen custard in Asheville. It reminded me of the gelato that I loved while in Milan!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

© 2022 Amy Artisan

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑