Ultimate Guide to Ice Cream, Frozen Custard and Gelato in Milwaukee

  • 01 of 10

    Purple Door Ice Cream

    Purple Door Ice Cream
    ••• Purple Door Ice Cream

    Two former teachers launched Purple Door Ice Cream, an artisan ice-cream business in 2011 with pints (rolling out boozy flavors like Whiskey and Brandy Old Fashioned, plus innovative twists such as Raspberry Green Tea and Lemon Cardamom) sold at local grocers and on restaurants’ dessert menus. In 2014 they opened the scoop shop. Warning: expect a line, especially if it’s a hot day. Tables and chairs outside and inside give you ample time to lick.

    Location
    205 S. 2nd St., Milwaukee (Walker’s Point)

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  • 02 of 10

    Leon's Frozen Custard

    Leon's Frozen Custard
    ••• Leon's Frozen Custard

    A trip to Leon’s Frozen Custard is like stepping back into the ‘40s and no wonder, as that’s how long this custard stand has been in business. The neon sign dates back to the mid-1950s and the menu features four daily favors of custard: chocolate, vanilla, butter pecan and a “flavor of the day.”

    Location
    3131 S. 27th St., Milwaukee (South Side)

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  • 03 of 10

    Kopp's

    Kopp's
    ••• Kopp's

    Known for folding in fresh, authentic ingredients for flavors of the day—such as cake batter in Wedding Cake or Sprecher root beer in Sprecher Root Beer Float—Kopp’s custard stand even has a flavor named for owner Karl Kopp’s late mother (Elsa), who founded Kopp’s in 1950.

    Location
    5373 N. Port Washington Road, Glendale; 7631 W. Layton Ave., Greenfield; and 18880 W. Bluemound Road, Brookfield

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  • 04 of 10

    Northpoint Custard

    Northpoint Custard
    ••• Northpoint Custard

    As the most casual sibling in the Bartolotta Restaurants group, Northpoint Custard stand hugs Lake Michigan at Bradford Beach. It is only open from May through September and there are three custard flavors daily: vanilla (made with Madagascar vanilla), chocolate or swirl (combination of the two flavors).  Five signature sundaes feature custard, too, including The Elvis (peanut butter, chocolate custard, and banana).

    Location
    2272 N. Lincoln Memorial Drive, Milwaukee (East Side)

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  • 05 of 10

    Glorioso's

    Glorioso's
    ••• Glorioso's

    The gelato counter at Glorioso’s, an adorable family-owned Italian market on Brady Street, (a neighborhood built by Italian immigrants) features a mix of nearly a dozen traditional and offbeat flavors, such as hazelnut and salted caramel. (Interesting fact: in 2016 then-presidential candidate Ted Cruz scheduled a campaign stop here.)

    Location
    1011 E. Brady St., Milwaukee (East Side)

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  • 06 of 10

    Culver's

    Culver's
    ••• Culver's

    Headquartered in Prairie du Sac, ​Wisconsin, ,Culver’s is now in several states but can be found in abundance in Southeastern Wisconsin. There’s always a flavor of the day for custard at this fast-casual eatery, such as Andes Mint Avalanche or Bonfire S’mores, in addition to chocolate and vanilla.

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  • 07 of 10

    Whole Foods Market

    Ice Cream
    ••• Whole Foods Market

    Tucked into each location of Whole Food Market's massive bakery and desserts section is a full-on Gelato Bar, boasting 20 or so housemade flavors. Round out your experience with a shot of espresso, brewed and served at a nearby counter.

    Location
    2305 N. Prospect Ave., Milwaukee (East Side); 11100 W. Burleigh Ave., Wauwatosa

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  • 08 of 10

    Gilles Frozen Custard

    Gilles Frozen Custard
    ••• Gilles Frozen Custard

    A West Side staple since it opened in 1938, Gilles Frozen Custard has custard flavors including a rotating flavor of the day (for example, Orange Dreamsicle or Banana Fudge) along with 16 “basic” sundaes (from Apple to Strawberry) and 17 “fancy” sundaes with fun names, such as Lalapalooza.

    Location
    7515 W. Bluemound Road, Milwaukee (West Side)

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  • 09 of 10

    Babe's Ice Cream

    Babe's Ice Cream
    ••• Babe's Ice Cream

    A neighborhood favorite, Babe’s Ice Cream offers quite a few flavors of ice cream—30, to be exact—from Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream in Madison, including cult-favorite Zanzibar Chocolate. Vegans can get a scoop, too, thanks to the Espresso Oreo Soy flavor.

    Location
    2264 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., Milwaukee (Bay View)

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  • 10 of 10

    Cold Spoons Gelato

    Cold Spoons Gelato
    ••• Cold Spoons Gelato

    All of the 24 gelato and sorbetto flavors at Cold Spoons Gelato are made on site and in small batches (translation: the ultimate in freshness!). With an eye on sustainability, Sassy Cow Creamery’s rBGH-free milk from Wisconsin cows is used to craft each gelato flavor. Flavors include pink grapefruit, pannacotta, amaretto and caramel sea salt.

    Location
    5924 W. Vliet St., Milwaukee (West Side)