With 23 regular flavors and 13 seasonal flavors, Graeter’s Ice Cream has singularly dominated the sweet treats business of Cincinnati and its surrounding areas. Currently, the local flavor has 44 ice cream shops in Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, and the northern Kentucky area. Some of the ice cream and bakery items vary by location, but Graeter’s has become the signature ice cream of the tri-state area with its thick ice creams prepared under the unusual “french pot process.” It results in a very thick, creamy product packed with flavor. Each hand-packed pint of the ice cream weighs twice a regular ice cream pint.
Graeter’s extra thick ice cream is sold primarily in the shops, but small pints are also available in various markets throughout Cincinnati. One of the best known features of Greater’s ice cream is the huge chocolate chips in many of the flavors, a product of the way the ice cream is made. Every scoop is a treasure hunt; sometimes you mine chocolate gold; it will really make your day extra sweet.
Most of the flavors are an ice cream-candy combo. Peanut butter, toffee, cookies and cream are among the ingredients on the relatively simple flavor menu. Along with coffee and caramel flavors, they round out an extremely strong menu of desserts. The candy flavors are only enhanced, and all of them are so deliciously simple that none of the elements are lost. My favorite flavors among these are the Buckeye Blitz (lots of peanut butter and chocolate) and mint chocolate chip.
There are also a number of fruit flavors, each very different and amazingly refreshing. Each of the fruits is an unusually strong variety; strawberry, black cherry, and blueberry pie among them. They set themselves apart with strong, very fruity bite. You get to savor fresh fruits in each flavor as the ice cream melts around them, leaving the fruity taste on your tongue and the sweet cream flavor in a separate sensation of its own. I should note I’m impressed at the sheer number of people I know who favor the dark purple black raspberry variety over any other option.
Many of the Graeter’s locations also contain bakeries, serving cakes, pies, cookies and other goodies, such as ice cream cake and candy. While other places offer these confections as an afterthought, Graeter’s options are great. I wouldn’t consider them top bakers, and of course the exact baked goods menus vary by location, but don’t be afraid to give some of these a try if you’re not in the mood for ice cream.
If there’s one Cincinnati flavor you have to try while in town, here it is.
- Take a look at the menu online or at a shop for the “seasonal flavors.” They’re served only one or two months each year.
- Whatever you do, make sure you get a scoop of one of the chip flavors. The massive chocolate chunks in each will knock you out.
- Don’t discount the three sorbet flavors. They’re leaner options that lose nothing in flavor.