If you grew up in Cincinnati — or even in the Midwest — you know that when your favorite neighborhood creamy whip opens its doors warm weather is finally here to stay (fingers crossed).
If Cincinnati hasn’t always been your scene, here’s a quick translation for anyone wondering, “What the F#*$ is creamy whip?” While it is basically soft-serve ice cream, creamy whip is also the name for where the aforementioned ice cream is served. Real creamy whip must come from a creamy whip (Orange Leaf is not a creamy whip), which generally looks like a shack with a walk-up window and line of little leaguers waiting to order up something sweet after a ballgame.
Whether you’re new to town or have serious history with the city, these creamy whips are essential for any true ice cream lover looking to celebrate summer. Plus, creamy whips’ seasons pass just as quickly as summer itself, as most stay open only until the leaves begin to turn and fall blows in.
Named one of AOL’s “Top Ten Quirkiest Places to Visit in the U.S.” in recent years, West Chester’s The Cone is arguably the most recognizable creamy whip in all of Ohio — partially because of its large ice cream cone-shaped exterior. The Cone’s flavors and ingredients are all natural, the majority of which are made in-house daily with fresh fruit, real chocolate and more. Even their famous bright orange zebra cone is made from real oranges. Plus all their ice creams, yogurts, Italian ices and sherbets are not only all-natural but soy free, gluten free and egg free, and their whipped cream is homemade on a daily basis from scratch. 11:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday; noon-9:30 p.m. Sunday through November. 6855 Tylersville Road, West Chester, 513-779-7040, thecone.com.
Established in 1955, Dairy Corner is one of the area’s oldest creamy whips. The family-owned and -operated establishment offers freshly made frozen dairy delights for the whole family, including their special Doggie Sundaes for four-legged family members. For at-home cravings and midnight snacks, Dairy Corner has you covered with its hand-packed quarts, pints and homemade sherbets. Cash only. Noon-10 p.m. daily through November. 3501 Church St., Newtown, dairycorner.net.
Hold the Nuts
A walk-up, hole-in-the-wall creamy whip, Hold The Nuts is located next to Italianette Pizza and run by the same folks. You can keep it simple with a peanut butter dip-top (a hard coating on the outside of soft serve) or try their more adventurous flavors. Either way, a huge cone is just $2. Hold the Nuts also offers Flavor Bursts (slushies with ice cream) and a large selection of shakes and Frost Bites (their version of a Dairy Queen Blizzard), plus a selection of giant push-up popsicles. Noon-9 p.m. daily through September. 6918 Plainfield Road, Deer Park, 513-477-8071, facebook.com/
Mt. Washington Creamy Whip & Bakery
This charming little creamy whip combines an ice cream shop and bakery, serving up their soft serve with cookies, cupcakes, macaroons and more. Aside from the homemade baked goods, Mt. Washington offers traditional creamy whip fare including shakes, cones, dip-tops and more. Enjoy the old school atmosphere and sit outside at parlour tables. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Saturday; noon-10 p.m. Sunday through September. 2069 Beechmont Ave., Mount Washington, 513-231-5295.
Norwood Delite Creamy Whip
If you grew up going to Kings Island as a kid, you probably partook in your fair share of blueberry soft serve at the Huckleberry Dairy in what used to be Hanna-Barbera Land. To relive the nostalgia — and if you can’t swing the $50 admission to get today’s version of a blueberry cone — Norwood Delite has you covered. This creamy whip staple offers the famed blueberry soft serve and also has everything from popsicles and sundaes to pickles and more. Cash only. Call for weekly hours, which change throughout the season. Open Monday-Thursday through September. 4490 Forest Ave., Norwood, 513-841-1114.
Putz’s Creamy Whip
Back in 1938, the Putz family opened an ice cream shop in a pair of trolley cars. Despite family illness briefly closing their doors during the Great Depression, Putz’s has remained a beloved Cincinnati tradition ever since. It’s much more than a creamy whip today, with a focus on customer service and community involvement. Along with standard creamy whip fare, they also serve up soft serve with Krunch coat — the ephemeral topping that blends sprinkles, nuts, little bits of cereal and magic. 10 a.m.-9 p.m. daily through September. 2673 Putz Place, Westwood, 513-681-8668, putzscreamywhip.com.
Tucker’s Whippy Dip
Located in what locals refer to as “old Mason,” Tucker’s Whippy Dip specializes in creating their best artistic interpretation of your favorite animal or sports team: unicorns, octopi, lions, tigers, bears, mascots … you name it. Plus, if you don’t feel like waiting in line as that little league team surveys the menu ahead of you, Whippy Dip’s drive-thru offers a quick escape. 1-10 p.m. daily through September. 127 E. Main St., Mason, 513-459-7966, twitter.com/tuckerswd.
A West Side family tradition since 1950, Zip Dip can be spotted instantly with its original old school neon sign: a lightning bolt striking an ice cream cone, which is still perched atop the Zip Dip’s roof, just as it was when the creamy whip first opened its doors. While many other creamy whips seem to be staffed with a fresh round of employees every summer, Zip Dip employees spend an average of five seasons serving up family favorites. Be sure to check out one of the shop’s specialties, like a Polar Person or a classic Zip Dip Bar. 11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily through October. 4050 Drew Ave., Bridgetown, 513-574-6252, zip-dip.com.