By Kristin Dvorak
National Ice Cream Day is on July 19, and it’s definitely a day to be celebrated — especially when we have so many great Madison-based ice cream brands to savor. Get your scoop on with these picks.
Calliope Ice Cream
Calliope Ice Cream is one Madison-based ice cream company that truly thinks outside the box. Flavor combos like Lemon and Lavender, Mexican Hot Chocolate, Hot Peanut Butter, Graham Cracker and of course, Brandy Old Fashioned — are sure to tickle your taste buds. You can visit Calliope’s Scoop Shop at the Garver Feed Mill when indoor dining resumes to try some unexpected flavors. For now, pick up a pint at one of these local retailers.
Our flavor recommendation: Brandy Old Fashioned, available at most local retailers.
Ice Cream Social
Ice Cream Social, a local one-woman startup, is new to the Madison dessert scene. Born in quarantine, owner Katrina Ervin initially created Ice Cream Social as a way to comfort friends and family during Wisconsin’s Safer at Home order. Upon being furloughed from her job, followed by the news of George Floyd’s death, Ervin decided it was time to take things to the next level. Now, she sells her ice cream once a week via Instagram and all proceeds go to a nonprofit that supports social justice causes. This month, the funds will be donated to Freedom, Inc., a local nonprofit that serves low- and no-income communities of color. Stay up to date with Ice Cream Social’s flavor releases and more on Instagram.
Our flavor recommendation: Peanut Butter Fudge, available on a limited basis.
If you’re into fresh and fruity flavors, La Michoacana is the ice cream shop for you. The company’s main goal is to bring the flavors of Mexico to Madison. All ice creams, popsicles and shakes are made on-site with fresh, tropical ingredients like passion fruit, mango, strawberry and more. Visit La Michoacana’s Madison East location or the Odana Rd. location, but don’t forget your mask!
Our flavor recommendation: Passion Fruit, available on a limited basis.
Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream Company
Chocolate Shoppe ice cream is no secret to Wisconsinites. This distinguished company has been around since 1962 and currently has four of its own ice cream parlors in the Madison area as well as two other locally owned locations. Chocolate Shoppe’s ice cream is also served in over 400 small, independent restaurants and scoop shops nationwide. Learn more about their multitude of flavor offerings right here.
Our flavor recommendation: Ultimate Oreo, also available in a dairy-free option!
Michael’s Frozen Custard
Michael’s, now a Madison staple, was once just a family recipe that ended up taking on a life of its own when owner Michael Dix decided to take a leap of faith in opening his own custard shop on State Street in 1986. Fast-forward 34 years later and you can now stop by one of Michael’s three locations in Madison. Find the Michael’s nearest you here.
Our flavor recommendation: Butter Pecan, available at the Schroeder Road location on July 22, the Monroe Street location on July 27 and the Atwood Avenue location on July