I scream, you scream, Wichitans scream for Ice Cream!
Cream ice, like it used to be called, has been around for many years. It is unknown who came up with the idea. It started to be an industry in the United States in the 1800s. There are historical records where it is known that former Presidents like George Washington and Abraham Lincoln enjoyed ice cream as dessert, at that point, only served to the elite.
At the beginning of the 1900s, places that sold ice cream were very popular. After the World War II, pre-packaged ice cream became a better choice for many Americans, ending with the friendly traditions of meeting at ice cream shops to hang out with friends and listen to music.
The International Dairy Food Association (IDFA) says that today's total frozen dairy annual production in the United States is more than 1.6 billion gallons.
While looking for the best choices of ice cream in Wichita, I came across a very important fact that I want to share with you. According to the Kansas Historical Society, Nicholas Steffen, a businessman born in Indiana, moved to Wichita when he was 20 to open a bakery and restaurant where he also sold ice cream. At that point there were no take-out options for ice cream, it had to be eaten inside restaurants. Steffen had the idea of working with shipping companies and became the first commercial shipper of ice cream in the U.S. Nicholas Steffen died in Wichita in 1910. What a legacy he left!
Asking around, talking to friends, making Facebook polls in order to find out the best ice cream in Wichita, I came up with the top four favorite ice cream places for Wichitans. Are you ready?
Paleteria La Reyna
Located on 29th N and Arkansas, Paleteria La Reyna is a Mexican restaurant, which originally started by selling some of the best homemade frozen treats. They opened in the mid-90s to serve the northside population. The reality is that now people from all over Wichita go to Paleteria la Reyna to enjoy their Ice cream. According to Uriel Hernandez, one of the owners, the flavor they sell the most is mango. And even though there are other new ice cream shops with similar Mexican recipes and flavors, their number one seller is their shaved ice. Personally, that is my favorite from Paleteria La Reyna, especially if it’s vanilla flavor.
College Hill Creamery
If you are a coffee lover, you need to visit this place on 3700 E. Douglas. Imagine having together a fresh-baked brownie, with your favorite flavor ice cream, topped with a shot of espresso, whipped cream, and chocolate covered espresso bean! Yes, that is their summer special. And Wichitans are recommending it!
(FROZEN YOGURT & CUSTARD) When you feel like hanging out in Old Town during Final Friday evenings, Farmer’s or Artisan’s Market mornings, or whenever you feel like it, you need to stop by YO-B Frozen Yogurt, get the flavor you prefer and top it with all kinds of goodies. People who frequent this place not only love the ice cream, they told me they love their prices too!
Freezing Moo Rolling Ice Cream
It was hard to name only one of the rolling ice cream places in town, all of them are delicious. Despite Freezing MOO being the newest of all, since they just opened about five months ago, people are talking about this new place not only because of the delicious ice cream they serve but because they offer dairy free and vegan options. Yes, they roll your ice cream with coconut milk! And you add the toppings you want. I had to taste the one they say sells the most: Mucho Mango with strawberries. Of course, I asked for it to be rolled with coconut milk! You can try it on the east side of Wichita at 2684 N. Greenwich Ct #200 or at their west side location on 2755 N. Maize Rd. #101.
Even though pre-packaged ice cream might be the #1 sold in stores, Wichita still has so many literal cool places to go and eat delicious ice cream. You can go by yourself, with family and/or friends. Another fact I discovered is that most Wichitans love mango ice cream! At least three of these places said mango is the one they sell the most!
I wish I could mention even more cool ice cream places, but it is now your turn to visit every single place in Wichita and try all different ice cream in the area. After all, we have the whole summer to do it!