The weather is slowly beginning to heat up, meaning more and more Milwaukee area residents will soon be craving a cold treat this summer.
There are several local options for those looking to snack on ice cream, frozen custard or gelato in the area. Here are 10 we recommend.
Kopp’s Frozen Custard
Greenfield, Brookfield, Glendale
Kopp’s, arguably the most well-known frozen custard shop in the Milwaukee area, was founded in 1950 by Elsa Kopp, whom the shop was named for. The first shop opened in 1951 at North 60th Street and West Appleton Avenue in Milwaukee. That location has since closed, but three Kopp’s still remain, in Brookfield, Glendale and Greenfield.
Kopp’s was the first frozen custard stand to offer a special Flavor of the Day; soon enough, many other area shops followed its lead.
The shop had grown successful enough in the 1960s that Elsa felt comfortable experimenting with more unique frozen custard flavors and recipes. Now, popular flavors include butter pecan, turtle sundae, blueberry cheesecake and black raspberry.
Kopps, which is also known for its hamburgers, has a featured shake and sundae each month as well.
Learn more at kopps.com.
Locations and hours:
- 7631 W. Layton Ave., Greenfield, 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
- 18880 W. Bluemound Road, Brookfield, 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
- 5373 N. Port Washington Road, Glendale, 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
LeDuc’s Frozen Custard
LeDuc’s Frozen Custard, which opened in 1980, has become a popular stop in Waukesha County for frozen custard enthusiasts. The custard recipe the business uses now is the same recipe used when LeDuc’s first opened.
Three flavors are available every day — chocolate, vanilla and a rotating list of about 75 flavors of the days. Real fruit is used for fruit-flavored custards like raspberry cookie, which has raspberry custard and Oreos.
The business also has packaged custard, available in pints and quarts.
Learn more at leducscustard.com.
The business is at 240 W. Summit Ave, Wales, open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
Oscar’s Frozen Custard & Sandwiches
Waukesha, West Allis, Franklin
Jim Taylor opened the first Oscar’s in West Allis in a converted barn in 1984 with his uncle. Today, Oscar’s has expanded to two other locations, in Waukesha and Franklin.
Cones are made daily at each location with a secret recipe. Oscar’s offers vanilla, chocolate and a specialty flavor every day. You can also get traditional sundaes like hot fudge, caramel, chocolate, strawberry, butterscotch, raspberry and more.
If you’re up to the task, you could try the Oscar’s Mountain, which includes seven scoops of chocolate and vanilla custard topped with caramel, marshmallows, peanut butter, chocolate syrup, Oreos, crushed nuts, chocolate flakes, bananas, whipped cream and cherries.
Learn more at oscarscustard.com.
Locations and times:
- 2362 S 108th St., West Allis
- 7041 S. 27th St., Franklin
- 21165 Highway 18, Waukesha
- All locations are open 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, 10:30 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday.
Lee’s Dairy Treat
Lee’s Dairy Treat celebrated 50 years of business in 2020. The family-owned stand has a large menu of sundaes, floats, shakes, malts, cones, homemade chili, barbecue sandwiches and more.
It opens for the season toward the end of winter each year. The first person to purchase an item on opening day gets their picture on the wall and a free sundae every month.
Customers can purchase several ice cream flavors at the octagon-shaped building, which also includes ice cream cone-shaped garbage cans.
Learn more at leesdairytreat.com.
The stand is at 14040 W. Greenfield Ave, Brookfield. Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
Scratch Ice Cream
Milwaukee, Brookfield (coming soon)
The Milwaukee-based business is co-owned by Ryan and Justin Povlick. Scratch has more than 20 flavors of ice cream, including Cold Brew and Toffee, Salted Caramel Waffle Cone, Door County Cherry and more. It will also sell soft-serve sundaes, shakes and malts at the new Brookfield location.
You can also buy Scratch Ice Cream, including vegan flavors, at more than 20 area grocery stores and restaurants.
Learn more about when the Brookfield location will be open at scratchicecream.com.
Locations and hours:
- 2238 N. Farwell Ave., Milwaukee, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday.
- 636 S. 6th St., Milwaukee, 4:30 to 9 p.m. Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.
Leon’s Frozen Custard
Ron Schneider’s father, Leon, opened Leon’s Frozen Custard stand in 1942 at South 27th Street and West Oklahoma Avenue. They updated the building in the 1950s to what it looks like today.
Now, long lines can be seen most summer nights outside this Milwaukee mainstay.
Leon’s daily flavors are vanilla, chocolate, butter pecan and a flavor of the day, which is either strawberry, raspberry, mint, maple nut or cinnamon. In 2021, the shop added its newest flavor: Blue Moon.
Learn more at leonsfrozencustard.us
The custard stand is at 3131 S. 27th St, Milwaukee, open 11 a.m. to midnight daily
Frankie’s Ice Cream
Frankie’s Ice Cream started its third season in the heart of Port Washington this year. The business serves 11 flavors of Wisconsin’s Cedar Crest ice cream out of a 1969 Airstream Safari on a lot downtown.
Customers can sit at picnic tables or in Adirondack chairs and can order doughnut sundaes (six minis, 1½ scoops, two toppings and whipped cream) and floats made with Wisconsin’s Jolly Good soda.
Learn more at meetmeatfrankies.com.
The shop is at 313 N. Franklin St., Port Washington, open noon to 8 p.m. daily
Divino Gelato Cafe
Wauwatosa, Brookfield, Waukesha
Divino Gelato has sold gelato, also known as Italian ice cream, to Milwaukee area residents for nearly 20 years.
Divino began in 2003 in downtown Waukesha by Lori Lester. She added a shop in downtown Racine in 2012 and one at Brookfield Square in 2013. The business also expanded to Mayfair mall in Wauwatosa in 2017.
Gelato flavors include almond, coffee, candy cane, vanilla bean, mint oreo and several more. The cafe also sells several sorbetto flavors.
Learn more at divinogelatocafe.com.
Locations and hours:
- 227 W. Main St., Waukesha, open from noon to 9 p.m. Monday to Thursday, noon to 9:30 p.m. Friday., 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday.
- 95 N. Moorland Road, Brookfield (Brookfield Square Mall), 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
- 2500 N. Mayfair Road, Wauwatosa (Mayfair mall), 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Purple Door Ice Cream
Purple Door Ice Cream started in 2011, making ice cream for such wholesale accounts as Sendik’s Markets and Metro Market. Owners Lauren and Steve Schultz opened a retail shop in 2012 in Milwaukee. And in 2018, the business expanded to the Mequon Public Market.
The shop has several unique flavors, including Nutella brownie blast, purple moon, cream cheese, lemon blueberry and more. They also offer vegan flavors as well.
Learn more at purpledooricecream.com.
Locations and hours:
- 205 S. 2nd St., Milwaukee. Open noon to 8 p.m., Monday through Thursday and noon to 9 p.m., Friday through Sunday.
- 6300 W. Mequon Road, Mequon (Mequon Public Market). Open daily from noon to 8 p.m.
Bubba’s Frozen Custard
Bubba’s opened in 1998 in Pewaukee. It’s been a favorite of Lake Country residents ever since.
Popular custard flavors include black raspberry, blue moon and thin mint cookie.
Learn more at bubbasfrozencustard.com.
The business is at 1276 Capitol Drive, Pewaukee. Open daily, 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.