Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer. Kids are back in school, we put away our swimsuits, and we start thinking about pumpkin spice lattes and brisk fall weather. There's just one problem...
According to the Climate Prediction Center's latest models, weather across the Midwest will be warmer than normal well into October. How then, are we expected to cool off given pools are closed and menus have changed to feature fall produce and flavors?
By eating ice cream, naturally. Luckily, Cincinnati has a wide variety of ice cream shops that are open year-round. Here are few to make time for during these coming summer -- er, fall months.
Tried-And-True Local Favorites
Cincinnati is famous for its French pot ice cream, made most well-known by Graeter's (multiple locations), but Cincinnati ice cream aficianados also swear by Aglamesis Bro's (3046 Madison Road and 9899 Montgomery Road). Both create ice cream in small batches, in a process that dates back to the 1800s.
Graeter's is loved by Oprah, Alton Brown, and plenty of Cincinnatians. With lots of local parlors as well as a brand new ice cream truck and a presence in local grocery stores, Graeter's is easy to find. If you visit a parlor, try one of their unique old-fashioned flavors that you can't get anywhere else, like a nectar soda (an almond and vanilla concoction that was common at soda fountains, and still a staple in New Orleans today), or try some homemade bittersweet chocolate sauce on top of their signature black raspberry chip ice cream. Seasonal flavors for the late summer and early fall include key lime pie (August), Elena's Blueberry Pie (September) and, if you want to mix your fall flavors with something cool to battle some unseasonable heat, pumpkin (October).
Aglamesis' ice cream parlors still have the old-fashioned appeal of a shop from the early 20th century, with its peppermint-stripe interior and wide array of chocolates and other confections in cases. In addition to ice creams (in unique flavors like pineapple pecan, or more standard favorites like cream-and-cookies and Dutch Holland chocolate), they also carry Italian ices, which are similar to sorbets, but much less dense in texture, including Champagne ice and the seasonal peach ice.
New and Notable
If you want to try something a little different, new and innovative ice cream shops are popping up around Cincinnati, particularly in the Over-the-Rhine area, where foot traffic from shopping and restaurants lends itself to grabbing a quick scoop.
The newest addition is Simply Rolled Ice Cream (32 W. 12th Street), which opened in mid-July. Rolled ice cream has been featured in viral videos, shot in its home of Thailand, and has now spread to the United States. In this case, via Columbus, Ohio (where Simply Rolled got its start). An ice cream base -- ranging from traditional vanilla to Thai iced tea and matcha-flavored -- is poured on a chilled surface, and various mix-ins and flavorings are combined and then scraped into a roll and lined up vertically in an ice cream dish. It's available in both cream-based as well as vegan versions, and toppings include everything from Oreo cookies to Japanese boba to fruit and syrups.
If you want to combine your ice cream with a little something different (OK, very different), head to Buzzed Bull Creamery (1408 Main Street), which uses liquid nitrogen to flash-freeze both alcoholic (buzzed) or non-alcoholic ice creams and shakes in a variety of unique flavors. You can build your own creative combination, or try some of their own concoctions, like Death by Chocolate (with or without chocolate vodka) or the very fall appropriate Hard Apple Pie (with or without Ole Smoky Apple Moonshine and a Moonshine cherry). If you can't pick, try a flight of ice creams that change every month. One caveat: buzzed flavors can only be eaten on premises (and by those ages 21 and up).
Looking for inventive flavors? Dojo Gelato is the local specialist for creative, handcrafted gelatos made in the traditional Italian way. With locations in Findlay Market (137 W. Elder Street) and Northside (1735 Blue Rock Street), plus a gelato truck and an Uber Eats delivery option, there are plenty of ways to get gelato flavors like Gooey Butter Cake, Basil Olive Oil, Bourbon Cherry or vegan sorbettos, including mango ginger or watermelon. If you are trying to balance the hot temperatures with your fall-driven desire for a warm beverage, try an affogato -- a shot of espresso over gelato.
We should get a break in the weather... eventually. Until then, there are plenty of ice cream options to cool you off.