Columbus: Home of America’s Best Ice Cream

By: claudia

June 25, 2014

The quality of local ice cream isn’t typically a factor when picking out a holiday destination. With Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, however, it should certainly sway the decision process. Home of America’s best Ice cream, here’s yet another reason to head to Columbus this summer.

Jeni’s isn’t your typical ice cream. It has won the praise of Oprah Winfrey (who swears by the butter pecan) and countless media outlets, including Food & Wine Magazine, which proclaims “No one else makes ice cream like Jeni Britton Bauer.”

What makes Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams so splendid, like its moniker so emphatically states? Owner Jeni Britton Bauer uses fresh ingredients in small batches, with an emphasis on local and organic. Missing from the recipes: artificial flavours, chemical dyes and off-the-shelf mixes. Taste the difference in the Ndali Estate Vanilla, using fair-trade certified African vanilla beans and local grass-grazed milk, and the Savannah Buttermint, made with locally grown peppermint and made-from-scratch white chocolate stracciatella.

An array of flavours from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams | Columbus Home to America's Best Ice Cream

Enjoy distinctive seasonal flavours ©  Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams

Her artisan flavours range from the signature salty caramel and lime cardamom, to the exotic goat cheese with cherries and the Thai-inspired Bangkok peanut made with Ohio honey and freshly ground coconut and cayenne pepper. Ever think of sweetcorn and ice cream in the same bite? At Jeni’s, sweetcorn is mixed with black raspberries for a favourite summer flavour.

ingredients for Jeni's ice cream_Columbus Home to America's Best Ice Cream

Fresh mint used in the Savannah buttermint  © Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams

Jeni’s recipes earned her a James Beard Award for her New York Times best-selling cookbook, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home. With more than 100 easy-to-follow recipes, The Wall Street Journal calls it the “homemade-ice cream-making Bible.”

Jeni's Splendid at the James Beard Foundation Awards | America's favorite ice cream_

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home recipe book is now a James Beard award winner © Ken Goodman/James Beard Foundation

Her latest cookbook, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Desserts, was released in late May 2014, to rave reviews. It has mouth-watering recipes for flavours like cumin and honey butterscotch and extra-strength root beer, along with berry cobblers and one-of-a-kind cakes and cookies.

Board outside one of the Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream Parlours| Columbus America's favorite ice cream

Outside one of the famous Jeni’s Splendid ice cream parlours dotted around town © Mike Beaumont

Along with 10 Columbus-area locations, Jeni’s is served up at many of the city’s top restaurants. But the scoop shops are the way to go for newcomers and ice cream connoisseurs keen to sample America’s best ice cream. The staff will let you try unlimited samples until you make your selection. A common purchase? The trio with three scoops – perfect for the most adventurous ice cream lovers, or the indecisive.

Scoop shops are located in all the major tourist spots in Columbus, including the Short North Arts District, the Easton Town Center shopping area and German Village. Or head to Jeni’s first location downtown in the North Market. You can even grab a single serving or a macaroon ice cream sandwich right after you disembark at Port Columbus International Airport. Two vending machines serve up seven of Jeni’s signature flavours for those who just can’t wait.

Connections with a wide range of destinations across the United States and Canada through our partnership with Delta makes booking a trip to Columbus simple.

Do you think Jeni’s is America’s best ice cream? What’s your favourite flavour? Let us know in the comments section below.

Written by Claudia Plumley



Claudia Plumley is a travel writer, life-long Columbus resident and a lover of all-things Ohio. Claudia is the senior editor for Ohio Magazine’s custom publishing division, where she produces visitors guides and magazines promoting the Buckeye state. She previously worked for Experience Columbus, the city’s convention and visitors bureau.

Categories: Our Places