1. Hand’s down, Beecher’s is a must. A Dubuque staple for over three decades, the small shop serves huge portions of homemade ice cream and yogurt at an affordable price. The single location on Asbury Road opened to a line out the door in early-April and will be scooping their creamy treats until Oct.
2. Another Dubuque classic you cannot miss is Betty Jane’s Homemade Candies. Like Beecher’s, Betty Jane’s only serves ice cream seasonally at its Asbury Road location. My favorite: Gremlin ice cream, featuring bits of milk chocolate, pecans, and tons of homemade caramel sauce.
3. Sweet Memories: Never heard of Sweet Memories? A local secret for 25 years, Sweet Memories is a small ice cream and candy shop serving sweet treats to tourist and locals alike at the bottom of the Fourth Street Elevator in the Cable Car Square District.
4. Happy Joes: While the Joe’s always been famous for their Taco Pizza, if you stop by the Century Drive location behind the Kennedy Mall, you’ve got to try one of their sundaes. Any of your friends celebrating a birthday soon? Happy Joe’s is a birthday institution. After grabbing your server to inform of your friends name and age, the entire restaurant will join in singing the “Happy Birthday Song” and in return for the embarrassment, your friend receives a sundae complete with a candle.
5. AJ’s Café: The café inside the Hartig Drug Store on University is a nice quiet spot just a few blocks from campus. Beyond scooping “premium” ice cream, the café serves tasty breakfast, lunch, dinner, salads and coffees. Their free WiFi makes AJ’s the perfect place to crank out a paper while stuffing yourself with frozen treats.
6. Cold Stone Creamery: Does anyone seriously not like Cold Stone? I like to think of Cold Stone as the Panchero’s of ice cream. You pick from the dozens of candies, nuts, toppings and ice cream flavors and let them hand mix it into a perfect treat. If you’re craving Cold Stone, you can indulge yourself at their Wacker Plaza location by the corner of Dodge and JFK.
7. Yo So Sweet: While there are a handful of other colorfully named frozen yogurt joints, Yo So Sweet is my hands down favorite. Owned by a Loras alum and his wife, you can fill up your bowl over by the Asbury Plaza McDonald’s near Holiday Drive and the Northwest Arterial.
8. Culver’s: While you’re in the Asbury Plaza area, why not stop by our local Culver’s for some custard. Culver’s “Flavor of the Day” always pairs well with a bag of piping hot cheese curds.
9. Dairy Queen: If you’ve spent any time in the Midwest, you’ve obviously had a Blizzard. While you have your pick of four locations in Dubuque, let me suggest the area’s only independently owned and family operated location on Rhomberg Avenue on Dubuque’s North Side. Now that you have your Blizzard or your Dilly Bar, you can enjoy your treat and the river at the nearby Eagle Point Park, Lock & Dam No. 11 or A.Y. McDonald Park.
10. A&W on Locust by 1st and Main: Root Beer Floats. Need I say more?
11. F’Real Fridays: There is no better use of your Duhawk Dollars than spending that campus cash on buy-one-get-one-free soon to be expiring robot shakes and smoothies. We’ve come along away from number one, but the F’Real deserves a mention for its unbeatable convenience. Honorable mention goes to the ice cream machine in the Café.