On Graeter the Greatest


Yes – my bowl!

Do you like chocolate? Do you like chocolate chips in your ice cream? How would you react if you found a piece of solid chocolate in your ice cream that easily covers the center of your palm?

Welcome to Graeter’s – an ice cream treasure in Cincinnati – and a worthy participant in my Chocolate and Wine Week.

Cincinnatians smile at the mere mention of Graeter’s. When out-of-town friends visit, a trip to this tasty treat is mandatory. Convention attendees discover our local jewel at Fountain Square as they stroll the streets of city center.

Graeter’s is about ice cream. Sure, they also produce candy and baked good, but their ice cream is truly one of our area’s golden nuggets.

Louis Graeter started the business in 1870. Because he died in a 1919 accident, Regina (his wife) is the one who led the business’s growth throughout the Cincinnati area. Today, the fourth generation of the family leads a distribution system reaching 4,000 grocery stores in 41 states.

Ingredients and technique are the secrets to producing this creamy, gastronomic delight. Graeter’s blend fresh cream and egg custard together in a chilled French Pot Process. Meanwhile, a large paddle prevents air from mixing into the delight in order to deliver a smooth, rich taste of creamy treasure. Oddly enough, each copper pot only produces 2 gallons of frozen bliss at a time.

Although Graeter’s offers many flavors (flavors here with pictures), including seasonal treats, the chip flavors are the favorites in our house because of the possibility of chunks of chocolate. My wife favors black raspberry chocolate chip. We share appreciation for peanut butter chocolate chip. For me, it’s mint chocolate chip – especially after eating Skyline Chili!

Oh my my – time is running out and I haven’t even mentioned the delicious sodas and scrumptious sundaes! (menu here for description of sundaes)

For those now desiring this rich, creamy taste of high-caloric Nirvana, go to their website, and locate the Find Graeter’s tool on the right, which only needs your zip code. Others can order online because they ship. To Sylvia in Paradise, tell your son and check your zip code for your time in the US.

For the record, it’s not cheap, but it is that the best and “the way ice cream is supposed to be.” Consider a pint for an evening of Graeter’s and a movie at home.

Enjoy the videos, and a few more resources below. Meanwhile, my mouth is watering, so I’m off to a Graeter’s location nearest to me. Meanwhile, fess up – who is going to look for it?


New York Times
A Philadelphia blogger
The Ice Cream Informant
Chicago Bites
Graeter’s on The View
CBS Early Show

125 thoughts on “On Graeter the Greatest

  1. I haven’t heard of Graeters but I love how this family business is in its 4th generation and how well they’re making their ice cream. There’s not too many businesses making ice cream out of such authentic ingredients any more. We need a Graeters in Sydney xx


    • Spiced,
      Here’s idea …. get a franchise in Sydney! 🙂 … OR … the next time you have a friend coming to the states, they need to get some, pack it in dry ice, and bring it to you!


  2. I know from reading you Frank, that you’re lactose intolerant. How are you able to digest it? I can’t go near ice cream, but if I could, I’m with you: mint chocolate chip was my favorite flavor, too. Oh, how I miss being able to eat it on a hot summer’s day! Graeter’s should pay you with free ice cream all summer for posting this wonderful endorsement.


  3. I tried to decide on a favorite, and I couldn’t. I loved the look of the chocolate and cherry one, but then again, peanut butter and chocolate, and so on and so on… I am so impressed that Regina took command and made the business what it is today. That wasn’t an automatic response for a widow in those days! One way or another I would love to try this ice cream. All those chunks of chocolate would be just wonderful! 🙂


    • Debra,
      Well said about Regina … and to do that in those days, wow, what character!

      Meanwhile, I’ve got believe Graeter’s is throughout LA, so check Ralph’s and Gelson’s. Odds are that won’t have the full line of flavors, but they will have enough! Let me know the result.


  4. Thanks for thinking of me, Frank. I see I can most probably get it at Publix when I get back to Florida. In Johannesburg there was an Italian restaurant which made its own ice cream, and their double chocolate had huge chunks of chocolate too. Guess which was my favourite flavour. 😕


  5. Frank,
    I shouldn’t read a post like this one so early. I am the type to eat sweets in the morning. For some reason, I think ice cream goes perfectly well with my coffee.
    Le Clown


  6. ohmygoodness! Wish I’d have known, when my husband was working in Kentucky, I’d have had him bring home a right sampling! “Strawberry Shortcake Sunday”?, no need to explore the menu any further! (I’m not a huge chocolate fan.) And hubby and daughter would load-up on mint chocolate chip! Yummy post Frank. Did you see, “Share your story” at their website? This looks to be share worthy to me. Incidentally, I love that classic Lucy clip, too.


  7. I will be over straight away. I’m addicted to ice cream … eat it every day more or less. Have to check in New York if I can find it anywhere … also addicted to chocolate. Checked their website – not in New York … *crying.
    Fantastic post, Frank … thanks for sharing – I can imaging that I lose out something here.


    • Viveka,
      Cheer up! No need to cry. I see that NYC has numerous opportunities for Graeters. I entered zipcode 10004 (lower Manhattan), but adjusted the radius to 10 miles … Enjoy!


  8. Fun to read, but I have to admit Graeter doesn’t feel like the right kind of ice cream for me. I do love ice cream, but I don’t like it with big chunks of chocolate chips or caramels or whatever can be put into ice cream. I like plain high quality ice cream. Nevertheless I enjoyed reading your post, Frank.


  9. Hooray, the long-awaited Graeter post!!! I remember the first time I tried that black raspberry chocolate chip. It was nirvana. The mint chocolate chip is nirvana for Mr. Weebles–so you and your wife fall along the same lines as we do. I love the videos, and they’re making me want to go out now to buy a few more pints. I’m fortunate to live in walking distance from one of the places that sells it.


    • Weebs,
      Ah ha … my memory wasn’t totally failing me as I recall both members of Team Weebles were impressed! Thanks for the promo …. and I hope at least one reader tries it!


    • Rants,
      Great idea … thus you seem like a prime candidate to track down Graeter’s in your area. All you need is a zip code …. and once the results display, expand the search radius. Good luck on your mission. Carry on.


  10. I’ll be in Fountain Square this June to order another scoop of black raspberry chocolate chip! So happy they haven’t “retired” the flavor like some manufacturers do. Graet stuff that Graeter’s when I’m in Cincinnati.


    • Georgette,
      YES!!!! Woo hoo … another person proclaiming Graeter’s greatness. BTW – I believe the black raspberry chocolate chip is there top seller. Meanwhile, my wife also enjoys the sundae combo of that ice cream topped with marshmallow creme. Let me know when you’re going to Graeter’s and I’ll try to come downtown to join you.


  11. Well now, maybe I’m gonna have to take a break from researching battleships and recovering lost dogs to do a little Internet searching! 😉
    Never worked up a taste for mint in my ice cream, and no way these days I can do ice cream and chili. Nuclear-scale heartburn! But an intriguing concept as a meal in itself – not that I’d EVER do anything as unhealthy as wolf down a whole quart of ice cream! (Quickly hides the extra-large spoon… 😀 )


    • John,
      Cincinnati chili is a bit different, and the mint chocolate chip ice cream treat after the chili is a culinary match of utmost proportions! Meanwhile, I can’t imagine you eating ice cream directly from the container.


  12. Hadn’t heard of Graeter’s ice cream – story sound like Blue Bell creamery in TX. A real fan of ice cream – I may give up other foods, but never ice cream!
    Always prefer smaller local creameries! Glad this one’s doing so well.


  13. Oooh! It’s apparently at a couple of grocery stores near here! I can’t eat it just yet, but my day is coming. Oh, yes, my day is coming.


  14. OMG!!!!!!! I grew up with this ice cream – Mocha Chocolate Chip. I do like the Raspberry Chocolate Chip. and my favorite non-chip flavor is Peach. Yum. ‘Graet’ post!


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    • Trent,
      It is awesome … not sure if they distribute in Canada, but hey … they are in stores throughout the US … It may be pricey … but it is great! … Check the locations search on their site.


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  26. I am depressed now…I am assured by Google maps that Cincinnati is 9814.952 miles away from my house. That’s a bit too far for me to walk even if it is the best ice cream in the world. They have pretty good flavours as well. Steve and I are making our own ice cream to accompany our home made rum baba this year. He wants fresh strawberry ice cream and we picked up a kilo of local ripe strawberries for the purpose today. I am making vegan coconut vanilla. I might even throw some black sesame seeds in for good measure. It most probably won’t be a patch on this gorgeousness BUT at least we will have ice cream of sorts for our celebration and in the end, that’s what counts 🙂


  27. By the way, if I found a huge chunk of chocolate in my ice cream I would keep very quite as otherwise I would have to share it. Large chunks of chocolate are one of life’s little blissful pleasures 😉


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