The Best Milkshake in Every State (#13 Is Insane)

From retro diners to artisan cafes, uncover where to find your state's milkshake gem.
Updated May 12, 2024
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There’s something special about a milkshake, but there are dozens of ways to make them and numerous flavor combinations to try out.

On a mission to determine what makes the best milkshake, we created a list of the most beloved milkshakes in every state. Some are seemingly ordinary, but all are worth trying.

If you want to step up your travel game, stop at these locations for the best milkshake in the state.

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Alabama: The G.O.A.T., Magic Milkshakes & More (Hoover)

Brent Hofacker/Adobe cookies and cream milkshake

A fun, flavorful destination for the best milkshake in Alabama has to go to Magic Milkshakes & More. A family-owned and operated business, there’s always something tempting on the menu.

Try one of their signature milkshakes, like the G.O.A.T., which includes just about everything from Butter Crunch and Dutch Chocolate to Reese Pieces and red sprinkles.

Alaska: Blackberry, Artic Roadrunner (Anchorage)

Jacob Lund/Adobe couple sharing milkshake

Established in 1964, the Artic Roadrunner is a local treasure of a destination known for its fun burgers and fries.

Their hand-dipped milkshakes stand out. Peanut butter, chocolate, or Oreo are just some of the flavors. Some say their tart blackberry is the best.

Arizona: The Circus, Soda Jerk (Phoenix)

Viktorija/Adobe milkshake smoothie

The Soda Jerky looks like an old-fashioned diner, but the milkshakes are nothing short of extravagant.

Consider The Circus, a milkshake with animal crackers, popcorn, cotton candy, topped with vanilla frosting, confetti sprinkles around the rim, and lots of whipped cream.

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Arkansas: Purple Vanilla, Purple Cow (Chenal)

WS Studio/Adobe three glasses of milkshake

With several locations around the state, Purple Cow is easy enough to recognize, but it’s the shakes that have people coming back.

Choose the Orange Freeze for something different — sherbet with soda water instead of ice cream. For something more traditional, try mint chocolate chip, butterscotch, or purple vanilla.

California: Peanut Butter and Banana, Connal’s (Pasadena)

Valeriia/Adobe boy shows thumb up while drinking

At Connal’s, you’ll find a true diner that’s served the area since the 1950s. Their menu is truly authentic burgers, patty melts, and fries.

When it comes to the best milkshake in California, the Peanut Butter and Banana stands above the rest here. It’s thick and rich, with that Elvis Presly-approved flavor combo.

Colorado: Oreo Speedwagon, Crave (Castle Rock)

alter_photo/Adobe milkshake in glass

If you want a shake that’s more like a decadent sundae, the best place to go is Crave. Their line of milkshakes is over the top, with options like Strawberry Cheesecake and Banana Cream Pie.

The Oreo Speedwagon is all about hot fugs, Oreos, and coffee. Pair it with one of their burgers, which they promise will be beyond expectations, for a satisfying meal.

Connecticut: Red Raspberry Chip, Gumdrops & Lollipops (Niantic)

Crystal Sing/Adobe strawberry milkshake on a counter

There is something so cute and special about Gumdrops & Lollipops, but the best is their huge variety of shakes.

Walk up to the shop's window and order the Red Raspberry Chip milkshake. It's just what you need: bright flavor, deep rich color, and those small morsels of chocolate.

Delaware: Pumpkin Espresso Milkshake, Sweet Nel’s (Wilmington)

Svetlana Kolpakova/Adobe strawberry milkshake with whipped cream

At Sweet Nel’s, you’ll enjoy ice cream and crepes made fresh. There’s plenty on the menu when it comes to milkshake flavors (the mint chocolate chip is a quick runner-up).

The best option, though, is the pumpkin espresso milkshake. With its rich flavor and the pick-me-up you need, this one is a necessary way to power through afternoon downtime.

Florida: Peanut Butter Half Marshmallows, Shake Pit (Bradenton)

Pixel-Shot/Adobe hand with glass of tasty milkshake

One of the best things about Shake Pit is that they make it your way. Add in whatever you want to the milkshakes here.

One of the best recommendations is a thick, gooey peanut butter shake topped with marshmallows. It doesn’t have chocolate, but it certainly offers some protein.

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Georgia: Matcha, Big Softie (Atlanta)

galaganov/Adobe vanilla chocolate milkshake

Though Big Softie seems like a very simple place, its shake flavors are outstanding. Take the matcha, for example, which is bursting with flavor but not overpowering.

There are a few reasons to pick any of the tried-and-true staples here, including that they use only organic cane sugar and locally sourced dairy.

Hawaii: Ube Cookies & Cream, Niu Soft Serve (Mo’ili’ili)

Jacob Lund/Adobe woman drinking milkshake

At Niu Soft Serve, you have a fabulous menu of options (including the ability to order your own specialty shake).

One of the best on the menu is the Ube Cookies & Cream. It’s soft serve and topped with plenty of Oreos. Consider adding one of their sauces, like the peanut butter.

Idaho: Banana Boston Shake, Fanci Freez (Boise)

New Africa/Adobe mason jar with delicious milk shake

The Banana Boston Shake is a banana-flavored shake with a sundae on top. If you’ve ever had trouble choosing between the two, now you don’t have to.

You can choose caramel, marshmallow, and numerous other toppings if you like. For those who want something more straightforward, the apple pie shake is an excellent option.

Illinois: Hallowed Be Thy Mint, Crusades Burgers (Yorkville)

Antonioguillem/Adobe drinking milkshake in the street

At Crusades Burgers, you’ll always get a great meal. And, in some cases, all of the calories you need for a day could come from a single milkshake.

The Hallowed By Thy Mint milkshake is a chocolate mint shake topped with crushed Andes candies, chocolate icing, and chocolate drizzle, all topped with a glazed donut, mint chocolate chip ice cream sandwich — and a cupcake.

Indiana: Strawberry Shortcake, TeeJay’s Sweet Tooth (Indianapolis)

gorynvd/Adobe teenage girls with smoothie

The ice cream at TeeJay’s Sweet Tooth is excellent, and you can find plenty of fun milkshake flavors on the menu, including options like fruity pebbles and Oreo. The strawberry shortcake, though, is excellent.

You’ll find big bites of strawberries mixed into the creamy ice cream at just the right ratio.

Iowa: Butterscotch, Dane’s Dairy (Iowa City)

Yakov/Adobe tasty milkshake with waffles cream

There’s something special about the butterscotch flavor at Dane’s Dairy. This milkshake has that extra touch of sweetness that makes it a must-try.

Dane’s Dairy is a smaller destination but is often regarded as one of the best in the state. They even offer frozen yogurt varieties.

Kansas: Caramel Cheesecake Craze, Papa’s (Wichita)

Africa Studio/Adobe delicious milkshakes

Papa’s is often referred to as the best location for ice cream in general, but this small, sweet shop is all about going one step further.

It has a full list of “extreme shakes,” including the Caramel Cheesecake Craze, which features a caramel-dipped jar with graham cracker dusting, filled with vanilla ice cream. A whole slice of cheesecake is then on top with whipped cream.

Kentucky: Salted Caramel, The Comfy Cow (Louisville)

mizina/Adobe homemade milkshake with cookies

Though The Comfy Cow is noted for their wide range of fabulous ice cream flavors and handmade ice cream pies, they can turn any of your favorite flavors into a fabulous milkshake.

A highly recommended option is the Salted Caramel. Just enough sweetness cut with a bit of salt to hit any craving right on the head!

Louisiana: Camp Fire, Epic Creamery (Covington)

Africa Studio/Adobe milkshakes on wooden background

The Epic Creamery has a fun menu of foods and snacks to enjoy. This small location is also one of the best for customer service.

The Camp Fire milkshake has everything you want on a summer night, from Rocky Road ice cream and chocolate icing rim to roasted marshmallows and Hershey’s milk chocolate pieces.

Maine: Pistachio, Red’s Dairy Freeze (South Portland)

Jacob Lund/Adobe romantic couple sharing a milkshake

This is anything but an over-the-top location, but the flavor profile and the tradition that Red’s Dairy Freeze brings make it a must for locals and visitors.

The Pistachio milkshake is highly recommended, with its bright flavor profile that’s not too sweet.

Maryland: Maple Walnut, BMore Licks (Baltimore)

anniebrusnika/Adobe fresh creamy vanilla milkshake

At BMore Licks, you are sure to find something to enjoy since they offer over 100 milkshake choices.

You can turn any soft serve on the menu into a shake. Options include Amaretto, lemon cookie, and fluffernutter. The crunch and sweetness of the maple walnut, however, makes it special.

Massachusetts: Banana Split Milkshake, Treadwell’s (Peabody)

LIGHTFIELD STUDIOS/Adobe milkshake with chocolate morsels

Treadwell’s offers a fantastic menu of flavors when it comes to ice cream treats of all types. They’ve been serving up some of the best since 1946!

You can take any of their soft serve or hard ice creams and turn them into a shake. For some, the banana split milkshake with all of their favorite toppings is the best version.

Michigan: Cold Apple Betty, Mercury Burger & Bar (Detroit)

Astarot/Adobe drinking milkshake at the restaurant

While Mercury Burger & Bar certainly knows how to make a burger and serve it up with fantastic craft brews, the Apple Betty shake is the hidden underdog here.

This milkshake, made with apple pie filling and vanilla ice cream, has just a bit of crunch thanks to the crumble topping.

Minnesota: Strawberry Pretzel, Milkjam Creamery (Minneapolis)

aicandy/Adobe vanilla milkshake with whipped cream

The strawberry pretzel shake offers the right combination of crunch with creamy ice cream. It’s playing off that salty-and-sweet combination perfectly.

When you visit Milkjam Creamery for this one, you’ll certainly enjoy some inventive ice cream combinations. For something a bit more adult, check out the boozy floats.

Mississippi: Dreamsicle, Brent’s Drugs (Jackson)

Africa Studio/Adobe berry milkshake and fresh raspberry

Brent’s Drugs is a true diner-style destination that initially opened in 1946 as a pharmacy. It’s changed quite a bit since then and now offers a full dinner menu.

On that menu is the Dreamsicle milkshake. It’s a fantastic combination of vanilla ice cream, orange sherbert, and vanilla syrup. Sweet with a bit of tang, it makes any day a bit more special.

Missouri: The Cowboy, Main Street Creamery Co (Washington)

vectorfusionart/Adobe girl drinking milkshake

Over at Main Street Creamery Co., don’t be tempted by the cones and cups served up your way.

Instead, check out the Cowboy Milkshake. It’s a Butterfinger milkshake with a donut on it. It also has an upside-down vanilla cone and a heavy drizzle of caramel on top.

Montana: Pistachio Dark Chocolate, Mountain Made Ice Cream (Bozeman)

Brent Hofacker/Adobe mint chocolate chip milkshake

AT Mountain Made Ice Cream, a regional ice cream location, you will find some outstanding traditional and specialty flavors.

Pistachio dark chocolate is one of them. It’s made with pistachio ice cream and dark chocolate throughout. That OG flavor, as they call it, is easily turned into a shake.

Nebraska: Huckleberry, Ted & Walley’s (Omaha)

luismolinero/Adobe young woman with strawberry milkshake

At Ted & Walley’s, you can choose from a large menu of ice cream and mix-ins to craft your favorite milkshake flavor.

What makes them special is that they use 20% butterfat to produce ultra-premium ice cream, which is also sourced locally.

You can’t go wrong with the standard options, like chocolate and strawberry. The Huckleberry is perhaps the best.

Nevada: Black Cherry, Sweet Addiction, Cookies & Ice Cream (Las Vegas)

WS Studio/Adobe glasses of milkshake with assorted flavors

At Sweet Addiction, Cookies & Ice Cream, you can count on some fabulous ice cream treat, and everything is served in large portions.

When it comes to flavor, consider the homemade Black Cherry ice cream, turned into a rich, creamy shake. Bright and tart, it could offer the best spark to your day.

New Hampshire: Green Monster, Milkshake Lovers (Nashua)

luismolinero/Adobe woman with strawberry milkshake

Though you could go with something healthy like acai, the Green Monster shake from Milkshake Lovers offers a very different flavor profile.

This minty choice is perfect for those who want a thick, bright flavor and really good service to go with it.

New Jersey: Vanilla Fudge, Holsten’s Ice Cream (Bloomfield)

LIGHTFIELD STUDIOS/Adobe pleased girl drinking milkshake

There are some hard decisions to be made at Holsten’s Ice Cream. You could choose an egg cream or a milkshake float.

If you’re dead set on a milkshake, the rich, deep flavor of the classic vanilla fudge is an easy classic. It’s the perfect choice for this diner-style destination.

New Mexico: Swashbuckler Shake, Pop’s Ice Cream (Albuquerque)

alter_photo/Adobe milkshake in glass

A trust destination in its own right, a stop at Pop’s Ice Cream is a local favorite decision, especially after soccer practice.

The Swashbuckler Shake is a fantastic combination of vanilla ice cream, milk cream soda, and rum extract topped with whipped cream and a cherry.

New York: Cotton Cakeshake, Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer (New York – SoHo)

timtimphoto/Adobe woman drinking milkshake in cafe

Elegance aside, Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer is an excellent choice for local craft beer and some outstanding burgers.

It’s also known for its shakes. Although there are numerous specialty options, nothing compares to the sweetness of the Cotton Cakeshake.

North Carolina: Drumstick Milkshake, Ninety’s Dessert Bar (Charlotte)

Africa Studio/Adobe milkshakes with almonds

At Ninety’s Dessert Bar, don’t miss the opportunity to try the Drumstick Milkshake. It’s made with moose tracks ice cream with waffle cone pieces and peanuts mixed in. Caramel and chocolate are all over the top.

You’ll find plenty of other versions of over-the-top shakes here, too.

North Dakota: Chocolate, D & D Ice Burg (Washburn)

ccestep8/Adobe chocolate milkshake dessert

It is perhaps the easiest place to miss in the city, but D & D Ice Burg is the type of whole-in-the-wall you don’t want to miss.

You can certainly find a few chain options in the area, but the simple chocolate shake at this destination will satisfy anyone with a chocolate craving.

Ohio: Black Raspberry Chocolate Chunk, Mitchell’s Ice Cream (Ohio City)

Africa Studio/Adobe chocolate and fruit milkshakes

At Mitchell’s Ice Cream, you could go for a classic option, like the root beer float or one of their numerous vegan options.

On the other hand, the Black Raspberry Chocolate Chunk milkshake is a decadent, over-the-top treat.

Oklahoma: Banana Milkshake, S&B’s Burger Joint (Oklahoma City)

Elena Abduramanova/Adobe strawberry milkshake with marshmallows

The fantastic burgers at S&B;’s Burger Joint are secondary only to the banana milkshakes.

This local joint is known for its fun brick-walled sports bar theme, but it’s those big, over-the-top shakes that really bring you in.

Oregon: Belgian Chocolate, Miss Oz Ice Cream & Dessert (Portland)

Jacob Lund/Adobe couple sharing milkshake at a diner

There’s certainly something special about a good chocolate shake, but when you have “good chocolate” sourced from Belgium in your shake, it’s that much better.

You’ll find that shake at Miss Oz Ice Cream & Desserts. The rich chocolate flavor is a bit more tart than others but over-the-top flavorful in all rights.

Pennsylvania: Brownie Overload, The Udder Bar (Allentown)

Atlas/Adobe chocolate milkshake and straws

At The Udder Bar, there is a toss-up between the rich Brownie Overload milkshake and the Peanut Butter Nutella Shake, both of which get a lot of attention locally.

Rhode Island: Bubble Gum, Newport Creamery (Providence)

maxandrew/Adobe chocolate milkshake

As a local ice cream shop, Newport Creamery is the place to go for something sweet and tangy (they also have breakfast and lunch).

When you get there, get the Bubble Gum Milkshake. It’s exactly what you expect it to be and may even remind you of being a kid.

South Carolina: Cold Brew Milkshake, Off Track Ice Cream (Charleston)

mizina/Adobe milkshake with cookies

At Off Track Ice Cream, you gain the benefit of dozens of flavors to choose from at a location that prioritizes locally sourced ingredients.

If you need a boost of energy and some fantastic chocolate vibes, you’ll love the Cold Brew Milkshake.

South Dakota: Banana Berry, B&G Milkyway (Sioux Falls)

Vulp/Adobe bearded man holding milkshake

Though you may want to try the slushwhips if you’re not into milkshakes, for true milkshake lovers, B&G; Milkyway does not let anyone down.

The Banana Berry is a fun, fruity choice with lots of flavor that’s surprisingly refreshing.

Tennessee: Cherry, Elliston Place Soda Shop (Nashville)

Allistair F/ couple drinking milkshake together

There are dozens of ice cream shops in Nashville, but Eilliston Place Soda Shop gives you all of the traditional vibes.

You can choose from numerous shake options, but check out the cherry. It’s so tart and sweet that it’s sure to pucker your lips.

Texas: Amaretto Milkshake, Churro On Top (Arlington)

Pixel-Shot/Adobe glass of tasty milkshake

Churro On Top has a very on-point name. That’s because each of its special milkshakes has a churro on top, often covered in flavor.

The Amaretto milkshake combines extreme chocolate ice cream, amaretto syrup, and vanilla ice cream, then tops it off with whipped cream, almonds, and two chocolate almond churros.

Utah: Marshmallow, Pace’s Dairy Ann (Bountiful)

julie208/Adobe delicious chocolate milkshake

Pace’s Dairy Ann was first established in 1957 and it continues to offer the same focus on great customer service and traditional foods.

The best milkshake in Utah has to be the marshmallow shake from this family-run location.

Vermont: Coconut Cookie, Offbeat Creemee (Winooski)

Drobot Dean/Adobe pin-up girl sipping milkshake

Offbeat Creemee is anything but the traditional location for milkshakes. For one, it’s all dairy-free.

You could not tell that the coconut cookie milkshake was not milk-free (yes, it’s really spelled like that!).

Virginia: Blue Cow Patty, Blue Cow Ice Cream (Virginia Beach)

Jenifoto/Adobe smores drink in a mason jar glass

Any of the dozens of flavors of ice cream at Blue Cow Ice Cream can be whipped into a shake.

It’s hard to choose between options like Masala Chai and Goat Cheese with Blueberry Swirl, but the Blue Cow Patty, with its Butterfingers, Oreos, and bittersweet chocolate chips, tops the list.

Washington: Blackberry, Frisko Freeze (Tacoma)

Our Scrapbook/Adobe milkshake with white heavy cream

Over at Fisko Freeze, you’ll find a classic counter-service, drive-thru diner. It’s quaint and simple.

The blackberry milkshake here is exceptionally tart and sweet at the same time.

West Virginia: Bourbon Crème, Ellen’s Homemade Ice Cream (Charleston)

WavebreakMediaMicro/Adobe drinking milkshake with straw in cafe

Over at Ellen’s Homemade Ice Cream, you’ll find lots of standard ice cream flavors, but they often launch specialties.

A hard-to-beat option for those who don’t mind a bit of alcohol is the Bourbon Crème shake, with its nice bite and sweet, clean finish.

Wisconsin: Vanilla Bean Cookie Dough, Scratch Ice Cream (Milwaukee)

Viktoria/Adobe little boy drinking milkshake

At Scratch Ice Cream, you can take any of their fabulous ice creams and turn them into a rich milkshake.

The vanilla bean cookie dough version is phenomenal. It’s not overly sweet, but has a true rich vanilla flavor to it that’s well loved.

Wyoming: Wild Huckleberry, Moo’s Gourmet Ice Cream (Jackson)

mizina/Adobe milkshake with cookies toppings

A recognized destination for the best ice cream, Moo’s Gourmet Ice Cream is certainly top-notch in any flavor (even those with alcohol blended in them).

The tart, fresh flavor of the wild huckleberry shake is hard to pass up, even if you want to try the others on the menu.

Bottom line

Mohammad Xte/Adobe ice cream milkshakes

Milkshakes change the way you view the world, at least for the few minutes you sip them down.

No matter the flavor profile you like, it’s worth grabbing your best cash back credit card and trying one of the over-the-top choices. They’re not just a summer treat.

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Sandy Baker Sandy Baker is a has over 17 years of experience in the financial sector. Her experience includes website content, blogs, and social media. She’s worked with companies such as, Bankrate, TransUnion, Equifax, and Consumer Affairs.

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