An Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor in Cincinnati

Sep 21, 2021

It’s just about a wrap on summer. However, you’ll often find me pushing the warm-weathered festivities till the very end. My end-of-summer bucket list included hunting down some of Ohio’s most delicious and artisan-made ice creams. These endeavors recently resulted in a lovely afternoon at Aglamesis Bros- an ice cream parlor in Cincinnati, Ohio, and I want to tell you all about it.

I’m familiar with most of the local ice cream shops in my area. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream in Columbus makes the cut with her zany flavors. Also among the elite, Cincinnati’s Graeters, with their rich chocolate chunks, and Young’s Dairy in Yellow Springs, making farm-to-table ice cream. These ice cream makers I’ve not only heard of but have been sampling from for years.

But Aglamesis Bros in Cincinnati somehow snuck by my radar all these years. Quite a surprise it was, given that I grew up in the greater Cincinnati area. Plus the fact, many an ice cream connoisseur make up my family tree. I’ve been eating Cincinnati ice cream my whole life: spooning Graeters out of a plastic cap at Reds games and grabbing shakes from United Dairy Farmers in college. Both originated in the Queen City and still garner quite the following. Yet somehow, the Aglamesis brothers eluded me. Until now, that is. With a couple of weeks left of summer, I grabbed my mom (said ice cream connoisseur) and headed out to see what these brothers were all about.

The History

Thomas and Nicholas Aglamesis grew up outside of Sparta, Greece, in the 19th century. With entrepreneurial ambition, the brothers came to Cincinnati, Ohio, in the late 1800s. They found work in the ice cream business in Cincinnati’s “Old Arcade,” and by 1908, they’d created their first ice cream parlor, The Metropolitan. Through the Great Depression, the name changed, but the ice cream remained. The shop continues as a family-owned business, now in its third and fourth generations. Along with ice cream, they make Italian ices in addition to candy chocolates. Their parlor is an old-timey one, sitting in the middle of downtown Oakley, a charming Cincinnati suburb.

The Details

Charming details make this spot in Oakley the ice cream utopia that it is. From the top to bottom window front with Aglamesis Bros in a golden script to the vintage black and white tile, pink and cream candy-striped awning, milky globe lighting, and rosy antiqued tiffany lamps. All characteristics of the same story: step inside and return to another time. You can practically hear Sammy Davis Jr. crooning out The Candy Man as you stroll up to the counter to choose whether it’ll be ice cream, Italian ice, or maybe a box of chocolates for the day.

The Taste

Now, onto the ice cream. I mentioned my mom is an ice cream connoisseur. And she is known to be quite picky when it comes to texture, chocolate chunk ratio, overall coldness, melt-ability, and so on. Here’s what she has to say about Aglemesis Bros mint chocolate chip:

“This is a delicious ice cream. The texture is crisp and icy. The mint is flavored with a light hand- not too sweet and not too strong. The chocolate chips are flaked just right. And the chip to ice cream ratio hits the perfect balance. It gets 4.5 stars. I’d definitely come back for more!”

I myself tried out an Italian ice in a nice seasonal peach flavor. It was very fresh, with actual chunks of juicy peach, and quite creamy still for being an “ice.” I’ll also add, the Italian ices are dairy-free, and it’s nice to have that option for the lactose-free population.

The Verdict

Aglamesis Bros is a must-stop if you’re in the Cincinnati area. This shop resides in the Oakley neighborhood, a historic yet trendy spot outside of the downtown. Here you’ve got more excuses than just delicious ice cream to stop by for: coffee shops, boutique retailers, a local brewery, and Cincinnati’s historic Hyde Park around the corner just to name a few.

“Who can take a sunrise
Sprinkle it with dew
Cover it with chocolate and a miracle or two?…The Candy Man
Oh, the Candy Man can
The Candy Man can ’cause he mixes it with love
And makes the world taste good” –The Candy Man by Sammy Davis Jr.

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