ZAHARAKOS OLD-FASHIONED ICE CREAM PARLOR
The #1 Indiana destination
Indianapolis Monthly magazine put Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor #1 on its list of “The Top 50 Things Every Hoosier Must Do”:
“At this 110-year-old marble palace, the sundaes are hand-dipped and cherry-topped. But what makes this Columbus institution really sweet is the counter-side charm of Wilma Hare and her fellow soda jerks, who will pull you an ice cream soda the way it was in 1900 and serve it with a side of sass”
Thrillist.com named Zaharakos the best ice cream shop in Indiana, and said, “The homemade sodas and sundaes taste like a simpler time, though some of that could come from the fact that it feels like you’re eating in an ice cream museum, with much of the shop’s original fixtures in decor still intact.”
Read reviews in the news
Midwest Living magazine says...
Ginger Crichton of Midwest Living says, “The whirl of activity was mesmerizing as we walked into Zaharakos. We heard the thunk-thunk-thunk of old metal ice cream cases opening and closing. Servers dashed by carrying trays loaded with ice cream in old-fashioned clear glasses. In the back room, an organ piped out tunes. Today at Zaharakos, the food is fine—we sampled a gooey-good grilled cheese sandwich, a bowl of chili and four (!) kinds of ice cream—but nostalgia is the star. We lingered long after our last taste of raspberry chocolate chip, plunking quarters in a 1914 Banjo-Orchestra Replica, peeking into ornate Victorian-Era rooms and marveling at elaborately decorated soda fountains.”
The Chicago Sun-Times says...
The Chicago Sun-Times visited Zaharako’s when it re-opened its doors, and spoke with Tony Moravec (Zaharakos’ owner and president of a Columbus pharmaceutical company), who told them: “There’s nothing like this in the country today Lots of places have gone back to the 50s but you’re not going to find anybody who’s gone back to the turn of the century to this extent.” He also explained, “Back in the ’40s, Zaharakos is where (J. Irwin) Miller used to talk about modern design with the likes of Eero Saarinen and Charles Eames over ice cream.” (Excerpts from “Hot Fudge and History,” Chicago Sun-Times)
Historic Landmarks Foundation award...
From the Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana news release:
“Tony Moravec won recognition for his restoration of a beloved Indiana treasure, Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor in downtown Columbus. Known far and wide for its authentic vintage interior, the institution closed in 2006 after 106 years in operation and the community mourned. Moravec stepped forward to redress the loss. He not only refurbished the interior’s walnut and oak woodwork and onyx soda fountain, he also recreated a nineteenth-century storefront to replace the 1950s façade that didn’t match the authentic interior. He even bought back the 1908 Welte organ that had been sold to a California collector.”
Read reviews by visitors
Oh my gosh...
Oh my gosh!!! Such an amazing place!! An honest to God real Green River soda, made at a real soda fountain. Heaven, I could imagine my dad sitting next to me. Great lunch and delicious ice cream for desert. Totally worth a visit to Columbus, Indiana.
Ann R. Google Review, posted March 2021
Transported back in time 100 years...
A friend of mine took me here for a quick lunch and I was transported back in time 100 years. What a spectacular experience. The place operates as it did then, and with exceptional people who understand its history and how to operate all the turn of the century technology that feeds the spirit of this place. It is in pristine condition, with everything from the old fashioned soda fountain machinery to the woodwork and electrical and lighting. You can order a wide assortment of fountain drinks and ice cream treats, and they cook a mean burger too! We got a quick tour and a wonderful, unforgettable experience! If you are anywhere near Columbus, make the time to check this place out. Hats off to the management who are clearly dedicated to preserving it in top condition.
Charleston, South Carolina visitor, Tripadvisor, posted June 2020
Over the top! Photos don’t do this place justice...
Over the top! Online photos don’t do this place justice. What a step back in time, and the museum of old soda fountain dispensers is amazing.
Lakewood, OH visitor / Tripadvisor review, posted June 2018
(Best) butter pecan ice cream ever!
Just had a single scoop; I don’t think I have ever had a better scoop of butter pecan ice cream ever!
London, England visitor / Tripadvisor review
< click to explore Zaharakos >
See what bloggers think
the ultimate, free energy-burner
a great play and learning place
You may also like…
- Zaharakos feature on the Indiana Landmarks website – “Zaharakos’ remarkable authenticity caught the eye of film producer Robert Moniot, who used the ice cream parlor as the central set for his film The Ice Cream Man.”
- See what happens when The Burger Scholar attempts to recreate the iconic Gom sandwich
- From the archives – In 1980, Indianapolis Channel 6 TV anchor Howard Caldwell recorded a visit with the second generation of Zaharakos, Lewie and Manual.
- Check out the selection of kids’ books and toys at the Visitors Center Gift Shop