America’s Best Soda Fountains from Coast to Coast

Feeling nostalgic? Take a trip back in time to the best soda fountains in America, where any problem can be solved with a hand-dipped root beer float.

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The Pickwick restaurant
The Pickwick via Facebook

The Pickwick

Greenville, SC

In 2007, the 1940s-era Pickwick reopened after nearly three decades to bring back its original cherry and vanilla cokes. Just as the remodel looks authentic, the menu channels decades past through mouth-watering pimento cheese sandwiches and chocolate shakes.

We picked the best malt shoppes in the U.S., too!

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Eddie’s Sweet Shop

Forest Hills, NY

A Queens institution since it opened in 1909, Eddie’s Sweet Shop is an uncompromising classic. Over 20 ice cream flavors are on-hand to more than satisfy your sweet tooth—and the legendary sundaes are massive, too. The best part? Everything, including the toppings, are made in-house.

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Doc’s Soda Fountain

Girard, IL

Part soda fountain, part museum, Doc’s Soda Fountain lets you browse old-school elixirs and remedies while a soda jerk pours you a Green River soda. This Route 66 stop is also home to Deck’s Drug Store museum, with history dating back to 1884.

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Clinton’s Soda Fountain

Independence, MO

Harry Truman used to be a soda jerker in the building that is now home to Clinton’s Soda Fountain. Though the 1988 business is a relative young ‘un, the classic interior decor and homemade phosphates promises a soda fountain experience that’s practically presidential.

Curious about the Presidents’ favorite foods? We were, too.

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66 Diner

Albuquerque, NM

With an eclectic ambiance featuring neon signs, a jukebox and Marilyn Monroe memorabilia, 66 Diner hearkens back to the days when chicken pot pie and an old fashioned milkshake were just what the doctor ordered. Feel like a king and order the Elvis, a peanut butter and banana shake.

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Moline, IL

For over 100 years, Lagomarcino’s has been wooing diners with its homemade chocolates and ice cream. Take a seat in one of the vintage booths and indulge in one of their decadent creations, like the Mississippi Marvel sundae. Be sure to get a bag of dark chocolate sea salt bark for the road.

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Highland Park Soda Fountain
Highland Park Soda Fountain via Instagram

Highland Park Soda Fountain

Dallas, TX

Step back in time at Highland Park Soda Fountain, a local presence for over a century. Here, house-made phosphates are all the rage, egg salad sandwiches are a lunch staple and the hardest question you’ll face is whether to get a lime freeze or a cherry malt.

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Leopold’s Ice Cream

Savannah, GA

You haven’t tried ice cream until you’ve been to Leopold’s, where it’s made from the same secrets used since it opened in 1919. Don’t leave without trying the owner’s signature flavor, tutti-frutti: rum ice cream with candied fruit and fresh-toasted Georgia pecans.

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Inside Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor and Museum
Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor and Museum via Instagram

Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor and Museum

Columbus, IN

Otherwise known as “The Greeks,” Zaharakos was opened in 1900 and still features the original mahogany double bar, player organ and 40-foot-long onyx soda fountain. You can’t leave without trying one of the seltzers flavored with original syrups—ranging from root beer to cinnamon coke—and a sloppy joe.

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Employee filling a take-out container
The Franklin Fountain via Instagram

The Franklin Fountain

Philadelphia, PA

At the Franklin Fountain, bow-tied waiters will walk you through the over 25 ice cream flavors, stocking the classics as well as their more modern counterparts. Think innovative offerings like green tea and teaberry gum, all served at the historic onyx soda fountain.

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Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain

Brooklyn, NY

A relative newcomer, Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain inhabits a long-closed drugstore that fuses the past and present. Grab some fresh kimchi that shares a shelf with ointment tins from the 1940s, and enjoy an updated version of a strawberry egg cream, made with local and high-quality ingredients.

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Chugwater Soda Fountain

Chugwater, WY

Wyoming’s oldest operating soda fountain, Chugwater is your destination for Oreo shakes and authentic fountain sodas—and basically anything else you might want. Along with miscellaneous supplies and beer, the hangout is renowned for its Chugwater Chili.

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Goolrick’s Pharmacy

Fredericksburg, VA

You know you’re getting the authentic experience at Goolrick’s, which is said to be the oldest continuously operating soda fountain in the nation. It hearkens back to the days when you could get a chocolate fudge sundae at your neighborhood pharmacy—and you would be remiss not to get one here.

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Shug’s Soda Fountain and Ice Cream

Seattle, WA

Set in Pike Place Market, Shug’s Soda Fountain will bring you back to simpler times—with a twist. While the ambiance and menu evokes the classic soda fountain, they’ve introduced their own flavors, like pecan praline and Earl Grey, and treats like guava floats with berry soda and banana splits with toasted caramel.

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Brent’s Drugs

Jackson, MS

If Brent’s Drugs looks familiar, it’s because it made an appearance in the award-winning movie The Help. Not that it needed any help itself to become a local landmark. Along with 50 years of experience, it’s won a following for using creative mix-ins like Nutella and ginger syrup.

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La King’s Confectionary

Galveston, TX

A true sweet tooth’s heaven: La King’s Confectionary is where malt shop meets candy shop. Grab a scoop of the butter pecan—they source it from Texas’ first ice cream manufacturer—as you watch the taffy pull or peruse the displays of chocolate, candy and fudge.

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Elliston Place Soda Shop

Nashville, TN

There’s a reason Elliston Place Soda Shop is on the National Register of Historic Places. Its orange freezes, classic egg creams, hot fudge banana sundaes and mini jukeboxes have attracted leaders and celebrities alike, and its 1950s-style interior has made it the perfect spot for video and photo shoots.

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Crown Candy Kitchen
Crown Candy Kitchen via Facebook

Candy Crown Kitchen

St. Louis, MO

Since 1913, visitors haven’t been able to resist Candy Crown Kitchen’s allure. Think butterscotch malteds, extreme sundaes and home-made chocolate candy. Still hungry? It wouldn’t be a true soda shop experience without a grilled cheese sandwich.

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Fair Oaks Pharmacy & Soda Fountain

South Pasadena, CA

Another stop along Route 66, Fair Oaks Pharmacy is a destination for old-timey kitsch and some of the best ice cream around, whether topped on a brownie or blended into a milkshake. Bring some friends: the portions are more than generous, especially on their super-sized banana splits!

Don’t miss 66 road trip recipes inspired by Route 66.

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Fort Davis exterior
Fort Davis via Facebook

Fort Davis Drug Store & Hotel

Fort Davis, TX

Combining small town and Western charm, Fort Davis is your Texas destination for milkshakes and sodas. Along with the usual pickings, they offer homemade fudge and flavored popcorn. Be sure to ask them to whip you up a chocolate coke before you leave.

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Aglamesis Brothers exterior
Aglamesis Brothers via Instagram

Aglamesis Brothers

Cincinnati, OH

With pink accents and marble-topped counters, Aglamesis Brothers has been providing the sweet stuff for over 100 years. Dine in for the nostalgic experience of ice cream dished up in an old-fashioned serving cup. Opt for something a little different and try the peach or cinnamon flavors.

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South Side Soda Shop via Facebook

South Side Soda Shop

Goshen, IN

Boasting a vintage, 1950s-diner exterior, South Side Soda Shop is home to over fifty varieties of pies, fresh seafood, Green River soda and, of course, shakes. Pair a butterscotch with one of their cheesesteaks and curly fries.

You might give South Side Soda Shop a run for their money with a homemade milkshake!

Kim Bussing
Kim Bussing is a writer and editor living in Los Angeles. She has written for publications including Reader’s Digest, Modern Farmer, Clean Plates and Vice, among others, and she is working on her first novel. She is always on the hunt for the perfect gluten-free cinnamon roll.