Ever since glazed donuts and slices of birthday cake began topping milkshakes, the icy drinks are no longer compliments to your burger and fries—they’ve become the star of the meal. Here, seven places with elaborate milkshakes that give the classic vanillas and chocolates a run for their money.
At this Center City eatery, you’ll find a number of unique shakes, like the Brotherly Love, an homage to all the flavors Philadelphians know and love—Peanut Chews, Tastykakes, and soft pretzels. For their take on a summer campfire dessert, try the S’more Than Good. Sticking to their saloon roots, Craftsman Row creates boozy milkshakes as well, like the Velvet Lush—red wine and chocolate liquor—and the Salty Dog—a black and white shake with vodka and Frangelico. 112 S. Eighth St., 215.923.0123, craftsmanrowsaloon.com
Since its opening in 2004, Franklin Fountain has become an Old City favorite. With dozens of flavors to choose from, the possibilities are endless. Mix caramelized banana with peanut butter and top it off with house-made whipped cream or make it malted. They also have a few seasonal vegan flavors topped with fluffy coconut whipped cream. 116 Market St., 215.627.1899, franklinfountain.com
Scoop DeVille is known for their custom soft serve, so of course, their gourmet milkshakes will satisfy your sweet tooth’s cravings. Mix and match any of their flavors for a unique shake that’s all your own. Our recommendations? Black raspberry and white chocolate, or chocolate covered pretzels blended into a moose tracks shake. Order the Unicorn shake for something super sweet—cotton candy and marshmallow ice creams. Multiple locations, scoopdevilleicecream.com
Known for their cereal covered cones and sundaes, Big Gay Ice Cream has even crazier milkshakes to offer. With flavors like horchata, ginger-curry, and Tang-creamsicle, your taste buds are bound to step out of their comfort zones. 1351 South St., 267.886.8024, biggayicecream.com
This South Philly burger spot is big on milkshakes. They offer different shakes each month, so get these while you can. The honeycomb and Nutella shake blends the chocolate spread into Franklin Fountains’s honeycomb ice cream, while peanut butter enthusiasts will love peanut butter shake that’s topped with bacon. 1823 Passyunk Ave., 215.468.7865, punkburger.com
The boozy milkshakes at Cleavers are more interesting than the average vanilla and chocolate drinks. Chocolate lovers will enjoy both the Jacked Chocolate—a chocolate shake spiked with Jack Daniels—and the Cherry Bailey, a classic black and white shake finished with cherry liquor. And, if you’re celebrating, try the Birthday Surprise—birthday cake ice cream mixed with vodka. 108 S. 18th St., 215.515.3828, cleaversphilly.com
Thanks to their rich and creamy ice cream Bassetts has been a Reading Terminal hotspot for more than a century. With almost fifty flavors to choose from, any milkshake flavor is possible. Irish coffee and English toffee go well together, but salted caramel pretzel and dark chocolate are a crowd favorite. Reading Terminal Market, 45 N. 12th St., 215.925.4315, bassettsicecream.com