Ice cream shops and soda fountains across the U.S. are concocting decadent sundaes of all kinds. Some are humongous and meant to feed a dozen people or more, and come with massive price tags. But there are also plenty of reasonably sized creations that are made with unique, delicious toppings and ingredients meant as an indulgent treat for one person. Whether you’re feeding a whole group of friends or just yourself, feast your eyes on these over-the-top, YOLO ice cream sundaes.
King Kong Sundae
Sugar Factory | New York, Las Vegas, and other major cities
At the modern, over-the-top candy store and restaurant chain Sugar Factory, you can order a huge sundae designed to serve 12 people. In it are: 24 scoops of ice cream, three kinds of sauces, caramelized banana, marshmallows, chocolate chip cookie chunks, glazed donut, red velvet cupcake, five types of candy, Oreos, sprinkles, graham cracker crumbs, waffle cones, whipped cream, and sparklers so everyone will know you just paid $99 for a sundae.
Izzy’s | Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota
Modeled after the Minnesota savory casserole called hot dish — a regional favorite worth trying — the Hot Dish sundae at Izzy’s is served in a casserole dish that’s yours to keep for baking in later. Thirty-two scoops of ice cream (that’s every flavor they have in the cabinet) are layered with a cookie crust, crushed waffle cones, seven toppings, three sauces, and whipped cream. It comes with six bottles of water to wash it all down.
Five Pennies Creamery | New York
If variety is what you’re after in a sundae, head to Five Pennies Creamery. There you can order the Millionaire, which includes one scoop of each of the 36 flavors being served that day. That might include anything from pralines and cream to strawberry lemonade ice. They’re served in a big bowl lined with freshly made waffle cone discs for $70.
Ben & Jerry’s | Multiple locations from coast to coast
Some locations of the Ben & Jerry’s scoop shops serve the Vermonster, a 20-scoop sundae served in a plastic Ben & Jerry’s pail. You can get 20 different flavors of ice cream if you like, but it’s probably best to stick with a few flavors. Four chopped bananas, three cookies and a brownie, hot caramel and fudge, nuts, whipped cream, and whatever fun candy toppings you want go into this bucket. It’s endlessly customizable.
The World’s Farrell’s Zoo
Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor Restaurant | Brea, California
Remember that scene in “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” when Napoleon finishes a giant sundae and the servers present him with a “Ziggy Piggy” button? That was based on the giant sundaes served at Farrell’s. The biggest one they currently offer is called the Zoo, and it comes with 30 scoops of ice cream, strawberry, chocolate and marshmallow topping, bananas, whipped cream, and sprinkles. It’s so big, two servers are necessary to bring it to your table. The $65 price tag isn’t bad considering you probably need 10 friends to split it with.
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Beaches & Cream Soda Shop | Orlando, Florida
Disney World seems like a logical place to find giant ice cream sundaes. Head to Disney’s Beach Club Resort where the Beaches & Cream Soda Shop serves up a Kitchen Sink sundae that serves a family of four, or maybe just four very hungry kids. Five different flavors of ice cream are topped with every topping they have, including pineapple, marshmallow and hot fudge.
Mallie’s Sports Grill and Bar | Southgate, Michigan
The home of the world record 1,800-pound burger — it costs $10,000! — has a huge sundae to go with it. The Colossal sundae at Mallie’s a gallon and a half of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry ice creams topped with your choice of cookies, sprinkles, whipped cream and cherries. It’s a steal compared to the burger at only $30.
Humongous Banana Split
The Poky Dot | Fairmont, West Virginia
The quirky, vintage Poky Dot serves up a wall of ice cream in its Humongous Banana Split. Nine big scoops of ice cream are stacked precariously on top of each other in strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate flavors. Then lots of fruit, chocolate, nuts and whipped cream are poured on top. The halved banana looks a little pathetic under all that ice cream, let’s be honest.
Golden Opulence Sundae
Serendipity 3 | New York
When Serendipity 3 created the Golden Opulence Sundae, it gained the Guinness World Record for most expensive dessert in the world. What puts this $1,000 sundae over the top is edible gold leaf covering the vanilla ice cream infused with both Tahitian and Madagascan vanilla beans, rare and expensive chocolates, gold-covered almonds, candied fruits from Paris, chocolate truffles, and marzipan cherries. It’s topped with a dollop of sweet caviar and a sugar flower covered in more edible gold. The $350 Baccarat crystal goblet it’s served in is yours to keep once the sundae is gone.
I Bet You Can’t Sundae
Dylan’s Candy Bar | New York
Dylan’s Candy Bar is a dessert and candy wonderland. Their I Bet You Can’t Sundae comes with 10 scoops of ice cream in your choice of flavors, plus hot fudge, caramel, whipped cream, and sprinkles. The real fun part comes in choosing your 10 toppings, which include everything from colorful giant lollipops to cotton candy, chocolate bars, and cookies. This one is for candy lovers and comes in at $45.
Jaxson’s Ice Cream | Dania Beach, Florida
Jaxson’s is an old fashioned soda fountain full of antiques and license plates from all around the country. Its menu is full of the words “humongous” and “colossal” so you know they throw down in the sundae department. The Punch Bowl serves a dozen people for $120. It comes with your choice of 12 flavors of ice cream, plus every cold topping they have, including bananas, nuts, cherries, and a sparkler to top it all off.
The Great Pyramid
Cabot’s | Newton, Massachusetts
If you have a big group — a really big group — to feed, the Great Pyramid sundae at Cabot’s is your best bet. It feeds up to 175 people with 60 pints of ice cream covered in 12 quarts of various toppings for $270. If you’ve got fewer people to feed, there are smaller versions, too, with 10 to 36 pints of ice cream.
Bagatelle | New York
A chic French restaurant called Bagatelle in New York City sells a $1,000 Sundae. It starts with a base of brownies and cookies in a huge stemmed glass, plus gold-coated granola and chocolate chips. Chocolate-glazed vanilla and chocolate ice creams go on top, along with Dom Perignon champagne sorbet-filled profiteroles and macarons. But what really puts the price over-the-top is the $495 gold bracelet that comes along with it.
International Delight Cafe | New York
The biggest sundae offered at International Delight Cafe is called The World. It contains over 2 gallons of gelato, a ring of homemade Belgian waffle wedges for scooping it up, and unlimited toppings. Ice cream cones, chocolate covered pretzels, cookie pieces, and gummy bears all seem like popular choices.
Ava Marie Handmade Chocolates and Ice Cream | Peterborough, New Hampshire
Named after a nearby mountain peak, the Mount Monadnock sundae at Ava Marie’s includes 35 scoops of ice cream. Hot fudge, caramel, chocolate “rocks,” whipped cream and chocolate mousse top it off. If you or your group finishes the whole thing, you get your name and photo up on the wall.
Creme & Sugar | Anaheim, California
Everything is brightly colored and over-the-top at Creme & Sugar. The Unicorn Sundae is served in a big mug with cotton candy ice cream, marshmallow sauce, sprinkles, whipped cream, a candy unicorn horn, candy bracelet, and a fluff of cotton candy. Kids will love this rainbow creation of course, but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying sundae happiness like this, too.
The Creole Creamery | New Orleans and Bay St. Louis, Mississippi
The Tchoupitoulas sundae is the most outrageous on the menu at The Creole Creamery. Make sure you have someone to share it with, because it includes eight scoops of ice cream and eight toppings of your choice from a list that includes peanut butter, fresh pineapple, and M&Ms. Whipped cream, sprinkles, cherries, and their signature triangle wafer cookies top it off.
The Federal Deficit
Governor’s Restaurant | Old Town, Bangor, and four other locations in Maine
Unlike the real federal deficit, the Federal Deficit sundae is easy to swallow. It combines all of the specialty sundaes on the Governor’s Restaurant menu into one giant creation with 17 scoops of ice cream. It includes a banana split, brownie sundae and strawberry shortcake, plus six other sundaes for only $20.
Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop | San Francisco and multiple locations elsewhere
You’ll want to bring your whole family to conquer the Earthquake, a four-serving sundae at the Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shops. It starts with eight scoops of ice cream that gets eight different toppings. There’s a banana in there, along with whipped cream, almonds, and mini Ghirardelli chocolate chips for good measure. At $40, it’s an indulgent treat.
Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain | New York
The 99 Problems sundae at Brooklyn Farmacy starts out pretty typically with a warm brownie and two scoops of chocolate ice cream. But then it goes a little crazy and pours an entire super thick vanilla milkshake all over the top. Then that gets a coating of chocolate shell, chocolate shavings, whipped cream and a natural maraschino cherry.
The Lightning Rod
The Franklin Fountain | Philadelphia
The Franklin Fountain looks like it’s been around forever, though it only opened in 2004. It serves old fashioned soda fountain favorites along with some updated sundaes for modern tastes. The Lightning Rod starts with dark chocolate brownie chunks, coffee ice cream, chocolate covered espresso beans, a pretzel rod, and whipped cream. A shot of espresso is poured over the whole thing and gives its eaters a jolt of energy.
Oops! I Dropped My Ice Cream
Barton G | New York, Chicago, and other major cities
At Barton G, a surreal, playful restaurant, customers can order a massive 4-foot-tall ice cream sundae. The Oops! I Dropped My Ice Cream sundae is shaped like an upside down ice cream cone that was dropped on a beach of graham cracker sand. It’s made with vanilla cake, fresh strawberry ice cream, chocolate crumble and chocolate frosting, plus the flaky cinnamon and sugar cone. Ordering it will set you back $250.
Miami Coppelia Ice Cream | Miami
Cuban culture permeates Miami, including their ice cream shops. At Miami Coppelia, order the Copa Lolita sundae, which comes with a creamy caramel flan, two scoops of ice cream of your choice, and any toppings you want, like chocolate sauce or crumbled cookies. It’s modeled after an ice cream shop of the same name in Havana, and carries popular flavors that are otherwise hard to find in the U.S. like mamey, a fruit native to Cuba and Central America.
Sundae of the Month
Kopp’s Frozen Custard | Greenfield, Brookfield and Glendale in Wisconsin
Kopp’s sells custard, a frozen treat that’s denser and creamier than ice cream and made fresh all day long right behind the counter. Each month they serve a different three-scoop specialty sundae in flavors like strawberry shortcake, dinosaur tracks with peanut butter and malt powder, and tiramisu with homemade tiramisu-flavored whipped cream. For April, they’re serving up the Dinosaur Tracks sundae, featuring three scoops of Swiss chocolate custard, topped with swirls of peanut butter, fudge covered peanuts, and a dusting of malt powder.
San Francisco Creamery | Walnut Creek, California
Made famous on an episode of Man v. Food, the Kitchen Sink sundae at San Francisco Creamery is served in a custom-made wood and pipe sink. It includes eight huge scoops of ice cream along with three bananas, eight servings of toppings, whipped cream, toasted almonds, and cherries. If one person finishes it in under an hour, they get their photo up on the Wall of Fame.
Belgian Waffle Works
Twohey’s | South Pasadena, California
Who needs waffle cones when you can have hot, crisp Belgian waffles instead? At Twohey’s, a soda fountain established in 1943, try the Belgian Waffles Works sundae. It starts with a thick waffle for a sturdy base and is topped with baked apples, three scoops of vanilla ice cream, hot caramel and whipped cream. Sounds like a great breakfast.
Note: Twohey’s original Alhambra location has closed, but the new South Pasadena location is expected to open in June of 2019.
The Loop | Westminster and three other California cities
The Loop, a cafe that serves big, looped churros, also makes churro sundaes. Vanilla soft serve is used so the churro loop can be stuck into it, making for a dramatic and Instagrammable creation. Get any combination of toppings or churro glazes and coatings you like, or choose from one of the specialties, like the Creme Bruloop Chilled with a caramelized churro and berries on the ice cream.
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