Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
1 W Bridge St.
Dublin, OH 43017
Sun-Thurs: 12:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Fri-Sat: 12:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
There’s two main variables in ice cream: quality and type of ingredients. Thanks to these two things there are innumerable flavors, limited only by imagination.
If you sample two ice creams of the same flavor but with different quality of ingredients next to each other the differences are almost guaranteed to be prominent – the higher quality ingredients will shine and give the best flavors possible.
I’ve made my own ice cream before, experimenting with ingredients and flavors, and have come to a few conclusions. The best ice creams use quality ingredients. For example, using Snowville Creamery’s grassfed creams (our favorite!) or using the whole vanilla bean pod over vanilla extract for a vanilla ice cream base.
Which is why we love Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams: the perfect example of quality ingredients and ingenuity in ice creams.
It started in Columbus’ North Market in 2002 – where Jeni opened her first shop. Using Snowville Creamery’s grassfed cream, local produce and carefully-sourced high quality ingredients Jeni crafts ice creams, sorbets and frozen yogurts so delicious they demand you stop for a moment to take in all of the flavors.
Today Jeni’s has multiple scoop shops around Columbus, Cleveland and even Tennessee along with being carried in grocery stores from coast to coast. Jeni has even written a book: Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams At Home. We’ve loved the ice creams we had bought at the store but when we had the chance to stop by the Dublin, Ohio scoop shop we just couldn’t pass it up.
The interior is bright, fun and down-to-earth with its warm wood tables, milk-bottle chandelier and origami lights strung across the ceiling.
Picking a flavor of ice cream at Jeni’s is a challenge. The signature flavors are anything but usual – such as the Salty Caramel, Brambleberry Crisp, Goat Cheese with Red Cherries, Bangkok Peanut or even the Pistachio and Honey. Don’t even get me started on the seasonal flavors.
Thankfully the girls behind the counter were patient and helpful, explaining all the flavors and letting us sample just about every one of them.
Jeni’s first flavor, the Queen City Cayenne, takes inspiration from Cincinnati. The Queen City Cayenne at first is a cool, sweet, silky milk chocolate that leaves a spicy aftertaste. It’s so delicious you’ll want to keep eating it – and to also cool your tongue.
One of the most notable flavors was the Goat cheese with Red Cherries ice cream. Rich and tangy Mackenzie Goat Cheese from northern Ohio combined with the sweet and tart red cherries makes this flavor nearly impossible to put down. I know you may be wondering, “Goat cheese? In ice cream? Who does that?” Jeni’s does. And it’s perfect.
Some of our other favorites were the Salty Caramel with it’s complex combination of rich burnt sugar and salted caramel, the Black Coffee which is the purest coffee ice cream we’ve ever had, and the Bangkok Peanut which starts with smooth peanut butter and coconut flavors and finishes with a sharp kick of cayenne.
The best way to eat Jeni’s ice creams, in our opinion, is to get the waffle cone and two different flavors. Thanks to the samples and the helpful staff, picking two different but complimenting flavors – like Black Coffee and Salty Caramel – is an amazing way to enjoy the best of the purest ice creams.
My personal favorite two flavors, however, are the Whiskey and Pecans and the Pistachio and Honey.
The Whiskey and Pecans features Oyo Whiskey by Middle West Spirits in Columbus. The whiskey, made from Ohio-grown 100% soft red winter wheat and aged in oak barrels. Middle West Spirits has distilled small batches of whiskey and vodka since 2010. The whiskey flavor in the ice cream is perfectly balanced and not over-bearing, and has a butterscotch flavor. The toasted salty pecans offer a satisfying crunch and contrast to the sweet cream.
Pure pistachio flavor and the light sweetness of the honey make the Pistachio and Honey ice cream taste like, well, pistachio and honey. It’s a no-nonsense, no-fake colors or fake flavors and uncomplicated. It’s a simple flavor, but it’s the purity and minimalism that really brings out the flavors and allows them to shine. It’s a must-try flavor.
Pureness is a theme here – Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams are simple with only one or two star flavors to bring out the most in the ingredients rather than hiding them in a mish-mash of everything. Quality is also a theme here, even the simplest of flavors – the almighty vanilla – is a divine experience. We highly suggest everyone tries Jeni’s – ideally at a scoop shop but a store-bought pint is good too. The high quality and care that went into crafting the ice creams is reflected in the price – but it’s worth it. At the very least, try it on a special occasion.
Have you had Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams? What’s your favorite flavor? Share your thoughts and favorite ice cream in the comments below!
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Verdict: Pure Ice Cream Perfection
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, based in Columbus, make delicious ultra-high-quality ice creams worthy of a trip all on their own. The business has grown to multiple locations in Ohio, one in Tennessee and is carried in stores from coast to coast.
The ice cream Jeni’s makes feature cream from Snowville Creamery near Athens, Ohio, local produce and the highest-quality specialty ingredients possible. The result are the pure, clear flavors unlike any other. The ice creams are expensive, but worth every penny.