20 Ice Cream Sundaes to Try Before You Die
To be completely honest, we'd gladly eat ice cream any time of year. But when a summer heatwave hits we become downright obsessed with all manner of cool treats. And so, in celebration of the season, we've compiled this list of the biggest and best ice cream sundaes across this fair country. P.S.: we're not saying you have to plan a road trip to try them all, but we also wouldn't blame you if you did.
1. The Cake Shake
Black Tap Craft Burgers & Bar | New York, NY
When does a milkshake qualify as a sundae? Oddly enough, when it comes topped with an entire slice of rainbow funfetti cake. You'd never know by the name, but this Midtown spot is most famous for its outrageous milkshakes, which seem to defy gravity as they arrive on tables bearing massive quantities of whipped cream, cookies, candies, and other toppings.
Original photo by Mallie's Sports Bar and Grill; photo edits by Mark Mills for Guide
2. The Colossal
Mallie's Sports Bar and Grill | Southgate, MI
Start with a gallon and a half of Neapolitan ice cream, then add chocolate syrup, whipped cream, sprinkles, nuts, cherries, and about a dozen chocolate chip cookies, and you get this aptly named sundae. If that's not enough to fill you up, Mallie's is also home to the world's largest commercially available burger, which tips the scales at around 300 pounds.
3. The Vermonster
Ben & Jerry's | Burlington, VT (and other locations)
Ben & Jerry don't do fancy sundaes. They know their ice cream speaks for itself, so they simply pile 20 scoops of your choice into a plastic bucket, then add four whole bananas, three whole chopped up cookies and one brownie, hot fudge and/or caramel, whipped cream, and two scoops of your four favorite toppings. The smartest part about it? The bucket has a handle, which will come in handy when you're lugging it from the counter to your seat.
4. The Royal George
Margie's Candies | Chicago, IL
Original photo by Cabot's; photo edits by Mark Mills for Guide
5. The Great Pyramid
Cabot's Ice Cream & Restaurant | Newton, MA
The best way to describe the Great Pyramid Sundae is by the numbers: 60 pints of ice cream, 12 quarts of toppings, and countless toppings and sauces make up a massive mountain of dessert we'd gladly find ourselves entombed in. Oh, and the bowl it's served in? It's nearly two feet in diameter.
6. The Punch Bowl
Jaxson's Ice Cream Parlour | Dania Beach, FL
Another sundae designed for a dozen, the punch bowl sundae at this famous shop includes your choice of 12 different flavors of ice cream and as many toppings as you like, including bananas, whipped cream, nuts, cherries, and sparklers.
7. Kitchen Sink
San Francisco Creamery | Walnut Creek, CA
San Francisco Creamery's kitchen sink sundae isn't the first to bear that name, nor is it the first to come served in an actual sink. But it does come with one really good perk: staff will time you as you eat the 8-scoop, 8-topping behemoth, and if you beat the current best time, you win free ice cream for an entire year.
Original photo by Liz Steger; photo edits by Mark Mills for Guide
8. The Golden Opulence
Serendipity 3 | New York, NY
Serendpity is most famous for its frozen hot chocolate, but those looking for a little (okay, a lot) more indulgence can dig into a sundae topped with 23 karat gold leaf and made with the world's most expensive chocolate. Not only will you need to shell out $1,000 for the rare treat, but you'll need to order 48 hours in advance since a number of the ingredients need to be flown in from other parts of the world, including exotic candied fruits from Paris and a rare dessert caviar.
9. Nicole's Peanut Butter Cup
Leatherby's Family Creamery | Sacramento
Sure, there are bigger sundaes on the Leatherby's menu, but one look at the homemade hot fudge and peanut butter sauce brimming over the sides of this sweet-and-salty sundae and we were totally won over. The whole thing starts with a chocolate cake base, upon which, mounds of chocolate ice cream are heaped, before a final coating of sauces, whipped cream, and a cherry.
10. The King Kong
The Sugar Factory | Las Vegas, NV
Bring 11 of your closets friends to help you take down this showstopper of an ice cream sundae (it's intended for parties of 12). You'll need all the help you can get to tackle 24 scoops of ice cream, caramel, hot fudge, strawberry sauce, sliced bananas, cookies, toasted marshmallows, crushed waffle cones, whipped cream, toasted walnuts, and countless candy toppings. Giant lollipops and lit sparklers provide a finishing touch—this is Vegas, after all.
Original photo by Kristen Loken; photo edits by Mark Mills for Guide
11. The Banana Special
Fenton's Creamery | Oakland, CA
Sometimes you just want to enjoy a classic banana split. And sometimes, you want a classic banana split made with no less than three pounds of ice cream. Enter: the banana special, a banana split so perfect, the Food Network named it the #1 dessert in America.
12. The Sabrina Sundae
Barton G | Miami, FL and Los Angeles, CA
Served in a super-sized silver martini glass and topped with sparklers (which seems to be a trend on this list), you might think the Sabrina sundae is the most outrageous thing on Barton G's menu. But you'd be dead wrong. From mac and cheese that's delivered in a giant mousetrap to popcorn shrimp that's delivered in an actual movie theater popcorn machine, the dishes here are so outrageous that a sundae loaded with enough ice cream, brownies, and toppings to serve six people seems like a mere after thought.
13. Train Wreck
Whistle Stop Cafe | Ferguson, MO
The train wreck sundae may be a tad bit smaller than many of the sundaes on this list, but it stands out for one reason: there's no ice cream involved. Instead, the 13-scoop dessert is made with frozen custard, not to mention hot fudge and two whole pounds of whipped cream. Finish it all in under a half-hour and you'll win a $25 gift card and your photo on the wall of fame.
14. Hot Dish Sundae
Izzy's Ice Cream Cafe | St. Paul, MN
Original photo by Lindy's & Gertie's; photo edits by Mark Mills for Guide
15. The Beast Sundae
Lindy's & Gertie's | Bridgeview, IL
Lindy's & Gertie's is a 116-year-old Chicago institution, a throwback soda fountain and ice cream shop that also happens to be known for its award-winning chili. Any one of the shop's specialty ice cream sundaes, Boston sodas, or extra-thick shakes and malts is worth a drive, but only one sundae on the menu may make it impossible for you to fit back into your car after you finish it. The shop's Beast sundae is an 18-scoop monstrosity that comes topped with six (yes, six) bananas, two apples, brownies, vanilla wafers, several sauces, cherries, and real whipped cream. Finish it, and you'll et a T-shirt, your photo on the wall, and a free meal (assuming you're ever hungry again).
16. Farrell's Zoo Party Sundae
Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour | Buena Park, CA
The menagerie of toy animals that decorate this dessert are what makes it stand out. Well, that and the 30 scoops of ice cream. Rounding out the zoo are three toppings: chocolate, strawberry, and marshmallow, plus bananas, nuts, whipped cream, and cherries. It takes two people to deliver it to your table, and twice as many people (at least) to finish it.
Hollywood Cone | Toronto, ON
You're in charge of just how outrageous your sundae gets at Hollywood Cone... and it can get pretty outrageous pretty fast. That's 'cuz the menu allows you to pile on extras like donuts (plural), slabs of strawberry shortcake, slices of cheesecake or coconut cream pie, cookie dough, pop tarts, and more. Oh, and you can also get them all atop a shake, if that's more your speed.
18. Honey Toast
Dazzling Cafe | Richmond, BC
Move over avocado toast: honey toast is the new toast, according to this Singapore-based cafe, which now boasts locations in Canada. The enormous stacks of thick-cut toast are topped with decadent toppings such as whipped cream, chocolate sauce, sliced strawberries, and, yes, ice cream. Despite not being a sundae, exactly, we felt this ice cream-topped deserved mention just for being a bit... unusual. Side note: this makes it totally okay to eat ice cream for brunch, right?
19. The Comfy Cow Sundae Challenge
The Comfy Cow | Louisville
If you want to enjoy this sundae free of charge, you'll have to eat fast. The Comfy Cow's ice cream challenge dares diners to devour 15 scoops of ice cream and four sidecars worth of toppings (plus, like 10 maraschino cherries) in just an hour. If you win: a t-shirt, waived bill, and photo on the wall of fame await. If you fail, that's okay, you still get something: the bill. That unfinished sundae will cost you around $40.
20. Titanic Sundae
Carmine's Italian Restaurant | Atlantic City, NJ
Consider this one sinking ship you don't want to be saved from. Carmine's Titanic sundae really does resemble the famous steamship, thanks to the pirouette cookies standing in for smokestacks. The rest of this modern marvel is made from six scoops of ice cream, caramelized fruit, whipped cream, and hot fudge, all stacked upon a chocolate torte foundation. Expect to send out an S.O.S. by the time you're halfway through (and tell them to bring spoons).