Fun Spot in Iowa: Wilton Candy Kitchen

Wilton Candy Kitchen, Iowa© 2009 Images in InkThe past lives on in a soda fountain that first opened its doors in 1856

310 Cedar St., Wilton

If you are driving past Wilton, make a quick hop off I-80 and treat yourself to an old-fashioned lunch or dessert at the Candy Kitchen.

Built in 1856, it is considered to be the oldest soda fountain/ice-cream parlor in the nation. The “updated” establishment dates from 1910, when immigrant Gus Nopoulos began churning ice cream and making chocolate candies. Today shaded by a red- and white-striped awning, the shop is run by one of his descendants, the charming George Nopoulos. This shop is an example of Genuine Americana, a small-town soda fountain where ice cream is king.

Slide into an old-fashioned booth or sit at the counter to watch George push levers as he smothers first-rate ice cream with fresh syrup flavors. Vats of ice cream, carbonated soda waters, and waffle cones are all “homemade” at the shop, a rarity these days. Butter brickle and cherry pecan are just two of the unique flavor combinations for ice creams here, and a specialty of the house is the “dipsy doodle” soda, a concoction made with six flavors.

Open daily year-round.

(563) 732-2278

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