Here's a great thing about Phoenix: It's never too cold for a chocolate milkshake. We don't need to tell you that they can instantly make a summer day more bearable, and the rest of the time, well, they're just good.
The Valley is full of frosty treats, so we've compiled a list of ten must-taste milkshakes. We'll give you the scoop (pun intended) on the three most important details: the shake, the straw, and the spot.
The shake: Chocolate milkshake -- sounds simple, but it's far from the truth. Chocolate ice cream or vanilla with chocolate sauce? Thick or thin? Toppings? The straw: Milkshake straws are serious business. It can make or break a shake experience. Thin straw with thick shake = no good. The spot: What better way to enjoy a chocolate milkshake than in an inviting atmosphere that's enjoyable both on your own and with friends?
Bertie's Vintage -- Arcadia
The shake: Chocolate lovers, this is your destination. We were told our shake was made with several different kinds of chocolate, complete with a chocolate sauce heart drizzled on top. The straw: Just right. The spot: Bertie's serves as both a retro soda fountain and a store full of all things vintage. It's easy enough to just sip your shake at the counter, but stick around and poke through the candy and racks of clothes and accessories to get the full effect.
MacAlpine's Soda Fountain -- Central Phoenix
The shake: Made right in front of you with old-school equipment, a MacAlpine's shake is super-chocolatey and is served up in a glass that fits the retro vibe. The straw: It's a little on the thin side, but it's not an issue with the long spoon provided. The spot: It's MacAlpine's -- packed with vintage signs and other trinkets, adjacent on both sides to vintage shopping. Take a seat at the counter and take everything in -- "cool stuff" is an understatement.
Sweet Republic -- Scottsdale
The shake: Thick and creamy, made with vanilla ice cream and hot fudge, and perfectly cold, a Sweet Republic shake is worth the trek from wherever in the Valley you may dwell. The straw: It's doubtful that you'll find a better one. Look at that thing! It's a work of art. The spot: Sweet Republic combines the charm of an ice cream parlor with a modern feel. Grab a nostalgic game off the shelf (we chose Connect Four) and stay a while.
Churn -- Central Phoenix
The shake: Served in a plain to-go coffee cup, a Churn chocolate milkshake doesn't have a striking appearance. But it doesn't matter, because the shake is cold and has the perfect icy texture. The straw: It's a tiny one, but the milkshake is thin enough for it to work. The spot: In addition to all the ice cream treats, Churn is stocked full of candy and other goodies that are hard to resist. The outdoor seating area in the back is charming, complete with misters and a killer music selection.
Sugar Bowl -- Scottsdale
The shake: Smooth and super-chocolatey, it's not much of a departure from your usual chocolate shake, but it's tasty and the presentation is on point. The straw: No complaints. The spot: In the middle of Old Town Scottsdale, you'll certainly be among some tourists (we were), but that's all part of the fun. Grab a spot at the counter and indulge in some people-watching.
Zinburger -- Biltmore
The shake: Zinburger is, of course, usually known for its burgers, but the Double Chocolate Mint shake is definitely worth a visit by itself. It combines vanilla ice cream, mint, and chocolate chips to make a gigantic icy treat. The straw: Perfect for the shake but difficult for getting those last few chocolate chips up. The spot: There's always something going on in the heart of the bustling Biltmore shopping scene, so it's nice to sit outside and walk around later. Make sure you grab some grub to go along with your shake, too.
Chloe's Corner -- Kierland Commons
The shake: It's big but not too heavy. Made with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce, it's far from an overdose on chocolate. The straw: Just right. The spot: Chloe's Corner serves as a mini-grocery and full food stop, complete with wine and beer. When you're done with your shake, walk it off outdoors around the Kierland Commons shops.
Nami -- Central Phoenix
The shake: Vegan friends, this one's for you. Nami's treats are still sweet, and the chocolate shake is no exception. Even milkshake-lovers who aren't vegan should give it a try. The straw: Just right. The shake is thin, so no issues here. The spot: Tucked into a little house on 7th Street, Nami is cozy and friendly. Don't take your shake to go -- grab a table and enjoy the vibe for a few minutes instead.
Pink Spot -- Central Phoenix
The shake: They'll make your shake just how you like it: with chocolate ice cream or black and white. It's thick, frosty, and sweet without being a chocolate overload. The straw: Just right. Bonus points for crazy colors, too. The spot: Drinking a shake at the Pink Spot nearly feels like you're sitting in someone's living room, between the couches and shelves of books. And to that "Don't have a cow / Have a milkshake" sign on the street: amen.
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Mary Coyle Ol' Fashion Ice Cream Parlor -- Central Phoenix
The shake: A Mary Coyle chocolate shake is super-consistent and creamy, and it's hard not to smile at the charm that comes along with it. The straw: It's right on the border of being too thin for the shake, but it'll do. The spot: Going to Mary Coyle is all about the aesthetic. The ice cream concoctions are delicious, but it's those pink striped walls, classic tunes, and poodle skirts that round out the experience.