329 Washington Street
Columbus Indiana 47201United States
This completely restored ice-cream parlor is a perfect fit for architecture-rich Columbus.
Though they serve some sandwiches and salads, what really packs the people into Zaharakos is the atmosphere and the wonderful homemade ice cream. Patrons mix and match the eight flavors of ice cream with sauces (caramel, hot fudge, marshmallow, etc.) and toppings, including sprinkles, chocolate chips and nuts. Local favorites include the Green River soda and sloppy-Joe-inspired Gom Sandwich ($4.99). This ice cream parlor and museum, a longtime Columbus treasure, originally opened in 1900 as a candy shop. The Zaharako brothers added soda and ice cream after seeing how popular they were at the 1904 World's Fair. Like many fortunate old buildings, this one was rescued from disrepair and meticulously restored. Local businessman Tony Moravec, who acquired the business after the Zaharako family ceased to fun it, fronted his own money and traveled extensively to research period soda fountains. One outstanding feature of Zaharakos is the 40-foot marble counter with a double soda fountain, the only working one of its kind in the country. Another is the shop's original Welte pipe organ. Moravec became so interested in collecting period pieces from old soda fountains and ice cream parlors that he decided to start a collection and display it in a mini-museum adjacent to the ice cream parlor.