The 10 Best Old-Fashioned Soda Fountains in America

Visiting an old-fashioned soda fountain is like jumping back in time. Luckily these American treasures have been reserved across the country, some of them open and running for up to 100 years.

We've gathered up the 10 best old school soda fountains to visit around the US. Pop on in, grab a coca-cola or an ice cream and take a spin on the upholstered stools. The setting is so cheerful, mostly due to the charming original decor.  

1. The Pickwick in Greenville, South Carolina

This family-run business pre-dates World War II. Though the soda fountain closed down in the 1980s, it was repurchased in 2007 and fully restored so you can still stop in for an old fashioned strawberry malt and enjoy the 1940s style menu.

2. Eddie's Sweet Shop in New York City, New York

Open since 1909, this soda fountain has been a staple in its local community with its root beer floats and soft drinks. Everything is homemade in this little corner shop in Queens.

3. Doc's Soda Fountain in Girard, Illinois

The soda fountain was added in 1929 to the historic drug store that had opened in 1884. After its original family retired, it was reopened by a new family in 2007 with a museum extension displaying items from the 1800s. They are still dishing out old school fountain drinks and yummy shakes and pies.

4. Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor and Museum in Columbus, Indiana

This ice cream parlor is over 100 years old and makes you feel like you're drinking a coke in the early 20th century. Known as one of the top destinations in Indiana, most of the old structure is still intact, which pairs perfectly with the shop's milkshakes and banana splits.

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5. Leopold's Ice Cream in Savannah, Georgia

This historic shop was opened by three brothers from Greece in 1919. They started their shop after masting the candy and dessert making craft from an uncle who had already moved to America. Now the shop is a Savannah institution, where they continue making handcrafted ice cream with secret recipes that have been passed down through the generations.

6. Highland Park Soda Fountain in Dallas, Texas

Unfortunately after 106 years, this historic spot in Dallas closed down. I spent many an afternoon as a child enjoying a grilled cheese and chocolate shake in the pharmacy, so I was devastated to hear that it closed in 2018. There are potential plans to reopen following construction on the block. Hopefully, we haven't seen the last of Highland Park Soda Fountain.

7. St. Francis Soda Fountain in San Francisco, California

Initially opened in 1918 as a luncheonette, the owners — Greek immigrants — expanded the shop in 1947 to include the soda fountain. You can order an egg cream or shake and shop the kitschy gifts they have to offer.

8. The Franklin Fountain in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

While only open since 2004, the shop opened by the Berley Brothers has created an ideal historical ice cream shop with over 25 original flavors to enjoy.

9. Brent's Soda Fountain in Jackson, Mississippi

This local soda fountain has been dishing out quality burgers and shakes to Jackson residents since 1946.

10. Elliston Place Soda Shop in Nashville, Tennessee

This little shop is Nashville's oldest operating restaurant. Open since the early 1900s, it's a registered historic location which makes it a must-visit if you find yourself in Nashville.

This article was originally published in 2019. 

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