Bauder Pharmacy

Ice Cream Parlor | Pharmacy Lunch Counter | Sandwich Shop | Soda Fountain
One of the best

Bauder’s ice cream is famous in Iowa, especially so among people who attend the annual state fair, where it is a highlight of the endlessly good grazing grounds near the show pavilion. Year around, the pharmacy is a place to come for a cherry Coke, a Green River, or a lime phosphate. You can indulge in a turtle sundae (caramel, nuts and hot fudge topping), as well as shakes, malts, sodas, and floats of every stripe. All the ice cream treats are made from Bauder’s own ice cream, the flavor rotation of which includes fresh strawberry and peach in the summer months.

Ice cream is Bauder’s claim to fame, but it is also a nice place for a sandwich: cold cuts, hot Reubens and fried eggs, or a “Roosevelt Special” of turkey, Swiss and mustard on a long roll.

The nostalgic reverberations of this old drug store take you back to an America that long predates modern franchised restaurants. Ice cream became part of the pharmacy repertoire shortly after World War II, when it was hand-cranked up front in the window where passers-by could watch.

What to Eat
Bauder Pharmacy, Hot Fudge Sundae
Hot Fudge Sundae
Bauder Pharmacy's peppermint ice cream bars are legendary at the Iowa State Fair. They don't sell them at the store, but the young man working the soda fountain suggested I try a peppermint sundae with hot fudge sauce, which he called the next best thing!
Bauder Pharmacy, Chocolate Malt
Chocolate Malt
A just-made chocolate malt (buffetbuster photo)
Bauder Pharmacy, Ice Cream
Ice Cream
You know it's summer when Bauder's offers fresh peach and fresh strawberry ice cream. Dreamy!
Bauder Pharmacy, Chocolate Soda
Chocolate Soda
A beautifully-made chocolate soda
Bauder Pharmacy, Turtle Sundae
Turtle Sundae
I'm not sure why, but turtle sundaes are always better in the heartland. There is nothing spectacular about this one, except for its perfection.
Bauder Pharmacy, Peppermint ice cream
Peppermint ice cream
When I was there before the holidays, locals were coming in one after the other and leaving with multiple quarts of peppermint ice cream. Evidently it is a tradition in Des Moines.
Bauder Pharmacy, Peppermint bar
Peppermint bar
Bauder's famous peppermint bar is available at the pharmacy year round, but there is nothing like indulging in one at the Iowa State Fair.
Green River
Directions and Hours
closed now
This restaurant is featured in the following eating tours.
6 stops | 16 MILES | 39 min

Even if you are not in town for the annual Iowa State Fair, which offers days worth of good food, Des Moines is a city of eating opportunities far more colorful than suggested by its old nickname, "Hartford of the West." After coffee and a mighty cinnamon roll at Java Joe's Coffee House, a visit…

5 stops | 239 MILES | 3 hr 53 min

Interstate 80 is the most efficient East-West route between New Jersey and San Francisco, but long stretches of it are a culinary wasteland. Not Iowa, where memorable heartland eats are within striking distance of the highway. Just west of the Quad Cities, the utterly charming Wilton Candy Kitchen just may be the oldest soda fountain…

Open Year Round
Meals Served
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Credit Cards Accepted
Alcohol Served
Outdoor Seating

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