Bauder Pharmacy

Review by: Michael Stern

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

Green River

Hot Fudge Sundae

Chocolate Malt

Ice Cream

Chocolate Soda

Turtle Sundae

Peppermint ice cream

Peppermint bar


Bauder Pharmacy Recipes


What do you think of Bauder Pharmacy?

One Response to “Bauder Pharmacy”

Ann Harste

March 24th, 2015

Pink Peppermint ice cream is their signature flavor and it’s my favorite ice cream. On a trip from Mpls to KC, I made a detour to check Bauder’s out. I had a hot fudge sundae with peppermint ice cream that could only have been improved by whipped cream, which they were out of that afternoon. It was only as I was leaving that I saw the peppermint bars for sale in the case: A ginormous ice cream sandwich with layers of chocolate cookie crust, hot fudge, and the signature ice cream.

So a couple of months later when I found myself back in Des Moines, I made sure to stop in specifically for a peppermint bar and it was everything I wished for. This was the last weekend before Christmas and pepperminte ice cream was flying out the door and the phone was ringing with people checking if they still had any in stock.

I will never take another trip down I-35 without a stop at Bauder’s.


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