Ted Drewes

Ice Cream Parlor
Worth driving from anywhere!

Ted Drewes, a former tennis pro, began selling custard with a traveling carnival in 1929 and opened his first custard stand on Route 66 in St. Louis the next year. It was not until 1959 that his son, Ted, Jr., came up with the product that has become the signature dish here and a specialty now copied by soft-serve joints coast to coast: the concrete.

How it began: Pestered by a neighborhood boy named Steve Gamber, who never was satisfied with how thick his milk shake was, the younger Drewes made a shake with no milk whatsoever, just custard and flavoring. He handed it to Gamber upside down, dubbing his creation a “concrete” because at the time many St. Louis ice cream shops were selling extra-thick drinks that they called “cement shakes.” Of course, concrete is stronger than cement.

Today Ted Drewes has two locations, both of them mobbed all summer long with happy customers spooning into huge cups full of the creamy-smooth delight. It must be noted that technically, Drewes’ product is not ice cream. It is frozen custard, meaning it is egg rich and ultra creamy. There’s nothing more purely dairy-delish than vanilla, but you can mix it with your choice from a list of dozens of different flavoring agents from chocolate and strawberry to fudge, cherries, cookies, nuts, and candy bars.

If you are far away and seriously crave this superb super-ice cream (as is the case for many St. Louis expatriates), Ted Drewes is equipped with dry ice to mail-order custard anywhere you need it.

What to Eat
Ted Drewes, Blueberry Concrete
Blueberry Concrete
Whole blueberries make a blueberry concrete all the more defiant of any gauge straw.
Ted Drewes, Tirramizzou Concrete
Tirramizzou Concrete
The Tirramizzou concrete is packed with chocolate and pistachios.
Directions and Hours
closed now
Sunday11 am - 11 pm
Monday11 am - 11 pm
Tuesday11 am - 11 pm
Wednesday11 am - 11 pm
Thursday11 am - 11 pm
Friday11 am - 11 pm
Saturday11 am - 11 pm
This restaurant is featured in the following eating tours.
12 stops | 420 MILES | 7 hr 37 min

In 1946, when Bobby and Cynthia Troup drove their Buick convertible from the East to the West coast in hopes of finding a future writing songs, Cynthia suggested to Bobby that he write one about Route 40. But Bobby found Route 40 boring. When they got to Illinois and hit Route 66, something clicked. Bobby…

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What a yummy trip it is to eat one's way from Chicago to L.A. along old Route 66! This tour of 21 excellent stops along the way includes some that are directly on the old road as well as a few that are worthy short detours. None require a reservation, all are easy on the…

5 stops | 33 MILES | 54 min

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Summer, Spring
Meals Served
Credit Cards Accepted
Alcohol Served
Outdoor Seating

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