Milkshakes make it better. A good day, a bad day, an order of fries, sweaty summer boredom—there are few things it can’t improve. The sweet treat is timeless, unmoved from our cultural affection even as cupcake, doughnut, and fro-yo trends have come and gone. Chalk this longevity up to the drink’s simplicity: ice cream and milk. Mastery of the ratio and the ingredients is crucial; a milkshake should not be too thick (no spoons allowed) or grainy or icy or artificial-tasting or drowned in whipped cream. In a quest for Greenville’s best, we tasted chocolate milkshakes all around town, found a few standouts, and learned that you never outgrow a good milkshake.
Ice Cream Station
Chocolate shake, $4. 125 S Main St, Simpsonville
This cute walk-up shop perched next to Simpsonville’s train tracks has nailed the ratio of Happy Cow milk to ice cream, delivering a smooth shake where no single element overpowers the others.
Methodical Coffee at Landmark
Chocolate shake, $6. 207 Wade Hampton Blvd, Greenville
This indulgent milkshake doesn’t come with a tower of whipped cream; it doesn’t need it. In fact, Methodical’s deceptively simple edition tops our list for the ultimate treat—all thanks to a focus on superior ingredients. Jeni’s, the cult-favorite artisan ice cream, forms the base, and local milk finishes it off. Add coffee or chai if you want a boost.
Molly and Myles Ice Cream
Freakshake, $8. Multiple locations, Greenville
Purists think “freakshakes” topped with a dizzying smorgasbord of goodies are an abomination; fans (especially the under 12 crowd) find them delightful. If chowing through Twinkies, lollipops, rock candy, Moon Pies, and cereal to reach the milkshake waiting below sounds like a treat, stop by kid-friendly Molly and Myles, where they serve both freakshakes and regular milkshakes.
Chocolate shake, $4. 3219 Augusta Rd, Greenville
The milkshake was invented at a pharmacy in the ’30s. Greenville’s iconic Pickwick Pharmacy carries on the tradition with a delicious rendition of the classic. Made with Happy Cow milk, Pickwick’s shake tastes creamy and nostalgic with strong chocolate flavor. You can even sip it at an actual soda counter, legs dangling from shiny chrome stools.
Illustration by Timothy Banks