11. Hawaii: Downbeat Diner & Lounge
> Location: Honolulu
This diner and music venue may be known for its cocktails and craft beers, but it takes its shakes seriously, too, offering such flavors as chai tea, Oreo cookie, coconut, banana, English toffee, and Nutella. All can be made in vegan versions — and there’s also the option of adding a shot of liquor to any one of them.
12. Idaho: Fanci Freez
> Location: Boise
“Old-time burgers and shakes” promises the sign on the front of Fanci Freeze, in business at its original location since 1947 (there is a new outpost in Meridian, west of Boise). What the place brags are “Idaho’s best milkshakes” come in almost 50 flavors. Bubble gum, Butterfinger, grasshopper, M&M, graham cracker, Reese’s, and Snickers are just some of the possibilities. Order a Boston shake and get a shake topped with a sundae.
13. Illinois: Edzo’s Burger Shop
> Location: Evanston
Edzo’s features burgers and dogs plus 10 variations on fries (garlic, buffalo, truffle, etc.) — but their hand-dipped shakes in such flavors as Oreo, maple, coffee, pumpkin pie, and taffy apple, also win acclaim (not least because they cost less than $5, a bargain in milkshake terms).
14. Indiana: Bub’s Burgers and Ice Cream
> Location: Indianapolis area
With locations in the Indianapolis area (plus a food truck for catering), Bub’s advertises its “old school top quality burgers and ice cream.” The former include an elk burger as well as the standard ground chuck — both available in four sizes, from a two-ounce “Mini Bub” up to a one-pound “Big Ugly.” The hand-dipped shakes range from chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla to cookie dough, cinnamon crumb, and praline pecan, among others.
15. Iowa: Hamburg Inn No. 2
> Location: Iowa City
An Iowa City institution that dates its origins to 1948, the Hamburg Inn (now with two locations) is a must-stop for politicians campaigning in Iowa, and is the home of the Coffee Bean Caucus, in which customers drop a bean into the jar bearing their favored candidate’s name. Seven flavors of shakes are offered, from butterscotch to strawberry, with add-ins (Reese’s Pieces, Peanut M&Ms, etc.) available. Then there’s a house invention — the Pie Shake, which has been called the best dessert in Iowa: Any one of the homemade pies on offer can be blended into a shake.