36. Oklahoma: Tucker’s Onion Burgers
> Location: Oklahoma City area
The onion burger — in which thin-sliced onions are pressed into the ground meat — is an Oklahoma specialty dating from the 1920s. Tucker’s, with three locations in Oklahoma City and one in nearby Norman, dates only from 2011, but its version of the specialty are well-regarded, and its hand-dipped shakes are considered the perfect accompaniment. There’s not a lot of variety — just chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry plus rotating seasonal flavors (like birthday cake, on the menu now to celebrate the restaurant’s 10th anniversary).
37. Oregon: Mike’s Drive-in
> Location: Milwaukie and Oregon City
With two locations in communities south of Portland, Mike’s offers shakes made from soft-serve ice cream, in such flavors as Hershey chocolate, Mayan chocolate, marshmallow root beer, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup coffee latte, and hot fudge banana peanut butter Oreo. Low-fat yogurt shakes are also available.
38. Pennsylvania: The Milk Shake Factory
> Location: Pittsburgh
“[W]e obsess over our recipes in order to create magical milkshake experiences,” brags the Milk Shake Factory on its website. In addition to six flavors of classic shake, six dairy-free vegan versions, and six signature shakes (chocolate peanut butter, cookies & cream, etc.), the Factory suggests a dozen different gourmet milkshakes — among them caramel macchiato (cold-brew coffee, caramel, whipped cream, and espresso sea salt caramel) and fried ice cream (vanilla with clover honey, sugar, and cinnamon, topped with whipped cream, fried ice cream sprinkles, and a maraschino cherry).
39. Rhode Island: Newport Creamery
> Location: Middletown and other locations
A mini-chain with 10 Rhode Island locations and two in Massachusetts, Newport Creamery grew out of a dairy business opened in Newport in 1928. The owners got into the ice cream trade in 1940, opening a “milk bar” in Middletown, next door to Newport, and grew their empire from there. The food menu is extensive today — burgers, quesadillas, 10 grilled cheese variations, chicken sandwiches, and more — but the Awful Awful shakes are a signature. Happily, the phrase is short for “awful big, awful good.” Flavors include cotton candy, bubble gum, Choc O’ Nutter, and strawberry banana chip — and if you can drink three, you get a fourth one free.
40. South Carolina: Kaminsky’s Dessert Café
> Location: Charleston and other locations
Shakes here are made with three scoops of Greenwood vanilla bean ice cream, enhanced with anything from chocolate syrup to a shot of espresso, pieces of candy bar (Heath Bar, Butterfinger, or Reese’s), or pretzels, caramel, and sea salt. Kaminsky’s has two Charleston area cafés and one in Columbia.