Upland, Indiana’s Claim to Fame: Ivanhoes!

There really isn’t much going on in tiny Upland, Indiana (pop. 3845, as of 2010). It’s a small, rural town, the kind which are disappearing quickly as the United States becomes more and more urbanized, with younger generations leaving for jobs and excitement elsewhere. But that isn’t to say that there isn’t ANYTHING going on in Upland. Labor Day parades, Christmas festivals, and baseball—the events and pasttimes associated with small-town America—are still very much alive here. It’s a pleasant place that harkens back to our perceptions of times less complicated. It’s also the worst place in the world for someone who has difficulty making decisions.


Huh??? What on earth do I mean by that? Well, dear readers, by “that”, I mean Ivanhoes, Upland’s claim to culinary fame. Burgers, breaded pork tenderloin sandwiches, tater tots that they’ll fry extra-crispy for you if you ask them—as fun to eat as those things are, though, it’s the ice cream selections that can immobilize even the most disciplined, most decisive person. Ivanhoe’s, you see, offers 100 different shakes and 100 different sundaes. To wit:

  • Black Forest Shake: a chocolate shake with chocolate cookie crumbles and maraschino cherries
  • Muddy Snickers Shake: a shake with chopped-up Snickers&#174 and fudge
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Sundae: soft vanilla ice cream with hot fudge, peanut butter, and crushed pretzels
  • Strawberry Flip Shake: strawberry shake topped with a scoop of strawberry ice cream topped with more strawberries
  • GRReat Scott Sundae: vanilla ice cream with frosted flakes and butterscotch
  • S’mores Shake: vanilla ice cream/marshmallow sauce blend with crushed graham crackers and chopped Hershey’s&#174 bar

If the sampler above has put you in the mood for a challenge, you could always join Ivanhoes 100 Club, in which you’re given a card with 100 numbers. Order a shake or sundae and the staff will validate your card for that particular choice. Successfully eat all 100 varieties and your name is added to the 100 Club plaque displayed at the eatery. This accomplishment will also net you a 100 Club t-shirt so that you can proudly show the world that you have mastered the art of sundae/shake eating. The rules do also state that YOU must be the person eating these, so no collaborating with your friends or family.


Upland is just a short drive off I-69, so if you are headed north to Michigan or south to Indianapolis, it’s worth the short detour. Just a note—on a beautiful day, don’t be surprised to see the line out the door.


Upland, Indiana
Even Garfield enjoys ice cream at Ivanhoes!

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