Savor the Flavor | 7 ice cream sundaes worth the drive

We're way past chocolate syrup as the ice cream sundae topping of choice at these spots.

Daniel Higgins , Nathan Vine , Maureen Wallenfang and Phillip Bock
A Wisconsin Historical Society marker commemorates the birthplace of the ice cream sundae in Two Rivers.

Ed Berner poured chocolate sauce over a dish of vanilla ice cream for an insistent customer in his Two Rivers soda fountain shop back in 1881 making it the first ice cream sundae — if you believe everything printed on a Wisconsin Historical Society marker. It was a moment of innovation, but soda jerks and ice cream dippers around Wisconsin have hardly stopped exploring the flavor frontier when it comes to toppings. Brownies. Crème Brûlée. Bacon. There's plenty of fun to have at these ice cream shops. 

The Original

Washington House Museum | 1622 Jefferson Street, Two Rivers |

Get a real ice cream sundae in the soda fountain replica where the ice cream treat was invented when visiting the Washington House Museum in Two Rivers.

Order the sundae that started it all in a replica of Berner's ice cream parlor that's part of the Washington House Museum.

Crash Belt Buster Brownie Sundae

Belts' Soft Serve, 2140 Division Street, Stevens Point | Facebook

The Crash Belt Buster Brownie Sundae from Belts' Soft Serve in Stevens Point.

Belt Buster Brownie Sundaes — a recent addition to Belts’ Soft Serve, now in its 37th year of serving tasty treats during the summer season in Stevens Point — feature soft serve, toppings and a big house-made brownie. One of the most popular versions is the Crash Belt Buster. House-made peanut butter sauce, peanut butter cups and hot fudge top the soft serve and brownie base. This is a case where you might want to go with a light dinner before dessert. — Nathan Vine, going out reporter, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

Vanilla Crème Brûlée Brownie

Blackwolf Run | 1111 W Riverside Drive, Kohler |

Vanilla Crème Brûlée Brownie Sundae from Blackwolf Run in Kohler.

Fire and ice? A concoction by Blackwolf Run Chef Paul Smitala combines three great flavors into one heavenly dessert. Crème brûlée, Kohler-made Kahlua ice cream is topped with brownie pieces, candied pecans, and hand-piped whipped cream. With such delicious decadence, it’s no wonder it’s the best-selling item on the menu. The restaurant, inside the Blackwolf Run golf course clubhouse, also serves breakfast, lunch and dinner — but be sure to save room for dessert. — Phillip Bock, community engagement reporter, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

Crazy Sweet Ice Cream

201 W. College Ave., Appleton (entrance on Appleton Street) |

“The Breakup” sundae at Crazy Sweet Ice Cream in Appleton has choice of ice cream flavors, chocolate chips, bits of homemade chocolate fudge, hot fudge, whipped cream and a cherry.

Call it downtown Appleton’s “sugar rush row.” Three tiny side-by-side sweets purveyors offer candy, ice cream and cupcakes. Crazy Sweet Ice Cream, the middle one, has just 10 seats. The best part of this unfussy, locally owned shop is its view from four bar-stool-height chairs along the window facing Houdini Plaza. Go weird with a “Breakfast in America” sundae with bacon crumbles and maple syrup, or “The Beer Belly” sundae with draft beer jelly beans and beer nuts. Pick your own Cedar Crest ice cream flavors to customize a dish. Sundaes are served in a to-go bowl in case you couldn’t snag a seat and have to walk with it. — Maureen Wallenfang, business reporter, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

Mud Pie

Zesty's Frozen Custard and Grill | 2639 Lineville Road, Howard; 508 Greene Ave., Allouez; 3718 Riverside Drive, De Pere |

I don't know about you, but I like a sundae that's overflowing.

Chocolate frozen custard. Hot fudge. Crushed Oreos. It's a three-headed choco monster creation any chocoholic will gladly attack. However, the gooey mallow makes this sundae more than a one-dimensional chocolate overload assault. If you're more of a peanut butter and chocolate junkie, you'll want the Peanut Butter Explosion made with peanut butter cups, peanut butter and hot fudge. There are plenty of more similar concoctions where those came from.   — Daniel Higgins, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin food and drink reporter

Classic Banana Split

South Pier Parlor | 434 S Pier Drive, Sheboygan |

A banana split from South Pier Parlor in Sheboygan.

Step back in time with a classic sundae in a turn-of-the-century-themed ice cream shop on Sheboygan’s south pier. Hot fudge, a split banana, a scoop each of vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry ice cream, all topped with pineapple, hot fudge, whipped cream and a maraschino cherry. South Pier Parlor features Petersen's Old-Fashioned Ice Cream, an award-winning staple in the Chicago area since 1919, as well as classic soda fountain drinks and fudge. — Phillip Bock, community engagement reporter, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

Door County Sundae

Not Licked Yet Frozen Custard | 4054 Wisconsin 42/Main Street, Fish Creek |

Enjoy a Door County Sundae at Not Licked Yet Frozen Custard with a view of Door County's natural beauty that is Peninsula State Park.

Hot fudge and cherries are hardly strangers to the sundae. Tart cherries? Now you know you're in Door County. Add pecans over the hot fudge, tart cherries and frozen vanilla custard, you have a nice twist on a classic that lives up to its name. There are other sundaes with playful names like, Mr. Potato Head topped with crushed potato chips, Snowball Inferno with "molten Door County cherries," and Do You Want To Build A Snowman with vanilla custard "Olaf" in a pool of melted blue moon topping. If it's not peak ice cream time, snag a chair near the creek separating Not Licked Yet from Peninsula State Park and enjoy the lush green scenery.  — Daniel Higgins, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin food and drink reporter