Audrey and Harry Lesner, otherwise known as The Budget Savvy Travelers, are full-time travelers and digital nomads. Born and raised in Chicago, their passion to show others how to break free without breaking the budget. They are the proud winners of the 2019 Top Budget Travel Blog.
If you’re looking for a fancy ice cream parlor, you won’t find it here. Instead, you’ll find a simple walk-up window with no place to sit—but quite possibly one of the world’s best ice creams. In fact, Ted Drewes Frozen Custard won the annual World Ice Cream Index Challenge in 2016.
The Ted Drewes Frozen Custard stand opened along Route 66 in 1929 and its constant stream of customers hasn’t stopped since. The frozen custard shop became so busy that a second location was opened about 4 miles away. The St. Louis company has become so popular that members of this family-run business are treated as local celebrities. This is because they are often featured in the media in newspapers, regional news reports, and online articles.
While their hot fudge sundae has always been a crowd-pleaser, most people seek out Ted’s “concrete” custard. The frozen custard is made with eggs and honey and becomes so thick that it’s playfully served upside down. The Route 66 location is considered a major tourist attraction. It draws in everyone traveling down the famous road, including European tourist buses, classic-car buffs, and road-tripping families.
Ted Drewes is so popular in St. Louis that vending machines in Lambert-St. Louis International Airport sells its “concrete” custard. Also, many local grocery shops and stores sell cups, pints, and quarts of its locally-famous custard.
During the holiday season, the custard stand also doubles as a Christmas tree lot. Each October, the family travels to their tree farm in Nova Scotia where they choose the finest trees to bring back to sell to the local community. The trees are sold from the day after Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve. The tree lot has become so popular that the family sells about 4,500 Canadian Balsam Firs, Fraser Firs, Scotch Pines and White Pines each year.
Blue Drewes by Philip Leara via Flickr (Public Domain).