Have you ever been walking the streets of St. Louis, wishing you could be on an East Coast beach boardwalk instead? I hadn't realized how much of a good thing we were missing out on until I encountered Boardwalk Waffles & Ice Cream and the shop's mission to bring the boardwalk vibe to the Midwest.
Owner Eric Moore missed his hometown after moving to STL, and missed the boardwalk waffle sandwiches from his childhood even more. He decided to open a boardwalk-inspired shop, except his version would be even better: Boardwalk Waffles & Ice Cream creates fresh, homemade waffles and pairs them with local artisanal ice cream, as opposed to the Eggo waffle + from-the-tub ice cream combo sold on legit boardwalks. Spoon photographer Jenna and I had the chance to visit the new shop and taste the ultimate waffle ice cream sandwiches. Here's what you can expect:
Imagine a cute little shop set into a row of stores on Manchester Road. The area is half-residential, half-commercial, and the storefront is so tiny that I drove right past it the first time I visited.
But once you step inside, it's like you never left the coast—with the floor's distressed wooden planks reminiscent of the boardwalk itself. Black-and-white photos of actual beaches and boardwalks line the walls, and nostalgia for summer and simpler times is all too real.
But the best part about entering the shop is, of course, getting hit with the scent of freshly made waffles. A row of ice cream cases features 16 seasonal flavors, and the hot waffle irons sit right next to them, ready to go.
The ice cream flavors are all supplied locally by Serendipity Ice Cream, with rotating monthly flavors including everything from Gooey Butter Cake (inspired by the classic St. Louis pastry) to Cookie Monster (cotton-candy-flavored cookies and cream with cookie dough pieces) to Spumoni (the Italian flavor that layers ice cream with fruits and nuts), and everything in between.
You can get a plain hot waffle, a plain scoop of ice cream, or create an ice cream sandwich for the full experience. The sandwiches come in quarter, half and full orders, which translates to a quarter-waffle sandwich (with one scoop of ice cream in the middle), a half-waffle sandwich (with two scoops of ice cream), and just two full waffles with four scoops of ice cream in between them.
After sampling a few ice cream flavors, we each built a half order from our favorites: Cookie Monster and Bordeaux Black Cherry.
The Cookie Monster might not be for everyone thanks to its super sweet cotton candy ice cream base. That said, as someone who doesn't normally love super sweet foods, I can say that the cookies and cream element masked some of the cotton candy sweetness, and the cookie dough pieces added fun texture. This flavor is also a bright blue color, which makes for an awesome aesthetic.
I was surprised that I also liked the Bordeaux Black Cherry so much because I'm generally not a fan of cherry ice cream. But this version was less artificially sweet than those made with maraschino cherries and had a strong black cherry flavor that was uniquely refreshing. It was also a really pretty shade of pink, so again, we had to order it for the Insta.
The waffles themselves were easily the best part. I'm not sure about the specifics of the technique (I assume it's a trade secret), but Boardwalk's waffles managed to be both wonderfully crispy on the outside and melt-in-your-mouth fluffy on the inside. Each waffle is made to order, so you'll always get a warm, fresh one.
After our waffles and ice cream had been sandwiched together, the plate was topped off with a generous sprinkling of powdered sugar. There is also an option to drizzle a caramel, fudge or white chocolate sauce on top (for no additional charge).
I would highly recommend trying this brand new ice cream shop with a twist. The staff was both friendly and accommodating, and the waffle sandwiches were nothing short of delectable. Be prepared for the best dessert experience you've had in a while (at least, in St. Louis)—and make sure to grab lots of napkins beforehand.