Milkshakes are delicious, refreshing and fun to drink — a perfect summertime diversion. Take a look at menus around Atlanta, and you’ll find that the soda fountain classic never seems far from the minds of locals. From towering architectural marvels to simple, hand-spun treats, milkshakes are popular at a wide variety of restaurants around town.
Interesting versions can be found in Latin American sweet shops that highlight tropical flavors, Asian joints that employ unique blending techniques or trendy downtown boutiques that favor indulgence and excess. If you live in Atlanta, you won’t have to travel far to find a shake with some international flair.
My Fair Sweets
At this popular downtown dessert shop, Atlantans have an opportunity to experience milkshakes as imagined by professional cake decorators. Advertised as the home of “over-the-top freak shakes,” My Fair Sweets holds nothing back when building its signature dessert. Each shake is capped with a Mount Everest-like peak of whipped cream carefully extruded from a piping bag. On some shakes, sugary breakfast cereals take the place of traditional sprinkles; Cookie Crisp is on the Milk and Coooookies shake while Cinnamon Toast Crunch matches the Caramel Churro Shake. And rest assured, whatever the theme of the shake is, you’ll get that too, whether it’s a full-sized doughnut on the Cheat Day or a whole cupcake added onto the Red Velvet. “Pulp Fiction’s” Vincent Vega might be shocked by the $10 per shake price tag, but in this case, the shakes are so much more.
231 Mitchell St. SW, Atlanta. 404-228-3681, myfairsweet.com.
Hailing from Hong Kong, Sweet Spot in Doraville is here to rescue anyone in a milkshake rut. Stepping into the store at this relatively recent arrival to the H Mart shopping center feels like visiting the famous city-state. A huge mural by artist Zoe Liu depicts an urban scene from that semi-autonomous Chinese port city, while imported neon casts a cheerful glow over anyone waiting in line. Here, you’ll find the cool Hong Kong cousin to the milkshake: the fleecy. A bit different in texture from a traditional milkshake, fleecies are made from a sweet, creamy base that’s blended with ice like a smoothie. Sweet Spot tops its fleecies with a scoop of coconut ice cream. The mango pomelo fleecy is a refreshing, tropical take on the treat. The black sesame fleecy offers richness and a nutty depth that mimics the complexity of chocolate. The fleecy also happens to be much lighter than a traditional milkshake, so you might as well get both.
6035 Peachtree Road, Doraville. 678-615-7913, Datsweetspot.com.
Flip Burger Boutique
On the cutting edge of nitrogen-based milkshake techniques when it first opened, Flip Burger Boutique has done as much as any restaurant in town to advance the idea of the serious milkshake. Though only one location of the once-buzzy burger chain remains, milkshakes still take top billing on the menu, and the inventiveness is hard to match. The Krispy Kreme Donut shake is an Atlanta classic, while the Nutella and Toasted Marshmallow shake is a showstopper, as it’s served with browned marshmallow still smoking.
1587 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta. 404-343-1609, flipburgerboutique.com.
La Mejor de Michoacan
With several locations around Atlanta and in Gainesville, La Mejor de Michoacan feels like any nice little neighborhood sweet shop, except the flavors are much more interesting. The small chain’s top attraction is its selection of frozen pops, which include tamarind, cantaloupe, cucumber and guava. Most of those can be ordered “con chile,” aka spicy. The ice cream flavors, available in milkshake form as well, are similarly diverse, from corn to guava to mamey, a tree fruit indigenous to Cuba and Central America. The guava flavor, in particular, is a heat-conquering combination that makes for an unusually tangy, refreshing shake.
Multiple locations. 678-450-0061, Facebook: La Mejor de Michoaca.
Grindhouse Killer Burgers
Picking up the milkshake mantle from Flip Burger Boutique, Grindhouse is a somewhat newer burger chain that has helped change the game by adding alcohol to its shake lineup. Grindhouse helped popularize the boozy milkshake trend with funky flavors, irreverent names and dangerously drinkable shakes. The Monkey Wrench is a malted shake that combines chocolate and peanut butter with banana liqueur and vanilla vodka. It’s a failproof mixture of strong flavors that go down smooth — maybe a little too smooth. The Monkey Wrench is a tough shake to put down and, thanks to the alcohol content, the last sip tastes even better than the first.
Multiple locations. 404-522-3444, grindhouseburgers.com.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.