You know the old saying. If you can’t stand the heat, you might as well just eat ice cream. So it’s a perfect day to welcome back one our personal favorite features from last summer, “The Ice Cream Diaries.”
Name: The Dairy Hut on Main
Address: 121 South Main Street in Oswego
Hours: Summer hours are Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 12:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Note that those hours become more limited once summer is over and it closes entirely in the winter. To make sure you’re not making a trip that might end in disappointment, call 630-554-6800.
Good For: Anyone who likes ice cream – or a slice of Americana.
The Experience: The Dairy Hut in Oswego is located on Main Street, and that’s perfect, because it seems as American as apple pie – even if that’s a weird comparison to make for an ice cream shop.
Once known as the “Dari-Boat,” this tiny ice cream joint has been around since the 1960s. While you place your order and pick it up inside, the seating is all outdoors, much of it under an awning that provides good shade.
The Dairy Hut services soft ice cream – vanilla, chocolate or twist – and it’s one of the least expensive spots I’ve visited recently. A small cone is $1.65. A “kiddie” cone is just 50 cents. If you want to get a bit more fancy, you can order sundaes, shakes floats, smoothies and “tornadoes” (like a DQ blizzard). If you bring your pup along, you can order a "Doggie Dish" for him.
But the Dairy Hut also offers food: Burgers, hot dogs, pork tenderloins, Italian beef, French fries and various other cheesy or fried items. I didn’t say it was a health food store, did I? A 1/3 pound burger will cost you $3.30.
My daughter and I headed to the Dairy Hut after a long day at Splash Country in Aurora. We were hungry from swimming, so I had a chili dog (I chose a version with a natural casing; it had a nice snap!) and she had mini corn dogs and we shared some French fries. For that type of food, it was very good, and the service was quick.
For dessert, she had the small twist cone that came with her “Junior Hut Meal.” I was overwhelmed with choices, so asked one of the friendly girls behind the counter for a suggestion. She said her fav was a turtle tornado, and so that’s what I ordered. It was indeed delicious, but now that I’ve spent more time looking at the menu, I’ll have to get a “Funnel Cake Sundae” next time.
While we were at The Dairy Hut, it attracted a steady stream of customers: groups of teenagers; families taking a break from a bicycle ride; a woman taking her dog for a walk. I can certainly see why it’s been around for decades and hopefully will be for many more.
Note: The Dairy Hut does not have indoor restrooms. There is a portable toilet in the parking lot, but it’s probably best to make sure the little ones just go at home before heading out. The Oswego Public Library is also located less than three blocks away, at 32 W. Jefferson, if you're in a bind.