Jason Ben Nathan / Sun Senior Photographer

March 10, 2016

I Scream…for More than Ice Cream: The Cornell Dairy Bar

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One of my earliest memories of Cornell involves the Dairy Bar. My family was on a summer visit to campus and the surrounding Ithaca area when I was in middle school. I remember my dad explaining to me how the ice cream was made on campus and that students were able to interact in the process, something certainly special about the university. The Dairy Bar has undergone a makeover since my visit years ago. I remember how excited I was as an incoming freshman to hear that the Dairy Bar would be reopening to students, faculty and visitors to the university that year.  The space has transformed from a cramped, dark store with a few tables and a small counter for the frozen treats to a modern, inviting, beautifully designed space.

I can never turn down a scoop of ice cream. Whether it’s celebrating the first warm days of spring semester with my roommate, showing my best friend campus and all the culinary treats it offers when she visits for Slope Day, or stopping by the Dairy Bar with my sorority sisters for a midday Homecoming cone, I have many memories of enjoying ice cream on campus.

Located past many of the School of Agriculture buildings on Tower Road, the Dairy Bar is located in Stocking Hall and is always worth the trip. In addition to offering 25 plus ice cream flavors, the Dairy Bar serves up sandwiches, salads and grab-and-go items for quick fuel between classes. I was excited to discover that the Dairy Bar also carries Finger Lakes Coffee Roasters coffee, one of my favorite coffee blends on campus. There is a wide array of dairy products to try, including Cornell Dairy milk, pudding, yogurt and Big Red cheddar produced right on campus in the processing plant. The cold case holds ice cream sandwiches, pints of ice cream and even offers gift bags stocked with all of your favorite goodies — perfect for late night prelim cram sessions.

I headed to the Dairy Bar on a warm Monday to meet a friend for lunch.  Overall, Stocking Hall was fairly quiet, with a few students studying at tables throughout the open, clean white space. Before indulging in any frozen desserts, I wanted to sample one of the sandwiches from the Dairy Bar’s lunch menu. I decided on the muffaletta, which was loaded with flavorful ingredients. The sandwich was stacked with salami, ham, lettuce, slices of roasted red pepper and was served warm on a hearty rosemary flecked roll. The highlight of the sandwich was the two condiments: the first, a tangy mayonnaise-based sauce and the second, a kind of olive and caper spread that provided the perfect briny flavor. My friend opted for the tuna melt, also served warm on a similar roll with cheddar cheese melted on top. The sandwiches came with a side of kettle chips, but as my friend suggested, it would be nice to have the option of veggies on the side instead, since many other campus eateries offer this.

Finally, it was time to indulge in the star of the Dairy Bar: the ice cream. I have a weakness for anything involving chocolate, so I decided on the Bavarian Raspberry Fudge and tried a scoop of Ezra’s Morning Cup for an extra buzz. The Bavarian Raspberry is creamy vanilla ice cream swirled with raspberry and chunks of dark chocolate. The Ezra’s Morning Cup is a rendition of a classic coffee ice cream, and the coffee flavor was just strong enough but not overwhelming. My friend sampled a scoop of the Cookie Dough Dream and was thoroughly pleased with her choice.

Whether stopping by for a quick cone or a leisurely lunch on a sunny spring day, the Dairy Bar is a great place to meet and enjoy a treat on campus.