Plaque for first ice cream sundae.

Site of First Ice Cream Sundae

Field review by the editors.

Ithaca, New York

A surprising roster of cities and towns claim to be the birthplace of the Ice Cream Sundae, including Cleveland; New Orleans; New York City; Plainfield, Illinois; and Two Rivers, Wisconsin -- which even has an Ice Cream Sundae historical marker. But Ithaca has the earliest printed proof to back up its boast: an April 5, 1892, newspaper ad for the city's Platt and Colt Pharmacy, advertising its "Cherry Sunday."

A small historical plaque, shaped like a Sundae, is now embedded in the sidewalk outside the former pharmacy, currently a Thai restaurant.

The "Sundaes," as they were later re-named, were bowls of plain vanilla ice cream topped with sweet sauces and condiments. They were often a way for soda fountains to get around the Sunday ban on the sale of carbonated beverages, which at the time were considered frivolous.

Site of First Ice Cream Sundae

Taste of Thai

216 E. State St., Ithaca, NY
Taste of Thai. Downtown, on the north side of E. State St., just west of its intersection with Aurora St. Part of the Ithaca Commons pedestrian plaza.
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