Your Guide to Authentic Regional Eats
Sign In | Register for Free!
Restaurants Recipes Forums Eating Tours Merchandise FAQ Maps Insider

Wilton Candy Kitchen

310 Cedar St., Wilton, IA - (563) 732-2278
Posted By Michael Stern on September 22, 2007 7:12 PM
A quick hop off Interstate 80 in eastern Iowa, the Wilton Candy Kitchen just may be the oldest soda fountain in the nation. The building in which it's located was built in 1856, and fiz-biz historians trace a candy shop on this spot as far back as the 1860s! Today’s Candy Kitchen dates back to 1910 when a young immigrant named Gus Nopoulos came to town and rented the place to make chocolates and sell soda and ice cream.

The old chocolate molds are now in storage upstairs, and the Egg Malted Milk is no longer on the menu as a morning special for those who didn't have time for breakfast, but the Napolous family continues to serve ice cream treats as it has for ninety years. Now run by Gus’s descendants, the Candy Kitchen is a trip back to a world of long-forgotten concoctions such as a pink lady (strawberry, cherry, and vanilla flavoring), an oddball (strawberry and vanilla), and a dipsy doodle (six different flavors). You can also get a hadacol (root beer and cola), the name of which George Nopoulos explained: “They ‘hada call’ it something.”

In this mixological wonderland, when you order a Coke or a cherry Coke, it is not poured not from a glass or bottle. It is mixed to order, using water carbonated on-premises and Coke syrup. Mr. Nopoulos lamented that Coke syrup, once a fountain staple in every American town, is getting hard to find. “We’ve got to go all the way to Cedar Rapids for it now,” he told us as he deftly constructed our triple-ice-cream, double-syrup, whipped-cream and nut-sprinkled, cherries-on-top banana splits.
5 star rating
Overall Rating
fudge sundae
green river
black cow
Sundae
Red River

16 out of 16 people found the review helpful. Was it helpful to you?

No Yes
Posted By Paul Poletes on June 28, 2012 1:16 AM
We stopped by late on a Thursday afternoon and were delighted to find the candy kitchen open. Mr. Nopoulos is exceedingly friendly, and he and his wife quickly whipped up four sundaes for us, including outstanding banana splits and tin roof sundaes. The old-fashioned soda fountain is still running strong as well!

Wilton is a tiny town, and the candy kitchen is a real gem. How much longer it will be there is anyone's guess, so go while you can.
5 star rating
Overall Rating

2 out of 2 people found the review helpful. Was it helpful to you?

No Yes
Posted By Lindsey Rodgers on September 1, 2010 11:36 AM
We visited the Candy Kitchen with my in-laws, who live in a nearby Iowan town. Our visit was great! We all ordered floats - two raspberry floats, a root beer float, and a vanilla coke float. The flavors were so creamy, with out the acidic taste of store-bought soda. The raspberry floats were made with homemade syrup, that was almost like thinned-out homemade jam. As we left, they said, "This place makes us proud to be Iowans!"
4 star rating
Overall Rating

2 out of 2 people found the review helpful. Was it helpful to you?

No Yes
Posted By Jennifer Goodman (McKeever) on March 21, 2007 10:49 AM
I had to add my thoughts on the Wilton Candy Kitchen! As a child growing up with The Candy Kitchen, I have many many fond memories of George. My father owned Ron's Pastries across the street when I was young, and every day after school my sister and I would stop in and see George and have a cherry Coke before heading to the bakery, or home. Their ice cream is wonderful, as is the old fashioned cherry Coke; never had one like it since!

I also remember with fondness going in and picking out all kinds of candy from all of the many, many choices they had! I'm so glad I came upon this site, and got to see pictures of something that I haven't been back to see since I was a teenager! Think I need to make a trip to Wilton this summer a priority.
0 star rating
Overall Rating

5 out of 5 people found the review helpful. Was it helpful to you?

No Yes
Posted By Philip Roth on May 22, 2005 7:34 AM
Visited 15 May 2005. Still there, still good.
4 star rating
Overall Rating

1 out of 1 people found the review helpful. Was it helpful to you?

No Yes

What is Roadfood?  |   Submit Content  |   Privacy Policy  |   Contact Roadfood.com   Copyright - Roadfood.com