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22 Old-School Soda Shop Recipes to Make at Home

You don't need counter service to belly up to these soda shop favorites. Try these retro recipes at home. (No soda jerk hats necessary.)

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Original neon sign for a fast casual restaurant in Nashville that features ice cream sodas.; Shutterstock / James R. Martin

Travel back, back in time to an era when poodle skirts reigned supreme and it only cost 10 cents to play your favorite tune on the record machine. From malted milkshakes to burgers and fries, you won’t need a checkerboard floor to dine on these soda shop favorites.

Don’t miss these 55 recipes from the ’50s worth trying today.

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Strawberry Cream Floats

When it starts warming up in Colorado, my kids ask for ice-cold treats. This rosy pink cream float is one of our household favorites. —Crystal Jo Bruns, Iliff, Colorado
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My Favorite Chili Dogs

The very thought of a hot dog dressed in chili makes me giddy. To get that straight-from-the-ballpark taste, I combine ketchup, mustard, chili and pepper sauce. —Patricia Pauling, Adams, New York
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Old-Time Custard Ice Cream

I think my most memorable summertime dessert for get-togethers has always been homemade ice cream. This recipe is so rich and creamy and the perfect indulgence on a hot summer afternoon. —Martha Self, Montgomery, Texas
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Loaded Avocado BLT

My husband invented this twist on a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich. I like to make it with extra slices of bacon; if you want, you can leave the Gorgonzola cheese out of the avocado spread. —Lori Grant, Kingsport, Tennessee
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Blue Cheese Chicken Salad Sandwiches

I'm a big fan of blue cheese dressing, so I decided to go the "no mayo" route and replace it in this chicken salad. So tangy! Serve the chicken mixture on a bed of lettuce if you're in the mood for salad instead. —Giovanna Kranenberg, Cambridge, Minnesota
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Thin Mint Milk Shake

Save a sleeve of Girl Scout cookies for this creamy milkshake that's fun for kids and adults, too. —Shauna Sever, San Francisco, California
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All-American Bacon Cheeseburgers

Where can you get a juicy bacon burger that is so superior to drive-thru fare? Right in you backyard with this delicious cheeseburger recipe. —Jackie Burns, Silverdale, Washington
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Jungle Float

This fun floats lets kids (and adults, too) be the masters of their own creations. What a tasty way to experiment!—Jenni Sharp, Mequon, Wisconsin
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Cheese Fries

I came up with this recipe after my daughter had cheese fries at a restaurant and couldn't stop talking about them. She loves that I can fix them so quickly at home. Plus, the frozen fry packets can be refrigerated and reheated. —Melissa Tatum, Greensboro, North Carolina
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Root Beer Float Pie

Root Beer Float Pie

This is the kind of recipe your kids will look back on and always remember. And you don't even need to use an oven. —Cindy Reams, Philipsburg, Pennsylvania
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Raspberry Pecan Chicken Salad

I gave this sweet-savory chicken salad a little zip with Chinese five-spice powder, which tastes a bit like pumpkin pie spice. Sprinkle some on roasted carrots for an awesome meal. —Lisa Renshaw, Kansas City, Missouri
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Cinnamon-Strawberry Sundaes

Lime adds a delicious tang to this easy dessert. I'll never eat plain vanilla ice cream again! —Cory Roberts, Riverton, Utah
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Old-Fashioned Coney Hot Dog Sauce

Old-Fashioned Coney Hot Dog Sauce

Camping and hot dogs go hand in hand. Roast some up over the fire, then top with this irresistible one-pot sauce. —Loriann Cargill Bustos, Phoenix, Arizona
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Lemon Meringue Floats

I actually dreamed of this float idea one night, and woke up knowing I needed to make it. Thank you, Mr. Sandman! —Cindy Reams, Philipsburg, Pennsylvania
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Chipotle Turkey Club Sandwich

We’re crazy for BLTs. A nearby roadside stand carries gorgeous tomatoes every summer. We load up, then stuff our sandwiches with the usual suspects, plus smoked turkey and cheese. —Pamela Shank, Parkersburg, West Virginia
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S'mores Milk Shake

When cabin fever hits, we whip up a beverage that tastes like s’mores. Oven-toasted marshmallows and a blender make it happen. —Sarah McKenna, Centennial, Colorado
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Pesto-Dijon Egg Salad Sandwiches

Turn your old-standby egg salad into your new lunch favorite. Honey Dijon mustard and pesto add a sensational, savory spin, and the celery and onion lend nice crunch. —Carrie Kenny, Batavia, Ohio
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Caramelized Pineapple Sundaes

Whenever we get a craving for a tropical escape, this super simple recipe whisks us away in no time. Vanilla's nice but drizzling the sauce over salted caramel ice cream and taking a bite is just pure paradise. —Elisabeth Larsen, Pleasant Grove, Utah
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Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Sodas

I keep the ingredients for these ice cream sodas on hand so I can enjoy a treat anytime I want. You can easily make more when feeding a crowd. —Anna Erickson, Terrebonne, Oregon
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Cheddar Chili Burgers

Big, bold chili and french-fried onions are a fun alternative to the classic burger fixings of ketchup and mustard. The patties are easy to assemble, making this a great weeknight sandwich. —Sue Ross, Casa Grande, Arizona
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Makeover Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Milk Shake

I’m not a big sweets person, but I’ll slurp down a milk shake from Steak ‘n Shake any day! —Sarah Cowley, Houston, Texas
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Turkey Salad on Wheat Bread

When one of my favorite lunch spots closed, this recipe let me hold on to more than just good memories. The peas, bacon and cheese are such a fun and springy combo. I make big batches of the salad for parties—turns out I'm not the only fan! —Merrijane Rice, Kaysville, Utah

Sue Stetzel
Sue has been part of the Taste of Home family for over 16 years. Her collection of magazines dates back to the premier issue in 1993. When she isn’t writing, she’s answering your burning cooking questions and working with our team of Volunteer Field Editors.

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