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All 270 Champaign Restaurants

Jarlings Custard Cup

309 W Kirby Ave, Champaign, Champaign-Urbana, IL 61820
+1 217-352-2273
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Ranked #2 of 270 Restaurants in Champaign
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $2 - $6
Sun - Sat 12:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Cuisines: American, Dessert, Ice Cream
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Restaurant details
Good for: Outdoor seating
Dining options: Late Night, Dessert
Description: Custard Cup was first started in 1949. It was originally opened by George and Helen Potter at 2507 N. Vermilion St. in Danville, IL. There they started selling the Custard that Mr. Potter had developed a recipe for. Business started slow, and it was not uncommon to see George and Helen sitting out back playing cards while they waited for customers to come in. The Potter’s also created our signature Cold Fudge, to solve the problem of Custard melting when hot fudge was put on it. They owned the business for 20 years and then decided that they were ready to retire. The Potter’s had no children, so they sold “The Cup” to the Wilmer and Dorotha Jarling in 1969.Mr. and Mrs. Jarling watched as the number of customers grew, after school, after church on Sundays, and on the weekends it started turning into “the place” to go on a weekend night for a treat. As it grew, the Jarling’s made some changes to the business, such as adding cash registers and an extra two windows in 1980.Another change the Jarling’s made to the business was expanding the menu. Originally only three flavors of custard were available; Vanilla, Chocolate, and Lemon. Strawberry was added, and later so was Orange. They sold the classic soda shop favorites like Sundaes, Old Fashioned Sodas, Shakes and Malts. Also other menu items began to develop, such as Banana Splits, and Custard Sandwiches.Wilmer and Dorotha Jarling retired in the early 1980’s to have time to enjoy hobbies and travel. After a two year battle with cancer, Dorotha Jarling passed away in 1995. Wilmer Jarling passed on in 2002 at age 85. The Danville Custard Cup is now owned by their children; Doug Jarling, Larry Jarling, Nancy Smart, and grandchild Rodney Smart. On April 28, 1983 Jarling’s Custard Cup opened its doors at 309 W. Kirby Ave. in Champaign. It was opened by Doug and Christy Jarling, who had worked and helped to manage the Danville store for several years. The Champaign location featured the same products as the Danville store, as well as new creations like frozen pies, and The Snowstorm. In 1993, Doug and Christy Jarling purchased the secret recipe from Wilmer and Dorotha. Since then both locations have continued to change their menus slightly, keeping the favorite treats and working to add new creations from what they've heard from their customers.
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74 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Dallas, Texas
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2014

We arrived at 10:01pm Saturday night to find the lighted ice cream was dark. Wow - the place was closed! We begged the guy cleaning outside to let us get some custard, as we were only visiting for the weekend. Nope. Came back Sunday after a picnic with friends, daughter needed to use the restroom. Nope, no restroom. So we... More

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Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
190 reviews 190 reviews
50 restaurant reviews
171 helpful votes 171 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2014

Jarling's Custard Cup is always quite popular with a significant line, but it moves along. There is flavor of the week and some permanent flavors. We had the lemon and cinnamon (rotating flavor) custards. They were all right but not at the caliber of the frozen custard of Wisconsin. Perhaps the Snowstorms (like Dairy Queen Blizzards) might be tastier. If... More

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Chicago, Illinois
Top Contributor
494 reviews 494 reviews
262 restaurant reviews
324 helpful votes 324 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2014

You know something is wrong when TripAdvisor lists Jarling's Custard Cup as the No. 1 restaurant in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. It is the home of the University of Illinois. When I was attending the U. of I., Steak 'n Shake, Root's, Waffle House and a couple of all-night diners were the restaurants of choice. You get the message. Jarling's, founded by... More

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Champaign, Illinois
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2014

Great places to take your date, or family. Its A landmark here in Champaign,Il. Love the Lemon custard, its the best. Hate when winter comes then they close and have to wait with anticipation for it to open again...When you are here you must stop...Hope to see you there.

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Villa Grove, Illinois
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2014

Not open all year round but when they are there they have long lines. Drive through takes awhile also. The lemon is to die for, my favorite. Not good since its close to my work. Out door seating is picnic tables.

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Champaign-Urbana, Illinois
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2014

Jarling's is a landmark in this are. They open for the season around March and the locals are waiting with anticipation. They remain open thru summer and as long as the weather permits, usually till November or early December. Delicious fresh custard (try the lemon custard). They have a cult following and the lines can be very long, but definitely... More

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Roselle, Illinois
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2014 via mobile

The local hangout for cold treats to satisfy the taste buds. But it is VERY popular, expect long lines for these fresh-made treats, both inside and the drive-up.

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Greer, South Carolina
Top Contributor
78 reviews 78 reviews
55 restaurant reviews
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2014

Lot of selections. Family oriented.Very busy. Don't expect to get in and out quickly. People seem to enjoy their time here. Place is packed inside, outside and drice thru. The custard to me is o.k.. It is good , but it does not stand out. I could not comprehend why all the fuss over this place. The only thing I... More

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Denver, Colorado
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2014

After being totally ignored for twenty minutes at Houlahans (adjacent to the I Hotel) on a slow Monday night trying to order a desert, we left and found Jarlings Custard. And, are we glad. It was a great way to spend a hot summer night in Champaign. My custard sunday was amazing. Highly recommend it if you're visiting campus, like... More

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Walnut Creek, California
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2014 via mobile

I just had to review since I loved this place. Yeah, ice cream is good, but this place is super good. Only been there once, will stop back by next time I'm in town.

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