The Original Moorhead Dairy Queen

An icon of the Fargo-Moorhead area, the Moorhead Dairy Queen is one of the oldest original stores in the entire franchise.

A visit here is like stepping back into the 1950s. You get to walk up to the window to place your order and then sit outside with your ice cream treats (there’s no indoor seating).

The day it opens in early spring, lines form around the block – it’s safe to say locals love this slightly retro summer hangout.

Beyond being adored by the community, the famous Dilly Bar was created at this very location, so of course there’s a giant statue of a Dilly Bar outside to commemorate it.

Why is the Moorhead Dairy Queen so Unique? 

It’s still operating under the 70-year-old original franchise contract. That means they have more flexibility in how they operate (for instance, they still pay the original 1949 royalties rate on DQ treats from the corporate warehouse).

This old school contract also allows owners Troy and Diane DeLeon the freedom to source ingredients from outside providers and to dish out “rogue” menu items you won’t find at other Dairy Queens.

You won’t find a Monkey Tail (a chocolate-covered frozen banana), a Mr. Maltie (a chocolate malt on a stick), or the Chipper Sandwich (vanilla ice cream sandwiches between two chocolate chip cookies and dipped in chocolate) at any modern Dairy Queen – but you will find them in Moorhead.

Food-wise, you can also grab a Nathan’s hot dog, a bowl of chili, a large Polish sausage, or the super chili cheese dog from the “Local Menu”.

And the ice cream cakes? Let the other shops take HQ’s premade cakes; Troy DeLeon assembles his himself.

For a taste of history (pun intended) and a fun thing to do in Fargo-Moorhead, a stop at the Moorhead Dairy Queen is a must.


Please click on the website link above to see the most current hours.


• Take your picture with the 20-foot-tall Dilly Bar statue out front.
• Join the lines on Dairy Queen’s opening day (March 1st), regardless the temperature… one year it was -11°F!

Fun Facts

• The famous Dilly Bar was invented at this very shop – and they still hand-dip them like they did back in the day!
• The Moorhead Dairy Queen celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2019.
• The Moorhead DQ serves “doggie dishes” for your four-legged friend.
• On March 1st, lines form around the block to get the first ice cream treats of the season… even in negative temperatures!


The Moorhead Dairy Queen has been around since 1949, when Bob and Phyllis Litherland opened it.
The Dilly Bar was created in 1955.

Troy and Diane DeLeon took over this iconic Dairy Queen in 1995 from the original owner, and have been operating it with the same level of friendliness, generosity, and fun ever since!


  • Outdoor Dining