You wouldn’t expect an education in nostalgic fizzy bottled beverages from a tiny mall kiosk, but that’s exactly what you’ll get at Retro Soda. The fun Fashion Show spot—it’s in front of Chipotle—has an incredible selection of rare, vintage soda pop brands and flavors, and the friendly folks behind the counter will be happy to tell you everything they know about every bottle. Here’s just a small sampling of Retro’s sweet stuff.
Retro Soda Fashion Show Mall, retrosoda.com. Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Empire Bottling Works of Rhode Island is still operated by the same family that founded the company in 1930. Have you ever even heard of banana soda? It smells strongly of the ripe fruit but tastes more like candy.
Sprecher Root Beer
A former Pabst Blue Ribbon brewer started Sprecher in 1985 in Milwaukee, but it turns out his company was better at brewing soda than beer. This is one of the creamiest, lightest, most interestingly spiced root beers you’ll ever taste.
Originated in 1884, the gingery, extra-effervescent Moxie claims to be the first bottled carbonated beverage made in America. The guys who made it were shooting for a cure-all that didn’t contain cocaine or alcohol. Way to aim high.
This rare find goes back to 1924, when the Chero-Cola company added brightly colored, fruit-flavored sodas like this (almost) peachy drink to its line. Their popularity prompted a name change to Nehi, and then in 1955 it became Royal Crown Cola. Remember that?
Avery’s Toxic Slime
Avery’s started in 1904 with traditional cream sodas, birch beer and ginger ale, but its newer “Totally Gross” line includes this blue raspberry-orange flavor as well as inspired titles like Swamp Juice, Dog Drool and Kitty Piddle.
Jeff’s Amazing New York Egg Cream Vanilla Soda
Egg Cream America Inc. calls itself the “next link in the continuing saga of egg cream,” the Brooklyn-born drink everybody remembers. There’s no actual egg in this creamy beverage, but plenty of sweetened vanilla flavor.
Fentimans Curiosity Cola
Originally established in 1905, Fentimans botanically inspired brand has surged in recent years as its tonic and ginger beer have become sorta hipster cocktail mixers. This original cola has a rootier, deeper taste than today’s super-sweet sodas.