It’s hot, it’s sunny, and luckily, July 16th is National Ice Cream Day – potentially one of the most enjoyable national food days to partake in. There are endless ice cream options, but we’ve rounded up a few local DC favorites where you can enjoy summer’s favorite treat.
Ice Cream Jubilee’s fun and creative flavors can be found at their locations in Navy Yard and in Logan Circle/14th St. Enjoy it by cone or cup – or pick up a pint at one of a dozen local stores in DC. New flavors for summer include Basil Goat Cheese, Blueberry Pie, Coffee & Doughnuts, Salted Caramel, Spicy Strawberry Ginger (sorbet), and Snickers Snickerdoodle. Below is one of my all-time personal favorite – chocolate chip cookie dough.
If you’re feeling French on Sunday, you can’t go wrong with Le Diplomate’s weekend glacé cart. The vintage ice cream cart appears on weekends in the summer in front of Le Diplomate at 14th and Q St NW. The fancy double-scoop cone comes rimmed in sprinkles, and flavors change each week. To see what the options are for this weekend, check out Le Diplomate’s Facebook page. As an added bonus, Friday is Bastille Day!
Pitango has been serving up gelato for ten years now and has expanded in that time to 5 locations in DC and Baltimore. Their gelato is made onsite at each location and their menu features 20 rotating flavors of gelato and sorbet. Some of their most popular flavors include Chocolate Hazelnut, Pistachio di Bronte, Sur Del Lago Single Origin Dark Chocolate Sorbet, and Strawberry Sorbet. Find them in DC in Penn Quarter, Captiol Hill, and Reston Town Center.
If you’re looking for some coffee with your gelato, look no further than Dolcezza. First opening in 2004, they now have eight locations throughout DC. This includes a pop-up cafe inside the Hirshhorn Museum and their Mom & Pop concept in the Mosaic District. They also have weekly stalls at the Dupont Circle FreshFarm Market (Sundays) and the Penn Quarter FreshFarm Market (Thursdays). If that doesn’t give you enough options for where to find them, you can also visit them at their factory, located just past Union Market.
Trickling Springs Creamery is headquartered in Chambersburg, PA. Don’t worry though, you don’t have to travel far to find their homemade ice cream, thanks to their shop at Union Market. Enjoy your ice cream in scoop form, milkshake form, or even root beer float form. If you’ve eaten too much at one (or more) of Union Market’s other offerings but know you’ll definitely want that ice cream later, never fear, you can also buy packaged pints to take home with you!
If you’re with friends who don’t like ice cream (for whatever reason), this is the place to go. Obviously, there’s the gelato, but Dolci Gelati indulges your sweet tooth further with tiramisu, cannoli, tarts, and more. You can also really take it to the next level and ditch the cup/cone in favor of their gelato pops – customizable pops of gelato dipped in your choice of chocolate coating and toppings. Locations in Shaw, Takoma, and Old Town.
This NYC original opened up shop in DC in 2015 to quite the crowd. Luckily, we no longer have to wait over an hour for these sweet treats though. Well-known for innovative desserts like compost cookies and crack pie, Milk Bar lands on our list for their cereal milk soft serve. In case you’ve never tried it, it tastes exactly how it sounds – like the milk leftover from a bowl of cornflakes. So that pretty much makes it breakfast ice cream…right?
Don’t worry, we’re not leaving food trucks off this list! Keep your eyes peeled for this old-school baby blue and white ice cream truck – or visit their walk-up ice cream shack at 1400 Independence Ave SW. Whether you like your frozen custard dressed up with toppings and prefer to keep it simple, you can’t go wrong with Goodies on a hot day. Also worth a try are their incredible doughnut ice cream sandwiches. Yes, you read that right – a doughnut sliced in half and filled in the middle with a tower of frozen custard.
Can’t decide between cookies or ice cream? Don’t worry, Captain Cookie has you covered. Keep an eye out for one of their three trucks, or head to their shop near GW at 2000 Pennsylvania Ave NW. Choose from 8 different types of cookies and 3 flavors of ice cream to build your sandwich creation. Get really creative and mix up the cookies – one flavor for the top and another for the bottom.
Larry’s has been a DC ice cream institution for over thirty years now. The homemade flavors range from the traditional to the creative and there are plenty of options for toppings. I recommend grabbing your favorite and enjoying it with some people watching in circle. This semi-subterranean shop is located in Dupont Circle, on Connecticut between Corcoran and R St.
If you’re tired of regular old scoops of ice cream, look no further than Icy Code in Dupont Circle. The shop features authentic Thai rolled ice cream, which is made by pouring milk and toppings onto a chilled pan, then chopping and stirring it until it’s firm and creamy enough to be rolled up. The sky is the limit for what you can create here. Start with your ice cream flavor, customize it with add-on, and finish it off with creative toppings.
We won’t judge if you visit more than one of these places on Sunday, so get your phones out and get ready to Instagram away. Happy National Ice Cream Day!
Cover image photo credit: Pitango Gelato