DC Ice Cream Guide

This DC ice cream guide is dedicated to Cone E Island, a Foggy Bottom institution loved by GW students. The funky parlor closed its doors last semester. You will not be forgotten Cone E! Thanks for the cavities!

This guide is split up into the following categories: Classic Ice Cream, Gelato, Ice Cream Trucks, FroYo, Custard and Novelties. Let us know if we left out your favorite place!

CLASSIC ICE CREAM

Thomas Sweet

Thomas Sweet is your classic ice cream parlor. You can get all of your favorite, fattening flavors here topped with jimmies, whipped cream and a maraschino cherry. Thomas Sweet is actually a New Jersey chain based in Princeton. I have a picture of 5-year-old me sitting in the window of the Princeton Thomas Sweet devouring a chocolate ice cream cone, with much of the ice cream smeared on my face. Thomas Sweet has a special place in my heart. Obama is a fan too.

Photo from Trip Advisor

Photo from Trip Advisor

Georgetown: 3214 P St. NW

Thomas Sweet on Urbanspoon

Ice Cream Jubilee

With flavors like Thai Iced Tea, Sweet Potato Pie and Baklava, you have to stop by just to see what these desserts taste like in ice cream form. Newcomer Ice Cream Jubilee just opened in The Yards Park and has been getting rave reviews since. The ice cream shop specializes in small batches of ice cream made with all-natural and local ingredients (and very unique flavors).

The beautiful and unique flavors of Ice Cream Jubilee

The beautiful and unique flavors of Ice Cream Jubilee | Photo by Ice Cream Jubilee

Navy Yard: 301 Water St. SE

Ice Cream Jubilee on Urbanspoon

Hershey’s Ice Cream

Right next to Georgetown’s movie theater, hidden under the darkness of the Whitehurst Freeway, is a Hershey’s Ice Cream shop I have never seen anyone go into. As a Pennsylvanian, I have to support my local brand, but there are so many better ice cream shops in the area!

Okay, this doesn't look too bad... | Photo from Foursquare

Okay, this doesn’t look too bad… | Photo from Foursquare

Georgetown: 3151 K St. NW

Hershey's Ice Cream on Urbanspoon

Haagen Dasz

You already know what Haagen Dasz is, but the Georgetown location is quite charming. It has a wonderful mural on the wall with a map of Georgetown that shows where famous people (the Kennedys, Elizabeth Taylor) lived. It’s a cool way to learn about the area.

Georgetown's Haagen Dasz has a kooky map that shows you where celebrities and politicians lived | Photo from Districtly Speaking

Georgetown’s Haagen Dasz has a kooky map that shows you where celebrities and politicians lived | Photo from Districtly Speaking

Georgetown: 3120 M St. NW
Capitol Hill: 703 7th St. SE and 50 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Chinatown: 703 7th St. NW

Haagen-Dazs Shop on Urbanspoon

Ben and Jerry’s

Virtually across the street from Georgetown’s Haagen Dasz is Ben and Jerry’s, another well-known ice cream establishment. Come for the kooky flavors and to take a picture on the cow bench outside the shop. Come back on Free Cone Day in the spring, or just splurge on a pint at 7-Eleven to avoid the crowds. I have to give Ben and Jerry credit for personally coming to Washington a few years ago to hand out scoops of their ice cream to the Occupy DC protestors.

Capitol Hill, DC's own BJ's flavor is made of chocolate ice cream with cornflakes, caramel and marshmallow swirl

Capitol Chill, DC’s own Ben and Jerry’s flavor, is made of chocolate ice cream, cornflakes, caramel and marshmallow swirl | Photo from Georgetown Patch

Georgetown: 3135 M St. NW

Ben & Jerry's on Urbanspoon

Crepe-N-Cream

What used to be Georgetown Scoops is now Crepe-N-Cream, a crepe and ice cream shop that seems to be trying to one-up GW’s favorite Crepeaway. Considering Crepeaway is open until 4 a.m. on some nights, I don’t think Crepe-N-Cream will be a threat. However, I always liked Georgetown Scoops’ ice cream, and it hasn’t changed since the store’s name has. They have good flavors like Salted Caramel and Green Tea. Since it’s located just at the beginning of Georgetown, I have racked up plenty of Belly points at this establishment. If a cone won’t do it for you, you can get a crepe a la mode or a milkshake.

What a scoop! | Photo from Foursquare

What a scoop! | Photo from Foursquare

Georgetown: 2818 Pennsylvania Ave. NW

Baskin Robbins

Next to the never-ending line at the Dunkin Donuts in GW’s Ivory Tower basement is a lonely ice cream freezer that makes up the Baskin Robbins portion of this shop. After a year of getting breakfast and late-night snacks at this food court, I have never seen anyone get ice cream from Baskin Robbins. I am convinced that the ice cream tubs on display are the same ones that have been there since the beginning of Baskin Robbins’ time (much like the frightening Christmas fruitcake). However, GW students may have to start working their way through these tubs now that Cone E Island is gone.

baskin robbins

No one realizes we have a Baskin Robbins on campus | Photo from the GW Hatchet

Foggy Bottom: 616 23rd St. NW
Woodley Park: 2604 Connecticut Ave. NW
Eastern Market: 801 Pennsylvania Ave. SE
Columbia Heights: 2750 14th St. NW
Gateway: 2420 New York Ave. NE

Baskin-Robbins on Urbanspoon

GELATO

Dolcezza Artisanal Gelato

Although this gelateria is owned by Argentines, you say they know the cold confection better than the Italians. With flavors like Thai Coconut Milk, Mascarpone & Berries and Lemon Opal Basil, these gelatos and sorbets are for foodies seeking something they’ve never tried before. The gelateria has multiple locations in the DMV area, including shops in Georgetown, Dupont Circle and U Street. Dolcezza recently opened its highly-anticipated factory by Union Market. Stop by for a tour of the factory on Saturdays at 2 and 4 p.m. and Sundays at 1 and 3 p.m. Coffee lovers can pair their gelato with a cup of joe from Stumptown Coffee Roasters, served at all locations.

Creamy, dreamy gelato | Photo from the District Insider

Creamy, dreamy gelato | Photo from the District Insider

Georgetown: 1560 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Dupont Circle: 1704 Connecticut Ave. NW
Logan Circle: 1418 14th St. NW
Northeast: 500 Penn St. NE

Dolcezza Artisanal Gelato on Urbanspoon

Pitango Gelato

Unlike Dolcezza, which experiments with unusual gelato flavors, Pitango prides itself on being the best at classic Italian gelato. Flavors like Nocciola (hazelnut) and Stracciatella (chocolate chip) will take you back to your study abroad days in Italy. Pitango also serves batches of refreshing sorbets in flavors like Bosc Pear and White Grapefruit. With locations in Chinatown, Eastern Market and Logan Circle, classic Italian gelato is never far away.

As Italian as it gets | Photo from Going Green DC

As Italian as it gets | Photo from Going Green DC

Logan Circle: 1451 P St. NW
Penn Quarter: 413 7th St. NW
Eastern Market: 660 Pennsylvania Ave. SE

Pitango Gelato on Urbanspoon

ICE CREAM TRUCKS

Street Cream

Street Cream is anything but your typical ice cream truck. Asking for a Snitchin’ Berry will get you a scoop of strawberry, while Pimpin’ Passion translates to coconut in colloquial parlance. The truck is a really good value, with a Cool Wit’ It (small size with one scoop and two toppings) setting you back only $2.50 plus tax. If you want more, get a Down Wit’ It (medium) or a Have’N Sum For Sho’ (large). I dare you not to laugh while placing your order.

The strangest ice cream truck you have ever ordered from | Photo from Food Truck Fiesta

The strangest ice cream truck you have ever ordered from | Photo from Food Truck Fiesta

Find the truck’s location via Twitter at @StreetCream34

Captain Cookie

Everyone at GW is obsessed with Captain Cookie, and with good reason. While the cookies are famous, the ice cream served on board is also delicious. Vanilla, chocolate and black cherry ice cream are served daily, while the flavor of the day changes and is a little less standard (think maple bacon ice cream). I personally recommend getting cookies with your ice cream. You can’t go wrong with a Snickerdoodle Cookie, Black Cherry Ice Cream Sandwich. Read my review of Captain Cookie here.

A snickerdoodle cookie and black cherry ice cream sandwich from Captain Cookie

A snickerdoodle cookie and black cherry ice cream sandwich from Captain Cookie

Find the truck’s location via Twitter at @captaincookiedc

Goodies

Goodies is a 50’s ice cream parlor on wheels. You can get your fill of ice cream floats, sundaes, milkshakes custards, concretes and vintage sodas from this truck. The Big Red Donut Sandwich – custard sandwiched between two red velvet doughnuts — looks like it has enough calories to sustain a small Africa village.

Twinkies Ice Cream Sandwich. WOW. | Photo from Goodies' Twitter

Twinkies Ice Cream Sandwich. WOW. | Photo from Goodies’ Twitter

Find the truck’s location via Twitter at @Goodiesdc

Orange Cow

This ice cream truck is only on this list so I can advise you that it’s not worth your time or money. I tried Orange Cow at a NOMA outdoor movie screening. I waited in line for literally 45 minutes for a sundae made of the most mediocre ice cream ever, topped with canned whipped cream and chocolate syrup (not even fudge)! If you see an orange truck with spots creeping around your neighborhood, stay away.

orange cow ice cream truck

Stay away! | Photo from Side Tour Tumblr

Find the truck’s location via Twitter at @orangecowdc

FROZEN YOGURT

Mr. Yogato

Mr. Yogato is not your typical froyo place. You can play Nintendo while you wait. Adhering to the Rules of Yogato can get you a 5-20% discount on your order. Discounts can be achieved by answering trivia questions, singing along to “Mr. Roboto” or placing your order in your best impression of Dory. Fans recommend the original tart flavor, but there are also two flavors that change regularly. Mr. Yogato isn’t self-serve, so you don’t have as much control over your order, but what you compromise in control you get back in fun. Mr. Yogato seems to be a big fan of Seinfeld. Bringing in a minor Seinfeld character for a photo will earn you a week of all-you-can-eat froyo. Challenge accepted!

froyo and nintendo

Froyo and Nintendo | Photo from Yelp

Dupont Circle: 1515 17th St. NW

Mr. Yogato on Urbanspoon

Pinkberry

Yes, Pinkberry is a national chain, but if you’ve never had their Chocolate Hazelnut froyo, you must. It’s as tasty and as creamy as Nutella, but it’s healthy because it’s frozen yogurt… right?! Pinkberry isn’t like your local pay-by-weight froyo shop. You have to be waited on, there are only a few flavors available on any given day, you don’t have as much freedom with your toppings and prices are steep. However, it’s all worth it for the Chocolate Hazelnut froyo. Go try it!

Froyo on froyo on froyo

Froyo on froyo on froyo | Photo from Pinkberry

Golden Triangle: 1213 Connecticut Ave. NW
Georgetown: 3288 M St. NW

Pinkberry on Urbanspoon

FroZenYo

FroZenYo is the best froyo chain in DC. They have a generous sample policy in which you can basically pour froyo in your cup, try it and get a new cup if you’re not satisfied. We all know how hard those soft serve cranks are to control, so you get a huge sample. Furthermore, HOT FUDGE AND CARAMEL ARE FREE!!! They are stationed next to the register and you are supposed to put them on after you pay. Yes, you could potentially come back to the hot goodness counter after your froyo has been depleted and just eat the artery-clogging sweets by themselves. I may or may not have tried this… If you correctly gauge how much you’re capable of eating, a trip to FroZenYo can be very cheap. I don’t spend more than $3 on a trip. FroZenYo is now trying to appeal to coffee lovers with its Zombie Coffee products. They even offer free coffee once a week. This chain has locations all over DC and the greater DMV, so a cheap treat is never far.

FREE HOT FUDGE AND CARAMEL!

FREE HOT FUDGE AND CARAMEL! | Photo from Scoutmob

There are too many FroZenYo locations to list them all below. You can find the complete list on their website.

FrozenYo on Urbanspoon

Sweetgreen

Sweetgreen serves what seems to be the healthiest froyo out there. Their so-called Sweet Flow is made of Stonyfield yogurt. It’s organic and fat-free — and tastes like it. Sweet Flow is froyo without the bells and whistle, just classic, tart yogurt flavor. Sweetgreen only serves this classic flavor and offers healthy toppings such as fruits and granola.

sweetflow

Sweetgreen’s Sweetflow froyo | Photo from Sweetgreen

So many locations. Find them all here

Sweetgreen on Urbanspoon

CUSTARD

Dickey’s Frozen Custard

I must have passed Dickey’s a hundred times during my time at GW, but it never looked like anything more than one of the countless sandwich shops in the Farragut area that caters to professionals on their lunch breaks. However, Yelp reviewers don’t lie, and they have nothing but complimentary things to say about the frozen custard. One reviewer described the custard as this: “Mmm.  Creamy, thick, super smooth, buttery frozen custard.  This stuff is good.” I’m taking a hint from Brendan J. of Washington and am stopping by as soon as I’m back in the District.

Chocolate-Vanilla Swirl. Yum

Chocolate-Vanilla Swirl. Yum! | Photo from Yelp

Golden Triangle: 888 17th St. NW

Dickey's Frozen Custard on Urbanspoon

Shake Shack

Shake Shack has a cult following. It’s known for its burgers, hot dogs and frozen custard treats. The menu offers shakes, cups, cones and concretes – dense custard blended with mix-ins. Since I’d never heard of a concrete before Shake Shack, the name was a turn off. However, I can now assure you that concretes are delicious. Even Obama and Biden can’t resist.

concrete

A concrete from Shake Shack | Photo from Food Spotting

Golden Triangle: 1216 18th St. NW
Penn Quarter: 800 F St. NW

Shake Shack on Urbanspoon

Rita’s

I’m a Philly girl, so I can’t leave Rita’s off this list. While Rita’s is known for its water ice (or Italian Ice as you foreigners call it), their custard is stellar. In order to get the best of both worlds, I recommend ordering a “gelati”. It has absolutely nothing to do with gelato (making me suspect of how Italian this “Italian” ice is), but is instead water ice sandwiched between two layers of custard. You have to go for the mango water ice. It’s the classic flavor. You can get vanilla, chocolate or twist custard. It’s packed with flavorful and has a heavenly texture. Head to Chinatown or the H Street Corridor to try cool yourself off Philly-style. Tip: Rita’s gives out free water ice on the first day of spring.

gelati

The Classic: Mango water ice and vanilla custard gelati | Photo from Urbanspoon

Chinatown: 610 H St. NW
H Street Corridor: 1014 H St. NE
Rhode Island Ave: 2318 Rhode Island Ave. NE

NOVELTIES

Pleasant Pops

Pleasant Pops aren’t anything like the rocket popsicles you get at the grocery store for the 4th of July. These popsicles are based on paletas, Mexican ice pops made of fresh fruit. Pleasant Pops offers tantalizing and refreshing flavors like Watermelon Mint, Grapefruit Rosemary and Strawberry Ginger Lemonade. You can also find ice cream pops in flavors like Iced Coffee, Cookies and Cream and Chongos, made of Mexican sweet cream and cinnamon. Yum. You can find Pleasant Pops at their mortar and brick location in Adams Morgan, or at farmers markets around DC.

popagato

An ice pop and espresso “popagato” | Photo from Pleasant Pops’ Twitter

Adams Morgan: 1781 Florida Ave. NW

Pleasant Pops Farmhouse Market & Cafe on Urbanspoon

Love N Faith Community Cafe

Love N Faith just opened this summer in Columbia Heights. Their claim to fame is liquid nitrogen ice cream, which sounds like a crazy chemistry class experiment. Basically, liquid nitrogen speeds up the freezing process because it is incredibly cold. Instead of waiting for hours for your ice cream, it freezes virtually instantly. Does this make the ice cream taste any better? Who knows. It may be just a trend, but I’ll definitely try out this novelty.

liquid nitrogen ice cream in the making

Liquid nitrogen ice cream in the making | Photo from Sosh

Columbia Heights: 2424 14th St. NW

 

 

 

 

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