No visit to the DC and Northern Virginia area is complete without exploring the charming shops, restaurants, and cafés of Old Town Alexandria. And during the sweltering summer months, indulging in some Alexandria VA ice cream or a frozen treat is an absolute must. But Old Town is just the tip of the iceberg—there’s more to Alexandria than meets the eye. From hidden treasures to friendly residential streets and rich history, this area has something for everyone. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the best places for ice cream in Alexandria, VA.
Local-Owned Alexandria Ice Cream Shops
Pop’s Old Fashion Ice Cream Co.
Address: 109 King Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314
When you think of ice cream in Old Town Alexandria, it’s hard not to think of Pop’s. This iconic location brings in crowds year-round, with lines often stretching around the corner. The perfect location allows you to take a leisurely walk to the scenic waterfront or continue exploring King Street, known for its window-shopping delights. Step inside, and you’ll be greeted by a nostalgic atmosphere—think tin roofs, a chessboard floor, and charming retro details. But the real star of the show is the mouthwatering ice cream. From classic flavors like rocky road and coffee to kid-friendly options like black raspberry and mint Oreo, Pop’s has it all. Affordable prices make this spot even sweeter for locals and visitors alike.
The Dairy Godmother
Address: 2310 Mt Vernon Ave, Alexandria, Virginia 22301
A favorite among families and young folks in Del Ray and beyond, The Dairy Godmother is a true neighborhood hangout. This shop specializes in frozen custard and offers a variety of shakes and sundaes. On a hot day, you can’t go wrong with a simple cone of vanilla or chocolate. The menu also features rotating special flavors and delicious dairy-free sorbets. Don’t miss the selection of Just Fine Donuts, including tasty vegan options. And if you’re in the mood for a coffee, the neighboring Del Ray Café has you covered. Whether you’re craving doughnuts, cones, shakes, or a giant banana split, The Dairy Godmother is the place to be.
Old Town Dolci Gelati Café
Address: 107 N Fairfax St, Alexandria, Virginia 22314
Distinct from other Dolci Gelati locations in DC and Maryland, this gelateria offers a unique and delightful ice cream experience. Every selection is carefully crafted with high-quality ingredients, including locally sourced fruits and sustainable toppings. The chocolate used in their creations comes from a small farm in Ecuador and is tempered in-house by their head chef. Alongside the mouthwatering gelato and sorbet flavors, Dolci Gelati also serves a variety of special coffee drinks. The retro-artisan décor creates a cozy atmosphere indoors, while the outdoor seating allows you to soak up the historic ambience of Old Town.
Ice Cream Trucks
Mama Rosa Ice & Le Petit Ananas
Mama Rosa Address: 4118 Mt Vernon Ave, Alexandria, Virginia 22305
Le Petit Address: 1200 Belle Haven Rd, Alexandria, Virginia 22307
One of the Northern Virginia area’s sweetest gems comes in the form of ice cream trucks. Mama Rosa’s and Le Petit Ananas bring the Salvadoran community’s extra-special treat, the minuta, to Alexandria. These shaved ice desserts have a creamy and rich texture, unlike traditional crunchy ices. Flavors range from fruity to nutty, and sometimes even include fruit, sauce, or nut toppings. When you spot an ice cream truck selling these delicious desserts, take a moment to pull over and savor the flavors. Mama Rosa’s and Le Petit Ananas go beyond tradition, offering their own variations on the classic shaved ice.
Sweet Relief/Smallcakes Cupcakery & Creamery
Address: 1506 Mt Vernon Ave, Alexandria, Virginia 22301
Sweet Relief is not just your average bakery—it’s a healing experience. With high-quality desserts and compression therapy, this woman-owned, Hispanic-owned franchise offers more than just a sweet treat. While they specialize in cakes and cupcakes, they also serve handmade, small-batch ice cream. The flavors change daily, so there’s always something new to try. You can enjoy your ice cream in a bowl or cone, or opt for pints and on-a-stick ice creams. Don’t miss their irresistible homemade push-up pops. With additional offerings like coffee, macarons, and even treats for your furry friends, Sweet Relief is a cozy spot for everyone.
Address: 1401 Belle Haven Rd, Alexandria, Virginia 22307
For a cool dairy treat in the lovely Belle Haven area, look no further than Custard Shack. This frozen custard and sorbet shack offers a unique take-out experience. Although there is no indoor seating, the picnic table with its signature red umbrella provides the perfect summer ambiance. Every flavor at Custard Shack receives rave reviews, and the friendly servers are always ready to whip up fresh milkshakes, sundaes, and floats. Whether you’re in the mood for dessert after grabbing a fresh-made pizza next door or need a snack on your way to the waterfront park, a trip to Custard Shack is a must.
Del Ray Bocatto
Address: 2400 Mt Vernon Ave, Alexandria, Virginia 22301
When Del Ray Bocatto relocated from Clarendon to Del Ray, it became a loss for Arlington but a gain for Alexandria. Whether you’re in the mood for a sweet treat or a delicious meal of empanadas, this restaurant and gelateria won’t disappoint. The cozy dining space boasts elegant furnishings and a gelato counter that is as beautiful as it is delicious. Indulge in flavors like birthday cake with real sprinkles and candles, or opt for unique options inspired by Girl Scout cookies. Del Ray Bocatto has become a regular meet-up spot for many Alexandrians.
Goodies Frozen Custard & Treats
Address: 200 Commerce Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314
Combining the best of two Alexandria institutions, Goodies Frozen Custard & Treats is a sweet shop with a nostalgic twist. Starting as a vintage ice cream truck, Goodies now occupies a restored historic Old Town building. With its blue-and-white storefront and retro vibes, this spot offers a delightful ice cream experience. Indulge in classic flavors like salted caramel and birthday cake, or try something new from their rotating selection. Don’t forget to try their famous donutwich—an ice cream-filled doughnut that will satisfy your sweet tooth. With outdoor seating and a range of frozen treats, Goodies is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the scenery.
Casa Rosada Artisan Gelato
Address: 111 S Payne St, Alexandria, Virginia 22314
Casa Rosada is all about quality and simplicity. This gelateria may seem unassuming at first, but their flavors speak for themselves. Each scoop is generously piled high, and the friendly staff is always ready to welcome you. From classic flavors to adventurous options like corn and lemon basil, Casa Rosada has something to please every palate. They also offer vegan and dairy-free options, so be sure to let them know about any dietary requirements or preferences. With a peaceful indoor seating area and a dog-friendly back patio, Casa Rosada is the perfect spot to unwind and enjoy your ice cream.
Address: 1552 Potomac Greens Dr, Alexandria, Virginia 22314
Slaters Market is more than just a grocery store—it’s a one-stop destination for all your local needs. From sandwiches to beer and wine selections, this market has it all. And of course, we can’t forget about their ice cream. Slaters serves South Mountain Creamery products by the scoop, with a rotating selection of flavors to keep you coming back for more. The friendly staff is always happy to help you find the perfect flavor. Enjoy your ice cream in a cup or a crispy waffle cone, or take home pints for later. Don’t forget to try their gourmet ice cream sandwiches—a delightful treat for any occasion.
High-Quality Chains in Alexandria
Kilwin’s Chocolates and Ice Cream
Although Kilwin’s is a popular national chain, stepping into one of their shops feels like entering a small local establishment. Their handmade and hand-dipped chocolate treats are a sight to behold. But don’t forget to explore their ice cream counter, where you can indulge in generous cones or scoops of their classic, high-quality flavors.
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, founded by Jeni Britton, combines an adorable Old Town storefront with a creative selection of ice cream and frozen yogurt flavors. Their offerings range from salted peanut butter to banana brûlée, all of which are sure to delight your taste buds.
Ben & Jerry’s
America’s favorite cow-themed ice cream brand has found a home next to the Alexandria waterfront park. Treat yourself to a fresh-made waffle cone or bowl and take a leisurely stroll as you enjoy the iconic Ben & Jerry’s flavors. It’s the perfect way to beat the summer heat.
Baskin-Robbins is a dessert chain that needs no introduction. With five locations throughout Alexandria, they offer a wide variety of flavors and friendly service. Whether you’re in the mood for a classic favorite or a non-dairy option, Baskin-Robbins has you covered.
SweetFrog, an East Coast chain, is known for its tasty frozen yogurt, ice cream, and sorbet. Visit their location off King’s Highway to create your own unique combination from their vast array of toppings. With a self-serve format, you’re in control of your frozen treat adventure.
When it comes to ice cream in Alexandria, VA, the options are endless. Whether you’re craving traditional flavors or unique creations, there’s a sweet spot for you to enjoy. So, gather your friends and family and embark on a delicious ice cream journey through the charming streets of Alexandria. Don’t forget to visit the Ice Cream Directory for more information on the best ice cream in town. Happy indulging!
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