Relax and Cool Off at These Top Ice Cream Shops in Washington DC

February 23, 2022
Food & Drink
jason wolfe
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When summer hits, everyone has their go-to frozen treats on their mind, but where can you get the best ice creams? Well, DC is known for a lot of things, but it also has the best selection of ice cream shops in town. No wonder it’s among the popular spots where our commander-in-chief frequent to get a cold scoop. The nation’s capitol has plenty of these shops that specialize in twists of soft serve, towering double scoops, rainbow sprinkles, and extra hot fudge syrup.

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There is nothing like getting a scoop or two in DC, and here are the best shops in Washington to satisfy that sweet tooth.

If you have a friend who is an ice cream aficionado, why not surprise them with a GiftYa virtual card to their favorite ice cream shop. Not only are these easy to customize, but you can also use them in a huge selection of restaurants across the country. Even better, you can add a special message before sending the card to your friend. Get your GiftYa card as early as today!

Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams

1925 14th St NW B, Washington, DC 20009 jenis.com

Ohio-based chain offering boldly-flavored scoops and artisanal selection in a modern storefront!

It’s common to see long lines at this ice cream parlor and if you have tried Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams, you’ll understand why. Each flavor at this shop is made with the best ingredients from only the top producers and suppliers in town. Their ice creams have a smooth texture and buttercream body, with bright flavors and a super clean finish.

Treat yourself to flavors that stand out including maple-soaked pancakes pint, the Middle West whiskey-fueled ice cream with honey, butterscotch, vanilla, and coconut, or the peak spring strawberry buttermilk pint. The banana cream pudding pint with real bananas, scratch-made vanilla wafers, and ultra-rich coconut cream is a fancy combo that will leave you coming back for more.

If you’re a two-scoop kind of a person, favorite picks such as the Brown Butter Almond Brittle Pint and Wildberry Lavender Pint are by far the most favorite you should try. Make sure you visit Jeni’s Ice cream parlor and enjoy some delicious scoops.

Mount Desert Island Ice Cream

3110 Mt Pleasant St NW 1st floor, Washington, DC 20010 mdiic.com

Upscale, Downton Bar Harbor gourmet shop for delicious ice creams and sorbets!

If you have never had homemade ice cream from the ground up, now is the time to try it out. And there is no better place to enjoy your first scoop than at Mount Desert Island Ice Cream shop. This ice cream shop specializes in dishing out small-batch ice cream in creative flavors such as Thai chili coconut, butterscotch miso, and vegan maple pecan. Each scoop is carefully made from scratch to create an incredibly pleasing and tasty experience.

Enjoy popular flavors such as sweet and salty peanut, caramel, crumble, toasted coconut, cinnamon cardamom, spicy chai latte, and more. For something a little more chocolatey, consider Callebaut chocolate which is drizzled in warm Nutella.

For the non-dairy ice cream, enjoy favorites such as vegan sugar cookies, vegan cereal milk, and cinnamon swirl. They also serve delicious blueberry basil sorbet that will surely satisfy your craving for sorbet.

Ice Cream Jubilee

1407 T St NW, Washington, DC 20009 icecreamjubilee.com

Whimsical ice cream shop serving unique flavors with unique toppings!

Creative and colorful is the perfect word to describe the flavors at Ice Cream Jubilee. It is so fun and whimsical that it makes a great stop for family or groups to enjoy sweet scoops.

Customers from all corners of the capital flock to this ice cream shop to taste their unique flavors that rotate seasonally. Try the popular banana bourbon caramel that features pureed ripe bananas mixed with spices, Jim Beam bourbon, and a caramel ribbon. They also bake their own fresh butter pie crust and mix it with the colorful blueberry pie cream to attain a crunchy and flavorful scoop just like it’s made back at grandma’s place.

Want a taste of chocolate, go ahead and try the chocolate barley beer prepared by adding melted chocolate into toasted barley ice cream, and a splash of a local dark chocolate beer. You will also love the chocolate Matzoh crack, inspired by a non-traditional Passover dessert, coated with pieces of Matzoh, caramel brittle, and chocolate then mixed with a rich vanilla ice cream.

Everything you choose from Ice Cream Jubilee is unique and flavorful!

Dolci Gelati

1420 8th St NW, Washington, DC 20001 dolcigelati.net

A sweet stop to enjoy artisanal Italian ice cream, desserts, gelati pops, panani, coffee, and more!

How about all-natural Italian ice cream on a hot afternoon? Dolci Gelati serves exactly that including some Italian Gelato and sorbet. This unique ice cream which was established in 2006 is rated the best gelato in DC by the Washington Post. They offer many different varieties of gelato customized to your liking.

The process begins in the morning when fruits and fine chocolate are hand-picked including other fresh, rare ingredients. If you want to enjoy something classic, try the raspberry sorbet or pistachio gelato. If you’re looking to try something new thing time around, the peanut butter, Thai lemongrass, and Jelly gelato are perfect selections.

Ideally, Dolci Gelati can whip up just about anything whether you want white, red and blue stacked pans of gelato for a political event, an array of pink gelato and sorbet for a cancer awareness event, or even champagne sorbet for a wedding event, you will have something unique to show.

They also serve artisanal desserts such as gelato cakes, cookies, sandwiches, and even double chocolate mousse. They are worth a try!

Pitango Gelato

413 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20004 pitangogelato.com

Italian-style ice cream and sorbet plus espresso drinks and rich hot chocolate await you at this popular ice cream spot!

Part of the fun of coming to Pitango Gelato is watching the staff mix your flavor before putting it in a cup or cone. They create unique gelato and sorbet that embody the flavor of authentic and carefully created ingredients.

Instead of just serving trendy flavors, they are purists who make their classics the right way. Enjoy popular flavors such as the Croccantino, an Italian specialty that blends chopped hazelnuts and homemade caramel praline to form a simple and pure Fior di Latte gelato. Customers also rave about the milk chocolate flavor made with Apurimac cocoa beans.

If you want some sorbet, then you should try the vidama-dark chocolate, local strawberry, or mojito, made from hand-squeezed lime juice. The nutritious and delicious kiwi tart is sweet and refreshing and can be a great option when you want to cool off on a hot day.

Thomas Sweet

3214 P St NW, Washington, DC 20007 thomassweet.com

Popular dessert shop serving up small-batch ice cream and handmade chocolates as well as frozen yogurt!

Whether you want homemade ice cream and blend-in options, handmade chocolates, or freshly baked pastries, you can always count on Thomas Sweet to serve you only the best. They also have endless toppings including cookie dough, Kit-Kats, gummy bears, Oreos, and even homemade fudge.

This is the perfect spot to get your decadent flavor desserts such as the chocolate fudge brown ice cream with toppings such as pecans, walnuts, malt balls, almonds, and York peppermint patties.

Enjoy the inviting aroma of roasted coffee that fills this café where they roast their beans. Ask for a macchiato, a cappuccino, or even a plain old decaf. Sit and relax for a while, chill out, and enjoy the moment!

Southwest Soda Pop Shop

1142 Maine Ave SW, Washington, DC 20024 swsodapopshop.com

Compact, family-owned ice cream parlor serving soft serve and dipped flavors plus floats and shakes!

If you’re looking for the best shakes, soft serves, and floats in DC, then you should try the selection at Southwest Soda Pop Shop. This family-owned ice cream shop and restaurant have been serving sweet treats and refreshing drinks since 2018. The waffle cones here are made fresh daily and they are big enough to hold two scoops or a towering soft-serve twist.

Be sure to add as much topping as you can of either assorted cereals, wet walnuts, brownie chunks, gummies, chocolate fudge, Reese’s crumples, or chocolate or rainbow jimmies. The scoop ice cream features varieties such as vanilla, mint chocolate chip, butter pecan, cookie dough, and strawberry.

They also serve shakes and float in vanilla, chocolate, and rootbeer flavors including creating your own options. If you’re in the mood for a drink, try their healthy fruit smoothies with flaxseed, chia seeds, vitamin c, just to mention a few.



Perhaps you’re craving the best ice cream, soft serves, or floats and wondering where to get the best selections in town. Well, these seven ice cream parlors in Washington have all your favorite flavors when it comes to unique scoops. So what are your go-to ice cream shops and desserts place in DC? Let us know in the comments!

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