Alexandria is known as a sweet destination with nearly 20 artisanal sweets and dessert spots, and when the summer sun is shining, you can cool off with a sweet treat from boozy gelato to liquid nitrogen ice cream and everything in between. We’ve rounded up our favorite spots for ice cream and other cold treats in the Port City, with enough options to keep you cool all summer long.
New Sweets Spots
Image Credit: M. Enriquez for Visit Alexandria
Liquid nitrogen meets fresh farm ingredients at made-to-order ice cream concept Nicecream, opened in Old Town in the spring of 2017. Each Nicecream serving is crafted right before the customer’s eyes with rotating weekly and seasonal flavors such as Mint Mojito, Cran-Orange Dark Chocolate Chunk and Butter Toffee Pecan.
Dolce & Bean
Opened in 2017 in Alexandria’s Del Ray neighborhood, Dolce & Bean is a family owned confectionery shop offering premium artisanal products, including an incredible selection of macarons, gourmet fudge, crepes, slow-churned gelato and more. It’s the perfect neighborhood spot for sweet treats and gelato with the family or an afternoon pick-me-up.
Casa Rosada Artisan Gelato
Credit: C. Mouledoux for Visit Alexandria
This family-owned gelato shop serves homemade authentic Argentinean gelato, including boozy flavors like Malbec. The distinctive flavors at Casa Rosada Artisan Gelato like Sambayon and Dulce de Leche are inspired by the owners’ Argentine heritage, and you’ll have a hard time finding them anywhere else.
Credit: Dolci Gelati Facebook Page
You definitely don’t want to miss Dolci Gelati, which might just have the best gelato flavor in the world. The all-natural flavors change from day to day, with fun recipes like Mojito (lime and mint), Maple Brown Sugar, Poached Pear Cinnamon and more.
Credit: Killer ESP Facebook Page
Killer E.S.P. is the place to be if you want homemade gelato or sorbet with really good coffee. An affogato is the perfect mid-day pick-me-up, with a shot of espresso poured over a heaping scoop of gelato.
Credit: R. Kennedy for Visit Alexandria
Dairy Godmother‘s authentic Wisconsin-style frozen custard is an absolute must in Alexandria’s Del Ray neighborhood. The custard hits the spot, and you can even pick up Puppy Pops for the dog to enjoy. Check out the Flavor Forecast to see upcoming special flavors.
Pop’s Old Fashioned
Credit: M. Enriquez for Visit Alexandria
Pop’s Old Fashioned is the classic ice cream parlor, offering over 60 homemade flavors. Known as the place “where you can take a date or your three-year-old on a Saturday night,” Pop’s is perfect for a King Street or waterfront stroll on a warm summer night.
Credit: S. Stanton for Visit Alexandria
Across from Pop’s, The Creamery has been a local favorite in Old Town for over 25 years, with all your favorite childhood flavors and more. The King Street shop serves up ice cream, custard and sorbet in creative flavors like orange chocolate chip. One young patron who considered himself an “ice cream expert” said, “The Creamery has the best ice cream in the universe—and I’ve tried all of it!”
Credit: Kilwin’s Facebook Page
Kilwins is a sweet-tooth’s dream, filled with chocolatey treats and ice cream. Stop in to pick up sweet treats for friends and family, and pick up a scoop (or two) of ice cream for yourself.
Ben & Jerry’s
Credit: M. Enriquez for Visit Alexandria
Nestled into a small shop near the Marina waterfront, Ben & Jerry’s is the perfect spot to try a funky flavor or throw an ice cream party.
Credit: Holy Cow Facebook Page
Our impressive list of ice cream spots doesn’t end there. You can pick up milkshakes on the side at some of the best restaurants in town. In Del Ray, you can get a hand-spun milkshake with your burger at Holy Cow, topped with fresh farmers’ market strawberries. Lost Dog Cafe in the Parker-Gray neighborhood is open until 11 p.m. for those late night milkshake cravings, while Haute Dogs and Fries in North Old Town has extra-thick shakes in flavors like salted caramel. Near King Street in Old Town, The Burger Joint serves classic chocolate, vanilla and strawberry shakes that pair perfectly with a burger and fries.
For more information on sweet spots in Alexandria, click here. Be sure to check out the Ice Cream Bowl Fundraiser at the King Street Art Festival each year, where you can choose from over 1000+ ice cream bowls handmade at The Art League in Alexandria.
Header image: Dairy Godmother Facebook Page