15 Best Ice Cream Spots in DC: Delicious & Rich Ice Cream Options

Here you’ll find all of the best ice cream in DC so if you’re in the mood for some thick, creamy, deliciously fresh ice cream, we’ve got you covered!

These ice cream and dessert shops have ice cream, soft serve, gelato and sorbet.

And whether you’re looking for unique flavors, homemade, organic, vegan, or dairy free options, we’ve got it all right here for you.

Did you know there are ice cream parlors who have been serving the DC area for nearly 4 decades and others who’ve popped up more recently?

In no particular order, here are the best ice cream spots in Washington DC.

Warning: you may not be able to get ice cream off of your mind after reading this!

best ice cream in dc
Source: Jeni’s Spendid Ice Cream

#1 Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams

1925 14th St NW B, Washington, DC 20009  |  Website
Other DC locations on 8th St SE and at The Yards Park

For a creamy dessert, perhaps some delicious ice cream with a waffle cone, Jeni’s is a great place to go! On a Saturday night, you just might find the line waiting to get in, wrapping around the building. It’s just that good! 

They are located at the Navy Yard. We walked here after our visit to the National Museum of the U.S. Navy just down the street. One of the best spots for an ice cream cone on a hot day!

ice cream scoops of different flavours
Source: Jeni’s Icecream

They incorporate flavors like chocolate, berry, butter and herbs like lavender into their ice cream

Once you pick up your ice cream, head upstairs to the lounge to enjoy it. 

They have many unique flavors like everything bagel ice cream, powdered jelly donut, sunshine (sun-kissed lemon + sweet-tart tangerine with passion fruit), and brambleberry crisp.

Plus all the usuals like darkest chocolate, cookies in cream, salty caramel and green mint chip.

Vegan options are available. Non-dairy flavors available with a coconut base ice cream.

best ice cream in washington dc
Source: Ice Cream Jubilee

#2 Ice Cream Jubilee

1407 T St NW, Washington, DC 20009 and The Yards Park  |  Website

The owner of ice cream Jubilee started selling her ice creams on the side while attending Pennsylvania State University. Now today she was grown a lot and offers amazing ice cream for people to enjoy together.

This is definitely the best ice cream spot in the Yards Park. You’ll find new flavors that are unique, creamy and delicious. 

Some of the flavors to consider are:

  • Apple butter oatmeal cookie
  • Honey lavender
  • Guava passion fruit sorbet
  • Smoked vanilla
  • Caramel banana Bourbon
  • Marion Berry

Non-dairy options are also available.

Go grab some ice cream and enjoy a walk along the Waterfront. This may just become your new favorite local ice cream shop.

NEARBY: Maryland Ice Cream Trail: Details & Map

#3 Larry’s Homemade Ice Cream

1633 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009  |  Website

At Larry’s you can enjoy gourmet ice cream in some unusually unique flavors, as well as, ice cream sandwiches, baklava & cookies. 

One thing that makes the ice cream unique here, is that the ice cream is homemade by the owner, Larry, who you’ll often see in the shop serving customers their ice cream and making them laugh.

people standing outside of Larry’s Homemade Ice Cream
Source: Larry’s Homemade Ice Cream

They also don’t use ingredients like corn syrup, eggs or added sugar. 

This is one of those hidden gems that has been in the neighborhood for nearly 40 years, surviving 2 recessions, so you know it’s good!

You’ll Find flavors like:

  • Key west chocolate fever (orange chocolate)
  • Fred & ginger (peach, brandy, ginger)
  • Peanut butter buttercup
  • Strawberry cheesecake
  • White chocolate chip
  • Green tea
  • Mango sorbet 
  • Ecstasy
best ice cream in washington dc

#4 Pitango Gelato

413 7th St NW and 1841 Columbia Rd NW, Washington, DC  |  Website

If enjoying organic gelato and sorbets made by a man who grew up in Italy sounds amazing, this is your place!

The gelatos are made on site, not in a factory, so they are free of chemicals, preservatives, stabilizers, colors and flavoring. 

They have non-dairy options here too and some flavors, that when you read the ingredients, you’ll know why they taste so good!

Take the Tangerine Sorbet for example, which has freshly picked and squeezed Florida tangerines mixed right in. 

Other fun flavors you’ll find:

  • White grapefruit sorbet
  • Rhubarb sorbet
  • Passion fruit sorbet
  • Mojito sorbet
  • Orange dark chocolate sorbet
  • Matcha green tea gelato
  • Halvah and Pistachio gelato
  • Coconut choco chip gelato
  • Bacio gelato (chocolate kiss)
  • And a LOT more!

#5 Here’s The Scoop

2824 Georgia Ave NW LL, Washington, DC 20001  |  Website

This is a small ice cream parlor that has really big, delicious, rotating flavors inside. This family-oriented shop has plenty of flavors for everyone to choose from.

Here’s The Scoop is a must-visit in our opinion!

woman serving ice cream to customers
Source: Here’s the Scoop

Not only are there delicious flavors, you will have trouble not trying their other offerings like:

  • Banana splits
  • Sundaes
  • Ice cream sandwiches
  • Cakes and pies (think red velvet, coconut pineapple and apple crumble!)
  • Beef, chicken and veggie Jamaican patties
  • And more

Vegan and non-dairy items are available.

#6 Thomas Sweet

3214 P St NW, Washington, DC 20007  |  Website

Thomas Sweet is well-known in the DC area. This dessert shop serves small batch ice cream, frozen yogurt and handmade chocolate.

Located in Georgetown, they’ve been open since 1979 and offer and tons of options for good prices.

On nice days you’ll find some outside seating as well. This is also a good place to order a cappuccino and macchiato, plug-in and hang out for awhile. 

If you arrive and find a line, just wait because it’ll be worth it!

Some of their excellent flavors, with plenty of “mix-ins” available, include:  coffee oreo, cherry vanilla, lemon custard, dulce de leche, amaretto, rum & raisin and many more.

ice cream sandwiches washington dc
Source: Lulabelle’s Sweet Shop

#7 Lulabelle’s Sweet Shop

847 Upshur St NW, Washington, DC 20011  |  Website

Lulabelle’s is a sweet shop with ice cream, baked goods, coffee, sandwiches and more. So whether you’re looking for quick bite to eat or some yummy treats, you’ll find it here.

The staff is so nice and the treats are so good, this is always such a fun experience.

They have flavors like:

  • Jasmine Blueberry
  • Coffee oreo
  • Peanut butter
  • Watermelon
  • Caramel crunch 
  • Pistachio 
  • Honey Graham

And as one reviewer put it “The Honey Graham ice cream is going to make you lose your mind!”

#8 Southwest Soda Pop Shop

1142 Maine Ave SW, Washington, DC 20024  |  Website

Southwest Soda Pop Shop is a small, family-owned ice cream parlor offering soft serve, shakes, smoothies and floats.

Does anything sound better than mango ice cream and an ice cold lemonade drink? So good!

This is an outdoor ice cream and soda stand at the North end of the DC Wharf. And it’s the best soft serve ice cream in DC.

ice cream cones dc
Source: Mount Desert Island Ice Cream

On most days, you’ll be able to see at least two if not all four of the family sisters working inside and enjoying the customers.

Some of their ice cream flavors include: chocolate, birthday cake, mint chocolate chip, cookie dough, butter pecan and others. 

#9 Mount Desert Island Ice Cream

3110 Mt Pleasant St NW 1st floor, Washington, DC 20010  |  Website

Mount Desert Island Ice Cream is a nationally-acclaimed creamery serving small batch ice cream.

They are always trying out new, unique flavors to offer at their multiple locations. What’s nice is that you can also find up-and-coming artist’s work for sale at the parlor.

This is a place where you can tell the strawberry ice cream is actually made with fresh strawberries!

If you like trying out unique ice cream flavors, definitely pay this ice cream parlor a visit.

You’ll find flavors like:

  • Blueberry sour cream crumble
  • Real strawberry 
  • Butterbeer
  • Day of figs 
  • Lemon berry poppy seed 
  • Pretzel toffee Ripple
  • Vietnamese coffee 

#10 Dolcezza Gelato & Coffee

904 Palmer Alley NW, 1704 Connecticut Ave NW and 550 Penn Ave NE  |  Website

Dolcezza Gelato & Coffee is a classy and modern little shop where you go for handcrafted gelato made from local ingredients, plus coffee and espresso.

They make small batches of Italian gelato and vegan sorbets every morning.  Think freshly squeezed citrus, dark chocolate, real herbs, nuts and spices.

You can actually taste the fresh fruits blended in which makes for amazing flavor!

Just a handful of their fun flavors are:

  • Pineapple honey lime
  • Champagne mango
  • Lemon caramom
  • Pistachio
  • Green tea
  • Mascarpone & berries

You’ll also want to try their Affogato, which is gelato and espresso.

NEXT: 77 Things to Do With Kids in Washington DC

#11 Happy Ice Cream Cart

1509 17th St NW, Washington, DC 20036  |  Website

You probably never imagined one of DC’s best ice cream spots is actually…a cart! In fact, it may actually be the best. 

Located in Dupont Circle, this cart has four new daily flavors. The flavors are usually quite unique and equally delicious. 

Some of the flavors we’ve seen are:

Source: Dolci Gelati

  • Popcorn
  • Olive oil
  • Buttermilk
  • Pretzel
  • Blood orange
  • Lemon
  • Uber banana

As one reviewer put it Saintly, otherworldly, bananas. If you think the flavors at Jeni’s and Ice Cream Jubilee and other recent-wave ice cream shops could be even wilder, you’ve come to the right place.

#12 Dolci Gelati

1420 8th St NW, Washington, DC 20001  |  Website

Dolci Gelati has all-natural, Italian gelato and sorbet and has been rated the best gelato in DC by the Washington Post. 

They receive their ingredients from local dairy farms, imported chocolate from Ecuador and handpicked fruit. 

pink and white ice cream scoops served on a table
Source: Dolci Gelati

While they have a large selection of flavors you can sample, some flavors include:

  • Coffee
  • Blood orange sorbetto
  • Thai lemongrass coconut
  • Butter pecan gelato
  • Salted caramel
  • Hibiscus sorbetto

One customer said Had a mind-opening, out-of-body experience with the passion fruit sorbet.”

Besides gelato and sorbet, they also have cannolis, gelato cakes, gelato cookie sandwiches, and mousse.

#13 The Creamery at Union Market

1309 5th St NE, Washington, DC 20002  |  Website

The Creamery at Union Market is a simple creamery that has tons of flavor. 

We’re talking lemon blueberry, chocolate, pistachio, cookie dough, pumpkin pecan crumble and plenty more. And the waffle cones are delicious too!

You can taste the quality of the ingredients used here. The ice cream is nice and thick and full of flavor so you won’t find it melting quickly like other ice creams.  

They also serve very soft cookies, as well as milks, cheeses, Kombucha and a variety of other beverages. 

#14 Captain Cookie & The Milkman

2000 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20006  |  Website

Captain Cookie has a few locations and even mobile trucks (or as they call them, Cookiemobiles). 

And if made-from-scratch cookies, local creamery milk and made-to-order ice cream sandwiches doesn’t sound good to you, I don’t know what will!

Cookies are even made right in the oven on the hand-painted truck so you’re always receiving the freshest cookies.

milk served with cookie
Source: Captain Cookie

You may go for ice cream or you may go for cookies, but don’t be surprised if you end up with an open faced ice cream sandwich

They also have ice cream and milkshakes available in vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, cookie dough, ginger, oatmeal,  and a variety of other great flavors. Or choose to have milk and cookies with your choice of 2%, whole, skim, chocolate or soy milk.

#15 Toby’s Homemade Ice Cream 

5849 A Washington Blvd, Arlington, VA 22205  |  Website

Toby’s Homemade Ice Cream is technically in Arlington, VA, BUT it is only about 10 minutes from Washington, DC so we’re including it here. 

Toby’s has creative, homemade flavors made in small batches from scratch. 

If you’re looking for rich, creamy, flavorful ice cream or even an ice cream cake, Toby’s is a great option. 

Toby’s ice cream is considered super premium as they use at least 16% butterfat content in their ice cream.

They make around 20-24 flavors available at any one time. These are flavors like:

  • Chocolate
  • Berry strawberry
  • Old school vanilla chip
  • Cinnamon
  • Black raspberry
  • Ube
  • Cafe Au Lait
  • Cherry Blossom Sorbet

#16 Moorenko’s

Capital Hill, DC: 740 C St, SE, Washington, DC |  Website

If you’re looking for ultra-premium ice cream in DC, this is it! They offer gourmet ice creams and shakes in classic flavors like vanilla and swiss chocolate, as well as some more unique flavors like cotton candy gummy bears and lots in between.

While they have “scoop shops” on Capitol Hill in DC and in Silver Spring, you can also buy pints at:

  • Bacio Pizzeria in NW
  • Capitol Supreme Market in SE
  • City Garden Co-op in NW

Ice Cream Made Near Washington DC

The delicious ice cream shop, Nicecream, used to have a DC location but unfortunately it’s now closed.

They do have a nearby location in Arlington which you can visit to taste their ice cream made by handcrafted ingredients and make your order fresh using liquid nitrogen right in front of you.

The reason it’s so delicious is because they source their dairy products and fruits from nearby farms in Virginia and Pennslyvania. Definitely some of the highest quality ingredients!

They offer different flavors every week so it’s always fun to see what they have new!

This is always a nice and refreshing stop after exploring the Windy Run Park and Nature Trail.

One popular ice cream parlor that people are happy to venture from DC for, is The Dairy Godmother in old town Alexandria .

We go after a visit to the Alexandria Archaeology Museum or if we’re looking for a sweet treat after our time outdoors at Huntley Meadows or Winkler Botanical Preserve.

Best Ice Cream in Washington DC

As you can see, there are plenty of yummy places to get delicious ice cream in Washington DC.

With so many unique flavors, you have plenty of new places and flavors to try out!

More Ice Cream?

Looking for even more great ice cream spots? Try these:

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OK Editorial Team

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