It's never a bad time for a scoop (or two!) of pure joy. We've rounded up some of the most crave-worthy spots in all of Northern Virginia where you can get your scoop on.
With an international flair ...
SnoCream Company, found at The Block in Annandale, offers a Taiwanese-inspired twist on traditional ice cream with soft, shaved ribbons of ice and cream in a number of unique flavors. You can also pick up Instagram-worthy cookies and donuts filled with exotic flavors like Ash Coconut, Blueberry Earl Gray, Ube and Vietnamese Coffee.
Twisted Sweets & Savory
This fairly new shop in Herndon is tucked away down a small side street, but your eyes will widen when you see the decadence it rolls out. The kürtőskalác - which is commonly called a chimney cake or a spit cake - is a street food treat from Hungary. While you can find savory sandwiches in this style here, the sweet version includes cinnamon sugar chimney cakes topped with creamy soft serve ice cream. Specialty versions rotate - which means more excuses to go back and back again.
Dolcezza Gelato & Coffee
Hit both cravings at once with a steaming cup of espresso matched with old-world gelato that is crafted with locally sourced seasonal ingredients. Find fanciful flavors on the board like Lemon Ricotta Cardamom, Thai Coconut Milk, and Mascarpone & Berries. Find this Fairfax County location at the Mosaic District.
Sawadika Ice Cream
Ever eaten hand-rolled ice cream? Sawadika Ice Cream has a location in Tysons Corner Center. Peer through the glass as ice cream masters pour your handcrafted concoctions onto ice-cold plates and push the newly frozen ice cream into perfect little rolls. Add your choice of toppings and dare to dig into your beautiful new creation. This Thai-inspired ice cream shop also serves a selection of Taro puddings, Milk Teas, and other treats.
Craving the classics ...
Great Falls Creamery
After a great summer hike at nearby Great Falls Park, head to this family-owned staple for creamy hand-scooped ice cream and soft serve served with friendly down-home service in the quaint village of Great Falls. Personal recommendation? The Cafe Au Lait Chip cannot be beat! You can even stock up on some freshly baked goods and dairy products while you're there or enjoy your sugar cone on their cozy patio.
Peterson's Ice Cream Depot
This long-time Clifton landmark is beloved by many. Customers are greeted by the kid-friendly, handmade train as they approach this window-serve spot along Main Street. Peterson's specializes in soft-serve and hand-scooped treats, plus funky Clifton Creations, but also has a full Dog Pound Deli menu that features hot dogs, fries, and other deli favorites.
This classic walk-up custard shack - aptly named, well, Custard Shack - has a nostalgic flair and creamy, rich, and tasty frozen treats that will transport you back to your youth. Offering an array of flavors, many of which rotate out monthly, plus fresh fruit sorbet, sundaes, shakes, and even a special menu for pups, Custard Shack is a worthy pull-over stop.
Milwaukee Frozen Custard
When you're craving that real-deal custard, head to Milwaukee Frozen Custard in Chantilly. Each day they rotate out a special new flavor, from Cinnamon Swirl to Birthday Cake to Peach. Check their website to see what Flavor of the Day you'll find before your visit.
Woody's Ice Cream
Go for that summer soft-serve classic at Fairfax City mainstay Woody's, which has been serving up deliciousness for more than 20 years. If you're feeling really ambitious, go for a double-header by hitting up Sugar Mama's Ice Cream, also located in the City of Fairfax.
Kiln & Custard
For the most decadent milkshake you may have EVER had, head to Kiln & Kustard, the ice cream offshoot nestled in a paint-your-own pottery studio on Historic Church Street in Vienna, and on Maple Ave. in Falls Church. Trust us, you have to SEE these Krazy Kustard Shakes to believe them! Kustard scoops, classic shakes, floats, and pints-to-go are also available. (Check their social feeds for latest opening hours per location.)
Jake's Ice Cream
A new shop with a special mission has landed in Falls Church this summer. Jake's Ice Cream, located in Barcroft Plaza, employs special needs adults who are having a hard time finding employment. Enjoy small batches of artisan ice cream, confections, cakes, and more - housemade cocoa bombs, anyone? The assortment changes weekly, so get ready to indulge!
The Moo Thru is an ice cream staple with locations in a handful of southern Virginia towns - but this summer of 2023 - it will be moo'ing into Northern Virginia for the first time, with a brand new location in Herndon. While the brick-and-mortar shop is expected to open later this summer, hungry ice cream fans can line up for a sweet treat at the Moo Thru truck parked right in front of the new digs. Moo Thru's ice cream is handcrafted and slow-churned from real milk from real dairy farmers and rotates through a tantalizing list of flavors.
New and Quirky...
Sweet Rolled Tacos
This is ice cream like you've never had before. Sweet Rolled Tacos is a brand new shop in Centreville that's serving rolled-up ice cream on a waffle cone taco! Every ice cream taco is made with premium cream, handcrafted on a cold plate that is rolled into ice cream is fitted into a waffle taco cone. Pick between red, purple, blue, black, and original waffle colors (all tastes the same!). From the Strawberry Shortcake taco with cookie butter to Matcha Bliss with green tea - there's a wide assortment of funky flavors that'll make your head spin. Check out the menu here and (pretty please!) send us your photos so we can drool over them together!
It's double trouble at Sophie's Dough, located within Springfield Town Center - this shop specializes in scratch-made, gourmet, egg-free, edible cookie dough. In addition to these epic creations, available by the scoop, in a sandwich, in a cannoli, in a dough pop, in a shake (you get the picture), you can also choose from thick and creamy ice cream cones, shakes, bubble waffles, and even some caffeinated drinks. Run, don't walk!
Beloved mainstays ...
Fairfax County is also home to a slew of classic chain shops, including Baskin Robbins, Ben & Jerry's, Bruster's, Cold Stone Creamery, Dairy Queen, Rita's Water Ice, and Haagen-Dazs. And if you feel the urge to go a little lighter (we won't judge), there are a slew of delicious frozen yogurt and smoothie shops ready to take your order.
And if that still isn't enough, be sure to check out our full index of ice cream and smoothie spots in Fairfax County, which includes several delicious spots just outside county lines in our neighboring Fairfax and Falls Church cities. What are your favorite ice cream shops for cooling down during the summer? Tell us in the comments below or join the conversation on social media using #FXVA or @VisitFairfax.