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12 Famous (and Instagrammable!) Ice Cream Shops in Virginia

12 Famous (and Instagrammable!) Ice Cream Shops in Virginia

Photo courtesy of Canva

By Aila Boyd

September 14, 2023

Ice cream is one of those treats that just makes everything better. It can turn a decent afternoon into a terrific one. Luckily, Virginia has plenty of noteworthy ice cream places worth sampling. 

The next time you crave some ice cream, consider stopping by one of these 12 Instagrammable places where the flavors are unique and the toppings are limitless. 

Snocream Company

Location: Annandale

Snocream Company offers a Taiwanese-inspired twist to traditional ice cream. The concept came to former accountant and now-Snocream owner Arturo Mei when he quit his corporate job and visited Asia, where he came across Taiwanese shaved ice. 

“Think of it as a hybrid between shaved ice and ice cream that makes this dessert light and fluffy,” the company said. 

The company offers 12 flavors, including mango, honeydew, and black sesame, along with a range of toppings. 

Lil City Creamery

Location: Falls Church

Lil City Creamery’s ice cream is made fresh from the milk of pampered, grass-fed Jersey cows. “The result is a smooth, ultra creamy, not overly sweet, ice cream,” the shop said. 

You can’t go wrong with a double scoop of your two favorite flavors, which come served in a cake cone, sugar cone, waffle cone, or bowl. If you need a little caffeine, opt for the coffee float. A cup of Bold Sumatran Coffee comes with your choice of ice cream, so give the Cherry Blossom Chocolate Chip a try.

Spend a little time looking around the shop, which has an extensive collection of old-school character figures lining the walls. “This lil place is great! On a scalding hot summer’s night we lined up with many others to get our ice cream from here,” a Yelp reviewer said. 

Casa Rosada Artisan Gelato

Location: Alexandria

The family-owned-and-operated Casa Rosada Artisan Gelato brings the taste of Argentine gelato and sorbet to Alexandria. You can’t miss the building, as it’s the only pink-colored building on the block. The paint job and company name, which means “pink house” in Spanish, pay tribute to the color of the Argentine presidential palace. 

Given that the gelato has been perfected by the owner, a chemical engineer with over 30 years of industry experience, you know it has to be good. Apple cinnamon, Earl Grey, and elderberry are just a few of the flavors available. The shop also serves vegan sorbet, vegan gelato, and sugar-free gelato.  

Bev’s Homemade Ice Cream & Café 

Location: Richmond

Bev’s Homemade Ice Cream & Café has been the go-to place in Richmond for ice cream for the past 25 years. “A friendly, fun, woman-owned small business. Our ice cream, hot fudge and pastries are house-made with high quality ingredients,” the café said.

The bright-pink nook serves New England-style ice cream. Special seasonal flavors like pomegranate pineapple rotate on a weekly and biweekly basis. Gelato, sherbet, oat-based vegan ice cream, and dairy-free sorbet are also available. 

Frosties Rail Stop

Location: Louisa 

Frosties Rail Stop offers an array of soft-serve flavors seasonally from March to October. Notably, the ice cream is extra creamy due to the fact that the milkfat content is three times higher than most other soft serves. 

The flavors change each week, so you can always try something new. Luckily, the sundae options always stay the same, so enjoy the PB Explosion, which comes with Reese’s peanut butter sauce, Reese’s Pieces, Nutter Butter, whipped cream, and a cherry. 

Strawberry Fields Smoothies & Gelato

Location: Norfolk

Strawberry Fields Smoothies & Gelato is a female-owned business that makes gelato from scratch daily. “Our flavors change based on what’s sounding particularly delicious that day,” the shop said. The best way to find out what’s fresh is to check out the shop’s social media pages. The Ooey Gooey Cake flavor was one recent menu feature.

A Yelp reviewer noted, “This is probably one of my favorite places in town! You get 2 flavors in any of their sizes, love that. Service is always great, everyone is so friendly.” 

Doumar’s Cones and Barbecue

Location: Norfolk

Going to Doumar’s Cones and Barbecue for ice cream, especially when it’s served in a waffle cone, is a must in Virginia. In fact, it’s the birthplace of the waffle cone. In 1904, Syrian immigrant Abe Doumar came up with the idea of putting ice cream on a rolled-up waffle, which led to the four-iron waffle machine that is still used at the location today. 

“When the weather is nice, you can find a member of the Doumar family and the waffle machine parked right outside of the diner, so your family can watch the magic happen from the car,” the Doumar’s website reads. 

The cones are made fresh daily. You can order your cone with one or two scoops of either vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, butter pecan, lime sherbet, or orange sherbet. You can also get souvenir jars of two dozen cones to take with you. 

Lolly’s Creamery 

Locations: Virginia Beach and Norfolk 

The guiding philosophy behind Lolly’s Creamery, a locally owned father-and-son enterprise, encompasses three concepts: joy, community, and generosity. “We want every bite and every interaction to leave you with a smile on your face,” the creamery said. 

The creamery uses fresh ingredients to make its classic flavors like Cookie Monster and Real Deal Vanilla, as well as monthly specials like Mermaid. Vegan ice creams are available upon request. 

Bean’s Ice Cream

Location: Poquosan

Bean’s Ice Cream was established with a goal to cater to the allergy community after the owners’ daughter was diagnosed with a severe food allergy at 10 months old. 

At any given time, the shop carries around 36 different flavors, rotating them out seasonally. Those who can’t decide on just one flavor should order a flight, which comes with six Hershey’s Ice Cream flavors of your choosing along with whipped cream and sprinkles. 

Kline’s Dairy Bar

Locations: Harrisonburg, McGaheysville, Staunton, Waynesboro and Lynchburg 

If you’re looking for an ice cream shop with a storied history, Kline’s Dairy Bar should be at the top of your list. “We take the quality of our ice cream very seriously,” the bar said. “High quality ingredients and an old fashion ice cream making technique has made Kline’s an institution since 1943.”

All of the bar’s five locations make the ice cream fresh daily, with new special flavors each day. Recent and upcoming flavors range from key lime pie to pumpkin cheesecake for Halloween. Helpfully, the bar puts out flavor cards so you know which flavors are coming up.

Blue Cow Ice Cream Co.

Locations: Roanoke, Virginia Beach, Fredericksburg and Richmond  

Although it has only been open since 2016, Blue Cow Ice Cream Co. has already established a significant presence in the commonwealth. When the owners decided to go into the ice cream business, they took a number of courses to learn how to concoct the delicious treat. 

“We immediately loved the process of developing unique flavor combinations in addition to perfecting some of the classics and serving them in a fun, community-oriented shop,” the company said. 

Give the honey lavender flavor a try. The distinct floral flavor of lavender is balanced with local wildflower honey from Hardy Honey. Those who are lactose intolerant will likely be pleased to hear that there are non-dairy options. 

The Southern Churn Ice Cream and Candy Shoppe

Location: Bristol 

A trip to The Southern Churn Ice Cream and Candy Shoppe, which has been run locally by generations of the same family, will transport you back in time with its retro vibe. 

The shoppe partners with Mighican-based Ashby’s Sterling Ice Cream, a family-owned ice cream maker since 1984, on its ice cream selection. Some of the unique flavors include Jacked Up Tennessee Toffee and Michigan Pot Hole. No-sugar-added ice cream is also available. 

One Yelp reviewer noted, “There are so many treat options here. You can get scooped ice cream, soft serve, fudge, and browse through an assortment of candies. I opted for the ice cream. It was a super reasonable price and the scoops were definitely generous.”

  • Aila Boyd

    Aila Boyd is a Virginia-based educator and journalist. She received her MFA in writing from Lindenwood University.

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