As much as I love my job, it is pretty tough sometimes. Take last week, for example. I had to try four different ice cream places—that is one ice cream shop almost every day—to explore the best ice cream options available on King Street. It was a difficult task and a bold endeavor, but someone had to do it. July is National Ice Cream Month, so it was only fitting.
We’re covering four local ice cream places here, but there are many more off of King Street (and, of course, there is the paradise that is the Dairy Godmother in Del Ray), and there are also a few chains (Ben and Jerry’s, Kilwins). We figured we wouldn’t highlight them here because they’ve garnered their own fandom here and elsewhere.
We only tried a few flavors at each place, so this is by no means exhaustive, but it’s a good place to start as you plan your next Old Town ice cream outing. If you can manage all in one day, more power to you! That was my original plan but would likely have caused me to tire of ice cream…and that would be really sad.
Best Vegan Option: Killer ESP
This place is locally known as a cozy, relaxed place to sit and enjoy your morning coffee, but it also offers really delicious gelato and pastries to go with it. We tried the Mango and Chocolate Coconut Milk and especially recommend the latter. You can also try an affogato, gelato drenched in espresso, for a sugary and caffeine-infused pick-me-up. What’s more: Killer ESP is revamping their gelato options, and by mid-July will exclusively feature vegan gelato and sorbet!
Creamiest Ice Cream with Great Seasonal Flavors: Nicecream
Nicecream just opened their second location after experiencing great success in Clarendon. So far, it has been immensely popular, and with decadent flavors like Dark Chocolate Sea Salt and Strawberry Basil, it’s easy to see why. You can also order a sampler, allowing you to try six flavors, if you’re eating there. See our previous post about Nicecream.
Best Waffle Cone: The Creamery
This place has been around forever and, while the ambience is a bit lacking unless you’re into a nostalgically sparse vibe, the ice cream more than makes up for it. We tried the Rocky Road, Toasted Almond, and Coffee Oreo; we immensely enjoyed all three, but the Rocky Road was a clear winner.
Classic Old Town: Pops
How many Alexandria residents have never been to Pops? While we don’t know for sure, we would guess that the answer is not many. Stop by Pops, try the Rice Krispies ‘n Caramel and the Cleveland Brownie, then head to the waterfront for the classic summer-in-Old-Town experience. Bonus points for the charming vibe with mirrored walls, checkered floor, and cute heart-shaped chair backs.