15 Tasty and Amazing Spots for Alexandria VA Ice Cream

No tour of the DC and Northern Virginia area is complete without a stroll through the charmingly unique shops, restaurants and cafés of Old Town Alexandria, and if you’re attempting this during the sweltering summer, pausing for some Alexandria VA ice cream or another frozen treat is more or less essential.

But there is more to Alexandria than just Old Town—more friendly residential streets, more history, more natural beauty, and more hidden treasures to find in businesses all over the area.

Alexandria Ice Cream Virginia

Whether you’re a tourist, in a friend group visiting for the weekend, or part of a long-time Alexandria family, the combination of traditional parlors and innovative new shops means that there is a perfect ice cream experience here for everyone.

Residents and visitors agree that these are some of the absolute best places to stop for a frozen dessert while exploring Alexandria, VA.

Ice Cream in Alexandria VA at Pop's Ice Cream
credit Chris Cruz/ Visit Alexandria

Table of Contents

Local-Owned Alexandria Ice Cream Shops

Pop’s Old Fashion Ice Cream Co.

  • Address: 109 King Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314

Whether you’re visited Old Town once or lived there your whole life, when you hear “ice cream,” you probably think of Pop’s. A combination of factors makes people flock to this location all year round, even lining up around the corner: first, the location is perfect.

After stepping out with your delicious cone, it’s a short walk to the scenic waterfront, or you can continue up King Street, tailor-made for window-shopping.

The atmosphere inside is also irresistible: from the tin-roofs to the chessboard floor and every retro detail in between, it embodies quaint but comfy nostalgia.

But the real draw is undoubtedly the great tasting ice cream cones, sundaes, Italian ices, soft-serve and floats. The extensive list of flavors behind the counter comprises mostly classics like rocky road, coffee, peach and pistachio, but has plenty of kid-pleasers like black raspberry and mint Oreo. Folks come away impressed by the flavorful choices and rich, creamy texture of the ice cream—and for the area, the prices are shockingly affordable!

Ice Cream in Alexandria VA
credit C. Davidson/Visit Alexandria

The Dairy Godmother

  • Address: 2310 Mt Vernon Ave, Alexandria, Virginia 22301

This is a true neighborhood hangout, a favorite of families and young folks in Del Ray and beyond. The Godmother makes magic with a few classic flavors of frozen custard, transforming them into a multitude of shakes and sundaes, although in hot weather a simple cone of vanilla or chocolate really hits the spot.

It is also worth coming back, as there are one or two special flavors on the menu that rotate frequently, as well as a shifting selection of delicious (and completely dairy-free, egg-free and fat-free) sorbets.

This shop also features a wide selection of Just Fine Donuts—much better than just fine, and the vegan doughnuts are just as tasty. And if you’re someone who enjoys a coffee with their sweets, local favorite the Del Ray Café is right next door.

Finding yourself walking through the quaint storefronts of Del Ray and debating between doughnuts, cones, shakes or a giant banana split?

The clear answer is: one of each.

Alexandria Ice Cream Virginia

Old Town Dolci Gelati Café

  • Address: 107 N Fairfax St, Alexandria, Virginia 22314

Distinct from the Dolci Gelati locations in DC and Maryland, this gelateria with other sweet treats and drinks has a unique relationship to its ingredients that results in a number of crave-able selections.

Much attention is paid to sourcing the absolute best components: while most of the fresh fruit is very local, other ingredients and toppings come from sustainable farms around the world (don’t hesitate to ask for information and free samples!).

The chocolate particularly comes from a small Ecuadorian farm, and is tempered in-house by the head chef.

In addition to the many flavors of gelato and sorbet to sample, Dolci Gelati offers a substantial selection of special coffee drinks that deserve some savoring. Luckily, it is a great place to hang out, with retro-artisan brick, wood and wrought-iron décor, inside and out.

The outdoor seating provides a bit of seclusion, while still allowing you to people-watch in the surrounding historic Old Town.

Mama Rosa Ice & Le Petit Ananas

(Ice Cream Trucks)

  • Mama Rosa: 4118 Mt Vernon Ave, Alexandria, Virginia 22305
  • Le Petit: 1200 Belle Haven Rd, Alexandria, Virginia 22307

One of the extra-special treats from the Salvadoran community in Northern Virginia is the minuta: a rich and extra-flavorful shaved ice with a wide variety of fruity flavors, and sometimes fruit, sauce or nut toppings added.

These aren’t the standard state-fair, crunchy ices that equal instant brainfreeze—this ice is shaved so fine that it has a rich and creamy texture, with no dairy at all!

Whenever you see an ice cream truck advertising these delicious desserts, particularly on a hot day, take a minuta to pull over and enjoy.

Mama Rosa’s and Le Petit Ananas, two of the most renowned and colorful Alexandria trucks, have the added benefit of usually remaining parked in the same spot, and serving up some variations on the traditional shaved ice.

Visitors are often surprised to stumble upon such high-quality treats sold from such small and unassuming trucks. In a city where indulgent treats are often tourist-focused and the price tag can be high, Salvadoran dessert trucks remain a truly local and affordable tradition.

Sweet Relief/Smallcakes Cupcakery & Creamery

  • Address: 1506 Mt Vernon Ave, Alexandria, Virginia 22301

This woman-owned, Hispanic-owned, local-owned franchise bakery and therapy center is interested in not just feeding, but healing.

It serves up high quality desserts combined with compression therapy, which can soothe muscles, reduce inflammation and help recover after injury.

The shop has a serious cupcake business, with large catering and to-go orders always in process, so if you’re looking for cakes, cupcakes or the therapy sessions, definitely call ahead.

For ice cream, though, the friendly chalkboard sign out front lets you know the handmade, small-batch flavors of the day, and it’s easy to drop by for a bowl or cone. There are also pints and on-a-stick ice creams to pick up on the go, including adorable and irresistible homemade push-up pops.

It’s worth dropping by multiple times to sample the dolcezza gelato, regular and vegan ice cream, and “smashcakes” (cupcake + ice cream = amazing).

With additional offerings of coffee, macarons, and even a snack for your puppy, there is something for everyone in this cozy franchise location. And maybe even get some ideas for your next party or work event!

Alexandria Ice Cream Virginia

Custard Shack

  • Address: 1401 Belle Haven Rd, Alexandria, Virginia 22307

Your best bet for a cool dairy treat in lovely Belle Haven is this frozen custard and sorbet shack, a unique set-up for the area. It is truly a take-out stand; though there is no seating inside, sitting at the picnic table with its signature red umbrella feels like a perfect summer experience.

The exterior is charming, with a hand-painted, cone-shaped sign to advertise prices—and make sure you check out the mural around the corner! With its neon sign, it feels equally iconic to visit for a scoop in the evening with family and friends.

Every flavor gets rave reviews, and the friendly servers are also happy to serve up fresh milkshakes, sundaes and floats.

Whether you’re craving a little dessert after grabbing a fresh-made pizza next door, or you need a snack on the way to enjoy the nearby waterfront park, don’t skip a trip to the Shack.

Del Ray Bocatto

  • Address: 2400 Mt Vernon Ave, Alexandria, Virginia 22301

When this restaurant and gelateria relocated from Clarendon to Del Ray, it was Arlington’s loss and Alexandria’s gain.

Whether you are headed over just for a sweet treat, or plan to order a meal of delicious empanadas too, your group will enjoy the elegant furnishings of the cozy little dining space, along with the flavorful options.

The gelato counter is a consistent source of delight for visitors: the displays often as beautiful as they are delicious.

From birthday-cake gelato with real sprinkles and candles, to Girl Scout cookie flavors (complete with the cookies), to special holiday flavors and décor, it is hard to choose just one. Maybe that’s why it becomes a regular meet-up spot for so many Alexandrians.

Alexandria Ice Cream Virginia

Goodies Frozen Custard & Treats

  • Address: 200 Commerce Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314

This sweet shop represents the marriage of two Alexandria institutions. Goodies started as a vintage, 50’s rock-and-roll themed ice cream truck serving up all kinds of sweet, well, goodies! The truck can still be seen rolling through town, and especially setting up shop at local festivals and events.

The permanent space they eventually bought is a historic Old Town building that used to house an ice delivery company, keeping people frosty in an age before widespread AC and refrigerators. Goodies has restored the 1930s Mutual Ice blue-and-white storefront, matching the cool, retro feel that weaves throughout the Goodies style.

The large outdoor seating space is a pleasant place to relax and watch the world go by as you enjoy frozen custard and fresh baked goods.

Mixing and matching the classic flavors available delivers up a wide variety of indulgent treats, from root beer floats (or cream soda, orange soda, Coca-Cola…) to turtle-pecan, chocolate drizzled sundaes.

But the most popular house specialty, which seems impossible to pass up, is the donutwich (yes, that’s ice cream for the filling and a whole doughnut as the “bread”).

Choose from apple cider or red velvet cake for your donutwich—or virtually any other combination you can dream up. Their aim is clearly to please.

Casa Rosada Artisan Gelato

  • Address: 111 S Payne St, Alexandria, Virginia 22314

This gelateria is an ode to pure and simple quality. The atmosphere seems no-frills on arrival, but the workers are unfailingly friendly and welcoming.

Moreover, each flavor hits the mark perfectly and is served in generous, piled-high scoops. All the classics are sure to be available, plus some adventurous flavors that you should at least sample, from corn to lemon basil!

Casa Rosada is also a haven for those looking for vegan and other dairy-free options, so make sure to mention if you have any dietary requirements or preferences.

There is a peaceful and tidy indoor seating area, but the little back patio is ideal in nice weather, and is even dog-friendly.

Important to note: this location often closes up shop during the coldest months, so check the website or call first if you’re making an off-season ice cream run.

Slaters Market

  • Address: 1552 Potomac Greens Dr, Alexandria, Virginia 22314

Whatever you’re looking for in a local store and restaurant, Slaters is likely to have it, at high quality and in plentiful supply. From hearty lunch sandwiches to a great beer and wine selection, from convenient breakfast-to-go to a full-on catering service, this local market has it all.

But we’re here to talk ice cream.  

Slaters serves South Mountain Creamery products by the scoop: a few fan-favorite flavors that are always available, like salted caramel and birthday cake, plus a rotating selection so there is often something new to try.

Staff is consistently friendly and patient—more than happy to chat and help you find the perfect flavor. They have cups or waffle cones, and of course the market side has pints to take home, as well as gourmet ice cream sandwiches packaged up for later.  

Williamsburg Restaurants - Kilwins

High-Quality Chains in Alexandria

Kilwin’s Chocolates and Ice Cream

Though this is a popular nation-wide chain, it feels like you are walking into a small local shop. The truly Wonka-esque array of handmade and hand-dipped chocolatey treats demands a few minutes of your time to walk around and admire.

Eventually, you find your way to the ice cream counter, for a generous cone or scoop of one of their classic, high-quality flavors.

Ice Cream in Alexandria VA at Jeni's Ice Cream
credit Misha Enriquez/ Visit Alexandria

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams

Jeni Britton’s celebrated chain combines an adorable and approachable Old Town storefront with a wide variety of ice cream and frozen yogurt that are creative while still obviously delicious, like salted peanut butter and banana brûlée.

Ben & Jerry’s

America’s favorite cow-themed, heavily pun inspired ice cream brand has only one retail location in Northern Virginia: luckily, it’s conveniently located next to the Alexandria waterfront park.

Pile up a fresh-made waffle cone or waffle bowl and wander around the historic waterfront, or stay in the shop and S”njoy a break from the summer heat!


Without a doubt the most ubiquitous dessert chain in Alexandria, with five locations all over the city! For those who seek reliably good options, Baskin has consistently well-reviewed flavors, friendly service, and usually multiple non-dairy choices.


Visit their location off King’s Highway to sample the tasty fro-yo, ice cream and sorbet of this growing East Coast chain. Most items are self-serve, and as with any quality frozen yogurt shop, you can choose your own combo from a vast array of toppings.

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