While Arlington is just minutes away from the nation’s capital, the many smaller, pedestrian- and kid-friendly neighborhoods within it often make it feel more like a small town than a busy city.
And nothing feels more small-town America than taking the family or a bunch of friends for ice cream on a muggy Northern-VA summer day.
In fact, some of the local shops have such original gourmet recipes, you’ll find yourself making visits all year round!
Below are the favorite locally owned ice cream shops in Arlington, VA, followed by a run-down of your best bets for Arlington branches of chain restaurants with satisfying frozen treats.
Check out all of the best ice cream in Virginia
Why would someone want to have ice cream in Arlington, VA?
- Cool down on a hot day. Arlington, VA is known for its hot and humid summers. Ice cream is a delicious and refreshing way to cool down on a hot day.
- Enjoy a sweet treat. Ice cream is a popular dessert that people of all ages enjoy. There are many different flavors and styles of ice cream available, so there is something for everyone.
- Support local businesses. There are many independent ice cream shops in Arlington, VA. By searching for ice cream in Arlington, VA, you can support these local businesses and help to make the community stronger.
- Find unique and delicious flavors. Arlington, VA has a diverse culinary scene, and this is reflected in the variety of ice cream flavors available. You can find everything from classic flavors like chocolate and vanilla to more unique flavors like lavender and avocado.
- Create memories with family and friends. Enjoying ice cream with family and friends is a great way to create lasting memories. Arlington, VA has many ice cream shops that are located near parks and other attractions, making them a great place to stop for a treat after a day of fun.
Local Arlington Ice Cream Spots
- Address: 1201 S. Joyce Street, Arlington, VA 22202
A delicious sweet-cream smell greets visitors to this deceptively simple little shop in the middle of bustling Pentagon Row. This is a true family operation, where the father-daughters team combines their own family’s European recipes with unique flavors they have picked up from Thai and other Asian cultures.
In addition to shakes and scoops of ice cream, sherbet and sorbet, you’ll find a rotating selection of cakes and pies for something new each visit.
The atmosphere is calm and quiet, but with plenty of workers bustling behind the counter to get you your order quickly.
Boasting a good selection of classic as well as more inventive flavors (Thai iced tea, snow ginger or butterfly pea coconut, anyone?), as well as several strong vegan options, this works well as a weekend destination for the family or a brief respite from your shopping day.
Toby’s Homemade Ice Cream & Coffee
- Address: 5849 A Washington Blvd, Arlington, Virginia 22205
Toby’s has been an institution with Arlington families for over a decade. Kids flock to the array of classic, truly homemade ice cream and sorbet flavors, as well as some newer favorites like cinnamon, ube and green tea.
Parents appreciate the coffee options and fresh pastries by the counter.
The founders’ neighborhood loyalty shines in every aspect, from the active bulletin board inside to its participation in local youth events, and occasional special surprises like the famous “cicada sundaes” served during the 2021 cicada hatching.
Though the small inside seating is inviting, a classic move is to buy a cone and finish it while you wander around the rest of the very walkable Westover neighborhood (try to finish it before you go in the thrift shops!).
One word of caution: the location sometimes closes earlier than posted times on slow weekdays, so it’s probably a good idea to call before heading over for an after-dinner treat.
Headed to Richmond? Check out the best ice cream in Richmond, VA.
Ice Cream Jubilee
- Address: 4238 Wilson Blvd Level C, Arlington, Virginia 22203
Founder Victoria has realized her vision of serving up towering cones of delicious, unique ice creams and sorbet with a smile.
The selection of flavors rotates frequently, but every visit brings irresistible, highly creative options like Mexican Hot Chocolate, Banana Bourbon Caramel, and Coconut Lychee Lime Sorbet. Set aside a few minutes indulge in the complex flavors and appreciate the thought and care that has clearly gone into each scoop.
This newish brand is quickly expanding by enthusiastic word of mouth; it started with two locations in DC, and has landed at last in the Ballston Quarter Market.
You can also find Ice Cream Jubilee in some local grocery stores, on the menu at several trendy DC restaurants, and frequently at the winner’s circle in “Best of” competitions around the area.
La Moo Creamery
- Address: 2501 N Harrison St, Arlington, Virginia 22207
For ice cream connoisseurs, this is a can’t-miss stop, both for the high quality of the desserts, made completely in-house from scratch daily, and the unique Asian-inspired flavors.
While Baskin Robbins dominated the ice cream game at the Lee-Harrison Shopping Centre for decades, few locals would complain about its absence after trying one of the delicious (and gorgeous) creations La Moo serves up.
La Moo’s signature dish is Thai rolled ice cream, which results in a bouquet of delicious frozen spirals. In place of the standard waffle cone, you can also get your ice cream in a Japanese-style crepe, while milk (boba) teas and slushies are made to order.
And the staff is happy to pile your scoops with as many sauces, fresh fruits and other toppings as they can hold.
Check out our favorite things to do in Arlington VA
- Address: 2831 Clarendon Blvd, Arlington, Virginia 22201
At this Clarendon shop, the process of making the uniquely fresh and gourmet-tasting ice cream is half of the fun. Most of the dairy and fruit ingredients are sourced from local farms from Virginia to Pennsylvania.
When they arrive, the co-owner couple uses liquid nitrogen in a process they invented to create ready-to-eat ice cream in minutes.
Stop in for a scoop or a whole pint of imaginative flavors like Nutella, Honey Lavender and Grapefruit Creamsicle.
The company makes it convenient to taste their creations any way that suits you: it caters events, allows customers to call ahead for pick-up, and even delivers in the area!
- Address: 1715 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, Virginia 22209
This little storefront is a great meet-up place with cold treats for a variety of palates, from cups of frozen yogurt and ice cream with a wide selection of toppings, to bubble tea and smoothies—works great whether you want to chill in the seating area or pick-up-and-go on the way to nearby Courthouse or Rosslyn.
Customers especially appreciate the selection of flavorful and authentic choices of fro-yo.
- Address: 4014 Campbell Avenue, Arlington, Virginia 22206
Yogi Castle has aptly dubbed itself a “Premium Frozen Dessert House,” serving up not just ice cream but any other type of cold and frozen concoction you could imagine—including several dairy-free options.
It already boasted several locations in Maryland, but the storefront nestled in Shirlington Village represents its first foray into Northern Virginia. This shop features a few self-serve fro-yo stations, added to the options you can order from the counter.
Customers to this location love the frankly astonishing selection of syrups and toppings and the authentic Euro-tart yogurt.
Given the vast selection of high-quality dining options only a short walk away in Shirlington, this is the perfect place to get a light and refreshing dessert after a big burger or Thai dish.
- Address: 1025 N. Fillmore St., Arlington, Virginia 22201
While not primarily an ice cream shop, this hip and wholesome bakery deserves an honorable mention for its mouth-watering Ice Cream Cookiewiches, tucked beside the banana pudding in its freezer section.
The rave reviews of this homemade cookie ice cream sandwich speak for themselves—plus, there is a vegan version that’s just as tasty!
And while you’re there, might as well grab a sprinkle-topped macaron. Maybe a few—they’re little!
Great Ice Cream Chains in Arlington
Ted’s Bulletin Sidekick Café
Already famous in the dessert game for its gourmet pop-tarts, Ted’s Bulletin took over a neighboring space at Ballston Quarter to serve its somewhat addicting soft-serve ice cream, cookie and cake treats along with a wide selection of coffee and tea drinks.
Whether you’re having dessert after a Ted’s meal or grabbing a quick indulgence before work, Sidekick’s is a top-choice café in the area (don’t skip the soft-serve filled croissant!).
A long-time familiar chain in the area, Baskin currently has two locations in Arlington, and another nearby in Falls Church. Both Arlington branches, on Langston Blvd and Columbia Pike, are attached to a Dunkin Donuts: reliable breakfast spots for the adults with a good selection of sweet treats for the kids.
While the company is more famous for made-to-order cakes, this location is attached to the beloved local hangout Mario’s Pizza House, and offers soft serve and sundaes with a plethora of deliciously unhealthy toppings.
This staple chain of malls everywhere has a location in Crystal City: a little tucked away, but with the familiar production line where tons of toppings can be folded into your ice cream.
Head downstairs in the Pentagon City Fashion Centre mall to find a kiosk for this crowd favorite among groups of kids and lovers of slightly unusual snacks.
Another Pentagon City option, this chain offers not only scoops of the famous indulgent brand, but also milkshakes, smoothies and fresh-fruit sundaes.
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
Many Arlingtonians are excited to finally have a local branch of Jeni Britton’s celebrated chain opening soon in Shirlington. It already has locations in major cities nationwide, including Washington DC and Alexandria.
In this adorable, Instagram-able shop, you have a wide variety of flavor options (including dairy- and gluten-free) served in delicious waffle cones by notably friendly workers.
Grab our Favorite Arlington Hotels while in Virginia
- The Westin: Two top-rated Westin Hotels in Arlington—one in Ballston and one in Crystal City. Outstanding service
- Le Méridien: Gorgeousl views of the Potomac and Georgetown
- Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel: Popular Crystal City location with great business people amenities.
- Inns of Virginia Arlington: Quiet and comfortable, with friendly local staff
- Hyatt Place Arlington/Courthouse Plaza: Modern design in the center of town
- Homewood Suites by Hilton Arlington: Suites with underground parking available
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