Spring has sprung! (sorta) We’re still in that aggravating part of the year where the weather is having major mood swings and you have to check your phone in the morning to be certain whether you need a parka or shorts. After all, sunshine doesn’t always equal warmth. However, real Spring is so close, I can feel it. The flowers are budding with abandon, we’ll soon be sneezing a gross amount, and sunshine will be accompanied by warmth creeping over our bare shoulders and legs. Alas!
Spring, more or less, is a giant warning from Mother Nature that it’s about to get real hot. In other words, it’s only a (short) matter of time before we all have an excuse to eat ice cream as often as possible. And, quite frankly, I think I speak for all of us when I say that there’s nothing worse than being unprepared for ice cream binging. So, I’ve taken the guesswork out and done some digging to solidify where, precisely, we should all be enjoying sweet, refreshing, hip-hugging treats when the time is right. Which happens to be anytime we please – but especially in these next seasons. Without further adieu:
Captain Cookie and the Milkman (Location: Traveling):
This food truck is proof that classics are well-known (and loved) with good reason. They serve up gooey cookies as their specialty, but also have ice cream on hand in order to make the real star of the show: the ice cream sandwich. Cookie flavors include all of the classics like chocolate chip, peanut butter, snickerdoodle, ginger, double chocolate, and more which can all be paired with locally made vanilla, chocolate, or black cherry ice cream for the dessert of your dreams.
Ice Cream Jubilee (Location: Navy Yard and Logan Circle/U Street)
If the name didn’t sell you, you should let the ice cream take it from here. Straying from traditional, down-to-earth ice cream, ice cream jubilee is ice cream for foodies. They proudly use all-natural ingredients and make small batches to guarantee high quality and rich, interesting flavors. The menu is rotating, but some samples include: Banana Bourbon Caramel, Caramel Popcorn, Cold Brew Coffee, Cookies and Cookie Dough, Strawberry White Chocolate, Nat’s Red Velvet Cake, Thai Iced Tea, and Honey Lemon Lavender.
Dolci Gelati (Location: Shaw, Takoma, Old Town)
Is there anything more indulgent than gelato? I can’t think of much, and that’s reason alone to love this place. They offer a delicious array of gelato flavors as well as frozen gelato pops that can be dipped in toppings and eaten right off the stick. Some flavors worth digging your spoon into include Ginger Vanilla, Coconut, Chocolate Jalapeño, Cheesecake, White Chocolate Hazelnut, Almond Praline, Poached Pear Cinnamon, Vanilla Rose, Sweet Potato Pie, Peanut Butter and Jelly, and the list goes on. You’ll want to read up all on the flavors, trust me. And then you’ll want to eat them.
Nicecream (Clarendon and Old Town)
If ice cream wasn’t cool enough (pun intended), Nicecream went and made it cooler by making it with liquid nitrogen. If you’re an ice cream purist, you might be asking why? According to the churners themselves:
“Liquid nitrogen freezes food within seconds and leaves no trace once evaporated. The freezing process makes smaller ice crystals, leaving a final product that is denser and creamier than traditionally crafted ice cream. And it allows for us to use fresh ingredients to make your scoop!”
The menu here is rotating but examples include Honey Lavender, Purely Pistachio, Bananas & Cream, Dark Chocolate Sea Salt, and Milk Chocolate Chunk.
Thomas Sweet (Georgetown)
A Georgetown staple, Thomas Sweet is known for delicious ice cream , fro-yo, and blend-ins (so much so, in fact, that Obama’s been in a time or two). Lines are common here, but the stuff gets scooped fast and the flavors are well worth the wait. Some flavors include Lemon Cookie, Rum Raisin, Coffee Oreo, Mocha Chip, Butter Brickle, and Swiss Chocolate Malt. On their list of over 100 flavors, though, you’re bound to find one to love.
Pleasant Pops (Downtown and Adams Morgan)
Although technically not ice cream, Pleasant Pops still earns its place on the list with refreshingly scrumptious popsicles, some of which are dairy-based and ice-cream-esque. With both water and dairy-based pops available, you can air on the side of light and fruity or sweet and indulgent. Some flavor examples include Orange Chai, Strawberry Ginger Lemonade, Coconut, Mexican Sweet Cream and Cinnamon, and Chocolate Banana.