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Posted at 9:00 AM ET, 06/11/2008

Cold as Ice

By Julia Beizer

Disgusting D.C. summer came a little early this year, eh? It's only the middle of June and walking outside the past few days has felt like trudging through dense, wet fog.

True relief from the heat isn't likely to come until September, so why not reward yourself for going out in that sticky mess? When the ice cream craving hits me, here are a few places at the top of my list.

The Argentine-style gelateria is one of upper Georgetown's gems. Coffee drinks and typical gelato flavors are available here, but stick to the unusal combos like pineapple honey lime and strawberry lime tarragon. You're always bound to taste something interesting.

Bethesda-dwellers, get psyched. The gelateria's new Bethesda location, which was plagued by not one but two floods during construction, is slated to open by Friday. (Cross your fingers for a clean plumbing inspection.)

Rita's Water Ice
The Italian ice here calls up memories of those slightly slushy and syrupy Fla-Vor-Ice pops of childhood. But unlike the ice pops of yore, Rita's flavors are more inventive than the green-purple-red-orange varieties. Try Georgia peach for a summertime treat, and mix it with the shop's creamy old-time custard. You can use this coupon for a free ice on Saturday. Yes, Rita's is a chain, but it's also simply delicious.

Max's Best
The emphasis is on the cream at Max's Best, which serves velvety concoctions that range from the basic flavors to the exotic, like the spicy Mexican chocolate.

The Dairy Godmother
This Del Ray shop specializes in thick custard. You can taste the difference in this dense dessert which can be mixed with the flavors of the day.

What are your favorite spots for a sweet treat?


By Julia Beizer  | June 11, 2008; 9:00 AM ET
Categories:  Restaurants  
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Carvel on Wilson next to Marios is like a step back into the past but I love their ice cream.

Posted by: Arlington, VA | June 11, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

I rather like Gifford's, personally.

There's one next to the movie theater on Bethesda Row and another about two doors down from the E Street Movie Theater downtown at 11th and E. There may be other locations that I'm unaware of.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Larry's on Connecticut in Dupont Circle.

Posted by: Kirstin | June 11, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

What? Nobody's mentioned Thomas Sweet yet? Blend in your own stuff and you get orgasmic taste treats. One time I did Oreo and egg nog. Wow.

Oh, and Vamos United and vote out anyone who doesn't support the soccer stadium.

Posted by: Fahrvergnugen | June 11, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

I know this is kind of out of the way, but I always look forward to La Piccola's Gelato at the Nats Stadium!

Posted by: Dupont Circle | June 11, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Milwaukee's Best Frozen Custard, they only have three flavors a day (vanilla, chocolate and the special of the day) but they are always good.

Posted by: Chantilly, VA | June 11, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

drive out to winchester and get some pax frozen custard.

soo good

Posted by: ballston dude | June 11, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Dickey's Frozen Custard, close to Farragut North and West - yum!

Posted by: on L Street | June 11, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

It begins and ends with the Jimmy Cone in Damascus.

Posted by: A Better Place | June 11, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

My new favorite is tangysweet frozen yogurt in Dupont. Great modern space with lighted tables that change colors, three flavors (original, green tea and pomegranate), fresh fruit toppings and "green" containers. First time I ever had this type of frozen yogurt (I sold TCBY back in the day) and now understand why pinkberry is so popular in LA. Open until 2am between 21st & 20th on P NW.

Posted by: LTripp | June 11, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Love to York Island Tropical Ice Cream on Georgia in Silver Spring! It is way, way better than either Larry's or Thomas Sweet. And it has Guinness ice cream, which I don't think you can get anywhere else in the DC area, plus lots of delicious seasonal tropical flavors.

Posted by: go to maryland | June 11, 2008 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Max's and York are great. I like Rita's too.

But I sure do miss having a real ice cream parlor - even a Swensen's. I used to love those kinds of places.

Posted by: saf in Petworth | June 11, 2008 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Gifford's has a seasonal Guinness flavor too! Their ice cream is fantastic.

I'm looking forward to trying out Tangysweet...I've had Pinkberry in NYC which is delicious, and this is supposed to be even better!

Posted by: GiffordsFan | June 12, 2008 1:01 AM | Report abuse

i've become fond of the frozen dairy bar off of 50 in falls church. it's the only frozen custard that i've had that i actually like, and it seems like a bit of an institution (they've got pictures of the original building from the '40s or '50s hanging up inside the store). also very much looking forward to trying tangysweet in dupont. really liked pinkberry in nyc, so i've got high hopes for frozen yogurt in dc!

Posted by: gk | June 12, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Nielsen's Frozen Custard in Vienna is fine stuff. Worth the trip always. And how I miss Lazy Sunday in Clarendon...

Posted by: GDK, Arlington | June 12, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

I like going to the National Art Gallery during my lunch hour; buy a gelato in their cafeteria; and watch the water/fountain window. They have lots of flavors to mix and match. It's very refreshing.

Posted by: Kat | June 12, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Moorenko's near my home in McLean, and also in Silver Spring, is a full-flavored place to honk down some ice cream in summer and winter.

Its retro furnishings work well to set the mood.

Posted by: SAD | June 12, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Best ice cream in DC area is at Island Style in Mt. Rainier, MD (just over DC line off Rhode Island Ave - take a left at the traffic circle). Wonderful flavors from all natural ingredients and the owner P is the nicest lady ever.

Posted by: Mt. Rainier | June 13, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

My vote goes to Island Style Ice Cream in Mount Rainer and Larry's in Dupont.

Posted by: Candace | June 15, 2008 6:52 PM | Report abuse

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