Sometimes living in the District can be anything but sweet. With ice cream shops scarcely scattered around the city, it can be difficult to find a place to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Here’s the scoop on where to get an ice cream fix – all just short Metro rides from campus.
For a traditional mom and pop shop – Trickling Springs Creamery
Take a 30-minute Metro ride, first to Metro Center then switch to the red line, and you’ll be at a quaint ice cream shop with homestyle flavors. Trickling Springs Creamery is tucked away in the back corner of Union Market amid various restaurants, farm stands and butcher shops.
Unlike other shops that boast local products, Trickling Springs Creamery brings its own ice cream, milk and dairy products from their creamery in Chambersburg, Penn., two and a half hours outside the District. Trickling Springs offers their organic and non-GMO products by sourcing exclusively from their farm and other Pennsylvania farms, all of which are home to grass-fed and heritage breed cows.
Trickling Springs offers 16 flavors, as well as chocolate and vanilla soft serve and rootbeer floats. You can get one scoop on a cone for $3.95, a rootbeer float or milkshake for $5.95 and add a waffle cone or bowl for just $1 extra.
The Java Cookie is filled with big chunks of Oreo cookie that are paired with a robust coffee flavor. Another favorite recommended by the shop’s staff is the Peanut Butter Chocolate, which tastes just like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup with a rich chocolate flavor and peanut butter swirl.
In addition to their tried and true favorites, the shop has rotating seasonal flavors. The springtime special lemon tastes just like a sweet lemon cake.
1309 Fifth St. NE
Nearest Metro stop: NoMa/Gallaudet University
For a behind-the-scenes look – Nicecream
Head across the Potomac River for a one-of-a-kind dessert experience at Nicecream. Nicecream promises to wow you with its creamy, dense ice creams made with liquid nitrogen right before your eyes.
You can sit at one of the small round tables that dot the store and watch as employees pour the ingredients for your chosen flavor into one of six slow-churning mixers. Then the magic happens as employees pour liquid nitrogen into the mixer, which covers your ice cream and swoops gracefully around to create a foggy cloud around the countertops from the liquid nitrogen freezing.
The store has a fun and welcoming atmosphere with modern mint green and coral-colored walls. On one wall, “Nicecream” is spelled out with elements from the periodic table as a reminder that your dessert is also a chemistry experiment.
The ice cream comes in six flavors with one- and two-scoop sizes. The honey and lavender flavor paired nicely with the lemony jenny flavor in a regular size ($5.99 for two scoops) was a mouth-watering combination of two light spring-appropriate flavors. This ice cream melts quicker than dairy ice cream, so be sure to eat fast.
2831 Clarendon Blvd., Arlington, Va.
Nearest Metro stop: Clarendon
For a retro vibe – Goodies Frozen Custard & Treats
At Goodies, you’re always in for an adventure. The food truck travels across the District, stopping at places like Navy Yard, L’Enfant Plaza and Chinatown. The truck, lovingly nicknamed “Gigi” by its owners, is a 1952 step van restored to its original condition, painted white and bright blue.
The turtle pecan sundae, one of Goodies’ most popular items, includes Wisconsin-style homemade vanilla bean frozen custard, chocolate syrup, caramel sauce, roasted pecans and whipped cream. Unlike typical ice cream, custard has more than 10 percent butter fat content and is also made with egg yolk, making it creamier, richer and denser than your average scoop.
One of the most popular items at Goodies is the donut custard sandwich. To make this unique dessert, Goodies cuts a donut in half, scoops a generous amount of frozen custard between the halves and tops it off with copious amounts of caramel or chocolate sauce, depending on the type of donut. The massive treat is hard to eat alone, but it’s perfect to share with a friend.
Check for location via Goodies’s Twitter, @mmmgoodies
Nearest Metro stop: depends on truck’s location
For an upscale atmosphere – Dolci Gelati
For an upscale dining atmosphere, grab dessert at Dolci Gelati in Logan Circle. The two gaudy, sparkling chandeliers and eye-popping lime green walls sprinkled with Italian words in black cursive are dazzling. Outside, white French bistro chairs sit under trees entwined with twinkle lights.
At Dolci Gelati, you get the fanciful European aesthetic and numerous dessert options, ranging from cannolis to vegan gelato.
I enjoyed the customizable mini pops ($1.81), which came at a great price and allows you to call the shots on what sweet treat you would enjoy. You get to choose the flavor of a small gelato cube on a stick then it is dipped into dark, milk or white chocolate sauce. Finally, the pop is finished off with one of eight toppings, which include chocolate sprinkles, toasted coconut and pistachio.
Dolci Gelati is the perfect place to enjoy a scoop while studying, with options to sit outside or inside at the wooden counter by the window overlooking a quaint street.
1420 Eighth St. NW
Nearest Metro stop: Mt. Vernon Square