7 Must-Try Ice Cream Shops in Virginia

Where to Find the Top Ice Cream Shops in VirginiaVIRGINIA - In Virginia, you can enjoy ice cream at the top-notch Gilly's Creamery in the Virginia Beach Farmers Market. The shop uses only simple ingredients and offers various ever-changing flavors. The menu features seasonal favorites such as Moon Pie, Orange Creamsicle, and Mom's Apple Pie.

Where to Find the Top Ice Cream Shops in Virginia
Photo: Island Creamery on Chincoteague Island

1. Carl’s Ice Cream in Fredericksburg

Carl's Ice Cream in Fredericksburg, Virginia, is an ice cream shop with a rich history. It opened in 1947 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  The store is famous for its frozen custard and has been featured on TV shows, including the Food Network and PBS. The shop is a great place to spend a day with family or friends. Carl Settle's nieces and nephew now operate the stand, which serves three different flavors. The stand is cash-only, but they've managed to carry on the tradition. The stand is open every day except for the hunting season.

2. Island Creamery on Chincoteague Island

The small-batch ice cream is made with local dairy milk. The shop dates to circa 1975 and serves classic flavors. You can taste the fresh ice cream in a classic island setting.  The island's small-town charm is apparent in the retro-chic decor of the shop. In addition, The island Creamery also features a variety of unique flavors. Try the Bourbon Caramel Crunch or the Cake Batter. You may also want to try the Wallops Rocket Fuel, named after the Wallops Island Flight Facility.

3. Dippers Ice Cream in Ridgeway

Dippers Ice Cream is a unique ice cream shop in Ridgeway, Virginia.  The shop uses high-quality ingredients and makes new flavors daily. The menu features 18 unique flavors and rotates regularly. It also offers homemade sauces. Try their peanut butter, strawberry, and hot fudge sauces. They also have a corn hole game for customers to play while they enjoy their ice cream. The shop has an outdoor patio for customers to relax while enjoying their ice cream. The shop is pet friendly, too. It is also known for its homemade ice cream sandwiches. There is even an area for pets.

4. The Split Banana in Staunton

This cozy ice cream shop serves rotating flavors of ice cream, gelato, and sorbet. Its staff is knowledgeable about each flavor and offers specialty drinks. The friendly atmosphere and tasty treats will make you want to visit again. The Split Banana is a favorite of locals and tourists. It is open late, making it a great place to grab ice cream at night. The shop also sells ice cream by the quart and pint. The split banana prices are reasonable. The shop serves more than 50 flavors of gelato and sorbet, and they often have unique flavors of the month. The ice cream shop is located near the downtown wharf and has a new restaurant attached.

5. Brown Dog Ice Cream in Cape Charles

If you're visiting Cape Charles, Virginia, and are in the mood for ice cream, you might consider a stop at Brown Dog Ice Cream.  This local favorite offers a cozy ambiance for families to enjoy a cool treat. Not only is it inexpensive, but the menu features a wide variety of delicious options. You can even enjoy a cup of coffee with ice cream. Miriam Elton founded Brown Dog Ice Cream offers homemade ice cream made with fresh ingredients. The business won Made in Virginia 2015 and 2016 Best of Virginia awards and has served the community's most creative ice cream for three years. Its name, inspired by Elton's chocolate lab, has earned its acclaim locally and across the Commonwealth.

6. Pop’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream in Alexandria

Pop's Old Fashioned Ice Cream in Alexandria is a long-running parlor that serves housemade ice cream in a vintage setting.  This classic parlor offers a wide variety of flavors. The staff is friendly and accommodating, making your visit a nostalgic experience. The ice cream served here is renowned for its quality and comes in heaping scoops. Pop Giovanni, who spent his early career catering to the White House, developed the original recipes. The ice cream was a favorite of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who often ordered it for her special events. Today, Pop's Old Fashioned Ice Cream is an Alexandria institution with over 60 flavors.

7. Doumar’s Cones and Barbecue in Norfolk

Doumar's Cones and Barbecue has been a landmark stop in business since 1904.  The popular holiday offers BBQ burgers, dogs, sandwiches, and other classic favorites. Soda fountain favorites are also available. The family who originally opened Doumar's Cones in Norfolk is the second generation to run this restaurant. After operating a drive-in for many years, they reopened the diner in the mid-1930s. Although the restaurant remained a drive-in for most of its existence, its carhop roots remain strong. The carhops still work here, and the waffle machine outside the diner is a staple of fair-weather days.