Best ice cream photo
(Pitango Gelato; Photo by James M. Thresher)

Best ice cream

The Washington Post Staff  |  Updated 07/18/2012

We find it hard to turn down ice cream in any form, whether it's an old-fashioned double scoop or curly swirl of frozen yogurt.

 

Boccato Gelato & Espresso

Arlington, VA

There's always a crowd hanging around here. The gelatos are rich, the flavors are creative and the small shop is cool. The Elvis gelato, combining peanut butter and bananas is a real winner. Owner Cristian Velasco and Rob Shelton have also featured such flavors as Girl Scout Cookie and Chocolate Guinness. Tasty fun.

 

Dolcezza

+ Multiple Locations

The gelato by the husband-and-wife team of Robb and Violeta Duncan, who own three stores, is refreshing and satisfying, and a bit decadent and sweet at the same time. The daily-made flavors reflect local in-season produce and unusual combinations, such as cantaloupe tarragon. Also available at farmers markets and wholesale.

 

Larry's Ice Cream

Washington, DC

The subterranean Dupont shop has lovers and haters. Count us among the former.

 

Island Style Ice Cream

Mount Rainier, MD

The Mount Ranier spot specializes in ice cream flavors most often found in the Caribbean.

 

Max's Best Ice Cream

Washington, DC

This 18-year-old shop offers numerous choices and creative flavors such as Mint M&M or Mozambique, a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves that leaves you wishing for Christmas. Note: Cash only here.

 

Pitango Gelato

+ Multiple Locations

Maybe it's the milk from grass-fed cows, but licking a small spoonful of the delectable spicy chocolate or the hazelnut, made from imported Italian nuts, doesn't feel sinful at all. It feels . . . downright good.

 

The Dairy Godmother

Alexandria, VA

Indulgent, decadent and velvety are the words that come to mind during the custard-induced coma you enter after a trip to the Dairy Godmother.

 

Moorenko's Ice Cream Cafe

Silver Spring, MD

Owner Susan Soorenko went to ice cream school in New York and learned well. Located on Georgia Avenue, almost a mile south of downtown Silver Spring, Soorenko's shop highlights fairly standard flavors, all thick, creamy and not too sweet. The only downer here is the small portions.

 

Simple Pleasures Ice Cafe

Bowie, MD

Simple Pleasures speaks of a slower time, when your ice cream came in perfect scoops in a clear, stemmed bowl. Owner and ice cream maker Terri Russell will serve you her creme de la creme ice cream herself, which highlights local fruit. The shop's front porch will make you want to linger.

 

Thomas Sweet Ice Cream & Chocolate

Washington, DC

You'll feel like a Georgetowner at this longtime fixture at the corner of Wisconsin and P Street. Go for the signature blend-in, or choose one of the sophisticated flavors like hazelnut or sweet cream.

 

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