Summertime Sweets and Tipsy Treats to Keep You Cool
Now that D.C .has finally accepted that it is indeed summer, the hot and steamy temps are rising and we are faced with the challenge of finding reprieve from the heat. How about this for a perfect equation? Humid weather + refreshingly cool sweets = a delightful summer pairing. It is really hard to turn down ice cream in any form, whether it’s an old-fashioned double scoop or a curly swirl of frozen yogurt. Counting calories? Not to worry. If you have spent the last few months getting ‘bikini-ready’ and don’t want to spoil your hard work, don’t fret. There is something for everyone.
In the District:
With five locations in the DC metro Area to entice you, Pitango Gelato (413 7th St., NW & 1451 P St., NW) ups the ante by not just using organic milk, but grass-fed organic milk, plus imported pistachios, premium chocolates and organic Thai coconut milk. While pricier than typical ice cream joints, you definitely get what you pay for. In addition, all sorbets are fat-free and vegan. For summertime, owner Noah Dan is sourcing seasonal rhubarb, apricots, Bosc pears, quince, raspberries and strawberries from independent farms in Pennsylvania to create his fresh fruit sorbets. Made only with fresh fruit, raw organic cane sugar and mineral water, Pitango’s sorbets contain no processed ingredients, mixes, syrups or artificial colorings or flavorings. The local gelateria’s newest flavor, Bacio, packs a chocolate-filled punch with its combination of Gianduja gelato mixed with premium chopped hazelnuts from Italy’s Piemonte region and bits of Couverture chocolate. Dan recommends enjoying this new flavor in an Italian ice cream sandwich, known as a Brioche Con Gelato. The oval-shaped brioche, baked daily, can be slathered with any Pitango gelato, but Dan’s sweet and crunchy Bacio combines well with the supple, slightly salty brioche. Priced at $5, the sandwich is available on weekends at Pitango’s Logan Circle location.
Sure, while most think of gelato as Italian, Dolcezza (1560 Wisconsin Ave., NW and 1704 Connecticut Ave., NW) will redirect your appreciation with its artisan Argentine gelato. You’ll love their innovative flavor combinations, using only the best seasonal locally sourced products, with half the fat and calories of traditional ice cream. Perhaps the most indulgent treat of all is frozen custard, which has a higher milk fat and egg yolk content than typical ice cream. This equation creates an incredibly dense and smooth texture that not only tastes, but also feels incredible in your mouth. The Lemon Opal Basil is to die for! Destination location: Georgetown and DuPont Metro Stop
Don’t want to cover up those ripped abs you’ve work so hard for these past few months? Then look no further than Sweetgreen (multiple locations: 3333 M St., NW; 1729 21st St., NW; 1471 P St., NW; 1512 Connecticut Ave., NW; 1901 L St., NW and 221 Pennsylvania Ave., SE). Here you can enjoy deliciously healthy frozen yogurt made from local, farm-fresh ingredients while observing green sustainable practices. Destination location(s): Georgetown, Foggy Bottom, McPherson Square, DuPont, Farragut North and Capitol Hill Metro Stops
I scream, you scream, we all scream for U-Scream Ice Scream and Treatery (1301 U St., NW). Here you’ll find both traditional and unique ice cream flavors with an unbeatable creamy texture at a reasonable price, served to you with a smile. Must try: Carrot Cake, Ginger or Red Velvet on a homemade waffle cone. Destination location: U St. Metro Stop
Bigger isn’t always better, especially when it comes to ice cream shops. Max’s Best Ice Cream and Sandwich Shop (2416 Wisconsin Ave., NW) in Glover Park really makes you feel like you’re part of the crew with its pictures on the wall and charming wait staff. Must try: Blueberry Cheesecake or Honey Graham. Also, be sure to pay Max’s a visit in the fall for the spicy pumpkin flavor! Destination location: Glover Park, closest metro station Woodley Park
Thomas Sweet (3214 P St., NW), oh how sweet you are. Located in the heart of Georgetown, this dessert hotspot was founded in 1979. Thomas Sweet offers a family-friendly atmosphere that you’ll find both relaxing and up-to-date with free wi-fi. They also have a nice outdoor patio. Made in small batches with the freshest ingredients, this ice cream shop guarantees a high quality product. In addition to ice cream, try their soft frozen yogurt, chocolate, and even fresh fudge. (With Mohammed Ali as its owner, would you expect anything less?) Special Note: * Cash only! Destination location: Georgetown, closest metro stop Foggy Bottom
Looking for a place to finish off that perfect Sunday Funday? Try Larry’s Ice Cream (1633 Connecticut Ave., NW) in DuPont, a charming little shop with an authentic DC ambiance. Coffee lover? Spring for the espresso flavor and enjoy your scoop while listening to Frank Sinatra tunes. You might also be tempted by Larry’s baked goods, in particular the cupcakes. However, if you’re a bit of a health nut Larry’s also offers frozen vegan options. Also, Larry’s now has locations in Crystal City and Clarendon.Must try: Cinnamon Cookie Dough Destination Location: DuPont Metro Stop
Craving something rich and a little less trendy than frozen yogurt? Go to Dickey’s Frozen Custard (1710 I St., NW). A perfect spot to pick up a sandwich for lunch, you won’t be able to resist this sweet and welcoming dessert. With a fluffy appearance and density that you can feel in the weight of your cup, Dickey’s doesn’t mess around when it comes to custard. Special Note: Closed on weekends. Destination location: Farragut West Metro
Indulge yourself at Sinplicity’s Food Truck (Ballston to Rosslyn along the Wilson/Clarendon Blvd Corridor) during your next late afternoon walk. Sure, you might feel a twinge of guilt for giving in to temptation, but we guarantee you won’t regret it when all is said and done. Sinplicity offers unique ice cream flavors and sorbets, including Wasabi with Gran Mariner and Salted Caramel, as well as, artisan cookies. But what you really want to try is the Cow Pie “Sinwich” with chocolate ice cream and Kaluha soaked brownies wedged between chocolate macaroons. Follow them on Twitter for location updates: @Sinplicity1 Also available in all DC area Balducci’s Stores, the Whole Foods in Old Town Alexandria, and select area Farmers Markets.
“Libation-tastic snow cones.” That’s how Ritz-Carlton (1150 22nd St., NW) describes these new made-over alcohol-infused ice treats. Offering refreshing adult flavors such as Lemonade Thyme, Strawberry Basil and Blueberry Mojito and non-alcoholic flavors like Cotton Candy, it’s a place the entire family can enjoy. We really can’t think of a better spot to bring out-of-town guests on a scorching Saturday afternoon. Destination location: Foggy Bottom Metro Stop
Ted’s Bulletin (505 8th St., SE) serves up fun for the whole family with their incredible milkshakes. Mixed with the perfect proportion of ice cream, cream and mix-ins, these sips of happiness are more fun than running through the sprinklers. And their adult-friendly milkshakes will get parents as giddy as the kids. Must try: Nutty Professor with hazelnut liqueur Destination Location: Eastern Market Metro Stop
Againn (1099 New York Ave., NW) takes the “root” out of root beer with its creative beer float creations including a Guinness Beer Float with Madagascar Vanilla Bean Ice Cream and Vanilla Cream Soda with Strawberry Ripple Ice Cream. Now that’s my kind of happy hour! Destination location: Metro Center Metro Stop
In the Burbs
Even President Obama knows that, The Dairy Godmother located in Del Ray, Alexandria (2310 Mount Vernon Ave.) is worth a visit! The Dairy Godmother, a Mt. Vernon Avenue fixture since 2001, is the brain child of former pastry chef and Del Ray resident Liz Davis. They offer traditional chocolate and vanilla, but also a new flavor creation each day like Cinnamon Toast or Orange Chocolate Shortbread, to excite and comfort your taste buds. Or go for a simple vanilla custard with hot fudge and toasted almonds like the Commander in Chief.
Side note: Speaking of the Obamas, the First Lady may enjoy her sweets but, as evidenced by her multiple efforts to prevent and cure child obesity, Michelle prefers indulging in bites that are a bit more figure friendly. Earlier this month, she treated her daughter, Sasha, to Pinkberry (1213 Connecticut Ave. NW) in DuPont circle to celebrate her 11th birthday. Joined by her sister, Malia, and the Secret Service, the gang took a welcomed reprieve from the heat. If you’re not wanting to venture into the city, you can visit Pinkberry at Tysons Corner (7889 Tysons Corner Center), the Village at Leesburg (1606 Village Market Blvd 100), or Fairfax Corner (11942 Grand Commons Ave). If you’re in the District, check out their Georgetown location (3288 M St., NW).
At Bastille (1201 North Royal St.) located in Old Town, Alexandria, Chef Michelle Poteaux takes this indulgence to new levels by creating her very own homemade classic and contemporary combos of this frozen confection. Through July 14th, Bastille restaurant will be presenting their first annual ‘Ice Cream Social,’ serving such delights as Chocolate Liegeois—Valrhona Manjari chocolate ice cream with homemade fudge sauce, crème Chantilly and grated chocolate; Coupe Chambord—Raspberry sorbet and vanilla ice cream with fresh Chambord marinated raspberries and blueberries, crème Chantilly and candied almonds; and Coupe Noisette—espresso ice cream with gianduja sauce, candied hazelnuts, crème Chantilly and chocolate covered espresso beans. Flavors will rotate in and out throughout the period of the Ice Cream Social, including upcoming flavors such as Grand Marnier, passion fruit, tropical banana split, Peach Melba and more. Summer just got a lot sweeter and a whole lot cooler.
Also enjoy Pitango Gelato (11942 Democracy Dr.) in Reston. Where the friendly staff scoop some of the creamiest gelato and smoothest sorbet made with locally sourced milk and eggs, it’s a win-win for everyone. For summertime, owner Noah Dan is sourcing seasonal rhubarb, apricots, Bosc pears, quince, raspberries and strawberries from independent farms in Pennsylvania to create his fresh fruit sorbets. Made only with fresh fruit, raw organic cane sugar and mineral water, Pitango’s sorbets contain no processed ingredients, mixes, syrups or artificial colorings or flavorings.
You can also visit Dolcezza Artisanal Gelato (7111 Bethesda Ln) in Bethesda. And you won’t have any problem fitting into your itty bitty polka dot bikini after your visit, because the sorbetto consists mostly of fruit and the gelato contains half the calories and fat of ice cream. Can’t decide on one flavor? Try a combination, like gianduja and straciatella.
Do you have any favorite spots that are your go-to places for yummy frozen treats? Let us know by leaving a comment! There is no such thing as having “too many places to go.”
Guest post by Ashley Morris
Ashley Morris moved to DC in May 2011 after graduating from Baylor University (Yeah RG3!) and works at a media relations firm in Alexandria, VA. A lover of food, wine, traveling, and photography, she truly enjoys the diverse culture that DC has to offer. Spending time with friends and family to her is of utmost importance, and she couldn’t think of a better way to bond with them than by enjoying a meal and some drinks at one of DC’s latest hotspots.