Frozen desserts will always be a fan favorite, but nothing makes them more desirable than a hot summer day. A refreshing dessert will always make your day better, whether you’re spending the day at the pool or you just need a break after work. But while the endless supply of different ice cream categories might seem like the perfect choice for cooling off, there are a few underrated competitors that could become your new favorite summer desserts. Northern Virginia may have an extensive array of ice cream parlors, but luckily, there is also a plethora of classic and eccentric popsicle, shaved ice, and frozen custard shops ready for your visit.
Goodies Frozen Custard
If the Food Network recommends Goodies Frozen Custard, isn’t it obligatory to give it a try? It was voted the fourth-best food truck in the country, but the walk-up shack in Alexandria is equally great and is worth the visit. With its nostalgic ’50s aesthetic and legendary frozen custard blended with toppings like Oreos, buttered pecans, and caramel, there’s no better place to go for a frozen dessert day. 200 Commerce St., Alexandria
Almost anyone you meet will agree that gelato is delicious. So imagine eating gelato, but in popsicle form. A pretty awesome combination, right? Fantasticks is an artisan gelato and custom popsicle shop that can cater to any craving or diet. It offers an impressive 40-plus flavors and a selection of vegan options as well, making it the perfect first stop in your frozen dessert trek. 44715 Thorndike St., Ashburn; 7953 Tysons Corner Center
Magnolia Dessert Bar & Coffee
If you choose to visit Magnolia Dessert Bar & Coffee for your next sweet treat craving, you are sure to be enamored by both the food and the undeniably elegant décor. While it has an extensive list of desserts and sweet drinks you have probably never heard of but are delicious nonetheless, the selection of shaved ice should be at the top of your list to try. Named “Bing’s Bing’s Snow Ice,” the shaved ice variations will suit any craving, from green tea ice to chocolate flavors. This might not be the cheapest option for a frozen dessert, but you will certainly be entranced by its uniqueness. 431 Maple Ave. W., Vienna
Kulfi pops are not your average popsicle, but Dessert Lounge will get even the most cautious palate to embrace the flavorful dessert. With the goal of bringing more recognition to Southeast Asian cuisine in Northern Virginia, this hip restaurant offers an alternative to your classic fruit popsicle and brings you an ice cream popsicle. With a rich creaminess and unique flavor, this decadent dessert is more refreshing and satisfying than you could imagine. 348 Elden St., Herndon
Siroo & Juk Story
Ever wondered what Korean shaved ice tastes like? Even if the answer to that question is no, you won’t be disappointed trying the multiple frozen desserts offered at Siroo & Juk Story. This quaint DMV-based Korean café is known for its piquant take on bingsoo, a Korean shaved ice dessert made with milk and often topped with red bean paste and assorted fruits. There are 15 varieties of bingsoo to try, so you’ll never get bored. 13830 Lee Hwy., Centreville; 4231 Markham St., Annandale
This story originally ran in our August issue. For more stories like this, subscribe to our monthly magazine.