Five new ice cream parlors in the metropolitan area worth going out of your way

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Ice cream has always been the perfect comfort food, especially during the isolation of the past couple of years. I also brought people together, whether it was on the way to a neighbor while picking up a pint to go or sitting with a friend and eating a cold scoop over a crunchy cone.

“Ice cream is one of the things anyone who lives here loves,” says Charles Forman, owner of Everyday Sundae in Petworth, a DC-area frozen treat purveyor who started during the pandemic. Through small-batch flavors, fermented pints or the taste of other cultures, these new ice cream stores have sweetened their community in their own way.

Foreman opened Everyday Sundae on Kennedy Street NW in July 2021, hoping to make it a local player. Foreman had been a Petworth resident for two decades and father of two, and during the pandemic he was laid off from his job as a chef. He believed that a family-friendly scoop shop was exactly what his neighborhood lacked.

“I want to make an impact in my community,” Forman says. “Treat people like family and remember them.” The motto of his business is “a place for the community”.

In less than a year, Everyday Sundae has developed a loyal following: Regulars come in to hunt down favorite flavor, graphics and cards from neighborhood kids hanging on the walls, and a customer even buys tissue paper there to help support the store. Foreman has hosted kids from a nearby daycare for storybook reading, followed by sweets, and next month he’s organizing a free end-of-school movie night in a parking lot across the street, with plans to “serve ice cream and popcorn until it’s gone.”

At any given time, his shop offers 24 flavors from a rotating menu of about 50 flavors that are refreshing and familiar to classic tastes, such as rich dark chocolate hazelnut, cappuccino crunch, brown butter, bourbon truffle and black cherry. Servings are generous: a “single” serving includes three tablespoons, which can be of three different flavors (a “double” includes six).

Foreman supplies it with thick, satisfying ice cream from a Pennsylvania producer, but the chef keeps his hand in the mix by making vanilla-filled waffles on site, and on Wednesdays, Belgian waffles are la mode with toppings. In fine weather, customers can disable one of the two shared sidewalk tables with the adjacent Anxo cidery.

shovels $3.50 – $5.95; Half pints $6.50. 713 Kennedy Street NW. Open from Tuesday to Sunday. everydaysundaedc.com. – VHL

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Ben Brunner was “always on” working on ice cream in restaurant kitchens but never focused on it until Komi – the Michelin-starred Greek restaurant where he had worked for ten years – closed during the pandemic and reopened as a casual Happy Gyro dining area, prompting Brunner To shift gears, too. Now, as the maker of sister brand Happy Ice Cream, he makes elaborate flavors that play the role of a pastry chef.

Happy ice cream combines multiple elements, all made by hand by Brunner, like a modern take on Valrhona dark chocolate ice cream; Pieces of chocolate cake and candied mandarincoats, a tart mixture of mandarin and orange. Some flavors are recreating beloved desserts, including the popular oatmeal cookie, which includes cookie cutters, chocolate shavings and a pinch of cinnamon, and frozen yogurt with a graham pie. Flavors change frequently, depending in part on seasonal ingredients such as fruit.

“It tries to create a sense of nostalgia for people, like when you taste a flavor, it kind of sets you back,” Brunner says. Delicious crunchy Stracciatella honey and crunchy cashew nuts even uses his grandmother’s honey brittle recipe.

Quick pints are packed with alternating layers of ice cream and toppings, to bring all the ingredients into every bite. This 17th Street NW sidewalk wagon serves up four flavors at once (posted daily on Instagram happyicecreamdc), served in delicious honey-caramelized sourdough waffles. Brunner often does the scraping himself, and says he appreciates the change from the long hours behind the scenes in Kumi’s kitchen: “Seeing people’s faces and reactions when they immediately taste something is great.”

scoops from 6 to 8 USD; Pints ​​to go $15. The carriage stationed at 1509 17th St. N.W. Open from Tuesday to Saturday (weather permitting). happyicecreamdc.com. – VHL

Mimi’s handmade ice cream

Rollin Amore’s interest in food goes back to his childhood in Germany. When he was seven, his mother was sick in bed for several months. “She would instruct me every night how to cook dinner from her bed,” he recalls. “That’s how I started cooking.”

Years later, he transitioned from a three-decade banking career and opened Mimi’s Handmade Ice Cream at Arlington’s Westpost (formerly Pentagon Row) in December 2021. “My whole career [in investing] I was traveling—through Europe, where I have family, or across Asia, where I work,” Amore says. “I loved bringing back flavor ideas and using them in cooking.” His travels broadcast the ever-changing menu of ice cream and brews at his light-filled shop, named after his daughter Minor, where Amore makes small batches from scratch.

Keyed lime blends lime juice with chunks of toffee topped with homemade pistachios, while the strong flavor of snowy ginger is fresh, peppery, sweet, and chilled. Amore manually peel half a pound of raw pistachios to taste five gallons of ice cream, and roast the beets to extract their sweetness from the beet ice cream. Apple pie ice cream includes Granny Smith apples, cinnamon, brown sugar, and butter, all cooked before adding milk and cream.

Any of the flavors can be incorporated into custom made ice cream sandwiches. Mimi also offers “puppy cups” (ice cream for dogs). Amore’s goal is to create ice cream that “will appeal to the child in all of us,” and its pleasing flavours do just that.

Scoops from $5.79. 1201 S. Joyce Street, Arlington. Open daily. mimishandmade.com. – SFF

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In early 2020, Chelsea and Drew Zeron planned to open a gelato counter inside Studio 52, an event space in Ivy City, to take advantage of increased foot traffic in the neighborhood. Then the pandemic hit, and Chelsea found herself searching through liquor for three months in search of postponed and canceled events.

“The only things people buy are toilet paper and liquor. We should put liquor in our gelato,” Drew remembers saying. Drew laughed — but the first batch of gelato sold out quickly. By June 2020, customers were driving from across the region to get ten pints at a time, she says.

Niko, named after Chelsea and Drew’s young son, offers pints of bulk containing 5% alcohol, as well as non-alcoholic options. Chelsea develops initial concepts of flavors by building Studio 52’s most popular drinks; The gelatos and the ultimate syrup are produced with Chef Gianluigi Dellacio of the small Dolce Gelato chain in the metropolitan area. Bourbon Coffee Chocolate Chips are one of the first. When Chelsea tried to rotate it from the seasonally changing menu, customers begged her to keep it year-round.

The alcohol does not overshadow the flavors. In the orange-colored cognac sorbet, the intense fruit hits the tongue first, followed by a touch of cognac. Pink strawberry brings out first the delicate taste of the fruit, and then the essence of the rose.

“Gelato is fun because it’s a fuss with no residue,” says Chelsea. Xerons plans to open a dedicated Niko storefront; Currently, pints can be obtained from within Studio 52.

Pints ​​$11 (non-alcoholic) to $18. Trolley Inside Studio 52, 1508 Okie St. NE. Open Friday through Sunday for pick-up; Delivery is available via DoorDash, UberEats, and Gopuff. nikosgelato.com. – SFF

Before the pandemic, Begah Kazemivar’s full-time job in consulting made her travel five days a week. With the switch to working online, she found herself contemplating the capital’s lack of a place to sell Gardener Sonati, a traditional Persian ice cream. Later, while planning breakfast and lunch one day, Kazemivar realizes that her mother will bring a gardener. “No matter who’s coming – Persian or not – everyone loves my mom’s ice cream, which is always the focal point of any meal,” Kazimivar says. I ordered an ice cream maker the same day.

Rosewater’s bastani, based on Casimivar’s mother’s recipe, begins with the sweetness of its brand name ingredient, which blends well with the soft saffron, which gives the ice cream its strong yellow color. Pistachios add a satisfying crunch.

The menu also includes Earl Gray cardamom ice cream, a nod to Iran’s tea culture. Spices and bergamot orange oil infused into the tea complement each other, giving the dessert a subtle blend of milk, peel and spice. Salted Dates with Walnut Ice Cream combines sweet dates softened with a pinch of salt, along with bits of walnut.

Rosewater doesn’t have a physical space of its own yet, but Kazemifar brings her creativity to pop-up events. With every scoop of handmade ice cream comes a little hope. “The company is a way to bring something Iranian that people love to our city,” Kazemivar says. “If I can do it with food, that’s great – but if it extends to politics, language, and culture, that’s even better.”

Small pints (individual servings) $7; $12 pints. Pre-order online for local pickup or delivery; Pop-up at Union Market’s Village Cafe on June 18 and July 31. rosewaterdc.com. – SFF

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