Best Ice Cream in Charlottesville
What’s the best ice cream in Charlottesville? Hear me out: this piece takes a dive into four of the best “ice cream” locations, but here, we’ll use that term loosely, as some of our delights listed below can be best described as “Frozen Treats/ Desserts.” I’ve enjoyed all of these treats within the last six months. We hope that you’re a year-round rebel as well; enjoying ice cream no matter the season or temperature outside. Here’s the scoop:
Paletas, anyone? La Flor Michoacana is known for their creative selection of popsicle flavors (blackberry cheesecake, passion fruit, and strawberry milk to name a few,) with dairy and dairy free options alongside their homemade ice cream. Although it is difficult to conceive of having just-the-right amount of sweetness without going past too-sweet, La Flor Michoacana’s paletas excel at striking this balance. We love their Oreo Cookie and Mango paletas and visiting their main colorful location or the Farmers Market at Ix while enjoying a nice stroll.
We’ve been thankful to have Ben and Jerry’s at the heart of the Barracks Road Shopping Center. If you’re not in the mood to finish an entire pint, but still want to punctuate the day with a frozen treat with your favorite flavor, grab a cup or cone here. You can also try your favorite flavors as a sundae or shake to switch things up. We love that they offer non dairy options in addition to our classic favorites (Cherry Garcia, anyone?) and the option to take a pint for the road. In addition, for special occasions, they also carry cakes as well as cater!
While we’ve been fans since MooThru was a must-visit stop on 29 North, we’ve also been able to enjoy their newer location at The Dairy Market. The picnic has moved inside, but the excitement hasn’t died down. Their ingredients are local (whenever possible) and their shakes are thicker than the latest read on your bedside table. We love their creative seasonal flavors as well as the smell of waffle cones as soon as you open the doors to Dairy Market that makes you want to join the herd. I can assure you, it’s keeping us moo’ving.
This is without a doubt, our pick with the most retro feel. If you’re lucky, maybe you’ll visit on a Nickel Cone day for classic custard and a good time. From the black and white photographs to the children’s merry-go-round, (which is still a dollar by the way!) Kohr Brothers Frozen Custard has the right custard for each customer. We love that the coffee custard is made with real coffee and is creamy with a kick! Thankfully, you can choose between a cup or cone (chocolate-coated, sprinkles, chocolate coated with peanuts, and more) and enjoy indoors or outdoors. If you prefer your custard shaken, not stirred, they have smoothies, milkshakes, and the like.
Chaps is located on the center of the Downtown Mall where for many years they’ve made high quality, home-made ice cream in the back of the store. They use super-fresh ingredients, and often collaborate with area fruit producers to spin-up lively local flavors. You can’t beat their cookies ‘n cream or pistachio scoops, and it’s served in a throw-back 1950s-era diner recently acquired by a UVA Darden School Marketing Professor with a sweet tooth!
Charlottesville’s specialist for gelato. And with its silky texture and denser fruit punch, we can’t thank the Italians enough for their dedication to what’s sweet and sensual! For a taste of what’s different, find this new boutique in the Shops at Stonefield.