Summer is in full force in RVA, bringing an abundance of festivals, family fun, and outdoor adventures to the River City! With so much exploring to do, you'll need to retreat from the summer heat for some refreshing drinks, popsicles, and ice cream to cool you down between activities. Here are 11 spots where you can beat the heat with cool (and delicious!) treats in RVA!
Coco + Hazel
411 North Ridge Road, Richmond, VA 23229
Named after the owner's daughters, Coco + Hazel serves single origin roasted coffee from Oaxaca and ice cream from the ever popular Homestead Creamery. Treat yourself to an indulgent milkshake, topped with your choice of delicacies, ranging from a whole slice of cake or pie to a "stack of brownies," a cookie sandwich, cotton candy, and more! (Photo credit: Mick Anders Photography/Coco + Hazel)
Heavenly handmade ice cream. That's what you'll find at Gelati Celesti, a locally-owned ice cream company that's been operating in Richmond since 1984! Each batch of Gelati Celesti ice cream is made by hand with only the finest ingredients from around the world. Flavors are churned in small batches using special Italian equipment, which minimizes the air whipped into the ice cream, making it uniquely flavorful, thick and creamy. Check out their locations in Bon Air, Libbie Grove, Scott's Addition, Short Pump, and the West End.
120 W Brookland Park Blvd, Richmond, VA 23222
Stop by Ruby Scoops and experience some of RVA's most unique and delicious ice cream flavors! This popular Black-owned dessert shop features all natural frozen treats including mango sorbet and special vegan ice cream flavors like Cardamom Bluberry Cobbler. Shop owner and chef, Rabia Kamara takes pride in handcrafting each flavor and is well known for her grand prize win on The Food Network's "Ben & Jerry’s: Clash of the Cones” competition. Check out Ruby Scoop's latest feature in Food & Wine Magazine by Patrice J. Williams. (Photo Credit: Farrah Skeiky)
1362 Gaskins Rd, Richmond, VA 23238
DeLuca Gelato is a family-owned and operated gelateria, specializing in gelato, sorbetto, and specialty Italian desserts such as fresh-baked tortes, cannoli, Florentine cookies, mascarpone pudding, and European sipping chocolate. Stop in for a tasty treat and you can watch the gelato being made fresh each day through the window of the production room.
Sweet Spot Ice Cream Café
6 N. 18th Street, Richmond, VA 23223
Sweet Spot Ice Cream Café creates incredible dessert experiences and specializes in gourmet ice cream, coffee, and treats. This dessert spot isn't shy on flavor variety- in fact, no other ice cream store in Richmond offers at least 48 flavors in store year round, not even Baskin Robbins! Follow Sweet Spot Ice Cream Café on Instagram to check out their latest specials and deals! (Photo Credit: @sweetspoticecreamcafe via Instagram)
403 Strawberry Street, Richmond, VA 23220
This small-batch ice cream shop opened in June 2018 in the Fan District and quickly became a hit with locals and visitors alike. With flavors including roasted strawberry, croissants & jam, and sweet corn & blackberry, you're likely to find a new flavor you've never tried before, and it just might become your new favorite!
NarWhals Rolled Ice Cream
3313 West Cary Street & Stony Point Fashion Park
The rolled ice cream craze arrived in RVA when NarWhals opened a sidewalk stand in Carytown several years ago. Pick your base and mix-ins and watch the magic happen before your eyes as liquid ice cream is poured onto a freezing cold slab, tasty toppings are mixed in, then the yummy mixture is spread out and rolled up just for you!
King of Pops
3001 West Clay Street Richmond, VA 23230
King of Pops serves up yummy all-natural ice pops, handcrafted at the Pop Factory in Scott's Addition since 2012. The ice pops are made with as many local ingredients as possible, such as milk from Homestead Creamery and berries from Agriberry. Enjoy the tasty pops at the King of Pops patio or look for their carts with rainbow umbrellas at various locations and events throughout the city.
311 W Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23220
This cute gourmet ice cream shop on Broad Street was formerly home to an art gallery. After you savor every bite of your scoop of choice (we recommend ordering it with the signature house-made marshmallow-fluff topping, hand-torched to order) head outside and take a picture in front of the very Instagrammable "Greetings from Richmond" mural by local artist Mickael Broth and Ross Trimmer of Sure Hand Signs. Delectable ice cream and a photo op for the win! (Photo Credit: Charm School)
The Dairy Bar
1602 Roseneath Road, Richmond, VA 23230
A Richmond tradition since 1946, The Dairy Bar was a local institution long before Scott's Addition became the bustling craft beverage district that it is today. They offer a full (and delicious) breakfast and lunch menu seven days a week, plus signature milkshakes, old time ice cream sodas, sundaes, and banana splits.
La Michoacana Ice Cream
7808 Midlothian Turnpike, North Chesterfield, VA 23235
La Michoacana has been serving up a delicious variety of ice cream, smoothies, and paletas (Mexican dessert popsicles) since 2010. All of their frozen treats are made with natural fruit, which provides a rich flavor in every bite.
Bev's Homemade Ice Cream
2911 W. Cary Street, Richmond, VA 23221
A Carytown staple, Bev has been making ice cream in Richmond since 1998. Beverly Mazursky graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 1988 at age 49 and opened up the first Bev's Homemade Ice Cream in Lenox, Massachusetts in 1989. Bev set her sights on Richmond in 1997 while visiting her son here. She moved to Richmond and opened her Carytown shop the next year, and the rest is history.
Indulge your sweet tooth at these additional spots:
Crossroads Coffee & Ice Cream
3600 Forest Hill Avenue, Richmond, VA
317A North 2nd Street, Richmond, VA
Nightingale Ice Cream Sandwiches
(You can find these amazing, made-from-scratch ice cream sandwiches in local markets and on restaurant menus throughout RVA!)
North End Market
718 N. Cleveland Street, Richmond, VA
Red Rooster Country Store
9582 Chamberlayne Road, Mechanicsville, VA
Cover photo credit: Mick Anders Photography/Coco + Hazel