It is hot outside, in case you didn’t notice. And what better way to cool down than with a frozen treat? No matter where you go in Hampton Roads, there is an opportunity to partake of a delicious past-time flavor, an innovative, experimental mix, and anything in between.
All Around Hampton Roads (Local Chains)
Lil’ Yeti Snoballs: With locations in Chesapeake and Suffolk, this company prides itself in having the fluffiest sno possible to take on those delicious syrups.
sweetFrog: This yogurt and toppings bar-style creamery has locations all around Hampton Roads. It is based on the weight of what you pick. Kids may go nuts with those toppings!
The Skinny Dip: The Skinny Dip has been a local-chain favorite for a while now, and they offer locations on the Peninsula and Southside. Many shops offer vegan, low-sugar, or sugar free options. Some have a fun machine that allows you to mix in toppings. For consistency in product, this is one of my kids’ favorite place to go for frozen yogurt.
TASTE: Find a local TASTE shop in Norfolk, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Newport News, or Virginia Beach. Why am I sending you to a sandwich / coffee shop? THE GELATO. OMG, the gelato. Once you have it, you’ll understand.
YNOT Italian: Yes, this is an Italian restaurant, but I feel strongly that it should be included here. YNOT offers fruit or dairy gelato that will make you forget yourself. So don’t be confused, this is absolutely a great place for cool, creamy goodness. And there are multiple locations around the 757 area.
Look Up Dessert Cafe: While this shop offers more than ice cream, you don’t want to miss their homemade waffle cones or macaron ice cream sandwiches.
City Center Ice Cream: All the creamy goodness you get at this location is made in the store. So if you have certain allergies, it is great to know what is actually in your food! They also custom-make ice cream cakes.
Doumar’s: When asked, my kids will both tell you that Doumar’s is their favorite place for ice cream. While there aren’t numerous flavors, there are many sundae combinations, past-time favorites, and sherbet. What Doumar’s is most known for, however, are their cones. You can even buy a large jar of the handmade cones at the restaurant to bring home.
Hummingbird Macarons & Desserts: Okay, this place obviously focuses on (absolutely delicious) macarons, but in the summer, they make this crazy-good ice cream sandwich (called ice cream macs) with large macarons. I crave these some days.
Strawberry Fields: While I love a cone from Doumar’s, one of my favorite places is this tiny spot in Norfolk. Strawberry Fields focuses on gelato, and even offers smoothies. But man, those gelato flavors! Yum-yum!
Urban Ice: If you’ve never tried (or heard of, for that matter) rolled ice cream, take time to stop by Urban Ice in Downtown Norfolk. If you want something fancy and different, this is the place for you.
Rick’s Frozen Custard: Some people won’t entertain “ice cream” unless it is actually frozen custard. Fortunately, you can take them to Rick’s. Personally, I’m all about their concretes.
Scoops Ice Cream and Cafe: This shop serves up Hershey’s ice cream and is located near the Children’s Museum. Their cafe offers affordable foods, but on the ice cream side of things, check out the milkshakes and root beer floats!
Confetti: As soon as this place opened in the Virginia Beach Town Center, I had to try the gelato and crepes. The crepes are tasty, but I now go back for the gelato. They only use natural flavors and sweeteners to make this delicious treat.
Gelati Celesti: This company has a few stores around Richmond, but the only one in our area is in Virginia Beach. They always have 24 house-favorite flavors, plus some specials. But honestly? Their vanilla will make you believe in vanilla again.
Kilwins: If you find yourself near the Oceanfront, stop into Kilwins. They offer more than just ice cream, but they have their own recipes for at least 40 different flavors. And if you have family and friends with you, each person can find a sweet treat to be enjoyed. The smells alone will put a smile on your face as they bake and make on-site. There are stores around the U.S., but this smaller chain only has a shop in Virginia Beach for us.
The SnoBall Shop: If you are into snoballs and every flavor under the sun, this little shop is worth a visit. They put an interesting twist on some ice-cream standards using their own specialty.
Tini’s Frozen Yogurt Bar: You can go all healthy or full desire at Tini’s. They offer frozen yogurt options for most diet restrictions, and the toppings range from health choices to bracket breakers.
While this article is really meant to showcase local chains and smaller businesses, we should recognize that the region also has many ice cream chains that, let’s be honest, have merit. And sometimes, you have a craving and that is the nearest place! I mean, Dairy Queen is great for a dipped cone, Cold Stone Creamery is entertaining and customize-able, Rita’s Italian Ice is consistent if that is your thing, then we have home of the 31 flavors (and one of the few chains that I can usually find sherbet at), Baskin-Robbins, and if you want SNOW instead of ICE for your snowball, you can’t beat Pelican’s Snoballs.