As local pools open their gates, neighbors fire up their grills, and kids count their last hours in class, area ice-cream shops are unveiling their latest summer flavors. Here's what you’ll see alongside the usual lineup of butter-pecan and mint-chocolate-chip.
Break out of your vanilla rut with a trip to Gifford’s for a taste of Key-lime-pie ice cream, made with lime juice and chunks of graham-cracker crust. Or get your antioxidant fill by ordering a scoop of blueberry ice cream. More indulgent is the new hazelnut-chocolate crunch, full of chopped hazelnuts and chocolate cookies.
•Locations in Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Rockville, and DC’s Penn Quarter. Click here for addresses.
Moorenko’s is bringing seasonal favorites back to its menu, such as Rocky Road, bittersweet-chocolate ice cream packed with chocolate chips, toasted almonds, and marshmallows. There’s also the lush orange stracciatella—orange ice cream with bittersweet chocolate melted inside—and a bevy of other options for fruit lovers: peach Melba with a raspberry swirl, pineapple-coconut, raspberry-pomegranate, coconut sorbet, and Italian orange cream ice.
•1359 Chain Bridge Rd., McLean, 703-752-1919; 8030-B Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, 301-588-5656; moorenkosicecream.com.
Stuck in the city for the summer? Escape with a taste of gelato, Italy—and Argentina’s—richer, denser version of ice cream. As tourists flock to M Street this summer, retreat to Dolcezza on the upper end of Georgetown (its Bethesda sibling is set to open any day now). Right now, you can sample flavors such as dulce de leche dolcatta, a traditional dulce de leche gelato blended with fresh-strawberry jam and house-made meringue. While strawberries are still in season, cool off with sorbets in flavors like strawberry-lime-tarragon and strawberry-tequila or with tropical-inspired varieties like mango-lime-chili sorbet and pineapple-orange-mint sorbet.
•1560 Wisconsin Ave., NW, 202-333-4646; 7111 Bethesda La., Bethesda (opening soon); dolcezzagelato.com.
As if you need an excuse to grab a scoop, Ben & Jerry’s currently has two new ice-cream flavors that benefit good causes. The ONE Cheesecake Brownie—cheesecake ice cream mixed with cheesecake-brownie chunks—was created to raise awareness about the ONE Foundation’s fight against global poverty and preventable diseases. Then there’s Imagine Whirled Peace. The tribute to John Lennon—with chocolate peace signs and toffee cookie bites mixed into a caramel-and-sweet-cream ice cream—benefits the Peace One Day organization, which promotes peace and nonviolence. Other new flavors include Cinnamon Buns (cinnamon ice cream with cinnamon-bun dough and a swirl of caramel streusel) and Cake Batter (yellow-cake-batter ice cream with chocolate icing).
•Multiple locations in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Click here for addresses.
If you’re craving something a little less chunky, head to Häagen-Dazs for a cup or cone of Vanilla Honey Bee, a limited-edition flavor. Anytime you buy a scoop of a “bee-dependent” ice cream (ingredients grown with the help of honeybees), a donation will be made to protect endangered bees. While it’s still available, make sure to sample the green-tea ice cream, made from Japanese matcha ceremonial green tea and rich sweet cream. The combination has been so popular in Asia that the company is selling it for a limited time in the United States.
•Locations in Gallery Place, Union Station, Georgetown, Pentagon City, and Bethesda. Click here for addresses.
You’ll find new gelato and sorbet flavors aplenty at McLean’s StarNut Gourmet. In addition to the popular cookies-and-cream and pistachio-hazelnut, the cafe’s upcoming flavors include coconut-lemongrass gelato, banana stracciatella, chocolate-chip gelato with fresh bananas, and rum croquant gelato made with hazelnut and rum. Sorbets, in flavors such as mixed-berry fruit of the forest, strawberry-lavender, passionfruit/orange-blossom/honey, and rosemary-pear, will help counter the summer heat.
•1445 Laughlin Ave, McLean; 703-749-9090; starnutgourmet.com.