Food

Which DC-Area Ice Cream Shop Will Joe Biden Visit?

We're pretty certain it will be one (or all!) of these five.

Ice Cream Jubilee created Joe Biden and Kamala Harris themed ice cream flavors around inauguration. Photograph courtesy Ice Cream Jubilee.

Joe Biden made his first presidential ice cream outing yesterday with a visit to Honey Hut in Cleveland, Ohio. “I can’t imagine anyone voting against establishing a commission on the greatest assault since the Civil War on the Capitol. But at any rate, I came for ice cream,” he told a small crowd. (He ordered chocolate chocolate chip cone.) Now it’s only a matter of time before the famous ice cream lover drops by a DC shop. We rank them based on most likely contenders:

1. Ice Cream Jubilee

One of the DC area’s most beloved ice cream destinations happens to be owned by a former Obama appointee. Victoria Lai was a lawyer for the Department of Homeland Security, and many of her former government colleagues attended flavor-testing parties in her apartment when Ice Cream Jubilee was getting started. “A lot of people who are back in the White House—as secretaries and assistant secretaries—are people who’ve tried my ice cream and have been eating it for years,” Lai told Washingtonian earlier this year. And although Lai says she hasn’t been doing any behind-the-scenes lobbying for a visit, she has tweeted at the @POTUS account to let him know she has him covered and even created Biden (and Kamala Harris) themed flavors around his inauguration.

2. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams

Jeni Britton Bauer, the owner of this Ohio-based chain with six local shops, is already chummy with Biden. “Once, I got a call while in a board meeting — it was him. Just telling me hello and that he was eating our ice cream. He ended the call with ‘I love ya, kiddo’, or something of that nature — and I returned it. ‘I love you, Joe,'” she wrote on Instagram the day after his inauguration. Now she considers him “a friend, and even something of a mentor” and has posted photos of them hugging. Jeni’s likewise had a limited edition “White House Chocolate Chip”—the prez’s favorite flavor.

3. Thomas Sweet

Biden, it seems, is a creature of habit. So there’s a good chance that when he’s hankering for a cone, he’ll head to a place he already knows. This Georgetown standby, which has been around since the Carter administration, served the former VP as recently as 2019. He was spotted stopping by with his son Hunter and grandkids for a post-Cafe Milano treat.

4. The Dairy Godmother

Barack Obama made a visit to this Alexandria frozen custard shop with his daughters for a pre-Father’s Day outing during his first year in office. (His order: a small vanilla custard with hot fudge and almonds. For Sasha and Malia: a brownie sundae and vanilla waffle cone. To-go for Bo: “puppy pops.”) The business commemorated the visit with a chair that says “President Obama Sat Here June 20, 2009.” Father’s Day is coming up again, and it is Biden’s first year in office. Maybe history will repeat itself? Surely Champ and Major could use some puppy pops.

5. Mt. Desert Island Ice Cream

This Mount Pleasant shop is another Obama-approved destination just begging for a Biden follow up. The former President and First Lady visited one of Mt. Desert’s Maine locations while vacationing in Bar Harbor in 2010. “The stuff is terrific. Excellent. I strongly recommend it,” Obama told reporters, with toasted coconut cone in hand. (For Michelle: chocolate.) Perhaps he recommended it to his VP? The DC locale, which opened in 2018, isn’t currently serving Biden’s beloved chocolate chip, but we can see him going for pralines and cream or the Belgian chocolate flavors. Plus, in national media speak, it’s practically “blocks from the White House.”

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Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.