Whew is it a hot one today, RVA! And this heat is the perfect opportunity to indulge your sweet tooth with a cold treat–and ice cream is a crowd favorite. If you ask me it’s completely okay to enjoy as much ice cream as possible when it’s consistently 85+ degrees outside. Luckily, Richmond has several local spots that are guaranteed to satisfy your cravings and cool you down and each have something unique to offer. So feel free to make plans to visit them all!
In no way will we try to name Richmond’s best ice cream shops, because that’s not for us to decide. Ice cream is all about personal preference and we all have our favorite way to eat it, whether it be filled with mix-ins, rolled, homemade, dipped, topped, etc. So, we will just share some favorites of RVA locals.
Bev’s will bring you back to your childhood in your grandma’s kitchen with that crank style ice cream maker with it’s homemade goodness. This ice cream spot has been a Richmond staple for over 15 years, thanks to Bev Mazursky. Located in Carytown, they serve some of the absolute best ice cream in the world…seriously. Bev’s has 12 everyday flavors to choose from, like Espresso Oreo (a local favorite), Raspberry Chip, and the norms, Chocolate, Vanilla and Strawberry. They also offer special flavors on a rotating basis like Chocolate Mousse, Arnold Palmer Sorbet, and Lemon Yogurt. Bev’s also has at least one sorbet, one sherbet, and a sugar-free option ready to enjoy everyday for those who want them. Our recommendation: always get the hot fudge…it’s out of this world! Bev’s is open Sunday-Thursday noon-10pm and Friday & Saturday noon-11pm.
“Heavenly Handmade” is such a true statement when it comes to Gelati Celesti. The Edmonds family opened this local Richmond spot as a family business in 1984, and has grown to include three scoop shops (West End, Short Pump, and Bon Air) and a scoop truck for festivals and events. Their ice cream is made with special Italian equipment that ensures that thick, creamy consistency that is unmistakably theirs. Gelati Celesti has about 85 total flavor offerings, including flavors on rotation throughout the year and their house favorites that are always available. And from experience, each one is just as delicious as the others. We haven’t tried all 85, but we guarantee they are each amazing! Some rotational favorites include Rainbow Cookie, Green Apple Ice, Brandied Peach, and Peanut Butter Brownie to name a few. They even offer seasonal favorites like Pumpkin Gingersnap, Cinnamon and Eggnog in the fall and winter months. House favorites include flavors like Banana, Chocolate Almond, Cake Batter, and Just Ask which is one of their most popular. Click the link above for more flavor choices, hours of operation, etc.
Deluca is a family-owned shop located in Gayton Crossing in the West End off of Gaskins Road. They specialize in true, Italian gelato, and they have mastered it. From start to finish (including pasteurizing their own gelato mix), everything is made in-house. They have more than 80 flavors on rotation throughout the year, offering 36 options each time you visit. What’s so great about Deluca is that they also have sugar-free, dairy-free (sorbetto), nut-free, and gluten-free options for those with food sensitivities. We recommend the Banana Nutella gelato, it’s phenomenal! Other flavor favorites include Cannolo (Cannoli), Limoncello (Lemon Liquer), and Tiramisu. They also have some interesting flavors like Guinness and Olive Oil and Sea Salt that are available for those times you’re feeling adventurous. They, too, offer seasonal flavors like Pumpkin Pie and Eggnog. Check out their website for daily flavor offerings as well as a full list of flavors. If you e-mail them about a particular flavor you’d like to have, they will even let you know when it’s available so you don’t miss out.
Sweet 95 is the cutest little ice cream parlor serving up some super delicious ice cream treats! Located on Boulevard downtown, they are known for their special, and indulgent, “Traffic Jams” which are a blend of ice cream and an assortment of toppings and finished off with whipped cream. Just to give you all an example, the “Elvis” Jam is chocolate ice cream with waffle cone pieces, banana, honey, and peanut butter. YUM! If you’re really in need of a cool down, they also have Water Ice which is ice with a scoop of ice cream on top in flavors like Watermelon, Lemon, and Root Beer. And if just simple ice cream is what you’re looking for, theirs will not disappoint. It tastes just as amazing without any fuss. In fact, a simple waffle cone of Mint Chocolate Chip hits the spot anytime!
RVA’s newest ice cream craze is being served rolled up like a pretty gift of icy goodness. It’s almost too pretty to eat, but who are we kidding, it’s ice cream! Dig in!! NarWhals is Richmond’s first hand crafted rolled ice cream parlor and if you’re looking for something a little different for your ice cream experience, this is the place. With locations in both Carytown and a new spot in Stony Point, patrons from all over the city can give it them a try without traveling too far. Just watching them prepare your treat is worth the visit and the taste is delicious. You can choose to enjoy a bowl of just one flavor, or mix two to create something that’s all your own. The Strawberry Banana is one of their top sellers and is topped with fresh berries, bananas, whipped cream, and strawberry drizzle.
What’s your go-to local ice cream joint in RVA?