Nothing beats an ice-cold sweet treat. While ice cream and frozen yogurt are great options, the fresh taste of handcrafted gelato is truly amazing. Next time you’ve got the craving, try one of these 7 excellent gelato spots to snack on everyone’s favorite Italian-style ice cream.
DeLuca Gelato is one of Richmond’s premier Italian ice cream parlors. The flavors are pasteurized and mixed onsite with fresh fruits, nuts, and chocolate. Flavors change regularly and include delicious treats like L’Americano (caramel with pretzels, peanuts, and chocolate pieces), Banana Nutella, and Ciocco-Arancia (chocolate orange). Lactose intolerant? Try the dairy-free sorbetto. And if you’re an ice cream cake fan, then you’ve gotta try their gelato cakes.
The Split Banana in Staunton, Virginia, is one of our favorite go-to dessert destinations. With standout flavors like sticky rice and espresso biscotto along with staples like chocolate and strawberry, the Split Banana offers something for everyone. Stop in for gelato, sorbet, a piece of gelato cake, a shake, or a specialty soda. Sidle up to the bar or the piano and enjoy.
Splendora’s Gelato Café in Charlottesville, Virginia, provides a taste of authentic, artisanal gelato, espresso drinks, and dessert specialties. Flavors rotate regularly and have anywhere from 24-36 options, including blood orange, stracciatella, and hazelnut. Ingredients are local with a new batch made almost every day.
Strawberry Fields in Norfolk, Virginia, not only creates delicious, old-fashioned gelato, but also 100 percent fresh fruit smoothies. The gelato is made fresh every morning with new flavors determined by what ingredients are freshest and seasonal. Try one of their fresh squeezed juices or an acai bowl, too.
Voted “Best Local Ice Cream” in Best of Virginia Living, Gloucester’s Short Lane Ice Cream is an old-fashioned ice cream parlor selling cones, sundaes, floats, and malts. Located inside an old country store and post office building, Short Lane is the Gloucester go-to for homemade ice cream, gelato, Italian ice, sorbet, frozen yogurt, and Larry’s Beans coffee. The take-out window is open late for those near-midnight hankerings. Featured flavors change regularly, so make sure to keep checking back.
Bella Gelato and Pastries sits directly across the street from the authentic Italian Bella Luna Pizza, their sister restaurant, in Harrisonburg, Virginia. A “Best of Virginia” winner last year, Bella Gelato completes the Italian foodie experience with espresso and coffee drinks, regularly alternating gelato flavors, and homemade pastries. The gelato is made by hand on site with milk from the local Mount Crawford Creamery.
Pitango Gelato has five locations throughout the Washington D.C. area, including one in Reston, Virginia’s Town Center. Menu items include gelato, sorbet, coffee, hot chocolate, and bakery items. All of their frozen desserts are made with fresh, local ingredients and skip the concentrate. Try the black tea or black sesame gelato for more exotic flavors; for more traditional tastes, you can’t go wrong with banana or pistachio.