Okay, let me begin by saying this area has a serious addiction to ice cream. And let me be clear that this isn’t a criticism in any way. In fact, pair this with the affinity for great coffee (see our local coffee shops post), and you’re pretty much set when you visit over the summer.
Now, I’ve occasionally had to make some tough sacrifices for this job, and one of them is the many ice cream cones I’ve had to eat in order to accurately write this blog. You’re welcome. Somebody had to do it.
Seriously, though, I sincerely hope you have a chance to check out at least one or two of the below listed shops the next time you’re in the Winchester area (by the way, don’t hesitate to let us know if I missed anything!).
Our southernmost sweet tooth haven, this small family-owned ice cream shop offers up soft serve, scoop ice cream and a full ice cream menu, with many delicious desserts to choose from. Located just down the street from Lord Fairfax Community College, they’ve got that coveted outside patio seating to fully enjoy our beautiful, laid back warm summer evenings. 7597 Main St, Middletown, VA 22645 5 stars, 1 review on Yelp.
Owner Ken, a transplant from Georgia, is about as genuinely kind and Southerly as you can get. Don’t go in a hurry; he makes every customer feel incredibly welcome and appreciated. What else can we say - cold ice cream, warm smiles. Features a rotating variety of Hershey’s ice cream, milk shakes and malts, and incredible banana splits. Located in the former Da-Da’s Ice Cream house. 29 Weems Ln, Winchester, VA 22601 5 stars, 4 reviews on Yelp.
Opened in early 2014, this husband and wife operation took the place of the former McCoy’s Dairy Bar. This completely new ownership has made high quality, fun foods their focus. In addition to regionally sourced ice cream, they have an array of quick summer foods like hot dogs, funnnel cakes and fries. And be careful, they’ll deep fry just about anything. Their Easter special? Deep fried Cadbury eggs. Their summer best seller? Deep fried Oreo cookies... 320 Fairfax Pike, Stephens City, VA 22655 No reviews yet on Yelp.
Owners Kathy and Brian Lewis opened Middleburg Creamery in 1996, and relocated to the Old Town Winchester pedestrian mall in late 2010. This is a true creamery that makes everything from scratch. Kathy is the ice cream guru, whipping up many great classic and seasonal flavors. Far from just a creamery, though, they have a scratch kitchen that turns out local favorites like chicken salad, rotisserie chicken, chili, soups, baked goods and more. 146 N Loudoun St, Winchester, VA 22601 4 stars,26 reviews on Yelp.
Pack’s Frozen Custard / Dairy Corner (4 locations)
Pack’s is a local institution – a regional chain started several decades ago by the one and only Mrs. Pack - where you’ll get a very similar but not identical experience at each of our four local remaining locations. When Mrs. Pack retired a few years ago, we understand that the locations were bought by either close family or long-time employees. Now, a word to the wise, if you’ve never had true custard before, take it easy Chief. This is some seriously rich awesomeness in a cone. And go prepared for a line, especially on Friday and Saturday evenings all summer. Reviews on Yelp are consistently high and vary by location.
I don’t normally list national chains, however my wife (who’s from South Jersey) was really pleasantly surprised to find this lone Rita’s here. If you know it, you love it. They offer an array of Italian ice (water ice, as those South Jersey folks call it), and custard. My wife’s favorite? A “gelati” with cherry water ice and chocolate custard. Yeah, it sounds weird, but all I’ve gotta say is, give it a try… 2430 Valley Ave, Winchester, VA 22601 4.5 stars, 5 reviews on Yelp.
The only dedicated gelato shop in the region, this is a real treat right in the heart of the city! Located just steps from the Old Town Winchester walking mall near the Braddock Street Parking Garage, this unique shop actually has a gelato chef who prepares all of the flavors from scratch. 120 N Loudoun St, Winchester, VA 22601 3.5 stars, 12 reviews on Yelp.
Disclaimer – no businesses paid us or gave us anything to be on this list – we just love sweet treats and our local businesses, as we hope you do when you visit!
Coming soon – going hyper-local at our Visitor Center gift shop!