I scream, you scream, we all scream for the best ice cream


Photo by Justin Greenzaid

A cone holds an oreo flavored scoop from Sprinkles Ice Cream in Potomac

By Justin Greenzaid, Sports Editor

Grabbing ice cream with friends on a 70 degree summer night is one of the best experiences, and soon enough WCHS students will be free to splurge at all the local ice cream shops. In such a prominent ice cream area, it can be a bit hard to know where to find exactly what one’s taste buds crave. 

A movie night with some store bought Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food is also always great, but nothing compares to the feeling of enjoying ice cream at your favorite ice cream shop. At the end of the day, the summer is meant to be enjoyed outdoors. 

Although Baskin Robbins is no longer in the Cabin John Mall, a true shame for all local WCHS students, there are still many great places not too far away to enjoy the same pastime. Each place has different textures, prices, commutes and vibes. Some of the most notable for WCHS students include the following:

Sprinkles: A true Potomac staple. Location is very desirable for almost all WCHS students. Sprinkles offers quite a few flavors including their special Superman flavor that feels like a huge explosion of tons of different sweet childhood flavors combined. However, they do often run out of flavors later at night and sometimes can be a bit inconsistent. They do offer many different forms of ice creams from regular scoops to Fronanas (frozen yonana) and everything in between. It’s always great to support local businesses. But, one drawback of Sprinkles is that it can be a little pricey for ice cream that is not phenomenal. However, this spot has been around for over 15 years because they are still able to hit the sweet spot almost every time. 

Carmen’s: First, the elephant in the room needs to be addressed; yes, Carmen’s is quite the trek for some ice cream and may even require the beltway at times. Regardless, Carmen’s still offers great ice cream and has one of the widest assortments of ice cream flavors out there. But it’s not the ice cream that truly draws in customers, it’s the Italian ice and custard. Nobody does Italian ice like Carmen’s. It’s undefeated. And the Italian ice-custard combo is a new level. Carmen’s allows you to pick a flavor of shaved ice to form the base of the Italian ice then on top of this bottom layer there is an additional layer of smooth custard which is a soft serve to top off the shaved ice. For both the shaved ice and custard combined there are over 100 different combinations so there is most definitely something for everyone. One of the best combos is the mango shaved ice base with marshmallow custard top. The flavor of both combined compliment each other very nicely and make your taste buds levitate. The pricing is also pretty reasonable; a small Italian ice costs just $3 and a large is an attractive $5 . As long as a 20 minute drive is manageable to you, this sweet treat will be worth it. 

Now, here are four places, all in Bethesda Row, that offer very different types of ice cream. Bethesda Row is a great place to spend a summer night and offers a great experience in a vibrant city. Whether it’s an ice cream run following dinner in Bethesda or just a time out and about, Bethesda Row is a glorious spot for ice cream.

Class 520: Most people are unfamiliar with Class 520 and it’s for good reason, the place is sub par. This one is thrown in here because of their very unique way of rolling ice cream. The experience of watching your ice cream being made in front of you in such an odd way can be cool. However, the ice cream itself isn’t anything special taste wise and is most definitely not worth the price. With better ice cream options available so close by, this wouldn’t be the top of any lists. Still, if you are someone who tries a ton of different ice cream places, this can be a different and enjoyable experience. 

Baskin Robbins: Classic. Even with BR gone from CJ, no need to fret as there is still a Bethesda location. A place that offers what many would call “comfort ice cream” as it is just the simple go-to scoops of ice cream. Their milkshakes can also be worth it depending on the texture of the night, as it can be inconsistent. The hospitality from the staff on most nights is great as they are genuine people (as long as you don’t come in right before they close). The pricing is nothing out of the ordinary. For anyone looking for a regular inside the box ice cream experience, this is the place. 

Dolcezza Gelato: Now this place can really tap into one’s palette. Very limited on flavors but they keep the classic flavors in stock and rotate a new special flavor or two every so often. The classics include simple french vanilla and dark chocolate but occasionally a special will include champagne mango or lemon ricotta. It is gelato, quite different from regular ice cream as it is smoother and less chilled so the taste buds can comprehend the full flair experience. Gelato is definitely a smaller treat since it melts faster, they can’t serve as much, but the genuine flavor is unmatched. The prices are a bit expensive as a large gelato (still not much ice cream itself) costs around $8. Here you are paying for quality, not quantity. 

Yogitopi: Threw this one in here for all of the soft serve lovers. This place is substantial for a froyo spot and has all the mandatory flavors and toppings, most of the time. Of course they have peanut butter, coffee, and oreo, as well as tons of topping options from Reese’s to gummy bears. It should be noted that sometimes their machines do break or run out of ice cream so you can’t always get the flavor you are looking for. Every so often, frozen yogurt calls your name and this is the place to go to. 

Summer is fast approaching and so is ice cream season. Be on the lookout for some of these places in the area. There are quite a few other places not on this list that are also exceptional. However, these are definitely some of the most enticing spots for WCHS students.