Where to find the best ice cream (and other frozen treats) this summer


1. Carmen’s Italian Ice

With two stores located in Olney and Rockville, Maryland, Carmen’s Italian Ice offers an expansive menu and flavor selection of homemade Italian ice, frozen custard, gelati, milkshakes, and more. Their Strawberry Lemon Italian Ice, one of over 60 ices, is a refreshing summer treat, a satisfying fusion of strawberry and citrus. Also noteworthy is their Fudge Brownie Gelati featuring a rich chocolate brownie, which maintains its hot-weather appeal with two layers of fresh custard despite being served warm. On top of its delicious desserts, the cafe attracts customers with great deals – on the eighth of every month, Italian ices and gelati are half-priced.

2. I C Dream

I C Dream is an ice cream truck offering all-natural shaved ice, hand-dipped ice cream, and “snow cream” (shaved ice topped with ice cream). Uniquely, the truck’s shaved ice is flavored with fruit extracts and purées and prepared in small batches without artificial dyes or high fructose corn syrup. I C Dream’s Blue Raspberry Shaved Ice, among its other perfect-for-summertime flavors, is high-quality, authentic, and brilliantly rich despite its light natural color. I C Dream can be found at events in the Silver Spring area through updates on their Instagram

3. The Baked Bear

The Baked Bear in North Bethesda, Maryland’s Pike & Rose combines premium craft ice cream and homemade, baked-from-scratch cookies and brownies, producing award-winning custom ice cream sandwiches. Customers choose from over ten ice cream flavors including Caramel Pretzel Fudge and Old Fashioned Vanilla and select their sandwich’s top and bottom with the choice to mix and match. Though the countless possibilities are overwhelming, it’s hard to go wrong with so many delicious ice cream flavors and original-recipe cookies (especially the Snickerdoodle).

4. The Family Room

The Family Room in Laytonsville, Maryland sells ice cream, coffee, local farm produce, and specialty gifts and goods. The store’s current ice cream menu includes Banana Cream Pie, Mango Sorbet, and a simply delicious classic Vanilla. Customers can also find locally-sourced eggs, milk, and bread from vendors like South Mountain Creamery at the family-owned shop. The Family Room held a Summer Market Day on June 10 featuring food trucks, makers, and musicians and will welcome local creators for more market days on select Saturdays throughout the year.