Looking for the best desserts in Old Town Alexandria?
If you’re planning to visit Old Town Alexandria in Virginia, you’re in for a treat (pun intended). This historic district is not only home to Revolutionary and Civil War history but also to some of the most delightful spots to satisfy your sweet tooth.
From old-fashioned ice cream to vegan cookies or French pastries, you’ll find something to taste on every street. Feel free to indulge yourself and taste the best desserts in Alexandria!
But first, do you have these items for your trip to Alexandria?
Rental Car: I recommend Rentalcars.com for the cheapest prices!
Activities: Viator is my favorite resource to book fun tours and day trips!
Accommodation: Booking.com has a variety of hotels, but also rentals and b&bs
With so many dessert options in the area, it can be overwhelming to choose which ones to visit.
I’m an Alexandria resident and happy to share the best dessert spots in Old Town Alexandria!
Table of Contents
Best Ice Cream
Goodies Frozen Custard and Treats
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream
Pop’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream
Ben and Jerrys
The Crazy Mason Milkshake
The Dairy Godmother
Lily’s Chocolate and Coffee
Lavender Moon Cupcakery
Best Dessert Places in Alexandria
The Old Town neighborhood is full of delicious dessert spots in Alexandria.
Best Ice Cream in Old Town Alexandria
Old Town has many ice cream shops to choose from including traditional churned, Italian gelato, sorbet, and custard. You’ll have to come back to try them all!
1. Goodies Frozen Custard and Treats
Mmm Goodies is a small business that offers a small but delicious menu that’s full of options to satisfy your sweet tooth. Their specialty is their Wisconsin-style frozen custard, which is creamier and smoother than your typical ice cream.
The base of all of their desserts is the vanilla frozen custard but there are options to add brownies, Reeses, or to blend it into a milkshake or soda float. One of the must-try items at Mmm Goodies is their seasonal apple cider donuts – crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and just the right amount of sweetness.
The shop is open in most of the summer months with varied hours, often 12-6pm or until they sell out. They are often closed during winter months so make sure to check their Instagram page for updates on their schedule.
Another thing to keep in mind is that Mmm Goodies only accepts cash or apple cash payments.
2. Dolci Gelati
Dolce Gelati offers a variety of sweet treats, coffee-based drinks, and other delicious treats that are sure to please even the most discerning of palates. And with its cozy atmosphere and convenient location, it’s easy to see why Dolce Gelati is a beloved spot for locals and travelers alike.
Dolce Gelati’s gelato is made in small batches, which means you’re guaranteed fresh, high-quality gelato every time you order. The flavors are nothing short of remarkable, from classic favorites like chocolate and vanilla to seasonal options like apple cider and pumpkin spice.
But Dolce Gelati doesn’t just excel in gelato; the cafe also offers fresh pastries and hearty breakfast sandwiches. And let’s not forget about its coffee-based drinks, perfect for a morning pick-me-up or an afternoon treat. Try one of their signature blends or ask for a recommendation from the friendly staff.
Aside from the food and drinks, another thing that sets Dolce Gelati apart is its atmosphere. The cafe is quiet and relaxed, with comfortable seating and charming decor.
Plus, the location is a stone’s throw away from City Hall in Alexandria, making it incredibly convenient for travelers looking for a nearby sweet treat.
3. Kilwins Chocolates and Ice Cream
If you’re planning a trip to Alexandria’s harbor area, you must visit Kilwins, a nationwide but small chain of dessert shops that offer some of the best treats in town. From their signature dipped apples and ice cream to their delectable ice cream cakes, Kilwins has something for everyone.
Whether you’re in the mood for ice cream or fudge, Kilwins has got you covered. Their dipped apples are a must-try, covered in caramel, chocolate, and various toppings, they make for a delicious snack. If you’re more of an ice cream person, try their plethora of ice cream flavors.
And if you’re looking for something especially decadent, try their ice cream cakes, combining layers of ice cream, fudge, and cookies or cake. I had the mint and coffee ice cream cake for my birthday a few years ago and it was so rich and delicious!
One thing to note is that Kilwins doesn’t have tables for sitting down and enjoying your sweet treats, but they’re located in a prime spot, just a stone’s throw away from Alexandria’s harbor. This makes it easy to grab a cone or cup of ice cream and take a stroll by the water as you indulge in your sweet tooth.
4. Casa Rosada Artisan Gelato
Casa Rosada Argentine Gelato Shop has 29 flavors to choose from, all made in-house. From classic flavors like vanilla and chocolate to Argentine specialties, such as dulce de leche, or unique flavors such as pistachio, apple honey, and coffee, Casa Rosada is a must-visit in Alexandria.
For those who have dietary restrictions or are vegans, Casa Rosado Argentine Gelato Shop has got you covered. They offer five vegan flavors, including a vegan dulce de leche made with coconut milk instead of dairy. All of the flavors are natural, gluten-free, and contain no artificial colors or flavors.
If you get the chance, be sure to try one of the ice cream sandwiches, which are a personal favorite of mine. It is a match made in heaven, with the intense taste of the ice cream complemented perfectly by the chewy cookie.
There are a few tables inside and outside, including an intimate patio in the back, steps away from King Street.
5. Jeni’s Splendid Icecreams
If you’re looking for a sweet treat that’s both unconventional and satisfying, Jeni’s got your back. Some of their most unique flavors include gooey butter cake, lemon bar, wildberry lavender, and the cold brew coconut cream.
Apart from their unique flavors, Jeni’s Ice Cream prides itself on making its own waffle cones. These cones are so tasty it’s like getting a bonus dessert! And the smell when you walk in is heavenly! A bonus feature of Jeni’s Ice Cream is their dairy-free and frozen yogurt options.
Lastly, Jeni’s Ice Cream makes a perfect late-night option. There isn’t that much seating here, but that’s fine since it’s always nice to eat some ice cream and take a stroll through the town. Many of their flavors are pints only, perfect for bringing home and sharing with family and friends.
The only downside to Jeni’s is the long lines during peak summer hours. But trust me, it’s worth the wait.
6. Pop’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream Co
There’s no better place to experience that nostalgia than at Pop’s Old Fashion Ice Cream Co located steps away from the Alexandria waterfront. If you’re a traveler looking to try out some unique, tasty ice cream flavors, Pop’s Old Fashion Ice Cream Co is the place to go.
Pop’s Old Fashion Ice Cream Co oozes character, and with its retro feel, it’s no surprise it’s one of the most popular ice cream shops in the area. Even though the indoor seating is limited, you can always take your ice cream outside and enjoy the waterfront view while indulging in your favorite flavor.
From Butterfinger coffee to Kahlua chocolate chip, Pop’s Old Fashion Ice Cream Co has many delicious classics. Plus, they offer different sundae options such as the Campfire (s’mores), the Johnny Appleseed (apple pie with caramel) and one of my favorites, the Old Towner (pecan pie with chocolate and caramel).
7. The Creamery
If you’re looking for a sweet spot to satisfy your cravings, look no further than The Creamery in Old Town. Nestled in the heart of this historic waterfront area, this ice cream shop offers homemade delights with over thirty flavors to choose from.
You can build your own sundae or choose from their popular flavors like chocolate orange and banana pudding. You’ll find all the traditional favorites like chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry, along with some unique flavors like peanut butter chocolate and tres leches. My favorite is the raspberry cheesecake.
The Creamery is the oldest ice cream spot in town, and it’s always bustling with locals and tourists. Its location on the waterfront and pedestrian-only zone makes it easily accessible, and you can always see what line is shortest from across the street at Pop’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream Co. Why not try both and compare?
8. The Crazy Mason Milkshake Bar Old Town Alexandria
If you’re up for a sweet and heavenly treat, The Crazy Mason Milkshake Bar in Old Town Alexandria got you covered. This milkshake bar offers delicious and huge shakes with a variety of toppings and gorgeous Instagram ready presentation.
They make their chocolate chip cookies, waffle cones/chips, strawberry crunch, and some of their specialty options in-house on a daily basis. One of their most popular milkshakes is the “Mint To Be.” This masterpiece includes a whole brownie beneath a massive mound of delicious chocolate mousse.
These are giant milkshakes/sundaes that you won’t be able to finish by yourself, so it’s perfect for sharing with friends. The drink is served in an Old Town themed mason jar and comes with a spoon and straw to make sure you get every sip and scoop of the goodness.
So leave your diet at the door and enjoy the artistically creative edible masterpieces the bar has to offer. These milkshakes are perfect for those with a decadent sweet tooth!
9. Ben and Jerrys
If you are a fan of ice cream, then you have probably heard of Ben and Jerry’s. This popular ice cream brand is known for its unique and delicious flavors that are enjoyed by people from all walks of life.
Ben and Jerry’s is known not just for their great tasting ice cream, but also for their commitment to sustainability. They use non-GMO ingredients, and they support fair trade and environmentally sustainable practices.
If you are visiting Alexandria Old Town, then you have to make a stop at the Ben and Jerry’s store.
10. Dairy Godmother
Located in the Del Rey neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, this quaint little sweets shop is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. With a wide variety of frozen desserts and baked goods, The Dairy Godmother is a must-visit destination.
From creamy custards to refreshing sorbets, there’s something for everyone. One standout flavor is the champagne strawberry sorbet, which is the perfect combination of sweet and tangy. Another standout is the Mozambique custard flavor, which combines vanilla with cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg.
If you’re looking for dairy-free or vegan options, The Dairy Godmother has got you covered with their range of sorbets and custards. In addition to frozen desserts, The Dairy Godmother also offers a selection of baked goods, including donuts and cookies.
And if you’re lucky, you might even get to sample some of their seasonal menu items, which rotate daily based on availability.
Bring your dog to try the dog ice cream, a frozen treat specifically designed for your furry friends!
Best Bakeries for Sweets in Alexandria
If it’s too cold for ice cream, check out Alexandria’s varied bake and pastry shops. Try delicious warm cookies, Middle Eastern Lockma, or even French macaroons.
11. Midnight Cookies
This cookie shop may be vegan but you’d never know any ingredients were missing! These thick, crunchy, and chewy cookies are completely plant-based and come in a variety of rotating flavors. Plus, they’re not overly sweet, which makes them the perfect snack for any time of day.
Now let’s talk flavors – my personal favorites are the Cinnamon Roll and Chocolate Chop. The Thicc Mint has just the right amount of chocolate and minty fresh flavor. But don’t worry if mint isn’t your thing – there are plenty of other rotating flavors to choose from like Birthday Bash, Apple Cider, and Lemon Blueberry.
Plus, the cookies are always fresh and made with high-quality ingredients, so you can feel good about indulging. MidnighTreats also serves oat milk teas which means that they’re completely dairy-free.
12. Alexandria Cupcake
Alexandria Cupcake is well-known for its mouth-watering and freshly made cupcakes. There are a variety of flavors like red velvet, vanilla, strawberry, carrot cake, dark chocolate, peanut butter, and chocolate chip cookie dough.
The cupcakes are dense and rich, but not overly sweet, which makes it perfect for those who do not like their desserts with too much sugar. The frosting, on the other hand, is more fluffy and whipped cream-like than buttery, which prevents it from feeling too heavy.
At Alexandria Cupcake, they take pride in their cakes’ presentation without compromising the flavor. The cupcakes are baked fresh daily with high-quality ingredients, which makes them almost melt in your mouth when you take a bite.
However, it’s not a place where you can linger and relax as there are only two tables inside the shop.
13. Fresh Baguette
Fresh Baguette is a small but charming bakery that offers an impressive selection of bakery items, ranging from almond croissants and mini tarts to pan au chocolate and savory pastries. But the true standout item at Fresh Baguette is their baguettes.
These baguettes are the perfect balance of crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. They are light and airy, yet substantial enough to hold up to any sandwich or toast topping you choose. Whether you’re looking for a breakfast sandwich or just want a slice with butter and jam, Fresh Baguette’s baguettes are a bread lover’s dream.
They also offer a wide variety of other pastries and sweets that are equally impressive. Their almond croissants are a popular choice, with flaky layers of pastry and a sweet almond filling. The mini tarts are also a hit, with a buttery crust and a variety of fillings to choose from, including lemon, chocolate, and fruit.
And let’s not forget about the coffee. Fresh Baguette serves Peet’s coffee, a dark roast blend that has a full-bodied flavor without any bitterness. It’s the perfect complement to any pastry or baguette.
Aside from the food, the atmosphere at Fresh Baguette is also worth mentioning. The shop is small but well-organized, and the staff are friendly and welcoming.
The bakery is a hub for locals and tourists alike, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere that makes you want to stay a while.
14. Lily’s Chocolate and Coffee
Lily’s Chocolate and Coffee is the ideal place to fulfill your dessert cravings while enjoying a cozy, inviting atmosphere. With its pastel-colored walls, hanging plants, and quirky accents, this cafe is the ultimate Instagram-worthy spot.
When it comes to drinks, Lily’s Chocolate and Coffee doesn’t disappoint. One of their fan favorites is the black tea with cardamom. If you’re a coffee drinker, you’ll love their honey cinnamon latte, which boasts a perfect balance of sweetness and spice. For a unique twist on a classic, try the Turkish coffee.
Aside from their selection of drinks, Lily’s Chocolate and Coffee are famous for their Middle Eastern dessert Lockma. These tiny donut holes are crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, and are coated with sugar syrup and sesame seeds.
When you walk into Lily’s Chocolate and Coffee, you’re instantly greeted by a cozy and welcoming atmosphere. The decor is stylish and trendy, with pastel-colored walls and hanging plants that provide a fresh and lively vibe.
15. Lady Camellia
If you’re looking for a hidden gem for tea and treats, make sure you visit Lady Camellia in Old Town. The elegant café overlooks the waterfront and provides an extensive tea list, an impressive menu of tasty bites, and a cozy yet elegant ambiance. The attentive staff and low-key atmosphere also make it the perfect spot to unwind.
Lady Camellia offers an extensive tea selection that caters to various tastes. From classic English Breakfast to fruity blends, there’s something for everyone.
During my visit, we tried four unique blends, and each one was brewed to perfection. The flavors were well-balanced, and the tea was served with elegant porcelain cups and saucers.
But what’s a tea experience without some tasty bites? Lady Camellia’s menu of tea time treats is equally impressive. Whether you’re in the mood for savory tea sandwiches or sweet scones, they have an extensive selection of treats to satisfy your cravings.
But, if you want to indulge your sweet tooth, make sure you try their macarons – they come in unique flavors and are incredibly delectable.
16. Lavender Moon Cupcakery
Are you in search of a perfect dessert that not only satisfies your cravings but also tantalizes your taste buds? Then you need to try the Lavender Moon Cupcakes from the best bakery in the DC area. These cupcakes are the epitome of everything you want in a sweet delicacy – light cream, fruit bits, moist texture, and perfect sweetness.
The creamy frosting on the top of the cupcake is light, fluffy, and full of flavor. The cupcakes are soft, and the small bits of fruits inside them create a beautiful texture that makes every bite heavenly.
Talking about their other flavors, the Red Velvet Cupcakes are a must-try. The rotating flavors they offer are worth exploring, and the mascarpone frosting on the chocolate/creme cake is a match made in heaven. The chocolate pecan, strawberry, and key lime with marshmallow are some of the other flavors that are delicious.
As for the ambiance, you might not find much inside the shop, but the cupcakes are worth the visit. The staff is friendly and helpful, always ready to assist you with a smile.
17. Buzz Bakery
Buzz Bakery is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike who are in search of the perfect pastry to go with their coffee.
The bakery offers a warm ambiance and a variety of freshly baked goods that will delight your taste buds. If you’re looking for something sweet, then you need to try their mini cheesecakes and cupcakes.
As for the cupcakes, Buzz Bakery offers a wide variety of flavors, from classic chocolate to creative combinations like lavender lemon and key lime. Each cupcake is made with the freshest ingredients, and you can taste the quality in every bite. The icing is creamy and complements the moist cake perfectly, creating a balanced and delightful flavor.
Aside from the decadent desserts, Buzz Bakery also serves excellent coffee. The quality of the coffee matches the quality of the baked goods, making it a perfect pairing. You can choose to enjoy your coffee and pastry at the cozy cafe, where the atmosphere is relaxing and conducive to conversation.
Whether you’re looking for a place to work or to take a break, Buzz Bakery is an excellent spot. The ambiance is welcoming, and the staff is friendly and accommodating. You can leisurely enjoy your treats while admiring the beautiful decor, making it a perfect spot for Instagram-worthy snapshots too.
Where to Stay in Old Town Alexandria
Check out some of the best hotels and quaint B&Bs to complete your culinary trip to Alexandria Virginia!
Best Things to Do in Old Town Alexandria
Alexandria’s historical streets allow for some of the best historic tours in the country. Check out where George Washington lived and hear some of the haunted stories of centuries past.
The Mount Vernon and Old Town Tour is an ideal way to begin your voyage through history. Explore the charming, colorful streets of Old Town and then head to Mount Vernon, once the residence of George Washington.
Take a tour of the mansion and its accompanying buildings, take a leisurely walk through the picturesque gardens, and witness reenactments. Be sure to pay a visit to the museum and education center, where you can expand your knowledge about George Washington.
The Alexandria Food Tour will take you to local, family-owned restaurants where you can sample the city’s renowned cuisine. Along the way, your knowledgeable guide will share fascinating historical tidbits as you wander through charming cobblestone streets.
Indulge in a full meal featuring delectable seafood, traditional Italian dishes, unique fusion recipes, and artisanal desserts.
Through the combination of history and food, you will gain a deeper understanding of the vibrant culture in Alexandria, making this tour much more than just a dining experience.
The Alexandria Ghost Tour is an essential activity to add to your itinerary in this charming historical town. For a duration of 1.5 hours, your knowledgeable guide will lead you through the dimly lit back alleys and narrow streets of Old Town.
At each stop, your guide will regale you with spine-chilling tales that have cemented these locations as some of the most haunted places in Alexandria.
The tour has a maximum capacity of 15 individuals, ensuring an intimate and personalized experience. This small group setting also allows for interactive exchanges with your guide, who possesses extensive knowledge on the city’s rich history.
FAQs: Cafes in Old Town Alexandria
Cafes are often a traveler’s destination spot for a quick bite or a cozy place to read or catch up on work. Alexandria VA is one town that’s worth the visit if you’re scouting for a relaxing ambiance and top-rated eateries.
What is considered Old Town Alexandria?
Old Town is considered the historic cobblestone area along King Street in Alexandria VA. It extends from Jones Point Park along the southern waterfront to Oronoco Bay Park to the northern waterfront.
How to spend a day in Old Town Alexandria?
Spend a leisurely morning at one of Alexandria’s charming cafes, followed by a stroll along King Street to discover its diverse range of shops and well-preserved historic homes. Make your way down to the waterfront where you can visit The Torpedo Factory, a unique art studio complex.
Continue your day by wandering through the city’s many cobblestone streets or take a trip to Jones Point Park. Overall, Alexandria offers a perfect blend of culture, history, and natural beauty for all to enjoy.
What is the most beautiful street in Alexandria VA?
Captain’s Row is a preserved cobblestone street on the waterfront area of Prince Street. Snap of few pics of the historical homes and gorgeous stone street.
Wrap-up: Cafes in Alexandria, VA
Alexandria Old Town is brimming with cafes and desserts that are worth the visit. Whether you’re in the mood for freshly roasted coffee, artisanal pastry, or vegan options, the shops and cafes in Alexandria have you covered. Old Town has some of the best dessert in the DC area.