Some Like it Cold

Beat the heat with some of the best ice cream around the state. 

Photo by Mark Edward Atkinson

Baby, it’s HOT outside. These 100-degree days across the state have been brutal, but the good news is that there’s plenty of great homemade ice cream being made in our great state. Here are a few of our favorite cool confections perfect for these sweltering days of high summer.

Brown Dog Ice Cream 

Cape Charles

The varieties on offer at Brown Dog Ice Cream, like lemon curd cinnamon crumble, peach melba, tomato basil and blueberry sweet corn sound more farm-to-table restaurant than seaside ice cream store, and that’s no accident.

“We try to be creative and we try to use local fruit and vegetables,” says owner Miriam Elton, 53, originally from Loudoun County. “So whatever becomes available from local farmers, I try to create a recipe.”

203 Mason Ave., Cape Charles,

Klines Dairy Bar


Every morning the team at Klines makes a fresh batch of chocolate and vanilla ice cream, plus the flavor of the week, which could be anything from banana to Oreo to mint chocolate chip to orange crème.

906 Greenville Ave., Staunton,

Carl’s Ice Cream


When Carl Sponseller opened an ice cream stand in 1947, the ice cream he sold was made in the same Electro-Freeze machine in use today. And since opening day, Carl’s has made ice cream fresh daily, in just three eternal flavors: vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, right? Also on tap are sundaes, shakes, malts and root beer slush floats.   

2200 Princess Anne St.,

Did You Know?

Virginia makes a couple of appearances in the pantheon of ice cream firsts: We’re told that George Washington made the first known American purchase of an ice cream maker in 1784, and years later Thomas Jefferson brought a recipe for vanilla ice cream back from France. Thankfully ice cream makers have evolved over the last 232 years, but recipes like this one are timeless for the ice cream aficionado who prefers to make it at home.

Classic Vanilla Bean

Recipe requires an at-home ice cream maker.

1 quart whole milk

1 quart half-and-half

2 cups heavy cream

12 egg yolks

2 cups sugar

1 vanilla bean (6-inch)

Cream the yolks and sugar. Heat milk, half-and-half and heavy cream with the vanilla bean in a heavy-bottomed saucepan or double boiler to a near boil, and then remove from heat. Remove the vanilla bean, slice down one side to open it, scrape the seeds from the pod, and set aside. Stirring constantly, add half of the milk mix to the egg-and-sugar mix, then return all to the pan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and fold the vanilla seeds into the mixture, and cool. Chill for several hours, and then process according to the ice cream maker’s instructions.

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