Slideshow: 6 Best Licks of Frozen Custard in the Washington, D.C. Area

Dickey's Frozen Custard
Dickey's Frozen Custard
Expect a super creamy and rich French vanilla swirl in a generous portion. The richness can be offset by fresh berries if you like, or go for rainbow sprinkles if you’re looking for more color.

Dickey's Frozen Custard 1710 I Street NW, Washington DC 20006 (map); 202-861-0669

Photograph: Julie Skarwecki

The Dairy Godmother
The Dairy Godmother
The Dairy Godmother serves as a gathering place for Del Ray neighborhood residents, and with good reason—their custard is killer. Whether you order vanilla, chocolate, or the flavor of the day, the custard is remarkably light and natural-tasting. This is the most velvety of all the custards I tried. You can get a small custard in a cup ($2.75), or get it in a shake or sundae.

The Dairy Godmother 2310 Mount Vernon Ave, Alexandria VA 22301 (map); 703-683-7767; thedairygodmother.com

Shake Shack
Shake Shack
Us DCers are thrilled that the great Danny Meyer has graced our city with not one, but two Shake Shacks. While I was looking forward to trying the fabled Shack Burger, I couldn’t wait to try the custard. The flavor of the day, peanut butter and jelly, did not disappoint. The custard itself was peanut butter flavor, with grape jelly evenly mixed in—every bite was sweet and salty and tasted exactly like the classic sandwich without the pesky bread to adhere to your teeth. Super creamy and smooth, sweet but not overpowering—you may not want to share this one.

Shake Shack 1216 18th Street NW, Washington DC 20036 (map); 202-683-9922; shakeshack.com

Milwaukee Frozen Custard
Milwaukee Frozen Custard
Chantilly isn’t a place most of us city dwellers deign to go—you drive to the boonies and then keep going. That being said, Milwaukee Frozen Custard is a must-stop if you find yourself that deep into the northern Virginia suburbs. A small cone of vanilla ($3.40) was far from small—the giant scoop barely teetered atop its cake cone stand. Smooth, buttery, even a little eggy, it’s not too sweet and surprisingly light.

Milwaukee Frozen Custard 13934 Lee Jackson Memorial Highway, Chantilly VA 20151 (map); 703-263-1920; milwaukeefrozencustard.com

Carmen's Italian Ice & Café
Carmen's Italian Ice & Café
I grew up in Rockville, and I used to go to Carmen’s every Friday after school for frozen custard. While I usually get the gigantic Carmen’s Cruncher, a small cup of vanilla ($2.80) hits the spot because it's made right. The custard is smooth, creamy, and just thick enough. Though it's on the sweet side, you likely won't be able to stop scraping the Styrofoam bowl with your plastic spoon to get the last melty drips.

Carmen's Italian Ice and Cafe 1115 Nelson Street, Rockville, MD 20850 (map); 301-545-1154; carmensrockville.com