Summer is here in full force, and the weather in Williamsburg is nicely sweltering, so you're justified in searching for some ice cream to keep you cool. Fortunately, Williamsburg has several places to choose from.
All phone numbers are area code 757.
1430 High St., Suite 801 (High Street, near the Movie Tavern)
A recent addition to the Williamsburg scence, Kilwin's is a chain out of Northern Michigan. The store is a chocolatier that also has an ice cream shop with a solid selection of flavors. Tasty ice cream, and waffle cups to boot along with the usual waffle cones - but a tad expensive.
Personal Top Picks (Traditional Style):
5289 John Tyler Hwy. (Williamsburg Crossing Shopping Center, intersection of Routes 5 & 199)
Delicious ice cream (with a decent-sized selection of flavors), shakes, sundaes, and other ice cream treats. Part of a chain based in Bridgewater, Pa.
6601 Richmond Rd. (Lightfoot/Norge)
Handel's is a bit out of the way - you'll definitely need a car to get there - but it's well worth the trip. Delicious hand-packed ice cream in a variety of flavors, or try their other ice cream treats. This is part of a chain based out of Youngstown, Ohio.
Queen Anne Dari-Snak
7127 Merrimac Trail
This Williamsburg institution, in business since 1951, is a great place to stop for soft-serve.
435 Prince George St.
Retro's focus is on hot dogs, but they also serve up delicious frozen custard (similar to soft-serve, but usually thicker, creamier, and smoother) in vanilla, chocolate, or swirl form.
The Usual Suspects:
416 Prince George St.
Thirty-one flavors, some rotating in and out each month. Gold Medal Ribbon's always been my favorite, but you probably have your own.
Ben & Jerry's
5699-18 Richmond Rd. (Prime Outlets at Williamsburg)
If you'd like some rich Ben & Jerry's goodness, you can pick up a scoop at their store in the Prime Outlets center. Just remember, though, that if you're buying it for the crunchy-granola image -- this company's been part of multinational conglomerate Unilever since 2000.
105 Bypass Rd.
Soft-serve mainstay and home of the Blizzard. Also has food options if you want more than just dessert.
Other Chain Options:
Cold Stone Creamery
4615-A Monticello Avenue
Cold Stone's gimmick is to mix items such as cake, candy, or fruit into your ice cream on top of a cold granite stone (hence the name), rather than sprinkle them on top. Some people find the ice cream's texture a bit gummier than normal.
Maggie Moo's (New Town)
4907 Courthouse St. (New Town, next to the theater)
After catching a movie, you can get your ice-cream fix at Maggie Moo's (choose from a selection of flavors); be sure to try the ice cream cupcakes.
Williamsburg has a couple of places that are only open during the summer season:
Rita's Water Ice
220 Monticello Ave
Trevose, Pa.-based Rita's main attraction is water ice (think shaved ice with flavoring), but they also offer frozen custard.
2229 Richmond Rd.
A local operation that's been around since 1997 and usually packed to overflowing during summer weekends, Sno-To-Go's most popular treat is the Stuffed Snoball, where layers of flavored shaved ice alternate with soft-serve ice cream. Straight-up soft-serve ice cream and related treats are also available.
--Fred Dingledy, Resident Restaurant Critic for The Wolf Law Library