The Cold Standard
Ice cream trucks have come a long way from white vans playing carnival music and slinging Choco Tacos. The new generation of vehicles serving frozen fare comes in all forms—vintage vans, bicycles, motorcycles—and offer gourmet selections of homemade custards, frozen pops, ice cream sandwiches, and more. Best of all, you don’t have to chase these vendors down the street. Just follow them on Twitter.
Goodies Frozen Custard & Treats
A restored 1952 vintage van nicknamed “Gigi” serves frozen custard in flavors like banana pudding, papaya cream, and vanilla bean. Try the red velvet doughnuts, too.
Captain Cookie and the Milk Man
This truck boasts ice cream made with milk from local, grass-fed cows with no hormones or antibiotics. Vanilla, chocolate, and black cherry are the current flavors, along with a daily special. Turn it into a sandwich using cookies like snickerdoodle, nutella, peanut butter, chocolate chip, ginger molasses, and more.
Mainstay ice cream flavors on this truck include coffee Oreo, banana cream pie, coconut chocolate crunch, mint chocolate chip, peanut butter cup, sorbets, and more. Orange Cow also sells floats, ice cream sandwiches, and sundaes.
Carmen’s Italian Ice
Carmen’s has a Rockville shop in addition to its trucks, which serve homemade Italian ices in a rotating selection of more than 70 flavors. Look out for cherry, strawberry-lemon, mango, sour apple, and watermelon ices as well as vanilla, chocolate, or salted caramel custard.
This motorcycle carries ice cream sandwiches and cold-press coffee in its refrigerated side car. Among the flavors: avocado ice cream with chocolate cookie and cornflake cookie with honey drizzle-milk ice cream. Milk Cult won’t officially hit the streets for another two to three weeks, but you can catch it at NoMa Summer Screen events at 3rd and L streets NE on Wednesday evenings.
A fleet of refurbished old Good Humor bikes serves ice cream sandwiches from Carlos Delgado, chef at Boveda and The Caucus Room Brasserie. Rotating flavors include jalapeño ice cream with a dark spiced chocolate cookie and lemongrass and basil ice cream with a coconut cookie.
Inspired by Mexican paletas, Pleasant Pops serves frozen pops made with local dairy and fruits. Seasonal offerings include honey lavender, strawberry rhubarb, vegan Mexican chocolate, and cookies and cream.
The ice cream flavors on this truck come with funky names like Bull Dozer (fruit punch) and Pimpin’ Passion (coconut) plus sundae toppings like gummy bears, M&Ms, and sprinkles. The ice cream can be added to Milk-Quakes (milkshakes) or paired with pound cake or brownies.
Sinplicity Ice Cream
This truck scoops up sorbets and ice creams like Madagascar vanilla, peanut butter truffle, and strawberry shortcake—plus limited edition specials like wasabi or Thai peanut. Ice cream “sinwiches” are served on macarons. Sinplicity no longer serves curbside but does turn up at Truckeroo and other local events.
Photo by Donald Wilson