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Jun 21, 2006 06:14 PM

gelato or ice cream, please

  • r

Just got back to DC from New York, where I was spoiled with Il Laboritorio Del Gelato -- where can I satisfy my craving for gelato or ice cream in DC? (Pref on the red line, but if I've gotta go elsewhere, I'll do it for the goods)

And while we're at it, where's the best?

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  1. By far my favorite ice cream in the area is York Castle. Can be found in Latino and Caribbean places. Tropical flavors, mostly. My favorite is a flavor that is made from mamey, but for some reason do not call it mamey - perhaps because nobody here knows what mamey is. But it has an unusual salmon color. Of the popular flavors, mango is excellent.

    For gelato, the best I've had was the ginger flavor at Sam's in Rockville. Though I also did have the melon which was terrible; tasted much more like lemon cheesecake than melon.

    9 Replies
    1. re: Steve

      I'm surprised nobody's yet mentioned Moorenko in South Silver Spring. I've yet to go but from what I hear this is the place to beat in terms of creative, homemade flavors. Somebody on the board was talking about their how great their grapefruit-Campari sorbet was and I know they sell to restaurants. It's on my to do list for this summer.

      For what it's worth I don't think much of York--the ice cream or the place. I didn't find anything special about the flavors I've tasted and the Silver Spring location has absolutely no atmosphere whatsoever.

      1. re: shellymck

        Moorenko is very good -- especially the fruit flavors.

        1. re: Marty L.

          Give me Lazy Sundae or give me nothing!!!
          Vanilla Malt Crunch, Chocolate Black Raspberry....and the Peppermint. I have to go now. What time do they open?

          1. re: Hungryone

            Their Clarendon location has closed.

        2. re: shellymck

          I found Moorenko to be ok, though I may not have hit the right flavors.

          I'd love to know about the dairy at U. of Maryland. It's counterpart at Penn State is one of the best ice cream parlors in the US.

          1. re: Steve

            When I was a kid and families still went for Sunday drives (before TV, computers, or even soccer games) one of the places we liked to go was to U-Md for ice cream, and we'd bring back a couple of bottles of fresh milk. I'm sure things are very different now, but hopefully at least it's run out of the dairy department and they don't just buy Breyers. :(

            1. re: Mike

              When I was there 4 years ago for my dad's 20th reunion, the guy giving all the alumni the tour said it was still run by the department and it most definitely did not taste like breyer's. that being said, i don't remember thinking it was amazing, but it was pretty good by my standards.

              1. re: katie

                Right, it's good ice cream, but nothing extraordinary.

                If you go, you may want to make sure you call ahead. I think they have funky hours of operation.

            2. re: Steve

              The U of Md dairy is good, but not as good as the one at Penn State. People come from all over to take the six week (I think) course at Penn State.

              The dairy at Md is NOT open on weekend and only something like 8 to 5:30 Mon-Fri (unless things have changed).



        3. Rivka: Steve's right -- York is about the best, and certainly the most interesting, ice cream around. Except for the ice cream at 2 Amys (a restaurant), which is uniformly wonderful. (And perhaps the custard at the Dairy Godmother.)

          But as for gelato, you are now officially spoiled -- there ain't nothing here that comes anywhere close to ILdG, or to the olive oil gelato at Otto. The Argentine place on Wisconsin (forgot the new name)) is fine, but not in the same league.

          1. You probably know that Il Laboratorio will ship? Otherwise your best bet is Capogiro Gelateria in Philly as nothing in DC comes close.


            5 Replies
            1. re: Lewes

              Capogiro is now available through Balducci's :)


              1. re: brooke

                But isn't gelato one of those things like espresso coffee (are they all Italian?) that are short-lived and need to be fresh for the best experience?

                If you have to buy it from the freezer case, maybe it doesn't matter (other than the name and the cost, giving the sense that you're getting the really good stuff)) all that much which brand you get.

                Is Capogiro the brand that was mentioned here a couple of months ago that costs $10/pint? At that price, unless I was having a gelato party, a pint would last me a few weeks - hardly fresh out of the machine.

                1. re: Mike

                  Well, the gelato from the Laboratorio is $21/pint!


                  1. re: Marty L.

                    I don't want it to be THAT good.

                  2. re: Mike

                    Maybe my taste buds aren't very discriminating or I simply just don't know what the fresh/authentic/best gelato taste like; the freezer Capogiro tastes great to me.

                    IIRC, at Balducci's, they have a sign saying something along the line that these pints are shipped fresh daily from Capogiro in PA. Thus the flavors available will vary depending on what's in season. I don't know if the taste will deteriorate overtime 'cz I finished it within a week! ;)

              2. Your best bet for freshly scooped Gelato in this area is the Italian Market, but you'll need a car since they're located in Waugh Chapel (north of Crofton, Md) and Annapolis, Md. They offer 24 flavors.


                1. The aforementioned Sam's Cafe in Rockville makes wonderful gelato.

                  And they're about a 3-4 block walk South of the Rockville Metro station.