The Collegian
Thursday, February 29, 2024

Richmond Reviews: The quest to find the best chocolate ice cream in Richmond

With the warm weather and the days getting longer, we decided to take an afternoon away from homework and try some of the most popular ice cream shops near campus. 

We went to three shops, Blue Cow Ice Cream Co., Gelati Celesti and Jeni’s, to try their signature chocolate ice cream flavors and see which one we liked best. 

The Blue Cow Ice Cream Co. is located in the Village Shopping Center, less than a mile from the University of Richmond. Blue Cow is a newer establishment that has gained traction with UR students and families in the community due to its close proximity.

The employees are young, friendly and relatable. As college students, it is always refreshing to be served by employees who have the same interests.

After arriving, we took note of the cool interior with lots of seating and the smell of fresh waffle cones being made. 

Among the fun variety of flavors (including non-dairy options), we taste tested the chocolate brownie flavor, and it was sweet. They do not offer a plain chocolate flavor, but the addition of brownies was great! The brownie bits weren’t completely frozen, so they melted in our mouths while we ate them. 

The portions are generous, so a mini sized cup was perfect and priced at $4.71. For those who want to take ice cream home, Blue Cow offered pints to eat at home. 

The next ice cream shop we went to was Gelati Celesti. Celesti is located on Grove Avenue and is surrounded by many of our favorite restaurants and shops. One aspect of Celesti that Blue Cow did not offer was outdoor seating.

The interior, similar to Blue Cow, is bright and inviting, and is family-friendly. Gelati Celesti is ideal for customers who want to grab a scoop after a meal at one of the restaurants on Grove Ave.

We tried the chocolate flavor at Gelati Celesti and it was delicious. The ice cream was more frozen, and a small portion was perfect because it was rich in flavor. A mini sized portion of the chocolate flavor was $4.94.

Celesti also offers pints to take home and has a wide variety of merchandise on display. 

Our last stop was Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams in Carytown. Jeni’s is fairly new, and other stores are popping up right beside it on a strip of Cary Street. Jeni’s is also a chain and can be found around the country at their scoop shops or in pints at many chain grocery stores. 

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The interior of Jeni’s was aesthetically pleasing and made us want to take so many cool pictures. The shop uses bright colors and cute walls to capture their customers. The inside felt trendy and fun. While it is relatively small, it was laid out well. 

One downside was that the shop did not have any seating, but it would be the perfect place to quickly pick up ice cream before exploring Carytown. 

Their standard size was $7.37, however, it came with two flavors of ice cream and a piece of waffle cone. In our opinion, it is definitely worth it. 

They offered two chocolate varieties, milkiest chocolate and darkest chocolate. We both chose the milkiest chocolate, and it was delightful! It was so light and flavorful. 

In the end, we ranked Jeni’s No. 1 based on its flavor and texture. They offer a great variety of unique flavors, and the interior was so cute. 

We will definitely be going back soon to try their other flavors!

Contact lifestyle writer Reeve Boeckmann and contributor JoJo McShane at reeve.boeckmann@richmond.edu and jojo.mcshane@richmond.edu

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