Milkshakes. They’re the nirvana of kids everywhere, but particularly in D.C. where summers can be downright brutal and the occasional internal chill system (in the form of something sweet and icy) is a requirement. Keep cool with these tasty, kid-friendly cups of uber thick, handspun goodness that will have everyone saying “more please.”


Holy Cow
Mosey on in to Holy Cow in Del Ray (Alexandria) for their super thick, hand spun milkshakes. Traditional flavors like Chocolate and Vanilla will satisfy picky eaters, while the flavor of the week lets the adventurous dessert lover be entertained with flavors like Strawberry Shortcake, Sundae Shake (brownies, caramel syrup and vanilla ice cream), and Frozen Hot Chocolate. Little taste testers go gaga for the Strawberry Shortcake, while grown-ups are fans of Chocolate Heath Crunch. When your little milkshaker is done, burn off some of that sugar by heading over to the Mount Vernon Community School playground to take a few turns down the tube slide.

2312 Mount Vernon Ave. (Alexandria, Va)

Nielsen’s Custard
If you’ve never taken the kids (or yourself!) to Nielsen’s Custard, then hop in the car…stat. Their frozen custard is legendary in Northern Virginia, and the milkshakes they create with it are out of this world. In fact, they are so thick and creamy that you won’t find any straws here—just spoons that the kids use to dig into their “Concrete Mixer.” Yep, one of our favorite milkshakes is actually named after a piece of construction equipment. Must try: A traditional mixer with chocolate custard and Oreo bits. Ummm…Yummm.

144 Church St. (Vienna, Va)


Good Stuff Eatery
We can’t say enough good things about the milkshakes here. Kids go bananas for the Red Velvet shake—for the taste and its pretty pink color. These handspun, made to order, and just-thick-enough-to-make-you-work shakes are hard to share, so be prepared to order your own! For extra good little ones, take them across the street to the Crystal City Water Park where they can dip their tootsies in the flowing fountains.

2110 Crystal Dr. (Arlington, Va)

Ted’s Bulletin
If your little one isn’t down with shopping, but you love a morning spent at Eastern Market, then bribe them (shhh, don’t tell Grandma!) with a Ted’s Bulletin milkshake and their choice of 16 (!) different shakes. Junior won’t know which one to pick, so it might be best to get him thinking about it beforehand. Depending upon his palate he might love a PB&J shake, Raspberry Cream, Chocolate, S’mores, Root Beer Float, or even plain ole’ Vanilla. No matter which one he gets, tell the waiter to bring an extra straw. Or, if you prefer your own cup, choose from one of eight “adult” shakes such as White Russian, Twisted Coconut, and Buzzed Berries.

505 8th St., SE (Capitol Hill)


Max Brenner Chocolate Bar
We can’t decide what part of this place is our favorite. The milkshakes or the Alice in Wonderland inspired cups that say “drink me.” Miniature chocolate lovers will adore Mac Brenner’s because it’s all chocolate, all the time; from the thick and tasty shakes to the writing on the wall. Our tiny taste testers swooned for the 80’s Milkshake made with milk chocolate ganache, vanilla ice cream, and a chocolate shell. Regulars swear by the Peanut Butter Granita, which is likened to drinking a giant frozen Reese’s peanut butter cup. #winning

7263 Woodmont Ave. (Bethesda, Md)

American City Diner
Kids heart the American City Diner for its handmade, full of uber thick goodness milkshakes and the entertaining toy train that runs along the top of the diner’s wall. Our favorite shake here was the Chocolate, but if your little ones are more into fruity shakes, order the cherry milkshake to tickle their taste buds while they try to figure just how they can play with the train way up there. Even cooler is the throw back 1950’s soda bar style glass the shakes are served in. Your little ones crooning Elvis before the jukebox is even queued up.

5532 Connecticut Ave., NW (Chevy Chase)

Do you have a favorite spot to score a yummy milkshake? Spill it in the comments section below.

—Hilary Riedemann

Photos courtesy of Hilary Riedemann, Thomas C. via Yelp, Max Brenner via Facebook