City Center Ice Cream is located in Newport News, VA. It is (and you probably guessed it) located in the large City Center complex. It’s a quiet, kind of unassuming shop, but it delivers some of the creamiest ice cream ever. You walk in and the dipping freezer is filled with all of the colors of the rainbow. Seriously, we’re not kidding.
The flavor selection is pretty classic, with a few unusual choices: green tea, cinnamon, blue cotton candy. We appreciated that they let us get two flavors in a small (which is especially important if you happen to be a little indecisive like Rebecca).
Most of the shop’s flavors are just ice cream. Meaning that there’s no chunks or swirls or extra components in the ice cream. There are a few exceptions (like cookie dough) where the flavor requires that extra something. Instead the shop offers “mix-ins” such as nuts, sprinkles, Oreo pieces, etc. Each ice cream cup/cone comes with one mix-in. During non-COVID times, the shop does the mixing-in for you, but now you just get handed a plastic container with the topping in it. A little anticlimactic to be honest, but hey whatever safety measures necessary to get us our ice cream during a pandemic.
Prices were decent (about $17 for three “smalls”). You might say, “and that’s decent?” Well, it’s homemade ice cream, so it does tend to be a bit more expensive than other ice cream. And, more importantly, the portions were generous. It didn’t feel like they skimped on the portion (and they weigh it, so when there wasn’t enough in the cup, they went back and added some). We respect the consistency and getting the bang for our buck.
However, we do have some thoughts on this as well. It happened to Natalie – she got two flavors, we’ll say a top scoop and a bottom scoop. The scooper weighed it and then went back and added more. Great! We love to see it! However, the scooper added the flavor of the bottom scoop on top of the top scoop. NOPE. It made the flavors be way too intermingled.
The location is pretty conducive to outdoor ice cream consumption – there are lots of tables and chairs, and if you walk a short distance there’s a giant water fountain with lots of benches surrounding it. Would we recommend not going after a rainstorm? Probably. Since indoor seating is currently non-existent (due to the pandemic), outside seating is your only option. But never fear, we didn’t let wet chairs get in the way of our research!
The Flavor Review:
- Brownie Batter (Rebecca): As someone who loves both brownie batter and ice cream, you could say that I had high hopes for this flavor. It certainly delivered in terms of flavor. It tasted like eating just like eating brownie batter. In terms of flavor expectations, I was a happy camper. What it was missing, however, were other components. I wanted chunks of brownie or a brownie batter swirl to contrast with the rich, velvety texture of the ice cream. The ice cream was delicious, but to be outstanding, it could have used a little oomph. But would definitely recommend for any fellow brownie batter lovers out there.
- Red Velvet (Rebecca): This is not necessarily a go-to flavor for me. I wanted to try something different so that you don’t just have me reviewing flavors based in chocolate and peanut butter. This flavor was okay. It’s was very creamy, but honestly, just had kind of a general sweet taste. Maybe a red velvet cake lover would know differently, but I couldn’t really discern much from the flavor. It was sweet and creamy, so it was fine, but I don’t think I would necessarily eat it again. Honestly, as soon as I realized how much better I liked the other flavor, I ate all of this one to get it out of the way so that I could enjoy some Brownie Batter.
- Cinnamon (Natalie): Anytime I see this flavor, it is a must get for me! If you have never tried cinnamon ice cream, you need to asap! This homemade cinnamon was classic and perfect from the first bite – not overpowering with cinnamon and the perfect creaminess. Honestly, it reminded me of my grandmother’s homemade ice cream from my childhood, and there’s no better memories than family ice cream memories.
- Butter Pecan (Natalie): This has never been and probably never will be my favorite flavor, but after knowing I was definitely getting cinnamon, I felt like I needed to pick a complementing flavor. This was kind of a panic decision, even though I had plenty of time to decide (hello indecision!), and therefore did not love it. It was simple, and ultimately reminded me more of vanilla with hints of butterscotch and small chunks every few bites. The limited pecan pieces made me feel like the ratio of add-ins was off. Overall, I’m going to leave my pecan eating to within pies (I don’t even really like that though… maybe no more pecans for me).
Overall Scoops (out of 5):
- Natalie: 2.5 Scoops – It was decent and nice to find homemade ice cream in the otherwise ice cream desert of Newport News, VA. While the flavors were simple, I really enjoyed the smooth texture and the fact that they had cinnamon as a flavor option, since it is uncommon and hard to find.
- Rebecca: 3 Scoops – The ice cream is super creamy, but I do wish that the flavors had additional components to them. It was good, and I would eat it again, but it wasn’t the best.