It’s hard to beat a rich-yet-refreshing milkshake on a hot summer day. It has all the deliciousness of your classic ice cream, but with none of the dripping mess, and the added perk of portability. Lucky for us, there is no shortage of solid shake options in NoVA.
OCha Thai is not your ordinary Thai restaurant. What makes it stand out is its frozen drinks. The most popular is the mango sticky rice smoothie, which layers sweet, sticky coconut rice (initially warm!) and icy blended mango. If you’re more of a chocoholic, go for the Brownie Bomb, a blended cocoa drink topped with chunks of housemade brownies. Other extravagant dessert drinks include the matcha crème brûlée (complete with caramelized sugar topping), banoffee dessert drink, and Thai TeaRamisu. 5037 Westfields Blvd., Centreville
For something a bit lighter, check out South Block. This trendy chain with locations around the DMV offers açai bowls, smoothies, skin care shakes, juices, and more — using plenty of fruits and veggies. If you have a sweet tooth, the Nutella bowl is a must. In need of a refreshing breakfast? The Super Green Smoothie — pineapple juice, kale, spinach, mango, and bananas — is the perfect way to start your day. Multiple locations
This DMV staple goes all out when it comes to shakes. If you’re feeling indulgent, skip the classic options and go straight to the deluxe shakes, which contain Breyers ice cream, Kreider Farms milk, and fresh fruit. We recommend the Nutella banana or Peppermint Patty, but there are no wrong choices here. For those who are lactose-intolerant or vegan, Silver Diner offers shakes made with dairy-free, plant-based ice cream and oat milk. Multiple locations
For old-school diner charm, Bob & Edith’s is hard to beat. With several locations around Northern Virginia, you shouldn’t have to drive too far to experience these hand-spun shakes. Flavors are classics — such as chocolate, vanilla, and banana — with whipped cream and a cherry on top, and you can order them to go. Floats are also available, if that floats your boat. Multiple locations
The star of the show at this Fairfax shop is the hard ice cream; the 18 flavors are sourced from Great Falls Ice Cream. These tasty ice creams can be transformed into shakes, malts, and floats. Want to upgrade that shake with even more of a flavor boost? Splurge on an additional flavoring, such as Irish cream, almond, or strawberry-banana. While you’re there, don’t miss the spin on “fried” ice cream. It includes a scoop of ice cream (your choice) coated entirely in cornflakes for a crispy “fried” exterior. 11208 Lee Hwy., Fairfax
Whether you’re in Chantilly, Ashburn, or Alexandria, The Burger Shack is ready to serve up tasty, quality shakes alongside burgers, tenders, wings, and hot dogs. Flavors include cookies and cream, Colombian coffee, orange Creamsicle, chocolate mint chip, and chocolate peanut butter cup. Malts are also available at this local chain. Dine in or order your shakes to go. Multiple locations
You may think Z-Burger is all about burgers and fries, but this casual joint has a huge shake menu, offering 75 flavors of hand-spun shakes, malts, floats, and concretes. We aren’t just talking traditional chocolate and vanilla (no offense to the classics we know and love); think birthday cake, maple walnut, tiramisu, peanut butter and jelly, and so much more. 684 S. Pickett St., Alexandria; 1408 Chain Bridge Rd., McLean