In Norfolk, Virginia, on an unassuming stretch of Monticello Avenue, Doumar's Drive-In is serving up ice cream in hand-rolled waffle cones, just as founder Abe Doumar did a century ago. The local institution has been gracing the neighborhood since the early 1900s, and they're famous not just for the quality of their cones, but for their age: Abe is credited with introducing the first ever ice cream cone over a century ago, at the 1904 St. Louis Exposition. They enjoyed immense popularity at the fair, with the concept subsequently taking the ice cream world by storm. In 1907, Abe set up shop near an amusement park in Norfolk; two decades later, it moved to its current location on Monticello, where it's been standing ever since — if you stop by today, you may see Albert, Abe's grandson, baking up the world-famous cones.
The cones themselves are golden, crispy perfection, a perfect foil for Doumar's ultra-creamy ice cream, which comes in six precise flavors: vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, butter pecan, and lime and orange sherbet. You can't go wrong with any of them, but with its golden, pecan-studded richness, the butter pecan is a particularly brilliant counterpoint to the cones' sweet flavor, and an imposing double scoop in a fresh waffle cone is a sweet endeavor that's worth the effort.
1919 Monticello Ave.
Norfolk, Virginia, 23517