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If you had to choose one family favorite business in all of Fredericksburg, Carl’s Frozen Custard would definitely be near the top of that list. In fact, it was voted best ice cream shop in Virginia by Business Insider in 2015. Let’s just say, we weren’t surprised that it’s landed two coveted No. 1 spots in our 2017 Family Favorites contest (to be revealed next month.).

Carl’s has been serving frozen custard in Fredericksburg since 1947! In addition to being published in Business Insider, it has appeared on PBS and Food Network. The original building is a registered National Landmark and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2005.

While waiting in line (there will probably be a line), be sure to get a sneak peek at the Electro Freeze machines making the frozen custard. They’ve been working daily since 1947! As with most hometown legends, there are things locals just know.

  • February 14th isn't just Valentine’s Day: It’s Carl’s opening day.
  • Get your cash ready and know your order ahead of time.
  • That line is part of the experience. Embrace it!
  • Cash only.
  • Don’t expect dinner. This is purely a frozen custard establishment.
  • Know your options: Hot fudge sundae, shake, malt, cone or dish.
  • There are three flavors: chocolate, strawberry and vanilla. Don’t expect anything fancy.
  • If you’re feeling sassy, order the maple nut topping.

Whether you’re just visiting Fredericksburg or are a resident, Carl’s is someplace you need to try at least once! So grab some cash and the kids, and hop in line for a little taste of hometown nostalgia.


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