Arts & Entertainment

Restaurant Spotlight: Frozen Dairy Bar and Boardwalk Pizza


With a stop at Falls Church’s long-serving Frozen Dairy Bar and Boardwalk Pizza, diners can enjoy slices and scoops of summer all year round. The restaurant, located off of Arlington Boulevard in Falls Church, calls upon memories of sunny days spent walking The Boardwalk – whichever your favorite may be.

But here, for better and worse, there’s no breeze coming off of the water, no hustle and bustle of patrons passing by on a narrow walkway, and no worries about finding a spot to sit and eat. The dining room here is spacious, and after placing an order at the counter the food is brought right to the table. Still, with the white wood clapboards at the ice cream counter, the framed images of boardwalk attractions, and the upbeat tunes pumped into the dining room, the restaurant itself manages to evoke that summery boardwalk feel.

The food as well brings to mind those little shacks with the flashing lights and festive signs that dole out cones, fried bites, slices of pizza, and other treats. A number of deep-fried eats are offered as appetizers. There are batter-dipped green beans with just a little bit of snap left beneath that fried coating. Dollops of macaroni and cheese get the same treatment, and the result is a starchy parcel that drips with creamy cheese at the first bite. Mozzarella cheese moons, breaded pockets the size of your palm, reveal stringy cheese beneath a crispy shell. There are hush puppies, as well, and bite-sized corn dog pieces. For $12 as the Appetizer Sampler, you can try them all with a flight of sauces.

As evidenced by the appetizers, the food here isn’t exactly light fare. There are salads, sure, but they’re greatly outnumbered by the pizzas, sandwiches, pastas, and baskets of deep-fried seafood and chicken served here as entrees.

Diners can build their own pizzas here, with a cost ranging from $8.50 and 75 cents for each topping for a 12-inch pie and $14.50 and $2 for each topping for a 16-inch pie. The menu offers a 10-inch gluten-free base or a square Sicilian-style pie, but the standard here is a New York-style pizza cut into big, foldable slices. The menu features an assortment of 16-inch specialty pies – such as the spinach, red pepper, and eggplant Popeye’s Pizza and the All You Can Meat Pizza with five different types of meat – and the pizza house standards are sold the slice. For $3.50 you can get a slice of pepperoni pizza, brought to the table on a paper plate soon to be speckled by the stray grease pooling atop the molten cheese and bubbling on salty pepperoni discs. Again, light fare this is not, but it’s a satisfying piece of pizza with a thin crust, a light coating of homemade tomato sauce, and plenty of ooey gooey cheese.

All sandwiches are served with a side of potato chips, cut and fried in house. There are about a dozen on the menu between the subs (including a comically overstuffed cheese steak) and sandwiches made on the house-baked, buttery and herby focaccia.

No trip to Frozen Dairy Bar and Boardwalk Pizza is complete without some frozen custard. The delightfully creamy treat here comes in vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry flavors, but also an ever-changing flavor of the day – apple pie, chocolate cherry pie, and cookies and cream are some of the flavors featured this week.

What started out in 1950 as a little ice cream shack in a Falls Church parking lot has expanded over the years in cuisine and in location. This local spot may be a warm reminder of boardwalk vacations past, but in its decades of service it has instilled fond memories of its own in the patrons who continue to stop by for pizza and ice cream.

Frozen Dairy Bar and Boardwalk Pizza is located at 6641 Arlington Blvd., Falls Church. For more information, call 703-534-4200 or visit Restaurant hours are Sunday – Thursday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. and Friday – Saturday: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.