Ice cream time is best when you’re on the way home from the beach. Or sitting under the night sky. It is ideal licked for dinner, though it is also just right on the way to work. In this year’s survey of the Outer Cape’s frozen dessert possibilities, we found that, in fact, ice cream is worthy of consideration morning, noon, and night. Our reporters fanned out from Provincetown to Orleans to get these sweet scoops. 


Bliss! P’town Frozen Yogurt
322 Commercial St.
Open daily, noon to 11 p.m.

One of the best things about adulthood is the freedom to skip dinner and go straight to dessert. When that mood strikes, Bliss is always the first place I think of. Since it’s frozen yogurt, I can rationalize by reminding myself that it’s actually good for me: all that fresh fruit! All those probiotics! (Soft-serve ice cream is on the menu, too, and though excellent it is not pertinent to this report.)

Forget whatever you’ve had at those self-service joints in suburban strip malls: Bliss’s frozen yogurt is truly supernal. It is textured yet smooth, rich without being heavy, and has just enough tang to let you know you’re eating something cultured — in both senses of the word. Pro tip: if fresh tangerine or blueberry is the flavor du jour, grab your fill while you can. Another pro tip: Make sure you have cash on hand before you order. Nothing is worse than anticipating that first tart-sweet mouthful and realizing there’s only plastic in your wallet. (Prices range from $3.25 for a kiddie cup to $5.75 for a large one; toppings extra.)

Every year I hear rumors of the shop’s imminent closing, and every year I return to Provincetown and it’s there, a still point in the turning world that is downtown Commercial Street. My first cup of the season is right up there with a dip in a kettle pond on the list of things I most look forward to. There’s a reason why it’s called Bliss. —John D’Addario

A scoop of gelato from the Blue Monkey in Provincetown. (Photo by Georgia Hall)

The Blue Monkey Café & Bistro
334 Commercial St.
Open daily, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

A statue of a bear outside the Blue Monkey Café catches my eye on the way to work. He wears a picture of freshly scooped gelato on his chest and tempts me to indulge in a 9 a.m. cone.

When I finally give in, Moraine, host and waiter, greets me with a cheeky grin and a twinkle in his eye. “I have an ice cream a day,” he says, justifying my belief that gelato is acceptable morning, noon, and night.

“This is gelato, not ice cream,” Sheneika, who has served scoops for eight summers, informs me. Before my visit, I was unaware of the distinction between the two. As it turns out, she tells me, gelato contains less air than ice cream, resulting in a slightly denser texture. I felt humbled by this gap in my scoop IQ.

I sampled several gelato flavors, all made in-house, and decided the turtle dove with maple pecans was a cut above the rest, particularly in a freshly pressed cinnamon-infused waffle cone. Among sorbets, pineapple mint was delectably summery and refreshing.

Despite a high price point even for Provincetown ($5.88 for one scoop), I left figuring my new gelato knowledge might be useful on upcoming trivia nights. —Georgia Hall 

Lewis Brothers Ice Cream
310 Commercial St.
Open daily, 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.

The building that houses Lewis Brothers is called, inexplicably, The New York Store. The words appear in quaint, old-timey text on a false façade. The whole building looks like it’s from a vintage Western. I’m a native New Yorker, and nothing about the place particularly reminds me of my hometown.

Rather, Lewis Brothers’ interior, with metal cutouts of whales lining the walls, is distinctly Cape Cod. So, too, is the business: they have only their Provincetown place and a truck in Truro. All the ice cream is handmade in-house.

The classic flavors are accompanied by some unconventional in New York, my hometown, mainstays, such as ginger and Grape Nut, and two ever-so-slightly-spiked flavors modeled on cocktails. My first scoop this summer — cookie dough — was slightly too sweet for my taste. But the coffee Heath of my second visit did not disappoint. It pairs a welcome hit of mocha with satisfyingly crunchy Heath Bar crumbles.

At $7 for a small cup, it wasn’t cheap. And I paid a 50-cent credit-card fee and spent another 50 cents to add chocolate sprinkles (another New England touch). But you’re investing in something more here: You sit on MacMillan Pier, legs dangling above the harbor, looking out at the pastel blues and purples of the sunset. A melted, sticky drop runs down the cup, over your finger, then into the water below. It’s a feeling that’s quintessentially Provincetown. —Elias Schisgall

The Nut House
237 Commercial St.
Open daily, 10 a.m. to midnight

A capsule of confection, the Nut House offers ice cream and an unusually diverse collection of sweets. Baked goods and baking apparatuses line one wall. Baskets are piled high with bags of rainbow candy and circus peanuts. At the back of the Nut House, a glowing glass case displays neat rows of chocolates. The ice cream almost disappears behind the deluge of sugary provisions.

Skeptical new customers, do not fear. The Nut House has ice cream from Toscanini’s, the beloved purveyors in Cambridge. And this year, they’ve added flavors from another high-quality source, Orleans-based Local Scoop. Flavors tend to the classic (pistachio, rum raisin), with some notable exceptions like Toscanini’s goat cheese and brownie or jelly donut from the Local Scoop.

On my second visit to the Nut House, I sought the scooper’s advice on flavor choices. He suggested the legendary Brown Butter, Brown Sugar, and Brownie, or “B3.” I settled on a small cup with a waffle cone.

I expected to find brown sugar too sweet for my taste (I fear cloying desserts). But the flavor was perfectly balanced, creamy enough to be a rich treat but leaving me still wanting more. I thanked my scooper for his guidance, running back to my car to grab tip money. Card and Apple Pay will do for the goods, but tips for the expert service are cash only. —Eden Knight 

Provincetown Fudge Factory
210 Commercial St.
Open Sunday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to midnight, Friday-Saturday until 1 a.m.

I think ice cream has healing power. Whether I’m hot, tired, or hungry, it always gives me a second wind. I also unabashedly embrace clichés: I’m often found sniveling with a half-melted pint and a comically large spoon — it’s comfort food.

Although I wasn’t in extreme need during my visit to the Fudge Factory, I’ll admit I was a little blue. I was glad to find that, while this place may officially be a candy store, it has a counter stocked with Gifford’s ice cream at the back.

I felt compelled to sample the coffee flavor after my server, Rado, said, “People claim it’s the best.” The taste of coffee was subtle but satisfactory, good for those who like a lighter roast. Among Fudge Factory staff, the classic chocolate is a favorite. Mint chocolate chip is praised for its scoopability.

Craving a taste of home, I opted for the rocky road on a chocolate sprinkle cone. My mother used to serve up enormous slabs of rocky road for afternoon tea. My melty scoop felt delightfully nostalgic.

I left with a grin on my face, grateful for their late hours and affordable price of $4.95 per scoop and certain this was one factory I would be frequenting this summer. —Georgia Hall 

Spiritus Pizza
190 Commercial St.
Open daily, 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Don’t let the giant slice hanging on the patio fool you: Spiritus serves more than mere pizza. It happens to be one of my favorite ice cream stops, in part because it’s one of the few places late-night enough for sweet-toothed night owls — and who eats ice cream before 1 a.m., anyway?

On this visit, the scooper suggested I get mint condition, sourced from Lewis Bros. (Spiritus also offers flavors from Häagen-Dazs and Gifford’s.) Tired and tousled, I gladly accepted.

She scooped it for me with her left arm, explaining that she didn’t want her right becoming disproportionately buff and had been practicing sharing the work between both extremities. Scoops run $5 for a kiddie, $6 for one regular scoop, and $7 for two — all are quite generous.

The mint base was soothing, and the little chocolate pieces embedded throughout crunched and flooded my mouth with a pleasant bitterness — 60 or 70 percent cacao, I guessed. I sat outside on the back patio, my treat aglow under the red string lights. A forgotten bocce ball sat mournfully at my feet.

When creamy cravings come calling, remember three crucial tenets before you hit Spiritus: don’t order your ice cream at the pizza counter, never get the espresso shake after midnight, and always, always bring cash. —Sabina Lum

Twisted Pizza and Ice Cream
293 Commercial St.
Open Monday-Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday-Saturday to 2 a.m.; Sunday to 11 p.m.

I approach Twisted with caution. A loyal New Yorker, I am suspicious of anyone’s “New York pizza.” I rarely eat anything bearing that name outside of New York, just in case its quality forces me to relinquish my pizza-superiority-complex.

Ice cream, however, is neutral territory. Pondering my flavor choices, I watched two confident older women approach the young ice cream scooper.

“Do you make the ice cream here?” one asked.

“Yes,” he said. “Right in the back. You can ask my boss.”

“It’s OK,” the other woman said. “We believe you.”

I ordered a small cup of campfire s’mores ($5.35) — what could be more summery? As the server prepared what I felt was a slightly meager scoop, I asked him my dropped-cone query.

“If you drop it, we replace it,” he said. But don’t get it twisted: “If you’re drunk, then it’s not our problem.”

Outside, in Provincetown’s June haze, I examined my ice cream. Marshmallows swirled through a caramel-colored base. The taste: a campfire s’more, minus the heat and the chocolate. The texture: goopy. But isn’t that just like summer? Fleeting joys exist alongside unexpected disappointments. Yet when it’s over, it leaves you wanting s’more. —Eve Samaha 


High Tide Kitchen
8 Highland Road, North Truro
Open daily, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

I love a classic scoop in a sugar cone as much as the next person — don’t get me wrong. But as someone who aims to have as many summer ice creams as summer days, I sometimes crave a flourish.

Well, I’ve found the frills. They take the form of unicorn sprinkles and under-the-sea gummies and can be found at a deceptively compact aqua-blue ice cream truck nestled in the Chequessett Chocolate parking lot. High Tide was manned the day I visited by Haki, an enthusiast of ice cream and probably of most things, who’s from Bulgaria and working here for his second summer in a row.

Most popular flavor? Salted caramel chocolate pretzel. Haki’s favorite? The same, obviously. I tried it, and boy did I understand. Crunchy, silky, salty, and sweet; even my sample had all its components. I tasted a few more flavors. Moose tracks (perfectly peanut buttery), campfire s’mores, extreme chocolate.

“What makes it extreme?” I asked.

“You’ve heard of double chocolate, right?” Haki said. “Double it.” He wasn’t kidding.

There are six waffle cone flavors, from the Konery in Brooklyn, and an eclectic list of toppings. (Frills are not free. Each topping is $1 extra; a small scoop is $6.75, a large $9.)

I went with the salted caramel chocolate pretzel with chocolate sauce, made in-house.

I’ll have to venture back for the hot fudge, which wasn’t available, and which Haki says is “an absolutely separate entity” from the chocolate sauce. —Sophie Mann-Shafir 

Savory & the Sweet Escape
316 Route 6
Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday-Sunday; Monday and Wednesday to 4 p.m.

Last summer, my family played a game: one of us would pick up a pint ($9) of ice cream from the Sweet Escape, bring it home, and make the rest of us guess the flavor. A dark setting is necessary for this game because the color of the ice cream could give it away. We ate ours on the patio under the night sky; but I guess for the sake of the game you could eat your ice cream indoors with the lights off.

The place’s creative flavors, concocted by owner Diane Costa, make the game fun. For example, in the lavender fig, clumps of fig dapple a lavender base for a treat combining two already elusive flavors.

The Sweet Escape’s flavors have some confusing names, so the goal is to guess the ingredients, not the name. Ryder Beach Rubble, for example, is not made from rubble collected on Ryder Beach.

My family’s favorite was the black raspberry and key lime cheesecake swirl, a flavor which, much to my dismay, was crossed out on the chalkboard when I sidled up to the counter. But then, a revelation! There on the board were black raspberry and key lime cheesecake, listed separately like long-lost siblings. What if I ordered both ($7 for 2 scoops) and swirled them together myself?

“That’s definitely possible,” the scooper at the counter told me, and it felt like I had won an entirely different game. —Sam Pollak 


Bob’s Sub and Cone
814 Route 6
Open daily, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The name presents a dilemma. Should you call this Route 6 stand Bob’s, to give co-founder Bob Nelson his due? Or is it Bob’s Sub and Cone? I prefer the latter, because the “and” is important here. Sure, the menu includes 20 ice cream flavors, but they’ve got 32 different sandwiches, too. And there’s a full bar to take your family outing up a notch.

Even the décor emphasizes combination. On the walls hang ceramic fish and electric beer signs and intricate paintings of the seashore and a TV playing Divorce Court. And on each table is an arrangement of tulips.

After housing an Italian hoagie, I went around to the ice cream window and ordered a chocolate soft serve dipped in chocolate — an infantile choice, perhaps, but I believe if chocolate isn’t your favorite flavor, you’re lying.

The girl behind the counter tilted the cone over a cup as she passed it to me, aware that the ice cream was breaching its chocolate coating, endangering the entire operation. “Sorry, it’s kinda messy,” she said sympathetically.

After a few ineffectual licks, I asked for a spoon, grabbed a heap of napkins and retreated to my car. It wasn’t pretty, but it was tasty, and I left fully satisfied, having tried both sub ($13.50 for an Italian with everything, including onions, pickles, and hot peppers; “Oil or mayo?” they ask, which must be a New England question; “Oil,” of course, is the answer) and cone ($2.25 plus an extra 50 cents for the dip). —Nicholas Miller 

Gelato Joy
3 West Main St.
Open Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Shivering in my summer pajamas, I glanced outside at the pouring rain. I had planned my whole day around a trip to Gelato Joy. Was it foolish to sample gelato when no cooling off was required?

I needn’t have worried — and not only because the clouds dispersed seconds before I parked. I’d happily endure frostbite during the next arctic blast for a lick of the sublime gelato at this family-owned spot. The place was empty when I arrived, perhaps because of the just-resolved inclement weather. A well-curated array of flavors beckoned. I went with two scoops ($7.75), pairing chocolate hazelnut with a vibrant strawberry sorbet.

They operate an outside window in addition to the inside counter. “Is that stressful when you’re busy?” I asked the two young scoopers. “A little,” one said, glancing at the line of customers that had formed behind me since the sun came out.

I went to claim a bench. On first bite, I was catapulted back to a family trip to Venice, my 10-year-old self begging pitifully for the day’s third cup of nocciola and frutti di bosco — it was a Wednesday afternoon madeleine moment.

This gelato was somehow both creamy and airy, as if swirled with a cloud. A perfect smattering of seeds dotted the strawberry sorbet, while a pleasant graininess added depth to the chocolate hazelnut. Other options were tempting. I’ll be back for a San Pellegrino-and-sorbet spritzer. And maybe an affogato for breakfast. —Amelia Roth-Dishy 

Moose tracks with rainbow sprinkles at Mac’s on the Pier. (Photo by Dorothea Samaha)

Mac’s on the Pier
At the end of Commercial Street
Open daily, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. (food window closes at 8:30)

It’s near closing time, and the sky over Wellfleet Harbor is still filled with light. The servers at the ice cream window here struggle to keep up with demand. But when we join it, the line is just long enough to communicate excitement and not so long as to elicit despair. Where better to be on the summer solstice than here, ordering my favorite iteration of ice cream deliciousness: the simple, sublime vanilla hot fudge sundae?

Mac’s serves 16 flavors of Gifford’s ice cream. There are also two frozen yogurts and two sorbets and soft-serve vanilla and chocolate. Cone prices range from kiddie ($4.29) to waffle ($7.69).

Christopher almost followed the lead of a tall, grumpy boy just in front of us who ordered an orange whip (vanilla soft serve with orange cream soda, $6.79), a concoction that you surely have to be raised on to appreciate. Instead, he settled on two scoops in a sugar cone — black raspberry with American-style orange sherbet ($6.59), which he proclaimed a winning combination.

I ordered a small sundae with whipped cream and nuts ($7.99). The ice cream was good, but if you’re going to fiddle with the proper sundae proportions (which in my opinion is two-thirds ice cream, one-third hot fudge), for the love of God go heavy on the hot fudge. I got another ladle of hot fudge, no questions asked, which made everything all right as we sat overlooking the water watching the last of the longest day of the year slide slowly past. —Edouard Fontenot

A Nice Cream Stop
326 West Main St.
Open daily, noon to 9:30 p.m.

I stopped for an ice cream at a Nice Cream Stop — there, I said it. The midday sun beamed down onto the patio behind the small white cottage in the center of town. The heat made ice cream seem not just desirable but necessary. I surveyed my flavor options and decided on Stoney’s Dream: vanilla ice cream with a fudge swirl, cookie dough chunks, and brownie pieces.

Who is this dreamer, Stoney? I wondered if the server knew, but in the spirit of preserving the anonymous quality of dreams, I didn’t ask.

There was a time when the building that houses this ice cream window was also home to the Chocolate Sparrow, a candy store, and therefore paradisiacal in my young eyes. Candy and ice cream. Now that the Sparrow is gone, a cone alone will have to do to remind me of the good old days.

I got my scoop ($6.68) in a cone, despite dripping hazards due to sun. Supplied by Emack and Bolio’s, this is the kind of ice cream you can really chew — thick with sizable chunks and pieces. I didn’t notice the ice cream dribbling down the front of my favorite shirt, so lost was I in Stoney’s Dream, now my dream, too, an ice cream reverie, a personal meditation on the good, new days ahead. —Dorothea Samaha

PJ’s Jenna Sabia hands out a “kiddie” swirl of black raspberry and coffee soft serve. (Photo by Oliver Egger)

PJ’s Family Restaurant
2616 Route 6
Open daily (except Wednesday), 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

My identical twin brother Leo, who was visiting, studied the ice cream menu at PJ’s. He turned to me with a mischievous grin. “You know what?” he said. “I’m going for it.” He walked up to the window: “Could I please have the banana split?”

Leo, a self-proclaimed ice cream enthusiast, had never had this classic treat. PJ’s banana split, a boat-shaped bowl full of soft serve and a whole sliced banana and covered with chocolate syrup plus a mountain of whipped cream and nuts, did not disappoint.

PJ’s has been churning out ice cream (and chowder and fried fish sandwiches and all the rest) since 1971. Server Jenna Sabia recommended the black raspberry and coffee swirl soft serve. I ordered a “kiddie” size and was handed a hefty and delicious serving.

After we got our ice cream, Leo, his girlfriend, Lucy, and my partner, Zahra, and I meandered over to Duck Creek Cemetery, adjacent to the restaurant. The graveyard has tombstones going back to 1739. We ate our ice cream beside a stone adorned with a weathered winged skull.

“Is it disrespectful to eat ice cream in a graveyard?” I asked.

“When I die, I want people to picnic on my grave,” Zahra said.

“God, that banana split was good,” Leo said, resting his boat cup, licked clean, in the grass. He smiled at me. “Can I have a bite of yours?” —Oliver Egger


Ben & Jerry’s
50 Brackett Road
Open Sunday-Thursday, noon to 10 p.m., Friday-Saturday to 11 p.m.

This assignment was not my first foray into Ben & Jerry’s. When I was a kid, the brand, known for its original flavors, chunky add-ins, and social justice advocacy, got my attention. I’ve even visited the factory in Waterbury, Vt.

Even if it’s not my go-to anymore, I still enjoy a Cherry Garcia once in a while. So, walking into the North Eastham store promptly at noon, making me the day’s first customer, I knew what I was getting into. The large menu features many of Ben & Jerry’s classic flavors as well as pints, shakes, cakes, and homemade waffle cones.

The ice cream served in Eastham comes from the aforementioned Vermont factory, which according to the Ben & Jerry’s website makes 350,000 pints per day. I opted for Chunky Monkey (a banana ice cream base, with fudge chunks and walnuts mixed in) on a sugar cone. The banana flavor provided a beautiful foundation for the chocolatey chunks, and the walnuts balanced out the sweetness.

A kid’s scoop will run you $5.37, a small $6.31, and a large $7.25. Sophie Griffin 

The Landing
491 Campground Road
Open daily, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The ice cream window at the Landing is at the front of a larger general store, which stocks food and drinks — a handy stop for people on their way to Campground Beach, just a half mile down the road.

While I was waiting in line, I heard a gasp: a kid in front of me dropped his scoop. His mother went to get another cone and pulled out some cash. A new cone was made and handed over, but her money was waved away.

I ordered the coffee oreo (a small is $4.75). “You chose a good one; coffee oreo is everyone’s favorite,” the server told me. After a few bites, I could see why. The rich coffee-flavored serving was generously speckled with crunchy oreo chunks. I held on tight and set about ensuring my delectable scoop was smooshed firmly into its crisp sugar cone.

The Landing gets its ice cream from Acushnet Creamery. They have 20 flavors, with rum raisin and salted caramel being runners up to that coffee oreo favorite. —Sophie Griffin 

Nauset Ice Cream
4550 Route 6, Town Center Plaza
Open daily, noon to 10 p.m.

I had high expectations going into my first visit to Nauset Ice Cream. A friend who has spent summers in Wellfleet for over 20 years told me it’s her ice cream destination of choice. And on the way in, I counted 12 “Best of Cape Cod” plaques on the back wall.

There was just one problem. Standing in front of the ice cream case, I faced the flavor choice, already a high-stakes dilemma akin in my mind to choosing a spouse. Here, the decision is made difficult by Nauset’s more than 25 options. But to make matters worse, because they don’t use food coloring in their frozen delights, you can’t count on a pop of color to sway your decision.

Luckily for me, the precocious high-school-age staff is very patient. Despite the line growing behind me, the server waiting for my order remained calm as I sampled an exorbitant number of flavors. If it weren’t for the elbow to the ribs from my girlfriend, I don’t know when I would have settled on chocolate. No, I hadn’t sampled it, but it was good.

It was on my second trip, though, that those sky-high expectations I brought to this gig were finally met. Not to put a crimp in your sampling style, but here’s a now-insider’s tip: order the custard-based chocolate mousse (in a kiddie for $4.35; small for $5.35; or regular for $5.85). —Becca Baron 


Ice Cream Cafe
5 South Orleans Road
Open daily, noon to 10 p.m.

This being my first cone of the summer, choosing a flavor on which to base this review was a weighty decision. I joined a group of ice cream enthusiasts milling around outside the place scrutinizing the 36 or more flavors.

But seeing people queuing up inside, I quit stalling and chose dark chocolate chip, which addressed my craving for both ice cream and chocolate.

Congenial server Madeleine Brodeur, a Bostonian in her third summer on the cafe staff, handed me a kiddie cup of ice cream in no time flat. A lot of people request samples, she said, and sometimes more than one. “The most I’ve been asked for is seven,” she said.

The most popular flavors? Madeleine went down the list: brownie batter swirl for young customers. Fruit-lovers go for black raspberry. People who like vanilla choose cherry vanilla chocolate chip. And, of course, “all coffees, really.” I hadn’t realized coffee is the most popular ice cream flavor in New England. One of this year’s summer flavor specials is horchata, based on the cinnamon and vanilla-spiked Mexican beverage.

My scoop of dark chocolate chip was starting to melt, so I dug in. It was a creamy delight.

The hard facts: servings run from $4.35 for the kiddie to $6.55 for a large. All of the hard ice creams here are made in-house. —Christine Legere

Eve and Dorothea Samaha try the Knack’s ice cream sandwich and soft-serve twist cone, respectively. (Photo by Teresa Parker)

The Knack
5 Route 6A
Open daily, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

In past years, our reviewers have resisted the ice cream sandwiches and shakes at the Knack, because the soft serve is just so good. This year, we went whole hog.

The cookies in the Knack’s gigantic ice cream sandwiches ($7.50) are homemade, and the selection varies. We settled on the sea salt chocolate chip cookie with chocolate ice cream. The cookie was cakey, with small, dark chocolate chips, and was pleasantly salty. The ice cream is the Knack’s own rich and milky soft serve, frozen into a thick slab, the chocolate redolent of good cocoa. One sandwich is easily enough for two people.

We also tried the strawberry shake ($7.50) — figuring that old-fashioned flavor would be a good test of milk shake worthiness — and found it superior: rich but not too thick to drink with a straw, not too sweet, with a jammy strawberry taste and a pleasing not-fake pink color. The shakes also come in vanilla, chocolate, twist, coffee, mocha, cookies and cream, and peanut butter.

The soft serve, vanilla, chocolate, or twist, in one size only ($4.50), is as good as ever. And it’s worth noting that owners Van and Michael Haidas donate 10 percent of all dessert sales at their two locations (the other is in Hyannis) to local charities, including the Family Pantry, We Can, the Lower Cape Outreach Council, and Calmer Choice. So far, the total donated is more than $158,000. So, don’t skip dessert after that avocado burger or fried chicken sandwich. —Edward Miller

Smitty’s Homemade Ice Cream
210 Main St.
Open daily, 2 to 10 p.m.

Whenever I’m asked my favorite food, the answer is always ice cream. But a narrow definition: two scoops, one pure chocolate (must be dark), one chocolate chip (big chips required). Smitty’s gets both flavors just right, with a sublime (not icy!) consistency.

The lure of Smitty’s other 30-plus flavors is lost on me, but fortunately my husband has a more adventurous palate. He ordered the sampler — four flavors for $8.50 (a bargain versus my two-scoop small at $5.50) — choosing mocha chip, banana Oreo, amaretto cherry chip (his favorite), and locally inspired shark’s tooth (black raspberry with white chocolate chips).

Scoopers at Smitty’s Homemade in East Orleans include, from left, owner Richard Smith, Jonathan Naas, Avery Bailey, Alex Herman, and Maeve Myles. (Photo by Kathi Scrizzi Driscoll)

Neither of us is fond of nuts in ice cream, so we missed Smitty’s most popular flavor: Nauset Mud, a coffee base with a fudge swirl, chocolate chips, and almonds.

“Every single shift, we run out of that pretty quickly,” said Maeve Myles, who is training a new and welcoming crew. “It’s honestly one of the best flavors I’ve ever had.”

She began working there in 2020, when Richard Smith turned the former Sundae School on the road to Nauset Beach into his third Smitty’s, after East Falmouth — in its 32nd year, and where all the ice cream is made — and the 15-year-old Mashpee Rotary shop.

The cheery Orleans spot has only enough room inside for people in line to enter through one door, buy their treats, then exit the other door. Seating is outdoors, at chairs and tables on brick patios. —Kathi Scrizzi Driscoll