Summer is officially here, and that means it’s time to venture out after dinner and grab a scoop of ice cream! Oh, what? You don’t do after-dinner ice cream? You’re weak and I don’t want to be friends with you. For those of you who are strong enough to enjoy an apres-cookout nosh, here are some picks for the most fabulous frozen treats!
The Wright Scoop
Who could actually say no to ice cream so farm-fresh that you may potentially get to shake the hoof of the cow that produced it before you dig in? The Wright Scoop’s Insta-friendly vintage airstream trailers at the North Smithfield flagship and at Warren’s Blount Clam Shack turn out some of the most delicious scoops in RI (Black Raspberry Oreo, anyone?), but what really sets Wright’s apart are the mounds of homemade whipped cream that top these icy confections. I have been known to just get a bowl of this with toppings. Seriously. Run, don’t walk! #MooMoo
200 Woonsocket Hill Road, North Smithfield
335 Water Street, Warren
The Inside Scoop
Nothing says Americana like a good ol’ fashioned roadside ice cream shop, and The Inside Scoop in North Kingstown would fit right into a modern day Kerouac novel. Your head will actually explode over the dizzying array of over 50 house-made flavors, but my personal pick is the Cookie Dough Parfait, featuring layer upon layer of dreamy soft serve ice cream, cookie dough and whipped cream. With so much to choose from, you really can’t go wrong.
30 Ten Rod Road, North Kingstown
I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical the first time I visited Sandcastles — as a make-your-own sundae shop, I was like “there’s TOO much freedom here. This is basically a Chipotle for ice cream!” Boy, was I quickly proven wrong! Yes, there’s so much to choose from (Even bacon. Get the bacon.), but everything is super yummy. If you’re not in an adventurous mood, they have several handcrafted selections for sundaes and milkshakes (The Coffee and Donuts Milkshake is a whimsical riff on Rhode Island Coffee Milk), but make-your-own is the way to go. Be sure to snap a selfie with Chip, their costumed mascot, before heading out to people-watch on the patio.
225 Goddard Row, Newport
Cold Fusion Gelato
Mmkay, so gelato is not TECHNICALLY ice cream (it has less cream and more milk, resulting in a richer flavor – I think I just helped you win trivia — #You’reWelcome), but Cold Fusion has been a Newport staple since 2004, and as I always say, if you can survive the early 2000s, you can survive anything. Sure, all of the classics are present and accounted for (the stracciatella is particularly masterful, with a creamy base and dark chocolate flecks dotted throughout), but my new fave for summer is the bright purple Ube Gelato. This tuber is the new kid on the block in Newport (peep the Nitro Bar’s Ube Latte right across the street!), but is quickly becoming a fan favorite no matter in a cup, cone or sensible coffee beverage.
389 Thames Street, Newport
The Perfect Sweet Shoppe
I stumbled upon this actual hidden gem while on a pilgrimage to the adjacent Taco Box Truck, and it’s still one of my favorite foodie finds! Not only does The Perfect Sweet craft incredible desserts, such as actually the best cupcakes I have ever had (that buttercream frosting, tho) and French-style macarons, but they also have a year-round (!!!) Scoop Shop, so you can get your sundae fix even in the dead of winter. And you’ll definitely want to, because there’s a Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich, and what’s better than that?
16 Joyce Street, Warren