Good Eats: The great debate over the best place to get ice cream

Zoe Basulto, Staff Writer

As the weather finally begins to feel like spring, the demand for refreshing ice cream is on the rise.  Port Washington is lucky enough to be home to four amazing ice cream shops, each with their own unique twist on the iconic treat.

One of the most highly awaited options is Ralph’s Italian Ices.  Known as Ralph’s for short, the anticipation for local Italian ices remains rampant throughout the year.  Since Ralph’s closes for the winter, it is always popular when it is finally open.  Much as the name of the establishment suggests, Ralph’s is known for their Italian ices, both water and crème, with Blue Hawaii, Cookies ‘N Cream, and Rainbow among their most popular options.

“I love going to Ralph’s for ices. They are really good and refreshing in the summer. Also, the location by the water is really nice, making it a good destination to go to with friends,” said junior Nicole Jimenez.

For those who are not in the mood for Italian ices, Ralph’s has drastically expanded its menu in the past few years to incorporate a wide variety of drink options, sundaes, and soft serve ice cream.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Down the road from Ralph’s is Sweet Treats on the Wharf, more commonly known as Douglas and James.  Though they are also closed for the winter months, customers gravitate towards this ice cream shop for its high quality ingredients and the care which goes into maintaining the quaint establishment.  Douglas and James, which is located at Inspiration Wharf, sets itself apart from the other ice cream shops in Port Washington by being the only place to serve homemade ice cream.  They make it daily on site, and although this may seem old-fashioned or tedious, it certainly pays off in the quality of their products.  It is extremely rare to go this ice cream shop without there being a line that extends through the back and out the door.  However, while waiting on line, there are plenty of small trinkets and candies to entertain you before getting the ice cream.  This retro decor certainly adds to the charm of Douglas and James, and makes any late night ice cream run that much more enjoyable. 

“Douglas and James is by far my favorite place for ice cream in town.  The fact that it is made fresh and with care by the staff truly makes a difference and sets it apart from the other options you can find in our town, and even makes it a bit of a tourist attraction for those living across Long Island,” said junior Rebecca Orlick.

They rotate between 50 flavors, including favorites like Birthday Cake and Coffee Oreo.  Like Ralph’s, Douglas and James has a prime location for enjoying ice cream since it is located right on the bay.

If you are someone who simply cannot wait to have their ice cream, there are plenty of other options that are open year-round.  One option is Baskin Robbins.  Located on Port Washington Boulevard by Campus Drive, it attracts many students.  However, its location on Port Washington Boulevard makes it a prime option for anyone who is in town and craving anything from an ice cream cookie sandwich to a classic milkshake.  Home to 31 flavors, as indicated by their logo, Baskin Robbins is definitely a reliable option for those looking for many options or craving a more unique creation that can be made by the 31 below mix-ins.

“I always go to Baskin Robbins to get a 31 below mix in with M&Ms. It is the only place in town to offer anything like them,” said junior Kailey Gallagher.

In addition, Baskin Robbins’ ice cream cakes are used for all occasions around town, leaving them a town classic despite being a chain store.

Last, but definitely not least is Carvel. Carvel is very similar to Baskin Robbins, but its location in Soundview provides those living on the opposite side of town with a great option for delicious options.  Carvel has a whole array of choices, ranging from their famous Fudgie the Whale Cake to their Sundae Dashers, which are layered sundaes.

“No matter what I want, Carvel always has it. They are my favorite ice cream store in Port Washington due to their wide variety,” said junior Molly Schiff.

Port Washington’s huge selection of ice cream stores guarantees the ability to find whatever cold treat people are looking for.  All stores have their own distinct offerings and it is evident that they are all well-liked by locals and tourists alike.  No matter what you are looking for, one of Port’s four ice cream stores is sure to have it.