#14 of 74 Gatlinburg Restaurants

Maypops Ice Cream

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Maypops: A Unique Blend of Homemade Ice Cream and Scooter Rentals
Local Expert's Rating:
3.5 / 5
The Bottom Line:

From donuts to ice cream and even turkey legs, Maypops serves a variety of treats from its inconspicuous Gatlinburg location. Opinions vary from one customer to the next, but nearly all appreciate the shop's homemade ice cream.

- The SmokyMountains.com Local Expert Team

If you experience a sweet tooth while exploring downtown Gatlinburg, the solution could be a donut, cupcake, or scoop of ice cream from Maypops. The shop serves a variety of unique desserts. With so many options, choosing can be difficult. Thankfully, Maypops encourages you to take advantage of its free samples.

At first glance, Maypops looks like your typical ice cream shop — just one of several in Gatlinburg’s most touristy area. Step inside, however, and you’ll encounter a welcoming atmosphere with high ceilings, quirky soda bottle chandeliers, and wonderful aromas.

Dealing with dietary restrictions that keep you out of most Gatlinburg dessert shops? You’re in luck — Maypops offers a variety of modified recipes that allow you to satisfy your sweet tooth completely guilt-free. Favorites include the sugar-free version of the Starry Vanilla cupcake and the gluten-free White Velvet cupcake.

Unfortunately, consistency doesn’t seem to be a strength. Some visitors report delicious, fresh desserts, while others claim that select orders taste stale. Often, this conflicting feedback comes from those who have visited the shop multiple times in the space of just a few months. It can be a gamble, but if you visit at the right time, you’ll be blown away by the sweet treats — especially the ice cream.

Seating is decidedly limited at Maypops. If you’re lucky and you visit during off-peak hours, you can score a spot at one of the small benches just outside the shop. Otherwise, be prepared to eat your dessert while standing outside.

A few of our favorite menu items include:

Butterfinger Bridge Ice Cream
The name ‘Butterfinger‘ evokes an overly sweet assault on the taste buds, but the Butterfinger Bridge ice cream at Maypops tones it down just enough. The perennial favorite features vanilla ice cream and the perfect amount of Butterfinger pieces. Like all ice cream options served at Maypops, this recipe is smooth and creamy.

Maple Bacon Donuts
If you think everything tastes better with bacon, you’ll definitely want to test this theory on the donuts at Maypops. These donuts don’t come cheap, but fans argue that they’re worth every penny.

Hansford’s MayBowl
Can’t choose between a donut and a scoop of ice cream? Why not opt for both in the same recipe? That’s exactly what you’ll receive when you order the Hansford’s MayBowl, which consists of a scoop of your favorite ice cream served atop a large donut. As the Maypops menu puts it: “Enjoy your heart attack!”

Turkey Legs
Maypops is best known for its desserts, but you don’t need a sweet tooth to enjoy its offerings. If you arrive with a huge appetite, order a turkey leg — but save room for dessert!

Pepperoni Pizza
Another great option for lunch, the pepperoni pizza at Maypops is served by the slice. These mouthwatering slices of pizza are large and very cheesy. Maypops also serves standard cheese pizza, but if you’re a meat lover, you’ll definitely want to order the pepperoni option.

Variety is clearly a strength at Maypops, so take some time to explore the menu and sample its many desserts.

Insider Tips:

  • In addition to serving a variety of desserts and snacks, Maypops offers reasonably-priced scooter rentals. This is the perfect way to get around town while enjoying the great outdoors. It’s also a nice option if you indulge a bit too much on dessert and don’t feel like walking it off right away. Rentals are available by the hour or for a full weekend.
  • Maypops regulars seem to more consistently enjoy the ice cream than the donuts. If you’re concerned by the hit or miss nature of the shop, ice cream may be your best bet.