Smitten Ice Cream

A Brr machine at work at Smitten. Ice cream is made to order, as you watch. Photo: Alex Loescher
A Brr machine at work at Smitten. Ice cream is made to order, as you watch. Photo: Alex Loescher

The San Francisco-based ice cream shop opened in Rockridge in April 2014, and it serves unique made-to-order desserts using liquid nitrogen. Owner Robin Sue Fisher concocted the concept for Smitten based on a hunch that there should be a way to perfect the freezing process of ice cream, one that would prevent ice crystals from forming and make for a smoother product. By using liquid nitrogen, at -321 degrees Fahrenheit, Fisher developed an ultra-cold churning process. The result is a trademarked Brrr machine (with three patents for the technology), which makes each ice cream to order from scratch in minutes. And it’s not just a gimmick — Smitten’s ice creams are some of the best, most intensely flavored around — try the TCHO chocolate for a demonstration on why simple, quality ingredients are truly swoon-worthy. The ice cream is not cheap, but it’s worth the trip for an occasional treat. Smitten is at 5800 College Ave. (at Birch), Oakland.