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For decades, the James Pharmacy was Old Saybrook’s only working pharmacy and soda counter. Miss Anna James dispensed medicine — and ice cream floats — for the locals, travelers and one certain Academy-award winning actress… Katharine Hepburn.

Today, the new Italian owners serve Italian gelato — as a tribute to its legacy.

Our gelato is made fresh daily by Caffé Marche. Although the flavor lineup varies based on the mood of our chefs, you can expect flavors like Lemon, Blueberry and Peach, good old Vanilla, Coconut and Cookies ’n Cream, plus traditional Italian favorites like Pistachio and Stracciatella.


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GELATO (gel–AH-toe) is the Italian word for ice cream.

American-style ice cream is typically made with heavy cream, with a fat content of at least 10%. Gelato is made with more milk — less cream — so it has a lower fat content.

American-style ice cream is whipped at higher speeds to whip in plenty of air, which is offset by the higher fat content. Gelato is churned at a slower speed, so less air is incorporated, lending to its dense richness.

The lower fat content allows the flavors to truly burst onto the tongue, without being muted by fat. Gelato is served at a slightly higher temperature than American-style ice cream, lending to its softness and forward flavors. 



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A tiny slice of Italy, in Old Saybrook. Located in the James Pharmacy Inn and Gelateria Serving exquisite, Italian espresso and cappuccino, Shearwater coffee, Simpson & Vale teas, and blended drinks made with fresh fruit and juice. Add something from our selection of freshly-baked treats and you’ll be recharged for whatever comes next in your day.