Frittering the Night Away

When M.V. Gourmet Café & Bakery locks its front door at 10 p.m., the last walk-in tourist ambles away with a bag of sugary treats. For in-the-know locals, though, the night is still young. At twilight, the Oak Bluffs sweetery props open the rickety screen door that leads out to the back parking lot, and fires up the deep-fryer into the wee hours. A buck buys puffy honey-dippers or crisp cake rings, plain or dredged in cinnamon sugar; add a quarter for jellies and Boston creams, sides dripping with rich chocolate varnish. All are available during regular store hours, but only after dark do they come straight from the fryer.

First-timers, take note of the two separate lines: One’s for doughnuts, the other solely for apple fritters, which are unlike any you’ve ever tasted. Piping-hot, these enormous swaths of pillowy dough, bursting with tart apple chunks and dusted with powdered sugar, are meant to be pulled apart and shared. But trust us: You won’t be feeling very generous.

Reliable Market parking lot (April–October), Circuit Avenue, Oak Bluffs, 508-693-3688,