Readers Reveal Their
Favorite Ice Cream Shops and Stands in New England
Includes ice cream reviews and feedback in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Tell us your favorite ice cream place by e-mailing us!
James Gallery Ice Cream, Old Saybrook, Conn. (photo by Eric H.)
would take a lifetime to sample
all the great ice cream
Farms Ice Cream, 18 North Rd., Bedford,
Bedford Farms Ice Cream, 18 North Rd., Bedford, MA. (781) 275-6501 Some of the best ice cream inside the 495 loop. Terrific selection of flavors in both ice cream and frozen yogurt. Prices are very reasonable -- a small cup or cone is more than enough on a hot summer's day. What's a few more calories -- also try the sandwich shop next door and order the "Smokey Joe" sandwich -- grilled turkey breast with bacon, BBQ sauce, and American cheese. WOW! Frank Dracman, Somerville, MA
Brigham's, various locations -- A long time New England tradition, this Arlington-based business serves what is arguably the best vanilla ice cream sampled in New England. The other flavors aren't far behind, a testament to a business that became huge but didn't compromise quality. Eric H.
Black Cow, 1397 Main Street - Route 109 - Millis MA. Tel. (508) 376-4884 -- The reason Black Cow ice cream tastes so good is that it consists of 30 percent air and 70 percent cream, compared to the typical 50 percent air and 50 percent cream. Add 16 percent butterfat content and you have some of the best textured, dense and flavorful ice cream in the area, including a delicious black raspberry and wonderful chocolate chip and vanilla. Although the special flavors are great, I prefer to stick with the traditional flavors here -- they really stand out. The Black Cow also makes a really addictive homemade fudge! The atmosphere is nice here, too, with a sleek, modern ice cream parlor look with plenty of seating, as well as an outdoor walk-up window with more nearby seating. EH
Maine Buck Nuts and Ice Cream, 294 Main St., Saco Maine. Tel. (207) 423-2854, is the best ice cream shop that I have ever been to- from the everlasting bubble machine that welcomes us and the fun whimsical art work throughout the shop make me feel like I am in a park! The ice cream made by Shaker Pond in Alfred is the creamiest! They have unique flavors, such as planet earth - blue vanilla ice cream - with oreo chunks and marshmallows (looks like the earth on a cone! The folks at Buck's also make their own delicious waffle cones, all type of frosted nuts and they have a large selection of specialty foods made in Maine! They serve gourmet Nathan's Hot Dogs and the freshest fresh squeezed lemonade, too! Check them out and don't leave OOB (Old Orchard Beach) or Kennebunkport without a trip to Bucks! Katrina Botelho
Dairy Dome, 472 Main St., Stoneham, MA. Tel. (781) 438-9425 Wonderful hard and soft ice cream can be found at this unique looking place where there is dairy and a dome. Crowds are out the door in the good old summertime and with good reason -- the Dairy Dome offers perhaps the best variety of flavors along with the presence of a prototypical ice cream place in the northwest Boston suburbs. EH
Dipsy Doodle Dairy Bar, 143 Park
St. , Northfield, NH
Ice CreamSmith, 2295 Dorchester Ave., Dorchester Lower Mills, MA. Tel.
This little parlor has been open since 1976 and makes
everything right here in Lower Mills, Dorchester. They have wonderful
mix-ins. My family loves the sundaes and frappes. Besides the
usual favorites, they make special flavors like frozen
pudding and their frozen yogurt is great tasting, too.
James Gallery, 2 Pennywise Ln., located at the Corner of Main Street, Old Saybrook, CT. Tel.: 860-395-1406 -- An old-fashioned soda fountain with an attached art gallery, the James Gallery and soda fountains stands as one of the most unlikely, but ultimately best ice cream places we've been to in Connecticut. The ice cream cream is quite fresh and the candlelit outdoor seating in the summer is memorable. EH
Johnson's Dairy Bar, 164 Boston Rd., Groton, MA. Tel. 978-448-6840 A classic small roadside north-central Massachusetts restaurant with an attached ice cream stand, Johnson's is a family favorite in the scenic north central New England town of Groton, Mass. After sampling some great fried seafood and chicken dishes, try one of the many homemade ice cream flavors ranging from the familiar vanilla to seasonal gems like pumpkin. It's all great and there are plenty of picnic tables and a small playground to make this a joyful summer experience (Johnson's is open year-round, as the dining rooms remains open). Eric H.
Jordan's Ice Creamery, Route 106 & North Main St., Belmont, NH. Tel. (603)267-1900 The greatest Ice Cream I have ever had in my entire life is Jordan's Ice Creamery in Belmont, NH. They make all their own ice cream, the staff is so friendly, well trained, and they all seem to really love their job. It is always so immaculately clean. My favorite ice cream flavor is the Birthday cake, but my husband is a huge fan of the Raspberry Truffle. This is by far the greatest ice cream ever! Allyson D.
Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream Shoppe, 2 West Main Street Mystic, CT. Tel. 06355 (860) 572.7978 An old-fashioned ice cream parlor located in the charming seaport community of Mystic, the Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream Shoppe is the real deal -- not just another tourist trap. Crowds gather inside and outside this old-fashioned place -- the latter where families watch the drawbridge go up and down. We considered the ambitious lemon chocolate kisses ice cream, but ended up with some delicious hard chocolate and soft serve twist ice creams. There's lot of mix-in candies for the kids and great smelling coffee permeating the small confines. The Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream Shoppe seems like the epitome of a true, old-time ice cream parlor in a classic Connecticut coastal town. EH
Polar Cave Ice Cream Parlor, 22 Falmouth Rd., Mashpee, MA. Tel. (508) 477-5553 NOTHING beats Polar Cave Ice Cream in Mashpee MA on Cape Cod!!!! Sue P.
Richardson's Ice Cream, Middleton, MA and Reading, MA. Richardson's makes its ice cream with 16 percent butterfat. On the taste meter, the ice cream is unbeatable, with standouts flavors being vanilla (made with pure vanilla extract from Madagascar), Maine Black Bear (red raspberry ice cream with chocolate chips and chocolate covered Raspberry truffle), Cake Batter ice cream and a wonderful chocolate (made with Bensdorp cocoa imported from Holland). Richardson's even makes a Green Tea Ice Cream! Richardson's flagship site in Middleton has come a long way since its ice cream stand-only presence beginnings (and well before as they now have a year-round dining room and patio with waterfall, a dairy farm and bottling facility, a golf range and two miniature golf courses, batting cages and driving range. The Reading ice cream stand is in the amazing Jordans Furniture complex. The store sports a 60 x 40 foot ice cream stand, topped with a gigantic banana split made out of jelly beans and replicas of Boston landmarks sculptured with jelly beans, plus jelly bean tables with chairs to sit and enjoy your ice cream. Right by the ice cream stand is a spectacular "liquid fireworks" display shown every 30 minutes, as well as a trapeze show and a IMAX 3D Movie Theater within the complex. Even if the Richardson's facilities were just about ice cream, it would be well worth the drive. If you're not up for a drive, however, Richardson's distributes its high quality ice cream to local grocers, restaurants and ice cream stands (like Scoops, of Walpole, Mass., in our region of the southwest Boston suburbs). Eric H.
Rock Salt Creamery, Belmont, Sanborton, N.H. -- Rock Salt Creamery is a must when it comes to Ice Cream. They actually make their own base from scratch on the stove top and use fresh locally grown ingredients. It is silky smooth, rich and just the best you can get guaranteed. They make Sorbets (cucumber is my favorite) and Frozen Custard in any flavor imaginable, I even tried Corn Frozen Custard. You can watch them make it right in front of your eyes. They have two locations, One on Rt 3 in Belmont NH which is set in a retro theme, and one in Sanbornton (their original at their farm) is off the beaten path in a beautiful quaint setting right in the middle of their farm. The owner Tom grew up on a dairy farm. When you go you feel just like part of their family. Great hospitality, and they even have a petting farm and a pancake house with their own maple syrup.
Rock Salt Creamery, Belknap Mall, Route 3, Belmont NH / Heritage Farm Sanbornton NNH -- Tel. (603) 524-8188
20th Century Bowling Ron's Ice Cream, 1231 Hyde Park Ave., Hyde Park, MA. Tel. (617) 364-5274 Adding to the list of top ice cream attractions is Ron's ice cream a landmark of Hyde Park, MA it's icecream is homemade and flavorful with the worlds best mouthwatering hot fudge sundays that you can share as well as enjoying old fashion bowling. Charlene
Rota Spring Farm, 117 Chace Hill Rd., Sterling, MA. Tel. (978) 365-9710 -- You need to check out Rota Spring Farm in Sterling, Mass. The ice cream is the best. I have been to three of the top ten places and they were very good but Rota Spring is better. The ice cream is homemade from his own livestock. J. Bell
Scoops, 996 Main St., Walpole, MA Relatively new to Walpole, Scoops provides a great alternative to the legendary Bubbling Brook ice cream stand in nearby Westwood. Despite being right off busy Route 1A, it feels like you are somewhat secluded, which means being able to have a peaceful ice cream experience while sitting at one of the outdoor tables. Scoops serves hard and soft ice cream and is part of the fantastic Watson's Candy's building -- so the experience is potentially double fun. EH
Shaw Farm Dairy & Ice Cream Stand, 195 New Boston Rd., Dracut MA. Tel. (978)957-0031 Located in Dracut, Mass., this stand serves awesome ice cream in many, many flavors and they make it right on the farm across the street! Shaws is more than a stand and a store, they are family owned. It's an actual farm with real cows which might sound crazy but you try to find a farm that still has its own cows, makes its own ice cream and will let you go look at the cows.They have a bunch of them in the barn(just make sure you stay outside and look at them through the open window casing) Across the street next to the stand is a fence enclosed area with baby cows. Your little ones can walk on over and listen to you tell them that that is where ice cream comes from....and they thought it came from that box in the freezer!! One more thing, this place is worth a drive from anywhere in New England ...I drive over 20 to get there and go there often in the spring and summer! Jim
Sullivan Farms Homemade Ice Cream, 276 Middlesex Rd.,Tyngsboro, MA. Tel. (978) 649-9202 I just wanted to let you know that you missed a great homemade ice cream stand. Sullivan Farms Homemade Ice Cream is located in Tyngsboro, MA on 3A/276 Middlesex Rd. (Exit 35 off Rt. 3) . Not only are there about 90 homemade ice cream and sherbet flavors. There is also frozen yogurt and soft serve flavors as well, and additional flavors which rotate every week. The view of the Merrimack river from the gazebo at the stand is beautiful. There is plenty of room for kids to play on the grass, sit at picnic tables, or go to the gazebo to relax. There are 8 serving windows so even when it's really busy there are plenty of people serving customers to help keep the lines shorter. You should give it a try! Anonymous
Steve's Ice Cream, Route 5, East Thetford, VT, is really very good. Their prices are very reasonable and the ice cream -- both soft serve and hard ice cream is excellent!! Bonnie H.
Tangerini's Spring Street Farm, 139 Spring St., Millis, MA. Tel.508-376-5024 Perhaps one of the most beautiful settings for an ice cream stand in New England, Tangerini's is worth coming to any time of the day but particularly during the pleasing sunsets that grace the wide open farm land. Serving 30 flavors of delicious Bliss Brothers ice cream as well as soft serve, smoothies, homemade lemonade, sundaes, frappes and floats, our top ice cream choices are the Moose Tracks and mint chocolate chip. The Farm is expansive with wonderful produce, berry picking during the summer season, and a wonderful greenhouse full of plants for sale (it also serves as an inviting and accepted place to eat your ice cream). It's hard to believe this lovely setting is about a half hour southwest of Boston, as it seems more like a Midwest destination with its flat, beautiful farm land. Eric H.
Farm, 728 Hampton Rd. (Route 97),
Abington, CT. Tel. 860-974-1095 I want to
alert you to a tiny dairy
with an ice cream stand in Pomfret (Abbington), Ct. The ice cream stand
is called "We-Li-Kit" (pronounced "we like it"). Can't get fresher than
this, they make the ice cream from their own cows. The ice cream is
excellent. They make home-make waffle cones right in front of you. The
atmosphere is delightful... outdoor dairy farm. It is on Rt. 97 in
Pomfret (Abbington). Try it. S.H., Woodstock, Conn.
White Farms, 326 High Street (Route 133), Ipswich, MA. Best ice cream, creamy, excellent flavors - the small is huge. Owners, Rob and Jill Bouley, very friendly. Hire mostly high school and college kids - they're all very friendly - a real pleasure to visit. Last summer and spring, lots of flowers were planted, and the place looked great. Just opened for the season. Weather not cooperating yet, but it's the place to go for the best home-made ice cream - yummy!!!!! Judy M.
White Mountain Creamery, 386 Washington St., Wellesley, MA.. Tel. 617-237-7591 Located in the heart of Wellesley near Wellesley College, White Mountain Creamery offers a creamy but somewhat icy ice cream. It's all delicious, especially the unique and addictive chocolate mousse. Eric H.
Uhlmans, 228 E Main St, Westborough, MA. Tel. (508) 366-2411, Uhman's is really great. Tim J.
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