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Ice Cream Trip Through Maine

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  • johnson May 22, 2005 04:12 PM
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So far I've got plans to hit Toots in Yarmouth, Boothbay Ice Cream Factory, Dairy Cone at Waterville exit of 95, and Ice Cream Lady in Lucerne. Any other GREAT homemade ice cream up there?

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  1. I like Round Top Ice Cream.

    1 Reply
    1. re: OceanPt

      Round Top. DITTO!!!!!! (Rte. 1, outskirts of Damariscotta; also served at the highway side of Red's in Wiscasset, but the barn is better.)

    2. I like Annabel's at Five Islands (south of Bath); they also have (?had) a branch in Boothbay Harbor. But I prefer the 5 Island's location for it's beauty, plus there's a good lobster shack next door.

      1. Curious to hear your review of Toots. I went once so far, and I was a bit underwhelmed. They have a great flavor selection, and they seem to get a lot of props for the homemade extra ingredients (brownies, apple pie etc.). But the ice cream itself did not strike me as anything extraordinary. Not bad, mind you - but I left thinking it's not all it's cracked up to be.

        1. If you're going to be in the Waterville area, I think a stop at Gifford's is in order.

          Link: http://www.giffordsicecream.com/home.htm

          1. The ice cream lady is long gone. An "ice cream trip through Maine" should include all of the following:

            Mrs & Me Route 1 Kittery
            Brown's Nubble Point, York
            Daily Scoop Downtown Kennebunk
            Shaw's Ridge Sanford
            Maple's Portland
            Toot's Yarmouth
            Classic Custard Yarmouth
            Tubby's Wayne
            Deb's Randolph/Gardiner
            John's Liberty/Lake St. George
            North Street Dairy Waterville (Colby College)
            Smiley's Winslow (now owned by Shain's of Maine)

            Giffords is scooped at roadside stands throughout Central Maine, in my opinion the quality has suffered over the years as they have grown, these days it tastes all-whipped-up and artificial like Edy's and Turkey Hill.

            3 Replies
            1. re: jackattack

              I second Brown's in York.

              1. re: momjamin

                Brown's doesn't make their own ice cream. They sell "Shain's of Maine"

              2. re: jackattack

                You forgot Dormans Dairy Dream in Thomaston/Rockland on Rte 1.

              3. Smiling Hill Farm and Beals are options in the Portland area.

                2 Replies
                1. re: mjp81

                  We (me and my 6 year old) love Smiling Hill, and the bonus there is that you can also get some great cheeses, milk, and butter.

                  Beal's is also generally good, although I occasionally get some freezer burn after taste.

                  Red's in South Portland for basic but good soft serve (and "eyes" on the cones for kids).

                  Maple's in Portland is good, as well.

                  1. re: mjp81

                    I second Smiling Hill Farm and Round Top. Also had home-made ice cream last weekend at Big Daddy's (I think that was the name) in Salmon Falls along the Saco River. A really good pineapple orange.

                  2. We like Dorman's between Thomaston and Rockland. Closed Sundays.

                    1. I was recently told about John Ice Cream, I believe in Liberty...? Can anyone else recommend? And more importantly, can anyone confirm hours, so I don't drive out and find it closed? Thanks!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: happybellynh

                        I liked Johns. Interesting "Strawberry Rhubarb Ice Cream" and a good Coconut Ice Cream is what we tried. I think he creates some custom-made flavors for some restaurants. I would definitely stop there again whenever passing through the area. They had sorbets too, and I think "Italian Ices". Nice and friendly, and I think the hours were 12 to 9 daily? Not sure, but the phone is 207 589 3700
                        It's on Route 3 near Lake St. George

                      2. If you don't mind traveling, and driving just across the border into New Hampshire, Annabelle's Ice Cream located at 49 Ceres Street in Portsmouth is worth the trip!

                        1. Does anyone know if Cote's Ice Cream is still made in Lewiston? Probably 10 years or more ago, after trying many Maine ice creams, my husband and I found it to be superior to Round Top and Smiley's (Waterville). Smiley's was very decent and they were always very generous portion sizes... a small cone had close to a pint of ice cream on it. But Cote's had a much higher butterfat content.

                          1. Don't miss The Scoop Deck in Wells, ME. It's awesome. You will get a feel for how good it is by the line out front on any evening in the summer.
                            Happy eating!

                            12 Replies
                            1. re: The Maine Stay Inn

                              I don't think that The Scoop Deck serves homemade stuff. But I've never tried it since their sign doesn't say "homemade". There is a place just south of Scoop Deck though, called Sundaes By the Beach that has homemade ice cream. Build your own sundaes are $5.50 and include hot fudge and real whipped cream.

                              By the way, Cotes is still open in Brunswick, but I don't think they're still in Lewiston. And Beals, down near Pine Point, is just terrible. First ice cream that I've thrown away in years.

                              1. re: jackattack

                                I agree about Beal's. But Len Libby's candy shoppe on Route 1 is just 10 minutes away, and the ice cream is terrific. My only complain with Len Libby's is that the "Needham Ice Cream" is just coconut ice cream with dark chocolate chips, instead of vanilla-fudge with chunks of Len's needhams, which is what I was expecting.

                                1. re: jillso

                                  OH ! Is there actually a place where you can get Needham bars in Maine. When I was a kid my grandmother from Maine used to bring them to me. Are Len's Needhams the original??? Where is it exactly?Thanks!

                                  1. re: emilief

                                    I grew up in Maine and forgot how much I loved Needhams! Unless my memory is shot, they were simply sweet coconut covered with dark chocolate, yes? I found this web site that says the original Needhams have a mashed potato filling! Yuck!


                                    1. re: DexterM

                                      I doubt that they were made with mashed potatoes. Maybe there is someone who really knows~ thanks!

                                      1. re: emilief

                                        It's true. Classic needhams are made with mashed potatoes. MainSweets, in Georgetown, still makes them that way.

                                        1. re: Mainegal

                                          Thanks! Next time I go to Five Islands I will try them.

                                          1. re: Mainegal

                                            Thanks! The next time I go to Five Islands I will try them.

                                      2. re: emilief

                                        Perry's Nuthouse in Belfast (great fudge) makes Needhams in small batches. Get in line early!

                                        1. re: dwdunn

                                          I'm glad I looked at this thread -- I asked about Needhams on another thread recently. The potatoes are what separates Needhams from Mounds bars. They are a truly unique Maine treat.

                                          1. re: Bob W

                                            Maynard's Chocolates in Winslow (formerly in Waterville) makes Needhams the old fashioned way with potatoes and coconut. Located next to Subway, behind Mcdonalds, across from Rite Aid.............a mom and pop place surrounded by the fearsome chains!


                                            1. re: jackattack

                                              Wow, Jack, that is a great tip. Winslow is not exactly a place you'd expect to find a nice chocolate shop.

                                              We'll get there for sure!

                                2. OK, here is a stretch but one worth it. Drive down 209 from bath to the end. There is a little general store there, Percy's. Have a hot fudge sundae with coffee icecream or a blueberry cone. The best part is that you get to eat it while walking on Popham Beach, the best beach in Maine.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: jspear

                                    What a wonderful idea. I could only get away with it if I walked.

                                    1. re: dolores

                                      It's a great walk, visit fort popham or just enjoy the sandy beach.

                                  2. If you're in the lakes region of Southern Maine (headed toward Lake Winnepasaukee), a new place opened recently called Shaker Pond Ice Cream. Homemade stuff and pretty good.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: ewhitten

                                      we stopped at shaker pond on the way home after spending 4th of july in portland--it was a real highlight of our holiday.

                                    2. Anyone have any updates now that summer is in full swing??? WHERE O WHERE have you found the best ice cream, and what flavor did you try????

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: jillso

                                        I don't know if it's homemade, but this weekend I had amazing orange sherbet at Goldenrod in York Beach. It was called "fresh squeezed orange sherbet". The flavor was intense orange and creamy vanilla, with little bits of orange zest.

                                      2. I don't think anyone has mentioned Hodgman's Frozen Custard in New Gloucester. Delicious. Also second Maples in Portland.

                                        1. Ruby Rose in Poland has some of the best frozen custard, not much selection on flavors, and tends to be a little inconsistent. When it is good it is about as good as you can get in Wissconsin.

                                          1. One Cow Ice Cream at Smedberg's Crystal Spring Farm, Route 26, Oxford Maine. Off the beaten track, but worth the trip for the best ice cream I've had in the state. I think they have more than one cow now.

                                            1. Does frozen custard fit on your list? If so, there's a great place on rte 302 between Raymond and Naples. Used to be Watkins, but I forget the new name. Also in the same shed as a farm stand, so you can buy squash or tomatoes at the same time,

                                              1. Yikes, almost time for some of the Ice Creameries to shut down for the season! Stock up !

                                                1. We live in Rockland and have always favored Dorman's homemade ice cream. But last night we hosted a dinner party where one guest brought ice cream from Thorndike's Creamery. While discussing who likes what local ice cream, someone claimed that they had it on good authority that Dorman's is now using (oh my god!) a mix. Can anyone confirm this? Please say it isn't so.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: Shooley

                                                    I don't know, but we stopped for an ice cream at Dorman's the other afternoon for a dish--chocolate--and it had little flavor. Quite disappointed.

                                                  2. Round Top ice cream lacks the rich, creamy flavor/texture which marks the best ice creams. Gifford's is not worth eating.

                                                    Tubby's, with shops in Wayne and in Winthrop, makes its own, from scratch, and is rated in Boston Magazine as the best ice cream in New England – with good reason.
                                                    In the Portland area, Smiling Hill Dairy is really good, and Beal's may be a tad better.

                                                    1. There's been some mention of frozen custard, and I would appreciate a little more, he kindly suggested.

                                                      So, does anyone have any suggestions for enjoying this treat in the Augusta/Palermo/Rockland/Belfast area? The few recommendations found in this thread are a ways away from where I'll be (Palermo), but I'm not above driving a bit for some sweet summer splendor.

                                                      Thanks upfront!

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: Jeremiade

                                                        There's not much frozen custard in Maine, it's more an ice cream state (like the rest of new england) . There's an okay place between Freeport and Yarmouth on route 1, and the place in New Gloucester that tastes more like Dairy Queen than frozen custard if you ask me.

                                                        Hit up John's Handmade Ice Creams on Route 3 between Augusta and Belfast.

                                                        1. re: HaroldandMaude

                                                          Another vote for John's. Tried it for the first time a few weeks back, it's REALLY good.

                                                      2. All of the suggestion are excellent but,
                                                        Mt. Desert Ice Cream "Fearless Flavors", worth it wading through the tourists!
                                                        Maybe some Thai Chili or maybe some PanCake ice cream, in a hand made waffle cone, dipped in chocolate and then rolled in some candied bacon! Small amounts are available.

                                                        1. I hope no one minds me bumping this thread. It's been two years since the last reply and surely something new must have happened in that time. Then again, maybe not -- that's part of the appeal of Maine, no?

                                                          I'll be making my annual visit in two weeks, to a house in Palermo, and hitting John's (Liberty), Dorman's (Thomaston) and Round Top (Damariscotta), Hope to add Tubby's to my list as well.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: Jeremiade

                                                            If you also like great produce, I recommend Beth's Farm Market in Warren, Maine. Maybe 5 min. off Rte. 1 between Waldoboro and Thomaston. Some of the most spectacular produce in Maine, and reasonably priced. They'll have strawberries still. Not sure which vegetables yet, but they're always glistening, fresh picked that day, and they also sell fresh lobster at non-inflated prices. Check out their website: