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Ice Cream Stands in Mass. Summer Trip(s)

  • l

A friend and I are making it our summer mission to attempt to sample all (or as many as possible)Ice Cream Stands in Massachusetts. We are located in the Worcester area, and are going to map out, then visit, as many stands as possible. Our hopes are to document and photograph the whole journey.

Any suggestions? I got a basic (all be it minimal( list off bostonplus and visitingnewengland, but I am looking for some insider info.

Any favorites? Any out of the way places? Please either post, or EMAIL me directly!

We will share our findings with ya'll!!!

Thanks a bunch!

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  1. I am in DC now but am from Sterling, MA originally. There is a really cute ice cream stand in Sterling, WAY off the beaten path called Rota Spring Farm. It is actually on the farm (i.e. you can watch the cows as you lick your ice cream), but it is really quaint. I believe it is on Chase Hill Road if that helps at all. I am not sure if the ice cream is actually made there, but the scenery of it all would make it a wonderful trip one weekend evening.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Samantha

      Yes!! Finally someone who knows about this place. We live in Lancaster and make frequent trips out to RSF.
      Their ice cream is great and is made there. They have additional special flavors created monthly as well.
      We mark on our calendar when their opening day is are there when the window opens.

      1. re: Samantha

        MA does have some great ice cream stores, but if you are ever in the Gaithersburg area of Maryland, please come by our store, Bruster's real ice cream located on Frederick Road just north of Montgomery Village Ave ( just past Costco!). We make the ice cream fresh every day and it has walk up windows- just like in New England! Or use the drive thru! Hope to see you there - what's your favorite flavor? Marjorie

        1. re: Samantha

          On Mother's Day, after mini golf at Mulligan's in Sterling, I took Chowhound recommendations into consideration and brought my parents to Rota. Although we passed two other ice cream stands, I told them Rota was better. It was easy to get to as Chace Hill Road is right off Rt. 62. Samantha is right about Rota's description. It's by itself on a farm. I was surprised at the new paved lot.

          My mom asked the server if there were any seasonal specials and she said no, none of the flavors are seasonal but she pointed to a list of new flavors taped next to the window. I had Black Raspberry, 1 scoop for $2. My mom had Moo-Tracks and my dad had some sort of frozen pudding type ice cream with nice fruit pieces. We all loved ours and we ate walking up the path to the left of the cow pasture. It was the nicest pasture we'd ever seen. All the cows had their own space and they were relaxing or eating. I'll be back and I recommend Rota.

          1. re: Joshua B

            I can't wait to get there. I've been reading about it over the past week or two. Perhaps after the big plant sale at Tower Hill in early June...

        2. On the North Shore:
          - Ice Cream Junction: on Rte 22N towards Essex - stand is on your left about 1-2 miles before Essex, it has a large parking lot and is surrounded by woods. A 2nd store is at Rocky Neck in East Gloucester, a charming location on the water. Very good homemade stuff. Favorite flavor: raspberry ripple.

          - Cap'n Dusty's : 2 locations - (1) Manchester-by-the-Sea on Beach St, overlooking the harbour. There's a nice park across from the stand where you can sit and look out on the water. (2) Prides Crossing (Beverly Farms) - less scenic.
          I prefer Ice Cream Jxn over Cap'n Dusty's.

          - The Cupboard - Stage Fort Park, Gloucester. They have a few hard ice creams, but soft-serve is their forte. I believe they don't make their own, but sell Richardson's brand ice cream (which IMO is inferior to the above 2, which are home-made). Great location, though.

          - Also in Gloucester: Scoops on Rodgers St (nr Washington st intersection), and Salah's Scoops on Washington - both serve Richardson's ice cream, i.e. not home-made.

          - "Golf course" ice cream (the name is ?Cherry Hill ?Orchard Hill) - take Exit 21 off Rt128 South, as you come off the ramp, take a right. The stand is just across the road from the end of the ramp. I havne't sampled their ice cream yet, so can't vouch for its quality.

          NW of Boston:
          Kimball's icecream - 3 locations; I usually go to the Lincoln one. Great ice cream, HUGE scoops.

          Cape Cod:
          Four Seas in Centerville - good ice cream (tho I prefer Herrell's in Allston, and Ice Cream Jxn in Essex). What I love is the atmosphere - kind of run-down, oldfashioned ice cream palor.

          Western MA:
          In Shelburne Falls, on Main St - oldfashioned drugstore with soda fountain in the front, right by the entrnace. Ice cream is commercial (forget the brand) but pretty decent; what's outstanding is the atmosphere - like a scene from a Rockwell painting.

          There was a recent thread on this topic, which I've linked below.

          Look forward to reading your report on your ice cream tour!

          Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

          3 Replies
          1. re: ju

            I like the Kimball's in Westford/Littleton. Always share a scoop or two with my girlfriend after hitting some golf balls.

            The scoops are huge and you get two for only 50 cents more than one. Two scoops are more than enough for sharing. Lots of different varieties of real ice cream.

            There's also an ice cream stand type place in between Stowe and Maynard on 62, but I haven't been there.

            1. re: rl

              That would be Eriksson's in Maynard - it's on Rt. 117 less than a mile after you enter Maynard coming from Stow. Good ice cream, but I find Rota, Kimball's and others to be a bit better.

              1. re: rl

                I'm a big fan of Kimballs as well - some of the best I've tasted!
                I've also got a soft spot for soft-serve ice cream. Believe it or not, Dairy Barn in Randolph serves up some of the best (especially w/their chocolate dip!) Yum!

            2. Kimball's has three locations; Westford, MA, Carlisle, MA and Jaffrey, NH. Great ice cream.

              2 Replies
                1. re: Far Far

                  The person posting about a location in Lincoln probably was referring to the Carlisle location.

                2. How about Peaceful Meadows in Middleborough, MA?

                  I remember how their peach ice cream tasted wonderfully of ... PEACHES!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: KTFoley

                    Richardson’s Ice Cream Rt 114 Middleton, MA 978-774-5450

                  2. Murdock Dairy Farm in Winchendon

                    1. Try The Scoop in Granville. The ice cream is homemade and delicious and the stand is right on the farm so you can meet the cows. They also have a little petting zoo with farm animals if kids are involved in any of your plans.

                      If you do make it to Granville, you might also want to go to the Granville general store. They have great aged cheddar, especially the horseradish cheddar, if you like that. They don't make the cheese but they age it at the store in a special cellar.

                      1. Not a stand but no ice cream tour of Mass. is complete without a visit to Herrell's in Northampton...

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: pronek

                          Herrell's is awesome in W Mass.

                          In E Mass I love Hayley's in Newburyport (on Rt 1) and White Farm in Ipswich (on Rt 1A).

                        2. d

                          Farfars, in Duxbury. Authentic, homemade Dutch sweet cream ice cream. Awesome!

                          1. Erikson's on Rte 117 in Maynard on the Maynard/Stow line.

                            1. Benson's on 133 in W. Boxford.

                              1. I try to do this as often as possible, some of our favorites/must visits are Benson's in West Boxford, Richardson's nearby in Middleton, Mad Maggie's in North Reading, Kimball Farms in Carlisle, Ron's Gourmet in I-forget-where, Ice Cream Works in (Newton?)..........., Meletharb's in (Wakefield?)

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: joe

                                  rons is on Hyde Park ave in cleary square, attached to a bowling alley.

                                2. Meadowlands on Tewksbury/Billerica line. Best homemade premium ice cream ever!

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: helen

                                    I find meadowlands to be far inferior to Rota and Kimballs, but the location is nice :)
                                    It was within walking distance of my last workplace -- thankfully we only once a month or so..

                                    For example:
                                    Their cookies n cream is too "grey" -- too blended. Not enough chunks of cookie.

                                  2. m

                                    Wow, you got a lot of responses! I'll admit I didn't read them. The below list are my favorities:

                                    Erikson's in Maynard (Route 62)

                                    Kimball's in Littleton (Route 110)

                                    Conrad's in Lunenburg (Route 2A)

                                    1. Don't forget gelato at Marino's Lookout Farm, S. Natick. Uhlmans in Westboro, although they don't make it is a nice setting

                                      1. Just opened in Uxbridge MA is Bagma's Farm. Bagma's was a full dairy operation up until about two years ago, then a pretty small store that sold eggs and milk and high-end cuts of meat. They just expanded with a new ice cream window, with inside and outside seating, a big paved parking lot. It's a great spot to have an ice cream, with wide-open fields all around, with (male) cows chomping grass just a fence away.

                                        Exit 146 at Route 16, heading east. In the center of Uxbridge, turn left (head north) for about two miles, to West Hartford Avenue (site of the former Hay Wagon, soon to be a CVS). Left onto West Hartford Ave, and go about two miles. Bagma's is on the left, 504 West Hartford Avenue

                                        1. Bubbling Brook on Rt. 109 in Westwood.

                                          1. Northern MA on the NH border,

                                            Dr. Davis' Ice Cream, Pepperell, MA Hollis Street/Mill street heading toward Hollis NH.

                                            Ice Cream Factory, Townsend, MA Route 13, heading toward Fitchburg.

                                            New one on route 119 in Townsend Harbor, can't remember the name but the ice cream was good. You can't miss it it's a red building and sits back off the road.

                                            All in all though you can't beat Kimball's, their ice cream is the best I've eaten anywhere, and that includes California, Florida and many points inbetween.
                                            Have a great trip, I look forward to hearing your results.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: othervoice

                                              Here are three on the Cape:

                                              Ice Cream Sandwich, in Sandwich (just off Route 6A, up a little hill)

                                              Chad's Ice Cream, Falmouth

                                              Four Seas, Centerville. If you are looking for Four Seas to take home, try Fancy's Market in Osterville. Fancy's usually has it before the season starts -- Four Seas will start making a few flavors to get in practice a few weeks ahead.

                                              If you drop down as far as Newport, R.I., go to Newport Creamery; there are several.

                                            2. Meletharb's on Lowell St in Wakefield. The Sweet Cream is pure heaven.

                                              1. great idea! please post back your results :)

                                                Tyngsboro -- Sullivan Farms (http://www.lowellsun.com/steppinout/c...) -- has the most amazing frozen yogurt (vanilla). I had just picked pounds of strawberries at Parlee Farms and stopped by for a quart to bring home -- so so rich and tasty

                                                Boxford: Benson's (http://www.yelp.com/biz/qzWAb1vrVGJe-... miss the traditional New England flavor -- grapenuts!

                                                Newton: Not a ice cream stand but an old fashioned soda parlor type place (where my parents had their first date!): Cabot's

                                                1. Try Mountain View Drive-In at 25 Allen Street Hampden MA (WMass)
                                                  It usually offers 6 changing flavors of soft serve, as well as soft frozen yogurt and sundaes. You can also get the usual burger/dog/fries grill fare. It's officially spring when they open.
                                                  If you're coming this far, in nearby Enfield CT there's Collins Creamery which is a small farm that makes its own ice cream and has a stand. Only about a 10-15 min drive from Hampden.

                                                  1. Couple more Cape Cod locations for you...

                                                    - Kate's Seafood and Ice Cream in Brewster (fantastic stuff and also great fried seafood before the ice cream)

                                                    - Ice Cream Smuggler in Dennis (lots of different varieties)

                                                    - and no Cape trip is complete without a stop at the famous Sundae School! (there are a couple locations, I love the Dennisport location the most)

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: ParentMK

                                                      Absolutely, Sundae School. Have the hot bittersweet chocolate sauce on something.

                                                      1. re: brendastarlet

                                                        Agreed on Sundae School (love the grape nut flavor), also on the Cape perhaps Emack and Bolio's?

                                                      2. re: ParentMK

                                                        Try Katie's Homemade on Main Street in Hyannis....GREAT and creamy...yum.

                                                      3. Handy Hill Creamery on Handy Hill Rd just off 81 on the way to the beach in Westport, MA

                                                        Not a stand, but a small shop, Toscanini's may have the best ice cream in MA. Cambridge.

                                                        1. I'd also like to report there was another (in addition to the previous one listed) thread that I started at the beginning of April on this subject:


                                                          1. More for Cape Cod...in Falmouth, there's a new place called Pie ala Mode near the library which has some nice gelato (I didn't like their small-batch ice cream as much.) I also like Ben & Bill's Chocolate Emporium on Main Street. And in Sandwich the Twin Acres Ice Cream on Rte 6A (west of Sandwich Ice Cream) is on a pretty stretch of the road.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: Kvon

                                                              Soc's in Saugus on the Fellsway. Very unique flavors, all homemade. Wonderful ice cream cakes. Can order ahead and choose the three flavors of your cake.
                                                              A few tables inside and outside.

                                                            2. The people out my way (Hubbardston) all go to a place called Calico and Cream. But we are way off the beaten path.

                                                              I love Kimball's.

                                                              There's an ice cream place on the Daniel Webster Highway (parralel to Rt. 3) just over the New Hampshire line. It's at a mini golf place. I've had great ice cream there.

                                                              1. Here are some that I've been to that I like (and yes, as you can tell, I eat a lot of ice cream):

                                                                Louie's, Somerville
                                                                Soc's, Saugus
                                                                Kimball's, Carlisle
                                                                Bedford Farms, Bedford
                                                                Bubbling Brook, Westwood
                                                                Dairy Joy, Weston
                                                                Erikson's, Maynard
                                                                Dairy Barn, Randolph
                                                                Four Seas, Centerville
                                                                Hallet's, Yarmouth
                                                                Ice Creamsmith, Dorchester
                                                                Richardson's, Middleton
                                                                Kate's, Brewster
                                                                Tangerini's, Millis
                                                                Oxford Creamery, Mattapoisett

                                                                My favorites for the ice cream itself are Kimball's (Carlisle), Bedford Farms, Dairy Barn/Richardson's, and Four Seas. As far as the overall experience, it's tough to beat Kimball's, with its rural setting, petting zoo, and picnic tables out back.

                                                                1. Well, you have to start somewhere, so why not in Worcester? My favorite is Gibby's, on Sunderland road off of Massasoit.

                                                                  There was a place in Tewksbury that a friend took me to, with ice cream from their own cows and great walking trails. I haven't been there in 15 years and can't remember the name. If this rings a bell for anyone, I'd love to know what this place was!

                                                                  1. Here's one to avoid. Bagma's Farm. Stopped in last night and the prices are outrageous. The size of a large is the same as a kiddie cup at Kimballs. So, if you're in Southern MA head north!

                                                                    1. If you want trencherman-sized portions, there's also Hodgie's in Amesbury. Their kiddie-sized ice cream (at $4.00) is about the equivalent of 6 scoops! I'd guess a large is mind-bogglingly big... It's very good ice cream too, worth a stop if you're in the area.

                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                      1. re: bachslunch

                                                                        While I appreciate a good sized scoop, selling a 6 scoop kiddie is just ridiculous. Sometimes you just want a little scoop to satisfy a craving, not feel like you're piling in a quart of ice cream. What if you *really* want a kiddie cone?

                                                                          1. re: Joanie

                                                                            If you really want a kiddie cone, you order a quarter kiddie cone.
                                                                            I moved to Florida 4 years ago. When I go back to Massachusetts, I reserve time for at least one trip to Hodgies to get my fix of Frozen Pudding. I get the large in a cup, to go. I get four servings for less than $5.00.

                                                                          2. re: bachslunch

                                                                            Dear Lovesomeicecream,

                                                                            You child, are going to be one busy girl this summer.

                                                                            Regarding Hodgie's, I was just there last Friday. The kiddie size (which I had) was $2.60. It was hardly 6 scoops. I would say Hodgie's is comparable in size to the smallest cones at Kimballs (at the least the Kimballs in Carlisle).

                                                                            There is another stand I haven't seen mentioned called, I believe, White Cow? Located on Rt1A very close to the Rowley/Ipswich line. It's about 1/2 mile or so north of the Clam Box. The "white cow" was on USA Todays list of best Ice Cream stands in America about 3-4 years ago. So was Brown's Ice Cream located in York Maine, near the Nubble Light.

                                                                            1. re: humin

                                                                              I was there Friday (5/4/07) myself. Humin, I'm guessing what you got was a single-scoop serving. They have servings as follows, if memory serves:

                                                                              single scoop
                                                                              two scoops

                                                                              The "kiddie sized" says on the menu board that it's three scoops big; I even asked the worker at the window if it was really a kiddie size, which she confirmed. But their scoops are huge -- in my serving, they were each at least the size of two normal scoops, and I got three different flavors. I could only manage about half of it.

                                                                              1. re: bachslunch

                                                                                I didn't look at the menu board for particulars on the size. I asked the server for the smallest one they have. I assumed that it was the kiddie size.

                                                                                1. re: humin

                                                                                  If you want the smallest size at Hodgies order a quarter kiddie (one scoop), the half kiddie is two scoops. Kiddie is three. Very good ice cream. Think we'll head there tonight.

                                                                          3. Cook's Farm in Hadley, MA is just fabulous. Everyone in that area knows about it... between the Rt. 9 shopping strips and Hampshire College. It is also a farm with cows wandering around... and the best peppermint stick ice cream ever.

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: wmassnative

                                                                              i second cook's farm, it's fantastic!
                                                                              Flayvors of Cook Farm
                                                                              125 So. Maple St.
                                                                              Hadley, MA 01035

                                                                              also in western ma there is the summer house in southwick, ma. it's been super popular for years.
                                                                              Summer House
                                                                              552 College Hwy
                                                                              Southwick, MA 01077
                                                                              (413) 569-3581

                                                                              1. re: sryder

                                                                                oh yeah, i also wanted to mention the williamsburg general store. it's a great little place to poke around for gift shopping, but they've got a small bakery and ice cream/coffee shop inside. good stuff.

                                                                            2. Hodgies Ice Cream in Amesbury, Rte 110
                                                                              I worked there for 9 years & still love ice cream.
                                                                              My Hodgie favorites are M&M, Coffee Oreo & Kahlua Chip. The sizes are very generous!

                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                              1. re: backbaychow

                                                                                Cherry Hill Farm on the Lunenburg/Leominster line (where Day Street and Leominster Road meet) has great ice cream - their black cherry is the best.

                                                                                Gray's Ice Cream (either Little Compton or Tiverton, RI) has the best coffee ice cream in the universe.

                                                                                Ben & Bill's Emporium in Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard has many unique flavors, serves large portions, and simply delish.

                                                                                1. re: RandyL

                                                                                  Glad to see that this thread is still active :)
                                                                                  I can report that I've been to Kimball's 3 times now this year. twice in Westford, once in Carlisle.

                                                                                  Mint+Cookies sundae, Black and White frappe, Cookies and Creme cone.

                                                                                  The Black and White Frappe (received in Carlisle) I found didn't quite have enough chocolate syrup (granted, I am a chocoholic) - so, I'd reccomend if anyone gets a Black and White there, ask for extra syrup :)

                                                                                  1. re: Keithel

                                                                                    One more fab icecream parlor is Big Daddy's in wells Maine on rt 1. Anyone going to maine in the fall should not miss their Pumpkin ice cream, its to die for. I live in Florida now and can't wait to get to Maine...Icecream, hotdogs and lobster....yummy

                                                                              2. Do you know if Dairy Barn in Randolph serves Purple Cow ice cream?

                                                                                1. If you get as far as Mattapoisett, Mass, on Route 6 is the Oxford Creamery....excellent ice cream. Also, a bonus is their Lobster Roll, named as one of the BEST in New England by Money Magazine.

                                                                                  1. Johnson's Dairy Bar on Boston Rd in Groton MA is not to be missed. It's got that Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post cover look- knotty pine and staffed by polite teenagers. Sometimes we get the foot long hot dog special and eat inside They make a ton of flavors and the kiddie cone is one huge scoop.