I love ice cream! Some people will only eat ice cream during the summer months but not me! I will eat ice cream on a snow day in the middle of January. Living in Maine means that I can’t always get my favorite scoop on those cold days in January but it does give me something else to look forward to during those short summer months. July is national ice cream month so I thought I would share some of my favorite spots to grab a cone or a dish of this tasty treat.
You know spring is on the way when Red’s Dairy Freeze opens in March. No matter the weather on that opening day there will be a line of excited school children and adults eager to place their orders. I grew up around the corner from this well loved dairy freeze so it’s a favorite of mine. This neighborhood favorite has been swirling the soft serve since 1952 and gains more of a following each year. The highlight of the summer is always the *blink and you’ll miss it* strawberry soft serve. It’s made from local Maine berries picked the next town over, they make it once a season and that’s it. My favorite is a simple chocolate/vanilla swirl (aka 1/2 & 1/2) with rainbow sprinkles and eyes. Yep, I said eyes. I’m almost 40 and I still love the eyes that they put on my ice cream.
Located in Willard Square and just a hop, skip and a jump away from Willard Beach this is a must stop after a day in the sun. This little South Portland gem makes all of their flavors in house using the best and more natural ingredients. You won’t find green colored mint chip here! But you will find delicious flavors like sunburn (strawberry jalapeño), carrot cake, PBFluff (IYKYK), Halloween, chocolate sea salt and my favorite Key Lime pie. They don’t have a website but you can check their facebook page for flavor updates and hours.
There’s more than one Beal’s but if you ask Andrew there is only one and it’s in Gorham. Just like Red’s, Mainers know that spring is on the way when Beal’s opens its counter windows and starts filling those waffle cones. Beal’s uses only the finest ingredients and their own secret formula to handcraft small batches of over 100 different recipes like orange pineapple, blueberry cobbler, and coffee Oreo.
This is my personal favorite. I need to make the trek down Route 1 to get an M&M scoop at least once a summer. It’s not summer without a visit to Martel’s for me. They have over 40 homemade flavors including peppermint stick, cherry vanilla, grasshopper, and frozen pudding. The scoops are huge which is typical in New England, we don’t know what a small actually is.
If you are in the OOB (Old Orchard Beach) area than be sure to stop by this baseball themed ice cream place. The menu includes fun titles like The Dugout Floor which is a sundae with hot fudge, peanut butter sauce, Reeses peanut butter cups and whipped cream and The Muddy Cleat with hot fudge, caramel, Heath Bar candy and whipped cream. It’s a great stop for any ice cream and baseball lover.
The flavors here are really quite unique. If you’re a hot beverage lover like me you will love a scoop of Earl Grey Rose Hip Jam and Pistachio (yes that’s all one flavor), Chai Cardamon or Cuban Coffee. This woman owned and operated parlor also has flavors like Maine Whoopie Pie, Rhubarb Sage, Molasses Gingersnap and Hokey Pokey…because that’s what it’s all about.
Another favorite located near the beach. This is the perfect stop after a long beach day at Kettle Cove or Crescent Beach. Two of my favorites are mint Oreo and Needham. If you’re not sure what a needham is it may be a unique to Maine candy. It has a coconut and potato filling covered in dark chocolate. They are delicious and if you want my family recipe let me know! Other notable flavors at this creamery are red raspberry chip and pumpkin pie. Yum!
Can you even get fresher ice cream than the kind that is made just steps from its source? I don’t think so! This family owned dairy farm has over 40 flavors made on site plus some cute animals to look at. They scoop up flavors like Mississippi mud, blueberry, and chocolate peanut butter cup. Come for the petting zoo, stay for the apple pie ice cream!
Now I know this is technically not ice cream but it’s so good! I love to pop in here for a birthday scoop or pick up a pint at our local store. Flavors are made daily from growing collection of more than 1,500 house recipes. The dark chocolate caramel sea salt is a favorite of Andrews and I can never make up my mind so I try something new each time I’m there. Summer school is a current favorite along with the ripe mango sorbetto.
All of the ice cream places that I’ve mentioned are either in the Greater Portland area or less than an hour away. I’m sure there are many ice cream places that I’ve missed so let me know in the comments if you have a favorite I should try. I’m always up for a little drive, especially if it involves food 🙂