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Seven Essential Portland Area Ice Cream Shops

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It's the time of year where a daily ice cream is pretty much a necessity. Here's a week's worth of places in the Portland area (so either in Portland, or a town next door) that will not disappoint. You'll find everything from the classics to the hot pepper-infused. There may even be a secret, off-menu shake.

Did your go-to spot get left off the list? Give it some love in the comments below.


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Smiling Hill Farm

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Located on a dairy farm just a short ride from downtown Portland, you know the ice cream is freshly made. Kids love the petting zoo. Everyone loves the ice cream.

Catbird Creamery

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If you're not looking for it, it's easy to miss. That would be a tragedy, because owner Andrew Warren, a former pastry chef at Five Fifty-Five, produces some wonderful flavors. Like Furious George: hot pepper ice cream with caramelized bananas and chocolate chunks.

Mt. Desert Island Ice Cream

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This is the Old Port location of the micro-chain, which is rooted in Bar Harbor (Obama had the Coconut while there). The super rich and creamy flavors (often changing) include The Dude, Cereal Milk and Bay of Figs.

Beal's Old Fashioned Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt

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In 30+ years, Beal's has grown to five Portland-area locations. The numerous flavor choices include the classic (Peppermint Stick), the trendy (Salted Caramel) and the unique (Teaberry). They'll let you know which ones were just made.

Captain Sam's Ice Cream

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A small, friendly, pirate-themed place serving up house-made, small-batch flavors featuring top-notch ingredients. What's not to love?

Red's Dairy Freeze

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A seasonal SoPo soft-serve institution since 1952. The strawberry soft-serve made with fresh, local berries is only available for a week or so each summer, but it's the stuff of legend. Then there's the secret, off-menu Boston Shake. We've already said too much.

Willard Scoops

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This neighborhood shop in Willard Square churns out creative, made-in-house flavors like Sunburn (strawberry habanero), Nutella and Carrot Cake. There are usually about two dozen flavor options, and the beach isn't far away.

Smiling Hill Farm

Located on a dairy farm just a short ride from downtown Portland, you know the ice cream is freshly made. Kids love the petting zoo. Everyone loves the ice cream.

Catbird Creamery

If you're not looking for it, it's easy to miss. That would be a tragedy, because owner Andrew Warren, a former pastry chef at Five Fifty-Five, produces some wonderful flavors. Like Furious George: hot pepper ice cream with caramelized bananas and chocolate chunks.

Mt. Desert Island Ice Cream

This is the Old Port location of the micro-chain, which is rooted in Bar Harbor (Obama had the Coconut while there). The super rich and creamy flavors (often changing) include The Dude, Cereal Milk and Bay of Figs.

Beal's Old Fashioned Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt

In 30+ years, Beal's has grown to five Portland-area locations. The numerous flavor choices include the classic (Peppermint Stick), the trendy (Salted Caramel) and the unique (Teaberry). They'll let you know which ones were just made.

Captain Sam's Ice Cream

A small, friendly, pirate-themed place serving up house-made, small-batch flavors featuring top-notch ingredients. What's not to love?

Red's Dairy Freeze

A seasonal SoPo soft-serve institution since 1952. The strawberry soft-serve made with fresh, local berries is only available for a week or so each summer, but it's the stuff of legend. Then there's the secret, off-menu Boston Shake. We've already said too much.

Willard Scoops

This neighborhood shop in Willard Square churns out creative, made-in-house flavors like Sunburn (strawberry habanero), Nutella and Carrot Cake. There are usually about two dozen flavor options, and the beach isn't far away.