5 Best Ice Cream Shops in Ipswich, MA

From old fashioned homemade chocolate and vanilla to new-fangled candy-packed environmentally conscious flavors, Ipswich MA has some great ice cream.

Ipswich MA is best known for Crane Beach, and what better way to cool off after the beach, than with ice cream. Packed with candy, made from organic fruit or served with espresso, Ipswich has some of the best ice creams around. Here is a list of the top five ice cream shops.

Environmentally Friendly, High Quality, Down River Ice Cream

The hands-down, best ice cream in Ipswich comes from the Down River Ice Cream shop. Actually, it is right over the border in Essex, MA, off of 133 after the turn for Crane Beach. Their ice cream is rich, but not heavy, made from milk from local dairy farms. They go the extra mile to make the business green, with spoons, dishes, and straws that can be composted.

Every one of their 25 flavors is made on-site with the best quality ingredients. Their coffee ice cream, Mug Up, is made with actual coffee, and they grow the strawberries for their ice cream in a patch behind the shop. Beyond the basics, they have creative flavors that are loaded with candies, such as Monkey’s Uncle, which is fresh banana ice cream with Reese’s peanut butter cups mixed in.

Down River has two geographical disadvantages, which don’t stop ice cream lovers from flocking to their shop. The parking is really lousy and right off of route 133. Even though the owners have made extensive efforts to provide seating, the shop is wedged between marshes and the highway. The ice cream is reasonably priced for the quality, but more expensive than other shops in town.

Zumi’s Downtown Coffee and Ice Cream Bar

Zumi’s is a special downtown coffee shop and ice cream bar. Mixing hot and cold, they have a little something for everyone. Their ice cream is not fantastic, but all 20 flavors are of good quality at a fair price. What is great about Zumi’s is that they are more than just a business, they are a community-oriented cultural zone.

Enjoy your ice cream on the deck out back, next to the Ipswich Riverwalk. If it is too hot, come inside where there is air conditioning. Local artist’s paintings hang on the wall, and live musicians play on weekends and some weekdays. The wifi is free, and there are bins of toys to distract the little ones. The atmosphere is laid back. Simple, good.

Good Old-Fashioned Ice Cream at White Farms

The cow on the roof is a beacon for ice cream lovers to come and feast at White Farms. They serve copious amounts of over 60 varieties of homemade ice cream and share picnic tables with Sal’s pizza. “Chip” is their specialty: Chocolate Chip, Mocha Chip, Kahlua Chip, Mocha Almond Chip, Reverse Chocolate Chip, Coconut Chip, Mint Chocolate Chip, and Chocolate Chocolate Chip.

They have plenty of parking recessed from 1A at the border of Rowley and Ipswich. Picnic tables are available under a large tent, and there is a great sandbox for kids to play in. Sometimes on hot summer days, all the ice cream drips can get a little icky. Also, some flavors taste a little artificial, like the blue vanilla and the nearly fluorescent key lime pie ice cream, but some people like that.

Richardson’s Ice Cream at Russell Orchards

Russell Orchards is the closest shop selling ice cream to Crane Beach, selling premium Richardson’s ice cream made in Middleton, MA. They claim the secret to their rich ice cream is the extra butterfat. The Death By Chocolate ice cream is truly to die for, and the peach ice cream is made with real peaches. Russell Orchards features a select fifteen flavors served at reasonable portions and prices.

On a hot day, it is better to grab a dish than a cone because there are only a couple of benches outside under the shade of trees. Otherwise, visit the farm animals or let the kids play on the recycled toy playground while enjoying the ice cream. With plenty of parking, ice cream at Russell Orchard is worth the stop.

Dairy Queen and Orange Julius in Ipswich, MA

Dairy Queen is a fail-safe ice cream shop. Best bets are Blizzards loaded with candy, ice milk cones dipped in chocolate or refreshing Orange Julius. Located on 1A/133, there is plenty of parking, friendly service and the clean sterility one expects from a franchise. The stonescaped patio provides adequate seating but views the highway. Mosquitoes lurked in the marshlands behind the shop, so plan on eating ice cream in the car after dusk.