Visitors to the Witch City might be surprised at the number of ice cream shops not just in Salem itself, but on the way to Salem. New Englanders take ice cream seriously. We’ve even got our own terminology for our favorite treats in Massachusetts. We call sprinkles “jimmies” and milkshakes “frappes.” No matter what you call the trimmings, though, it’s hard to get a bad scoop of ice cream in the Bay State. These are some of Salem’s best:,
Maria’s Sweet Somethings 20 Front Street, Salem, MA 01970 (978) 825-9111
This sweet shop housed in a historic block of Federal storefronts is crammed with candy, but the real attraction is upstairs in the back. Maria’s serves Richardson’s ice cream, a regional favorite from a creamery in Middleton. They make two New England flavors of note: Frozen Pudding and Purple Cow. Hours vary seasonally, but Maria’s is usually open to 10pm on weeknights and 11pm on the weekend, making this Salem’s late night ice cream go-to. At the candy counter they take credit cards, but ice cream is cash only.
E.W. Hobbs 167 Fort Avenue, Salem, MA 01970 (978) 745-7691
Most tourists never make it as far as the Willows, but for those with a car, this pint-sized seaside resort is worth the trip. A relic of Salem’s Victorian past when the North Shore of Boston was known as the Gold Coast and the wealthy summered from Swampscott to Rockport, The Willows offers amazing views and the salty sweet charms of E. W. Hobbs. The Hobbs family has been making their famous popcorn on the same machines for more than 100 years. Definitely try the popcorn, but don’t miss the homemade ice cream. Hobbs serves a regional favorite called Frozen Pudding, rum flavored ice cream studded with candied fruit.
Salem Screamery 60 Washington Street, Salem, MA 01970 (978) 826-5703
The Screamery is on the way to the train, in case you need a last minute scoop. Their ice cream is made in house and the flavors range from vanilla and chocolate to unique creations like potato chip toffee made with local candy from Sweet Lydia’s of Lowell. The cold brewed Atomic coffee flavor makes a great double scoop with almost anything else on the menu. On weekends in October they’re open to 10pm
Captain Dusty’s 143 Derby Street, Salem, MA 01970 (978) 744-0777
Located on Derby Street between the National Park and the House of the Seven Gables, Captain Dusty’s is part of local chain with two other outlets on the North Shore. Captain Dusty’s also offers its own versions of Purple Cow (black raspberry with white and dark chocolate chips) and Frozen Pudding. They also make excellent milkshakes, so this is your opportunity try out your New England vocabulary and order a “frappe.”