Dig into summer at some of the area’s best clam shacks and ice cream stands
By any measure, we’re overdue for all the deliciousness that spring has to offer. So make up for lost time by digging into plates full of fried clams and ice cream cones at favorite New England spots all reopened for the season. Head back to your old standbys or, better yet, explore all the region has to offer.
Clam and lobster shacks
■ Flo’s Clam Shack in Middletown, R.I., a summer staple since 1936, is open seven days a week for the season from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., frying up those clam strips (and famous clamcakes) daily. Flo’s also has a drive-in location in Portsmouth, R.I.www.flosclamshacks.com
■ Visitors to Mystic, Conn., as well as loyal locals, will be happily lining up for fried clams and soft serve at Sea Swirl all season. Try to time your visit to the rosy sunset over the Mystic.www.seaswirlofmystic.com
■ A favorite spot for lobster rolls, The Beach Plum on Route 1A in North Hampton, N.H., draws hungry fans from all over. There are also 78 ice cream flavors, too. Also located in Portsmouth and Epping, N.H. www.lobsterrolls.com
■ Arnold’s Lobster & Clam Bar in Eastham, Mass., is celebrating its 41st anniversary this year. Fried clams, lobster dinners — and a bike path location. Not to mention, 18 holes of mini golf. www.arnoldsrestaurant.com
■ Chauncey Creek Lobster Pier, a family-run business that dates to the 1930s, in Kittery Point, Maine, is open daily through Labor Day from 11 a.m.-8 p.m., and through Columbus Day Tuesday through Sunday 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Take your boat, if you’ve got one — you can dock it at the private pier. www.chaunceycreek.com
■ Islesford Dock Restaurant & Gallery, a popular restaurant for decades on Little Cranberry Island, Maine, will re-open May 31. “One of the many things people love about the Dock is the vibe of the place,” says co-owner Michael Boland. According to the old-school voicemail, the restaurant will be open Wednesday-Sunday for the month of June and Tuesday-Sunday for the month of July. (It’s always closed on Mondays.)
Ice cream shops
Here’s the scoop on where to go for your creamy confection.
■ Jeff Christensen, owner of Cottage Island Market on beachy Plum Island, and his dog, Summer, will debut The Cottage Creamery, a sassy ice cream shop that will be overseen by Hilary Larson, who formerly owned Eat Cake in Newburyport. The PI Sandy — Richardson’s ice cream sandwiched between cookies — will be a specialty. Also new in the same space will be Cottage Surf for paddle board, surf board and kayak rentals. Opened May 5, but will be open seven days a week after Memorial Day, May 28. www.thecottageplumisland.com
■ Polar Cave Ice Cream Parlour in Mashpee on the Cape is celebrated for its frappes and sundaes, including the Polar Peppermint Twist. Also available: Lactose-free frozen drinks. www.polarcave.com
■ Mount Desert Island Ice Cream has two locations in Bar Harbor, Maine: One at 7 Firefly Lane and one at 325 Main St. Open seasonally and hours vary, so check the website. Their Portland location is open year-round. www.mdiic.com
■ Katie’s Homemade Ice Cream in Hyannis on Cape Cod is open with its namesake as the new owner. Katie’s mother, Julie Kimball, was the previous owner. Try the Cape Cod Sand flavor — it’s got a secret ingredient. 570 Main St., Hyannis.
■ Rococo Artisan Ice Cream Looking for some exotic ice cream flavors? With Rococo Artisan Ice Cream you’ve come to the right place. Think Blueberry Chipotle, Chai Cardamom, Cinnamon Caramel ... we could go on. Located in Maine at 6 Spring St. in Kennebunkport, and at 259 Main St., Ogunquit. www.rococoicecream.com
■ In Wilmington, Vt., Creemee Stand is serving up its signature Vermont Maple Creemee ice cream, made with pure Vermont syrup. Located at 716 Route 100.www.creemeestand.com
■ The Barking Crab’s outdoor tent on Sleeper Street is a waterfront staple. Once something of an outpost, it is now in the heart of the bustling Seaport District. www.barkingcrab.com
■ Cinquecento’s Rosso Patio and Shipping Container Bar, located at 500 Harrison Ave. in the South End is open. The recycled shipping container bar has a 12-seat bar and an outdoor lounge with tables for eating. www.cinquecentoboston.com
■ The buzz about the Beehive, a Bohemian comfort-food restaurant in the South End on Tremont Street, is that the outdoor patio is now open for the season. www.beehiveboston.com
■ Charlestown’s Pier 6 has a waterfront location with a roof deck and patio/deck with bar and lounge, too. Drink in the intoxicating Boston skyline views now that the patio is open for the season. Located at 1 8th St.www.pier6boston.com