Your guide to parenting in Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts

eskimokingby Katy Killilea

I love soft ice cream. I love it more than any boutique, homemade, small-batch, green tea ice cream. For a long time the only soft ice cream I could find in our area was at the Dairy Queen in the mall. How foolish! I've long wished that someone would present me with a list of recommendations. And so, as a service to Kidoinfo readers, my sons and I devoted a portion of our summer researching this topic.

Keep in mind, this list is not comprehensive. There are many, many more places that I have yet to investigate. I am not including prices, because, as you'll find, it's fairly cheap compared to the fancy stuff. And although I often like my vanilla soft serve with crushed Heath Bars added in, for scientific purposes, we decided to focus solely on vanilla soft serve cones in our survey.

Please add your own favorites by posting a comment.

ESKIMO KING - 29 Market Street, Swansea, MA. (508) 379-0202
Yay: This place rocks! A giant statue of a Bob's Big Boyish-looking guy adorns their sign. Delicious, perfect vanilla soft serve. Swings, benches, picnic tables, a big shady lawn with a curious giant rock to clamber upon.
Boo: It might be a bit remote for some people.

SUNDAES - 259 Taunton Avenue, Seekonk, MA. (508) 336-5584
Yay: Delicious. Wonderful flavor and consistency. Generous portions--even the "kiddie" size is big. Happy staff. Behind the shack kids can ride a teeny-tiny carousel with three maniacally grinning animals for 50 cents. Plenty of picnic tables.
Boo: Not much room for kids to run around. Views of car dealerships.

RIVERSIDE CREAMERY - 447 Willet Avenue, Riverside, RI. (401) 437-3078
Yay: Solid vanilla flavor. Convenient to Bullock's Park and the carousel. Plenty of picnic tables.
Boo: Right on an unattractive piece of (busy) road.

img_4245daribee-path.jpgDARI B - 240 Bullocks Point Avenue, Riverside, RI. (401) 433-1931
Yay: Good-enough tasting. Great location right on the bike path.
Boo: Although the ice cream is good enough to pull your bike over, this is not soft vanilla nirvana. Grouchy personnel. And the kiddie size is, true to its name, rather small.

DEL'S LEMONADE - Warren (on the East Bay Bike Path), RI
Yay: Great location
Boo: Gross vanilla. Tastes stale and sour. Stick to the lemonade.

LINCOLN CREAMERY - 276 Front Street, Lincoln, RI. (401) 724-1050
Yay: The real deal here is the yogurt soft serve blended from real fruit. It comes in a variety of flavors that you can have singly or mixed (strawberry-banana is popular), and it tastes much better than their bland regular vanilla soft serve (plus, you'll feel more virtuous having something with "yogurt" in the name).
Boo: It looks a little old and beat-up, and seating on a hot day is only out front in full sun. To beat the heat, try sitting on the ground around the side where the cars park.

I wish I could say I don't like these, but both DQ & McDonalds have scrumptious, perfect tasting vanilla soft serve cones. ($3.50 and 59 cents, respectively.)

Grocery News is occasional posts about food items. Sharing great discoveries, tips and ideas helps make parenting a little easier. Share your food thoughts with us by clicking comments below or contact us with your story ideas.

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