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All 22 Essex Restaurants

Down River Ice Cream

241 John Wise Ave, Essex, MA 01929
(978) 768-0102
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Ranked #1 of 22 Restaurants in Essex
Mon - Thu 12:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Fri - Sun 11:00 am - 9:00 pm
Cuisines: Ice Cream
Restaurant details
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39 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Ipswich, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2014

If you like homemade ice cream, this is where it lives. Great flavors...something for everyone including low fat/low sugar flavors. All served with compostible dishes and spoons. Both locations easy to get to....US Rt 1 in Rowley and Rt 133 between Essex and Ipswich MA.

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Essex, Massachusetts
3 reviews 3 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2014

Good ingredients-they grow some of them themselves. Everything that leaves the window is recyclable. Diverse fun selection of flavors. I like to choose from the daily seasonal specials which change as the fresh fruit, etc,. change. They are posted separately right in from of the window and often get missed. The staff are friendly and always allow "sample" bites if... More 

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Boston, Massachusetts
3 reviews 3 reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2014

30+ fkavors, all hand made on-site. Gluten free and no high fructose corn syrup used. All paper products are recyclable But that's not the amazing part about Downriver. The ice cream is delicious; every flavor, rich and creamy. Unique varieties like Mexican chocolate (zingy), O'Day (ginger snaps!), and Willie Wonka (packed w/ your favorite candy). Definitely check it out!

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Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2014 via mobile

We decided to try this after a trip to the beach, which was probably a mistake. The flavors we had were yummy and now I'll be tempted to stop here after every trip to the beach. My husband really enjoyed the maple ice cream and I had deer tracks which was also good. There is some outdoor seating - scattered... More 

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Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2014

All right. I've seen the "best" choices in "Boston Magazine," the Globe and several other publications, and cannot understand why this place isn't at the top of the list every single time. There just is not better ice cream, PERIOD. The array of creative flavors is amazing and the ice cream itself is smooth and creamy. Service is quick and... More 

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Boston, Massachusetts
Top Contributor
103 reviews 103 reviews
82 restaurant reviews
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2014

I wanted to try all their uniquely named treats, but settled on the "mug up". Rich, creamy, and with just the right coffee flavor it was outstanding. My friend, an ice cream aficionado, labeled her choices possibly the best ice cream she has ever had. We relaxed in Adirondack chairs overlooking the salt marsh while enjoying our generous portions of... More 

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Concord, New Hampshire
19 reviews 19 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014

This is excellent Ice Cream!!!!!! The portions are huge loaded with tons of extras. They have a huge variety of different flavors as well :) Served on a waffle cone or sugar cone! Yummy!

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Seattle, Washington
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2014

We enjoy home made ice cream in Massachusetts. But this maple walnut was exceptional -- the pure Vermont maple syrup and fresh black walnuts were immediately evident in an enviable creamy base. No foreign additives, enhances, or incorporated air here -- just pure luscious-ness! Generous servings, reasonable prices, and friendly service enhance the experience. Our new most favorite! Note --... More 

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Los Angeles, California
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2014

the staff here is super friendly, and you can sit on adirondack chairs while eating your amazing ice cream. The flavors are innovative without seeming stupid or contrived. We are big ice cream snobs (loyal to Benson's in Boxford) but after a day at Crane's Beach, this became another family favorite. A great addition to the area.

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Boston, Massachusetts
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
55 restaurant reviews
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2014

So in love with this place! Wonderful girls behind the counter, gave us samples, were extremely polite, and even told us about a great icecream treat for our dog. The icecream was yummy, great names and great taste. Portions were huge even for their "baby" which is their small. I also thought the prices were extremely reasonable. The only downside... More 

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Additional Information about Down River Ice Cream

Address: 241 John Wise Ave, Essex, MA 01929
Phone Number: (978) 768-0102
Location: United States  >  Massachusetts (MA)  >  Cape Ann  >  Essex
Open Hours:
Sunday 11:00 am - 9:00 pm
Monday 12:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Tuesday 12:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Wednesday 12:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Thursday 12:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Friday 11:00 am - 9:00 pm
Saturday 11:00 am - 9:00 pm
Cuisine: Ice Cream

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Questions & Answers

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Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?