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A simple cone of premium chocolate chip ice cream is a beautiful thing on a summer’s day. But the North Shore offers so many ice cream iterations to choose from that it would be a shame not to explore the options. So we’ve rounded up 10 ways to have an out-of-the-box ice cream adventure this summer. Enjoy – we’re sure you will!

Fancy flavors

Creative flavors at Holy Cow | Gloucester, Peabody, Salem

From its beginnings in a small Gloucester storefront, Holy Cow has expanded into three locations, growing the fanbase that clamors for its inventive flavors like Ritzy AF (butter cracker ice cream loaded with housemade Ritz cracker toffee bark), cereal milk (ice cream steeped with Fruity Pebbles and studded with cereal marshmallows), and cinnamon churro dough. What’s more, the waffle cones that hold these delights are made fresh to order. They also have conventional flavors and plenty of creative vegan options, making it a great destination for everyone. New flavors are added regularly, so it’s a stop that rewards repeat visits.
80 Pleasant St., Gloucester; 181 Fort Ave., Salem; 86 Andover St., Peabody;

Rotating special flavors at Melt | Salem

Melt makes flavors both classic and unconventional, many inspired by other local food producers. The coffee ice cream uses bean from Atomic Coffee and the salted caramel brownie features chunks of gluten-free sea salt brownies from Salem’s Jodi Bee Bakes. Rotating flavors have included unique options like rose with candied orange, potato chip toffee, and honey coconut citrus tea.
60 Washington St., Salem, 978-826-5703,

Baklava ice cream at Meletharb | Wakefield

You can’t go wrong with any of the luscious homemade flavors at Meletharb, from espresso chip to simple sweet cream. But for a truly inventive merging of frozen and baked treats, try the baklava ice cream, a honey ice cream base dotted with chunks of flaky, sweet baklava.
393 Lowell St., Wakefield, 781-245-4946,

Honey roasted strawberry ice cream with lemon curd and butter cake from Churn & Co. | Photo courtesy of Churn & Co.

Weekly drops from Churn & Co. | Danvers

Each week, Churn & Co. releases two to three new innovative flavors of small-batch ice cream. Orders open up on Thursday nights and customer pick up their scores in Danvers on Friday or Saturday. Past flamboyant flavors have included blueberry cheesecake ice cream with salted graham cracker crumble, honey roasted strawberry ice cream with lemon curd and butter cake, and salted pretzel ice cream with brownie chunks, pretzel crunch, and brownie batter swirl. Pints are also available at the Rusty Can in Byfield.

Native fruit flavors and toppings at Benson’s | Boxford

Boxford’s beloved Benson’s honors the seasons each year with a series of homemade flavors and toppings featuring native fruits. Raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and peaches appear in the summer, followed by baked apples and spiced pumpkin in the fall.
181 Washington St., Boxford, 978-352-2911,

Creative concoctions

Build-your-own ice cream cookie sandwiches from Cookie Monstah | Burlington, Danvers, Swampscott

If you want more than vanilla ice cream between chocolate wafers, the Cookie Monstah’s three North Shore locations are just what you need. Choose an ice cream flavor from a list of as many as 25 options from local favorite Richardson’s. A giant scoop will be layered between your choice of more than a dozen cookies. Snickerdoodle coconut? Red velvet Oreo? Anything is possible.
75 Newbury St., Danvers; 76 Burlington Mall Rd., Burlington; 505 Paradise Rd., Swampscott,

M cacao ice cream macaron | Amesbury

The gourmet chocolatiers at m cacao churn up their own ice cream then sandwich it between fresh-baked macarons, for a crispy, creamy, decadent delight. Available in sea salt caramel, dark chocolate, Tahitian vanilla, mint chocolate chip, and coffee.
6 Chestnut St. Amesbury, 617-334-5777,

Ice cream-filled macarons at m cacao | Image courtesy of m cacao

Ice cream smorgasbord at Putnam Pantry | Danvers

Generations of local ice cream lovers has flocked to Putnam Pantry’s iconic make-your-own sundae bar. Choose your flavor and the number of scoops, then pile on all the nuts, strawberries, hot fudge, crushed Oreos, cherry caramel, and other toppings you can handle.
255 Newbury St., Danvers, 978-774-2383,

Whatever’s new at Jeff and Maria’s | Groveland

This small, out-of-the-way shop is known for its Reese’s-stuffed sundae, the Peanut Butter Wizard, which is certainly very worth a try. However, the creative creamery is constantly dreaming up new concoctions, often based on nostalgic favorites. The Cookie Kraze milkshake loads a creamy shake with Oreos and Chips Ahoy, with some whipped cream and chocolate sauce on top. In the fall, they may serve up a cider donut topped with ice cream and caramel. Follow them on Facebook for their latest inspirations.
918 Salem St., Groveland, 978-891-3575,

Eggpuff ice cream at Drink Stir | Salem

Drink Stir is part Chinese restaurant and part purveyor of sweet treats (bubble tea is also a big menu item), so it makes sense that the eggpuff ice cream merges a favorite Hong Kong street snack with everyone’s favorite frozen dessert. The creation wraps ice cream in an eggy waffle made up of little spheres, then layers on the toppings, for a truly unique sundae experience.
99 North St, Salem, 978-224-2190,

Did we miss your favorite? Let us know in the comments.